The Capela das Artes Hotel has created a therapy and treatment centre that brings together two specialised doctors focusing on stress management and various pathologies, together with a good diet and healthy sleeping habits
Aptly named Smart Habits, this space opened a few months ago in the old olive press of the well-known Capela das Artes Hotel in Alcantarilha, now a Monument of Public Interest due to its historical, architectural and cultural relevance.
Leading this new project are Argentinean doctors Aurelien Jaime Nuñez, who is finishing his speciality in Functional and Micronutritional Medicine, and Silvestre González, a post-graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine, who decided to move to the Algarve to create a pioneering concept.
“We wanted to create a facility where anyone who comes into contact with us can have all their health needs met in every way: food, sleep, physical activity, mental and emotional balance,” explains González.
His colleague, son of Angel Nuñez Ecchazú, owner of the hotel, adds: “Around 70% of chronic diseases can be prevented, such as diabetes, obesity or migraines. The whole project comes down to this and is not merely a curative approach but, above all, a preventative one.”
After a patient or guest contacts one of the professionals, the first step is to draw up a therapeutic plan, to be developed within the Smart Habits centre, based on the pathologies and needs of each individual.
“The idea is to centralise different fields of expertise in the same setting. In traditional medicine, pain is treated with medication; you treat the consequence of something. Here, we get to know the patient, we don’t just look at the consequence,” they assure.
This is a bespoke programme, with a duration that varies according to the pathologies, which may include a series of therapies, treatments and activities, such as different types of yoga or meditation.
Within the ayurvedic therapies, which are very focused on balancing one’s emotions, there are several that, depending on how they are applied, can help detoxify the body for example, as is the case with the Abhyanga treatment. There is also the Marma, which is similar to acupuncture; the Karma Purana, where medicinal oils are applied; the Swedana, which consists of using vapours to expel toxins; the Garshana, which requires exfoliating gloves and is excellent for skin problems; and the Basti, ideal for joint and muscle problems.
To promote overall wellbeing, the centre also offers massage-based Relaxation Therapy. For problems with motor injuries, the most suitable is the Myofascial Therapy and Painful Points, which, according to Nuñez and González, has been the most requested.
There is also Reflexology, applied to the feet, Reiki and Chakra Alignment sessions, which can be done using various materials such as stones, metals or bowls.
“Our goal is for the patients to be free from pain permanently. We want to find the cause of each pathology and provide everyone with the tools to get healthy. Each treatment is suited to different needs and has benefits on a physical, emotional and mental level,” says Aurelien Jaime Nuñez.
In the near future, the Capela das Artes Hotel will open the Smart Food restaurant by the pool, focusing on Ayurvedic food with a modern twist, prepared by a chef with a proven track record in healthy cooking. “The dishes will really have a therapeutic effect,” says Silvestre González.
During September, October and November, the specialists intend to focus on retreats lasting several days. “In the not-so-distant future, we want to include water therapies, cold baths, a sauna and a Turkish bath. We also want to launch Pilates and aquagym classes because there is a lot of demand for physical activities, and many people prefer these types of sports to yoga,” they reveal. “And we intend to produce micronutritional olive oil for eating and cosmetic purposes. We will move forward according to demand and the evolution of this project,” they conclude.
Information about the classes, treatments and prices can be found on the Instagram page (@smarthabits_retreats).
By MARIA SIMIRIS