Experience a health retreat

The ancient origins of the heath retreat

The origins of the health spa date back thousands of years. Just about every culture created a place for its people to gather, bathe and relax. Different cultures including the Romans, Turks and Japanese have been known for their bath houses. Many of the therapeutic practices we are familiar with today — massage, aromatherapy, fasting and detoxification, thermal therapy and spa therapy — had their beginnings in these places of rest and recuperation.

Universal qualities of a health retreats

There are a huge variety of health retreats and spas in Australia and across the world. They may vary in their size and location, there are some essential elements that most health retreats share.

The environment

The location of a health retreat needs to offer a beautiful and inspirational opportunity to commune with nature. Many of the best health retreats are on or near special geophysical locations like mountain ranges. The ambience of the retreat will reflect the natural setting, and the physical activities available will also be defined by the location.

The program on offer at a health retreat

We are all unique individuals with varying degrees of physical fitness and application, so there needs to be a level of flexibility and the customising of programs to suit each person unless the retreat is defined by a certain practice where there is a single focus for all to follow.

Usually when arriving at a health retreat, a personal wellbeing assessment will be carried out by the retreat’s coordinator, to find the right program for you. The number of days you’ll be staying at the health retreat will greatly influence the program, as it takes time for detoxification to happen and your fitness levels to increase. Exercise should ideally begin gently, building up over time and as the day progresses.


A health retreat may or may not have a specific focus on weight loss. However, health retreats in general will involve a change in eating patterns such as the removal of saturated fats, stimulants, sugar and carbohydrates. The change in diet is an opportunity to see your psychological and emotional connection to food while physically cleaning out your body.

Massage and therapeutic practices

Receiving treatments from highly skilled professional practitioners is all part of the healing experience at health retreats. These will usually be included in your program, and the make-up and type of sessions will be determined from your initial assessment. Most health retreats will offer a diverse range of massage therapy styles, skin treatments and other healing techniques.

Attitudinal healing

A health retreat usually has a fundamental philosophy that informs its work and is often the founding reason for its existence. As most of us know, you can’t just treat the body and not the mind. Understanding why you are in a current situation can allow you to move beyond destructive patterns of behaviour.

Holistic best practice skills

Passing on the skills you need to maintain your commitment to your health is a vital ingredient that health retreats tend to include in their programs. An obvious way some of them do this is through classes in the many forms of cooking that promote a healthy diet. A daily or weekly meditation, yoga, tai chi or qi gong practice can provide you with the peace of mind to consider your health honestly.

Going to a health retreat is ultimately about inviting into your life the structure, discipline and knowledge you’ll receive from those who have dedicated their lives to Health and helping others.


The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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