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Asclepios: A Wellness Retreat Inspired by the Greek God of Medicine

by Marianela Pereyra | 1 year ago


Nestled in the majestic hills of Alajuela, Costa Rica, lives the magical wellness retreat named after the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios.

In all Ancient civilizations, we find references to gods specifically dedicated to health and disease, and to restoring physical, psychological and mental balance to mankind. The God Asklepios (Esculapio to the Romans) is part of the most well-known traditions, his symbolism is not only related to the Greek Gods, but also to the Egyptians and to all those who have accepted the task of safeguarding human life.

Asclepios (Spanish spelling) evokes complete wellness by correcting such diverse factors as improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of proper oxygenation, negative thought patterns and their emotional impact, medical intoxication, and the lack of rest or restorative sleep


It truly is the ‘antidote’ to the madness we call daily life.

Immersed in nature, I felt an overwhelming amount of peace, which slowly began to awaken my body’s own healing mechanism. The next few days would include a menu of locally sourced organic food, a myriad of holistic and therapeutic treatments, loads of remedying teas and elixirs, and profound silence. The latter is what I desperately needed most. It’s amazing how much healing takes place when you give yourself a few days alone in nature.

Asclepios offers a varied amount of programs; de-stress, weight management, spa experience, nutritionally and life enhancement coaching, and a phenomenal detox and rejuvenation program (the one I chose).

Their detox program creates a deep realization of just how much we overeat; and how we hide behind our food, and our food choices.

Giving my digestion a rest has revealed to me the extent to which my mind is running the show. Telling me I’m hungry when I am not. Most of us turn to food when in reality we are simply bored, stressed, emotional, anxious, or lonely.
We are creatures of habit, but the beautiful thing about breaking our routine is that it doesn’t take long to incorporate healthier eating habits, as well as a healthier mindset around food.
When we aren’t concerned about what to eat every minute of the day, we create space for paying attention to others areas in our life that need nourishment and healing.

This is where the wonders of wellness travel deliver the greatest of gifts; awareness.

After indulging in a fresh bowl of organic fruits, digestive teas, and copious amounts of fresh spring water, I spent my mornings in the incredibly restorative Hammam; a stunning Arabic steam bath. The therapeutic benefits of steam baths are bountiful: increased blood circulation, clearing of respiratory pathways, deep cleansing of pores (oh hi beautiful skin), weight loss, and even treatment for insomnia, nervous disorders, digestive problems, and so much more. There are treatments that have stood the test of time, and this magical “spreader of warmth” is surely one of them!

The afternoons were a real treat! I was spoiled by truly gifted masseuses and knowledgeable instructors of yoga and tai chi. I spent a lot of my free time reading or simply walking around the beautiful grounds, especially the organic farm. Before lunch, I was bestowed with nourishing juices and delicious medicinal teas. Uninterrupted by nothing except the occasional tropical shower, I slowly savored my freshly foraged salads in complete gratitude.

My nights were spent in an old-fashioned wood-fired sauna. The process was to sit in the sauna for 15 min, then hit the cold showers, located right outside, then rest for 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat three times. I felt like a could run a mile after my nightly sessions!

Sauna therapy is an ancient method of detoxifying and healing the body, mind, and spirit. Although our bodies are built to detox on their own, between the overly processed food we consume and the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, it is paramount that we boost our detox systems! Saunas ignite our parasympathetic state.

Buh Bye stress! Hello proper healing, digestion, and relaxation.

They also activate our greatest detox organ: our skin. Sauna usage reduces the signs of aging and delivers youthfully plump, glowing skin. Deep sweating promotes skin cell turnovers, clears out blocked pores, and greatly improves skin conditions. Similar to cardio exercise, saunas increase your metabolic rates and boost oxygenation, all while lowering your blood pressure. Adios extra pounds! The reason I’m addicted to saunas is because they do wonders for treating chronic pain and fatigue.

I am always left feeling energized, and revitalized!

I can’t think of a better place for a wellness retreat than a country that honors their biodiversity and works so hard to preserve the natural habitat. Asclepios is built with ecological and renewable materials. They use thermal solar collectors and water recirculation systems, as well as natural ventilation and lighting. Wildlife has been preserved and their primary and secondary forests untouched. They also cultivate their own organic farm and are reintroducing native plants and animals into their sacred space.

I wish more countries would declare this kind of peace with nature.

I encourage everyone to make the commitment, even if it’s just for a weekend, to partake in travel that will help and heal and transform you. More people are taking charge of their health, and by investing in true relaxation and restoration, we are adding not only years to our lives but happiness as well! I hope I have inspired you to put yourself first, and wanderlust into wellness travel 🙂

Asclepios believes pure air, pure water, pure food, and pure thoughts are essential to good health and happiness. The core of my very own food/mind philosophy, Fuddhism.
In a world where tension and stress occupy an ever growing place in our existence, Asclepios’ mission is to awaken you to the peace and joy of living, by restoring the person’s whole being to its natural state of balance.

Gracias Asclepios.