19 September 2010 by Denise Slabbert

To hydro or not to hydro

Rigid thinking around health has changed. Today, if you go to hydros in South Africa you get to enjoy a wide range of food choices, treatments and exercise options.

The 1st time I went to a health hydro I was 20 years old and working as a rookie journalist on South African Airways’s in-flight magazine. I remember arriving and being told that I was going to be eating lettuce leaves (only) for a week, that I would spend my time napping and going for walks, and would experience healing hydrotherapies every single day – aimed at rejuvenating my energy levels.

At 20 years of age my energy levels were hardly a problem, but the sparse menu was certainly something to, well, beef about. Days at the hydro were not too much fun either – filled with hydro-treatments, yoga and walks in the mountains. My restless 20-year-old soul wanted to be back in the city of Johannesburg, surrounded by all my comforts and with a good meal just a restaurant away.

My restless 20-year-old soul wanted to be back in the city of Johannesburg, surrounded by all my comforts and with a good meal just a restaurant away.

In my 40s I look back on that first hydro experience with a certain amount of regret. What I would give now for a week of doing nothing at all except getting pampered within an inch of my life. The thought of just lettuce leaves means that I wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner and the voluntary naps every day make me green with envy.

The good news is that over the past 20 years the more rigid thinking around health has changed. Today, if you go to any 1 of the hydros in South Africa you get to enjoy a wide range of food choices, treatments and exercise options. It’s almost as if the health and wellness industry has grown up and smelt the carrot juice – and we are all a little more blessed as a result.

Category: Health & Wellness

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