With this in mind, we tried out Oxford Healthcare Retreat, a new boutique wellness guesthouse (it opened in April), catering to the needs of stressed-out executives — or anyone really. This elegant oasis is in the middle of Melrose, between high-octane Sandton and the Johannesburg CBD.
Importantly, it’s all about relatively short-term stays to achieve a sense of wellbeing.
The therapeutic goals of the programmes are to enhance your sense of wellbeing, to better understand the mind-body interaction and to experience interventions that restore balance and assist with realigning the system by combining consultative therapies with body work. This is the new way: stilling the mind and allowing the nervous system to down-regulate. It’s more than a few days at the spa.
The aim, says assistant general manager Karen Turis, is to nourish mind and body, bringing both to a place of calm. When you leave the retreat you will be equipped to sustain this inner calm. You can go for one night, but four nights is the minimum recommended for real impact. After that, an occasional top-up of two days is recommended.
The environment is pristine and immaculate, tasteful and aesthetically calming.
My visit starts with a detox smoothie: spinach, lemon, celery, cucumber, mint and apple. I spend half an hour in the flotation pool, which is particularly peaceful because you’re left alone and the room creates a sense of openness. The pool (it’s more pool than tank) is about improving the quality of sleep and alleviating the aches and pains that accumulate as a result of stress.