Nestled in the idyllic village of Altaussee, Austria, Mayrlife offers a haven for those seeking a transformative wellness experience. The venue calls itself a Medical Health Resort—essentially, a detox spa to support the gut. Intrigued by the prospect of detoxifying my body and revitalizing my mind, I embarked on a week-long journey to this highly recommended spot. It turned out to be a memorable experience.

Upon arrival, the serene atmosphere set the stage for what lay ahead. The minimalist hotel design emphasized the way in which we would reset both physically and mentally. My journey began with a comprehensive consultation with a doctor who delved into my health concerns and conducted a battery of tests. They included: blood and urine, tongue and abdominal check-ups, followed by oxidant tests, which are blood tests to see the level of oxidation in the body and the capacity of your body to handle it. 

We also ran body composition scans, and metabolic breath assessments. Armed with data from these tests, a personalized treatment plan was crafted to address my specific needs. For example, in my own oxidant test, the doctor found that I’m resilient, but also under a huge amount of stress. So the doctor suggested we add some antioxidants to my program, which include vitamins C, A, and E. 

The treatment regimen was diverse, encompassing therapies like warm hay wraps on water beds, foot electrolysis, osteopathy, reflexology, rejuvenating daily massages, cryotherapy, saunas, IV infusions, hypoxia training, and functional training. Our days were filled from beginning to end, and if there was time left, we went for a seven-mile walk around a gorgeous lake. I had daily belly massages, which help with elimination and allow the doctor to check on your digestion. When everything is working well, the belly should feel soft to touch.

Supplementation played a crucial role in supporting the detoxification process, with magnesium citrate and alkalizing base powder promoting an optimal pH balance. Mornings began with oil pulling, and bitter drops aided digestion during meals. I had a bag full of different supplements and herbs. Combining these practices contributed to an overall feeling of relaxation and increased energy levels. 

For me, both of those jumped dramatically. Before my week at Mayrlife, I hadn’t been sleeping well.  During my week there, I slept better than I had in months; a solid 10 hours every night, and when I woke up I felt rested and had a clear mind, ready for the next day. We were eating so little food, but I had a ton of energy. My skin was glowing and my eyes were clear.

The greatest challenge to this experience was the dietary aspect. Each individual followed a unique diet tailored to their goals, often centered around weight loss and inflammation reduction. Food, served three times a day, was presented with artistic flair, organic, sourced locally, and exuded Michelin-star restaurant quality. All of it was organic, locally sourced from farms in the area.

However, portion sizes were tiny, encouraging slow, deliberate chewing to aid digestion, and totalling around 500-700 calories a day.

There was a specific routine for eating, which included a little bite of protein, a chewing trainer— which was a rice cracker-—and then a shot of cold pressed oil. We were supposed to chew each bite 60 times until it turns to liquid before we swallowed. We put down our forks between every bite to experience the food. No talking, no phone, no distractions. All with the aim of having good digestion.

For breakfast, there was a menu to choose from consisting of two proteins (for example, two little mozzarella balls, or two cubes of manchego cheese, a small cut of poached chicken or a spoon of hummus). 

Lunch was the same as breakfast, or we could have soup, broth, or cooked vegetables, depending on what the doctor recommended. And dinner was just broth or soup. Depending on the level of diet you were prescribed by your doctor. This repeats for each day of your stay. There is no drinking before or after meals. Conversations were muted during meals, emphasizing mindfulness and savoring each morsel. While this was initially an adjustment, surprisingly, I never experienced hunger. The only setback was caffeine withdrawal, leading to headaches during the initial days as coffee was off-limits. (Although I saw some of the clients sneaking out to the local cafe in town for their fix.)

Mayrlife offers different programs focusing on detox, post-COVID recovery, and sport performance, among others. Some people choose to stay longer for more in-depth treatments. The highly knowledgeable staff offers personalized care. The results were apparent as guests left with a sense of rejuvenation, flaunting flat stomachs, radiant skin, and vibrant eyes. But also I had the experience of seeing how I handle discomfort and having no control over what I get to eat or not. I got to experience the boundaries of my discipline around food and honestly, at times it wasn’t easy.

I was never hungry, per se, but the monotony of the meals was challenging and I had cravings for meat. The Mayrlife experience, though, isn’t meant to be a lifestyle. It’s for a short period of time, based on the idea of giving the body a “break” from digesting foods so it can focus its energy on maintenance and repair. I felt the symptoms of detox, like headaches. There are other ways to support the elimination of the toxins from the body – like drinking more water, sweating, and massage, all of which I was doing as well.My week at Mayrlife was an eye-opening journey to wellness. It instilled in me the recommendations for ongoing self-care, even beyond the retreat. Mayrlife’s approach is something that I believe has left an indelible mark on my approach to life, and I am inspired to maintain this newfound vitality. If you’re looking for a transformative and rejuvenating experience, Mayrlife is a sanctuary of wellness nestled amidst nature’s embrace.

A few practices I took home with me:
– Eat slowly, chew, you’ll be surprised how much less food you really need to feel satiated
– Add healthy oils
– Eat cooked, alkaline foods
– Nothing cold or raw after breakfast