Dhe Naidoo

Health Benefits of Wealth Retreats Around the World

Dhe Naidoo

Dhe is spending her Honours year researching health retreat experiences. Health retreats are places where people go to immerse themselves in healthy lifestyles and retreat experiences can help address lifestyle-related chronic diseases, yet the most health retreats are not covered by health insurance, do not qualify as tax deductible expenses, and retreat centres do not routinely collect medical data to quantify their health benefits.

Dhe’s research will build on our previous research of Wellness Tourists that found that after a one-week stay at Gwinganna Lifestyle retreat, guests were slimmer, more relaxed, sleeping better, thinking better and were healthier, with reduced health symptoms and had undetectable urinary pesticide levels, compared to before, where pesticide levels were detected in their urine.

Dhe is now building on this previous research has completed a systematic review, looking at all the past research on people who have attended health retreats that aimed to answer the question: What is already known about the clinical effects of health retreat experiences? Dhe is following this up with a Global Retreat Survey that is being made available in nearly a dozen languages and aims to answer the question: What are the characteristics, motivations and experiences of retreat guest around the world?

Dhe plans to expand her retreat research with PhD studies that will involve a longitudinal (before and after) study of retreat guests around the world. This research aims to answer the question: What are the health benefits of health retreat experiences and how long do they last? To answer this question, we will obtain data, including information on height, weight, blood pressure, health symptoms and cognitive function, from retreat guests when they arrive, when they leave and after 6 weeks, 12 weeks and possibly 24 weeks.

A network of leading health retreats around the world are supporting this research including: The Danubius Hotel Group (which has hotels and resorts in Eastern Europe; Hungary, Czech Republic and Romania), The Body Holiday (St Lucia, Caribbean), Sheenjoy (China), The Golden Door (Australia) and Lapinha Lifestyle Resort (Brazil) and additional partners may also come on board.