I’m winding up the mountains to the leading centre for Modern Mayr Medicine, Parkhotel Igls. Weirdly, I am excited about the idea of spending a week on my own after such a hectic 2016 for me personally. I’m to partake in a full men’s medical health check with a detox. Detox for a rugby player? Yes, mine was a little bit different so that I didn’t disappear in muscle mass before the start of the 2017 Super League season, but I was headed there with an eager attitude of discovery. Couple that with a slight tinge of scepticism that professional sportspeople can have when they are doing something away from what they know, I am set to find out exactly what modern Mayr medicine is, along with my opinion.
“The purpose of all this is to clear the toxins from your gut. When your gut is full of toxins, the excess then flows around the rest of your body, which can cause various problems.” This was my first encounter with the animated Dr Gartner. I was laid on my back with his hand on my stomach. He seemed to take a feel for how I was doing on the toxin front. In conversation about what I do with my life, he was energised by my low drone of the ‘u’ in ‘rugby’ which hails from the Yorkshire dialect. He came right back at me as an impressionist but then followed on with his Austrian twang of ‘ragby’ with an infectious laugh and smile.
I was pleased to find out that the gut held the most neurones of any organ after the brain. It has been nicknamed ‘the second brain’ by some scientists. This is where the term gut reaction and gut feeling come from. I’ve had butterflies many a time before walking out on to the rugby pitch. People meditate to clear their head… Maybe you read on to see how you clear your gut?
A Bit About The Mayr Diet
One of my goals was different to most of the other guests at Parkhotel Igls. I wanted to maintain weight, not lose it. I would be politely asking the charming waitresses to stack my portions of food, which was exquisite by the way. A main focus of the Mayr detox, was to eat slowly. Constantly, our stomach is trying to break down the food which we just force down us before we even finish the last bite. So, pre- digestion by insalivation in the mouth when chewing was the golden rule. This would give your digestive system a lengthy lay off compared to what it has to do normally.
The Mayr diet is structured in different stages. Your stage is decided after consulting with Dr Gartner upon arriving. I tried stage four for three days. A typical breakfast could goats yoghurt alongside some cold meat. And then… stale bread! It sounds very minimal and slightly odd. Also, if you’re used to eating a lot like me, it can be pretty tough. You’re probably wondering about the stale bread? Well, you need to chew it more before swallowing. Then mix it all up with the meat and yoghurt… Not bad actually. It’s all in aid of doing the work before your gut is left with the usual ridiculous load to work through.
A clear up of the body and a shake-up was what so many of the returning guests did here. They were enchanted with the results of the process. The beauty of this place, is that it instilled discipline. It offered the ability to be able to keep to a profoundly healthy diet and detox because the staff were always offering gentle direction. We have all been there when we want to start a new routine, but then life happens and it obstructs us from the processes. One lady from Canada which I had the pleasure of meeting in Parkhotel Igls, explained her story. It takes us on to a whole new benefit of this approach to well-being. Barbara suffers from Juvenile rhumenoid Arteritis. She talks of how this trip has lead her on to new ideas for her healthcare going forward. There’s also disappointment towards what she has had to deal with up to date. The realisation came after seeing Dr Frauscher, the number one ultra sound pioneer in Europe…
“For 27 years I’ve been trying to uncover a mystery of what had happened to my right knee after arthroscopic surgery. The surgery was to provide relief to my swollen knees (a result of my Rhuematoid Arthritis I’ve had since the age of 2) but instead it resulted in a frozen knee. It became unable to bend or straighten. Many, many, many surgeons and doctors and physiotherapists later, I came to Parkhotel Igls where I met an incredible group of talented medical professionals. This included Dr. Frauscher, one of Austria’s most distinguished radiologists. And in one simple moment Dr. Frauscher explained to me what had happened. During surgery, to view inside the knee, surgeons would have used a gas to expand the joint cavity. It turns out that that gas can cause edema of the bone marrow which causes long term bleeding that turns into calcification. The calcification can be reduced with shockwave therapy. He gave me a round of the therapy and there was a noticeable difference. At the age of 30 I was told I’d need a new knee at 35. I’m now 44 and determined to keep my joint intact for as long as I can. With Dr. Frauscher’s help and all the other great folks at Parkhotel Igls, I can now continue the therapies at home, including the shockwave.
Radiating gratitude, Barbara said “this has been huge. Now to keep it going once home. It will be hard to replicate the magic of Innsbruck with it’s spectacular setting nestled into the alps of Tirol and the special gem that is Parkhotel Igls, but I will be back.”
My Take on Parkhotel Igls
One thing that I realised, is that I was the only person under 40 as a guest at the hotel. Consequently, as you can imagine, there weren’t many activities suited to a 23 year old.
A quote seemed to find me in my time over there… which could never have been any more relevant. It made me think. It was a response that the Dalai Lama had given in an interview after being asked what surprised him about humanity, he answered:
It’s a peculiar cycle that we seem to find ourselves in. What Parkhotel Igls was to me, was a hub to go and tick a box. A big box. The health check alongside the practice of Modern Mayr Medicine, means that you go away at the end of your stay, with either assurance that you are well, or with some knowledge that you have things to take care of or address at home. Something that could possibly raise an eyebrow, is the price of the full men’s medical health check (€2,448 excluding accommodation and the Basic programme.) It certainly did with me when I was on my way to visit… But it didn’t surprise me when I was in the midst of it… The attention I’d received from physiotherapy, masseurs and doctors was extremely thorough. And in my eyes after being involved in professional sport, it was top quality.
Everything was delivered with a gentle motivation. I would dart from my physio sessions to my massage, eat slowly and soulfully at lunch, and then catch up with a doctor for some tests, all with my slippers and gown on. Oh and then I’d hit the sauna and spa.
I came out a lot more relaxed and learned the elusive importance of digestion. It has left me to start to take part in a ‘Mayr day’ each week to instil some of the good qualities that Modern Mayr Medicine has to offer in to my life. There’s also something quite mindful about actually thinking about what you are eating instead of what you would say next when in the depths of conversation.
For the last few days on my trip, I walked around the premises with no constant shoulder aches, and less swelling on my knee which had inflamed from my stint of training with England. I felt good.
The epigastric angle is where the ribs open out at the bottom of the rib cage. It’s used to measure toxin level in the body. The wider the angle, the more the toxins. Mine was measured at 90° upon arrival. My evaluation when leaving showed it to be down to 75°. I managed to lose some fat during my stay also. This wasn’t really a surprise considering how lean and healthy the food was, despite my big portions.
The idea of what Parkhotel Igls stands for is in alignment with what Mantality is about. There are different avenues to cater for well- being and this is certainly something which would fit with what we would explore. I genuinely think that this place is worth bringing to light for consideration. It’s certainly a different way to go, but something worth looking at.
The young explorer or achiever would have to fight the distractions of doing something else than to visit Parkhotel Igls. I do think that it is more suited to the older guy/lady, but it does feel good to tick a box.
It’s like taking a full MOT in order to go again. Right now I feel like I will go again, with a back catalogue of knowledge which will be handy to know for a long time.