You WILL Find Full Mind, Body + Soul Healing At SHA Wellness—And Here’s How

Photo Credit: SHA

There are very few experiences in life that measure up to SHA Wellness Clinic. Yes, we realize that’s a bold statement, but it’s also completely true. This health resort located in L’Albir near the Bay of Altea in the Valencia region of Spain, is the real deal, offering a full, 360 degree wellness experience. It isn’t just about weight loss, or disconnecting, or anti-aging—it’s a comprehensive journey, discovering what it is you need to make a better, healthier you. Who could resist?

Photo Credit: SHA

Not us, certainly. From the Alicante airport to SHA—which was seamlessly arranged by the resort, the views of the Mediterranean alone were enough to begin the relaxation, wellness process. The resort’s founder, Alberto Bataller Parietti (whom you’ll see quietly and incongruously walking through the halls every so often) founded SHA because he suffered from health problems for many years that eventually affected his quality of life. After receiving a dismal diagnosis, he turned to a doctor experienced in nutrition and natural therapies,  and through healthy nutrition and natural therapies, his health returned. As such, SHA began, a unique project that merges ancient philosophies and the latest advances of Western medicine. Mr. Bataller Parietti then developed the SHA 360 degree Method, which integrates the most effective and proven natural therapies with highly therapeutic nutrition, without neglecting the latest advances in Western medicine, particularly in genetic and anti-aging medicine. 

Photo Credit: SHA

Your SHA journey begins before you even arrive. You’ll fill out an in-depth questionnaire, which the team then pours over in order to offer a personalized program, available by integrated app. Here you can read up on your doctors, the recommended therapies, manage appointments, monitor your health progress and check out your personalized plan, which includes everything from natural therapies and scientific medicine to fitness programs, along with a customized menu with a sophisticated and delicious approach to haute cuisine.It’s mostly plant-based with some fish thrown in (typically for lunch), but carnivores, don’t be put off. The food—cuisine which combines Mediterranean and Japanese traditions using fresh, organic ingredients minus refined sugar, eggs and dairy—are among the most delicious we’ve had, and we found ourselves eagerly anticipating each coming meal (plus eating more on the daily then we have our entire life but still losing weight. A marvel.)  The SHA food pyramid follows the recommendations of the World Health Organization, and for the most part guidance from Harvard Medical School and the Nutritional Science Unit of Cornell University. All meals are taken at the SHA restaurant, SHAmadi, and have three levels of intake—SHA has the most calories and is the most generously portioned for those for whom weight loss isn’t a need (lucky things), Biolight, designed for those who wish to take a bit more care of themselves than usual. Lunch includes a starter, a main course and a dessert (if desired), whereas dinner only includes the first and second courses. This menu is part of a healthier diet and its ingredients usually include fish three times a week and pasta twice a week, while allowing for a sparing use of oil and nuts. And finally, there’s Kushi, the strictest diet program, recommended for those who aim to control their weight or intensively detoxify their body. It has smaller portions and also does not include certain healthy ingredients like oil, baked flour, nuts, pasta or oats. Fish is only included once a week and the diet is characteristic for including a lot of algae and hearty soups like miso that help cleanse the body and provide energy and vitality. Beyond that, there is daily tea (with treats or without depending on your plan), and amazing, diet-changing breakfasts with smoothies, porridge, fruit and more to start your day off right. As a side note, coffee is not available for all and you have to ask for it when you meet your nutritionist. Hey, it is a detox, after all.

Photo Credit: SHA

While many of the more scientific or beauty-related treatments come at an extra cost, through the resort’s Healthy Living Academy, there are a slew of complimentary group classes to keep even those with the most basic packages healthy, happy and busy. These include workshops, talks, activities, healthy cooking classes, yoga, tai-chi, chi-kung, meditation, breathing techniques and yes, even laughter therapy is on the itinerary. While these free activities are great, we do recommend immersing yourself in a proper program to receive maximum benefits. There are 13 such programs on offer: SHA Discovery (4 days); SHA Essence (7 days); Weight Loss (7 or 14 days); Detox (7 or 14 days); Intensive Detox & Weight Loss (7 or 14 days) · Fitness (7 or 14 days); Anti-Tobacco (7 days); Stress Management (7 days); Sleep Recovery (7 days); Healthy Menopause (10 days); Anti-aging (7 days); Complete anti-aging (14 days); Life-Reset (28 days); and Business/Corporate Rejuvenation (4 days). That said, you’re not restricted to these timeframes; we met guests that had stayed anywhere from one month to six, and return each year to boot. 

Photo Credit: SHA

Discovery is a great introduction for those who may have doubt about SHA: It will certainly prove you wrong, and eagerly planning on booking your next visit before you’ve even left the property. Discovery includes a general medical examination; general medical consultation; a consultation with an expert on nutrition and natural therapies; SHA diet according to the prescription; natural therapeutic drinks, according to the prescription; a revitalizing medicine consultation; a traditional Chinese Medicine consultation, and, according to the prescription: acupuncture, laser acupuncture or moxibustion; a therapeutic treatment session, according to the prescription—be it a deep tissue massage, relaxing massage, decontracting massage cranio-cervical massage, lymphatic drainage massage, anti-cellulite massage or Thai massage); an aquatic therapy session, according to the prescription (hydroenergetic healing, watsu, body scrub, underwater massage or body wrap); a high-tech treatment session, adapted to individual needs: Detox massage using cupping therapy, Physia, Icoone, Indiba, or DLE; a personalized facial treatment session (45min BDR facial Rejuvenating, Harmony or Alpine Rose); an introductory evaluation and advice class with a personal trainer; yoga, pilates or stretching sessions, etc.; and access to the Hydrotherapy Circuit (sauna, Roman or Turkish baths, hydrotherapy pools, foot baths, bithermal showers, cold plunge pool, ice fountain, therapeutic water jets). Suddenly, the basic doesn’t seem so basic, right? But though you’re there for four days and doing so much, your schedule never feels overwhelming. In fact, it’s nice to have someone do all the work for you, especially if you’re prone to overworking and under-relaxing. 

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We should mention that the rooms are big, spacious and sun-filled, with blackout curtains that are adjustable with the flick of a switch (in fact, the whole room is so tech-savvy that you don’t have to do anything other than move one finger to have the desired lighting, heat and more). A Deluxe Suite might be basic accommodation at other hotels, but not SHA. It almost feels palatial, which is why if you’re booking the nicest accommodation on the property—the Royal Suite—you’ll be flexing out like no other. Guests here have a white, sun-filled residence with views of the sea and mountains; two bedrooms; a living room with panoramic views; a security station system; a kitchen; a huge (and we mean huge); walk-in closet; two modern bathrooms, one with a shower and bath, the other with a hydro massage bath and amazing views; an iPod/iPhone sound system; a Bang & Olufsen home cinema system; an electric master bed; a terrace with a private pool; and more. These VIPs are also treated to a heliport service; and private access to the resort.

Photo Credit: SHA

And now, a bit about what makes SHA unique, and that is its wide range of therapies. First: Cognition. Under the supervision of Professor Bruno Ribeiro, scientific knowledge is used and combined with the latest technology to evaluate the individual’s mental status and also carry out a series of exercises and activities aimed at developing all the potential stored in their mind with special focus on treating Alzheimer’s.

Then, there’s Regenerative Medicine. With a live cell analysis, you’ll see a droplet of your own blood through darkeld microscopy, a technique that detects cell abnormalities that lead to chronic or degenerative diseases in the future. The doctors will be blunt with you, but when they’re telling you what your body is saying, listen. This department also includes Ozone therapy, Serum therapy, UV light therapy and a revitalizing intramuscular treatment.

And there’s more, so much more. The Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells unit at SHA uses the most advanced biotechnology in terms of stem cells, cell growth factors to regenerate tissue in anti-aging, chronic degenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases and those affecting the nervous system.

Photo Credit: SHA

There is also Cryotherapy, Dental Aesthetics (including a 360 dental diagnosis via digital imaging), sleep therapy treatments, smoking cessation treatments, capillary treatments, energetic health, traditional Chinese medicine (including cupping), hydrocolon therapy, genetic medicine, osteopathic treatments and a plethora of beauty treatments. Seriously, this is a one stop shop for revitalizing mesotherapy; Radiese, Restalyne, plasma facials; Juvederm; Botox; IPL; Ultherapy; Medical LEDS; Dual Fraxel lasers; Clear & Brilliant lasers; Thermage; Bio-stimulation; mesotherapy; and the Icoone laser, a treatment combining mechanical massage using independent motorized rollers with the heating action of laser and LED energy that stimulates cell regeneration, improve oxygenation and tissue drainage, accelerating the process of lipolysis. It eliminates fat deposits, cellulite, flaccid skin, and stretch marks, remodels the body, reduces wrinkles and tones the breasts. This is in addition to the numerous facials, body wraps, scrubs and massages on offer. It’s mind-boggling, There is also Watsu, a very unique water-based treatment that’s meant to be reminiscent of being cradled in your mother’s womb. It sounds weird, true, but draws raves. 

Photo Credit: SHA

And now, for our personal favorites. Although we couldn’t let go in our mindfulness class, a private session with an amazing yoga instructor (an American in a sea of Spaniards) was mind-blowing and life-changing, giving us clarity and acceptance on what it meant to truly be mindful. And although we were skeptical of an energetic health consultation, our doctor discovered the root of of our imbalance within a matter of minutes, and gave us practical tools on how to adjust our psycho-physiological state. Cooking classes are a must—we learned so much about how to cook healthily and well (for example, did you know that to cook miso is to cook out all of its nutrition? Mind blown!) as is the cognitive therapy. That our musts are so diverse speaks highly to the quality of SHA—the clinic does everything well. 

Photo Credit: SHA

We loved the Discovery, and at the time, it felt like enough to completely change our mindset, tweak our diets and knock some sense in our head about the way we were unconsciously hurting our bodies. That said, we could not recommend the Life Reset more (and wish we could turn off enough to indulge in a 28-day program). It’s perfect for the professional who has a high level of emotional or professional stress and who needs to take a break they claim they simply can’t take (ahem) in order to devote themselves exclusively to regaining health and improving energy levels, quality of life and general well-being.It’s also great for those facing overwhelming changes and who are beginning to have health problems caused by stress or poor lifestyle habits and aging. Just as an aside, these guests will receive a medical assessment that’s careful monitored during the stay. In addition, there will be various medical consultations with specialists in particular areas, including genetics and anti-aging, cognitive stimulation, revitalizing medicine, energy health medicine, and urology or gynecology.  

The powers-that-be at SHA claim that the clinic is life changing, and we couldn’t more adamantly agree. Let the healing begin.
Photo Credit: SHA

SHA Wellness Clinic is located at Carrer del Verderol, 5, 03581 L’Albir, Alacant, Spain, +34 966 81 11 99

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