Appropriately named Smart Habits, this space opened a few months ago in the old olive press of the famous Hotel Capela das Artes in Alcantarilha, today a monument of public interest due to its historical, architectural and cultural importance.
At the head of this new project, the Argentinian doctors Aurelien Jaime Nuñez, who is finishing his specialty in functional and micronutritional medicine, and Silvestre González, a graduate in Ayurvedic medicine, who has decided to settle in the Algarve to create a pioneering concept.
“We wanted to create a facility where anyone who comes into contact with us can see all of their health needs met in every way: food, sleep, physical activity, mental and emotional balance,” González explains.
His colleague, son of Angel Nuñez Ecchazú, owner of the hotel, adds: “About 70% of chronic diseases can be prevented, such as diabetes, obesity or migraines. The whole project boils down to this and is not only a curative approach but above all a preventive 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 center, according to the pathologies and needs of each individual.
“The idea is to centralize different areas of expertise within the same framework. In traditional medicine, pain is treated with drugs; you are dealing with the consequence of something. Here, we get to know the patient, we don’t just look at the consequence, ”they say.
It is a tailor-made program, of variable duration depending on the pathologies, which can include a series of therapies, treatments and activities, such as different types of yoga or meditation.
Within Ayurvedic therapies, very focused on the balance of emotions, there are several which, depending on the way they are applied, can help to detoxify the body for example, as is the case with the Abhyanga treatment. There is also Marma, which is similar to acupuncture; the Karma Purana, where medicinal oils are applied; Swedana, which consists of using vapors to expel toxins; Garshana, which requires exfoliating gloves and is excellent for problem skin; and the Basti, ideal for joint and muscle problems.
To promote general well-being, the center also offers relaxation therapy based on massages. For problems with motor injuries, the most appropriate is myofascial and pain point therapy, which, according to Nuñez and González, has been the most requested.
There are also reflexology sessions applied to the feet, Reiki and alignment of the chakras, which can be carried out using various materials such as stones, metals or bowls.
“Our goal is that patients no longer suffer permanently. We want to find the cause of each pathology and provide everyone with the tools to regain their health. Each treatment is adapted to different needs and has physical, emotional and mental benefits,” explains Aurélien Jaime Nuñez.
In the near future, Hotel Capela das Artes will open the poolside Smart Food restaurant, focusing on Ayurvedic cuisine 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 the months of September, October and November, the specialists intend to favor retreats lasting several days. “In the not so distant future, we want to include water therapies, cold baths, sauna and Turkish bath. We also want to launch Pilates and water aerobics 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 food and cosmetic purposes. We will move forward according to the demand and the evolution of this project,” they conclude.
Information on courses, treatments and prices can be found on the Instagram page (@smarthabits_retreats).
By MARIA SIMIRIS