Expert Health Tips from Golden Door Team

Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa celebrates turning 10 by sharing health tips for a balanced mind and wellbeing.


There’s much to smile about at Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa, Elysia, in the Hunter Valley right now. They’re celebrating 10 years of bringing health, wellbeing and happiness to their guests, and ultimately, changing lives.

To mark this momentous occasion, general manager, Brigid Walsh, and her team of practitioners each shared a wellbeing tip from their chosen area of expertise.

1. Don’t take your health for granted – Brigid Walsh, general manager
“It never ceases to amaze me the boundaries people push, the habits that they form and the years of neglect that evolves into what people perceive to be ‘a normal way of life’,” says Brigid. “Three key words will be instrumental in not taking your health for granted – pause, breathe, reassess.”

2. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – David Hunter, executive head chef
“Be prepared to swap heavily refined and processed products for whole foods, lean meats and fresh vegetables,” Executive Head Chef David says, who recommends shopping for fresh produce twice a week, rather than once. “Being prepared is essential, not only in the kitchen but also in our mind set. ‘Let food by thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’.”

3. Make peace with stress – Jaye Hoelscher, program manager
“It’s true, some stress is good for us and can help us thrive,” says Program Manager, Jaye. “But it is chronic stress and the related health consequences that can negatively impact our physical and mental wellbeing. So it’s imperative we make a commitment to ourselves to understand resilience and develop the skills required to experience and manage our stressors.” Jaye recommends keeping a gratitude journal to appreciate the things you are thankful for in your life.

4. Invest in quality skin care – Kellee Griffiths, spa manager
“It is important to consider what you put into your body and combine this with quality skin care, for optimal skin health. We use quality Babor skin care products at Spa Elysia, which contain the finest natural active ingredients,” says Spa Manager, Kellee. “A balanced, healthy diet, plenty of water and a regular skin care regime will ensure you feel fantastic on the inside and look incredible on the outside.”

5. Take stock of your health today – Mel Ingram, wellness consultant & retreat physio
“Over the last 10 years at Golden Door Elysia we have seen the most amazing transformations of our guests, from losing 55kg to successfully falling pregnant with triplets!” reminisces, Mel. “But it’s important to take stock of your life today and not wait until your health fails before making changes that promote your overall wellbeing.”

6. Work on mind, body and spirit – Matt Rendall, physical education manager
“It’s always been Golden Door Elysia’s philosophy to work towards total wellbeing, which requires you to look at mind, body and spirit,” says PE Manager, Matt. “So challenge the body with movement, challenge the mind with learning a new complex movement like dance and feed the spirit by making it fun.”

7. Detox from technology – Matthew Johnstone, guest speaker & specialty retreat facilitator
Give yourself a break from all things that go beep, boing and ping in the night, even just for a designated period of time, advises regular Guest Speaker, Matthew Johnstone. “Practice face-to-face conversations, rather than Facebook and other forms of (anti) social media. After all, ‘Life was simpler when Apples and Blackberries were just fruit’,” says Matthew.

8. Do nothing – Michael Hallock, meditation & mindfulness guru
Want to feel easier in yourself and enjoy everything more? Want to feel like you’ve been on a holiday without the stress and the expense? Meditation Guru, Michael recommends doing nothing. “Meditation helps us gradually reclaim our quality of life, by prioritising ‘being’ as much as ‘doing’,” he says. “Consider meditation as the act of being curious and giving your mind a rest.”

9. Balance, variety and self – Olivia Horvat-Benson, nutritionist
Nutritionist Olivia advises being mindful of three key elements in our diets – balance, variety and self. “It is imperative to balance carbohydrates, fat and protein to support metabolic processes, energy production and daily functioning,” says Olivia. She also says to opt for variety in your diet to ensure a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; and to reconnect with self to become more aware of how certain foods and drinks make us feel. “By listening to your body, you can help determine the best diet for you,” says Olivia.

10. The Attunement – Mayanya Starborne, spiritual healing
According to the ancient, enlightened civilisations, the secrets of the physical body are held within each of our cellular DNA – they include enabling higher wisdom, higher love, higher joy; and the ability to live in the moment. “The good news is that all this information is already inside you,” says Mayanya. “The Attunement is a simple process of learning how to remember how to access this information.”

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