• MAR 5, 2011
  • WRITTEN BY: Evie Stacey

Health farms aren’t your usual vacation. You can expect the luxury of a beauty spa at some, and the healthy rigors of an isolated spiritual retreat at others. There are health farms out there to suit every taste, but most have a few things in common. Whether you’re planning a visit to a health farm or are simply curious, here are a few answers to common questions.

What is a health farm?

The term “health farm” is often used interchangeably with “health spa ” or “medical spa.” In fact, these three things are slightly different. A health spa may have day treatments, while a health farm usually requires an overnight stay. A medical spa often has more in-depth treatments such as plastic surgery in conjunction with more common spa treatments. A health farm is usually set in an out-of-the-way, rural place. Health farms include beauty and luxury treatments, but the focus is usually on general physical and mental health.

Who goes to health farms?

Many of the people who visit health farms are looking for help for stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, or another psychological ailment. Others are simply there for a relaxing vacation that will rejuvenate them in body and mind. Some go to health farms to lose weight or fast, while others go to experience healthy exercise and fresh air.

What kind of treatments should I expect?

The treatments at health farms are usually designed to pamper you as well as improve your health. You may find the typical masseuses, mineral baths, massaging Jacuzzis, facials, and so on that you would find at any spa. At most health farms, you will also find more exclusive treatments and those designed to help with specific ailments. Exercise is generally a big part of the health farm experience. Some places offer state-of-the-art gyms, while others concentrate on gentle yoga and meditation. Most health farms are in rural locations that lend themselves well to outdoor exercise, and many places will rent or loan you a bicycle, include jogging tracks on the property, or even offer walking boots to explore the countryside with.

What’s the food like?

Many health farms include strict diets with severe calorie counts, but not all are set up this way. Some health farms are more focused on pleasing elite tastes with rich, gourmet foods that are not ideal for weight loss, although most of these also include low-calorie options. Some health farms will tailor a special diet especially for you-make sure you discuss this before checking in. Other health farms include fasting as part of the nutritional treatment.

What do I wear?

Despite the elite clientele, the dress code at most health farms is casual. Most guests wear bathrobes or track suits provided by the facility. The idea is to be comfortable, not presentable. Some health farms encourage you to dress for dinner, but most simply want you to be comfortable and relaxed at all times.

Do I have to stay the night?

Health farms generally encourage a stay of some length-anywhere from a weekend to several weeks. Health farm staff generally say that it’s nearly impossible to control a visitor’s diet and exercise habits when they are staying off-site; an overnight stay allows visitors to immerse themselves in a healthy environment and get the most benefit possible out of their stay.

What should I expect to pay?

It depends on the health farm. Many charge between £200 and £400 per person, per night. In most cases, this price includes complimentary treatments such as facials, massages, health consultations, and a suite of activities. Most health farms charge extra for some exclusive treatments, however.

What kind of licensure does the staff have?

At a health farm you may encounter doctors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, professional masseuses, osteopaths, and homeopaths. Everyone should be licensed according to the laws of your area. At most health farms, a doctor, osteopath, or homeopath is found in a leadership role. Visiting a health farm can be wonderful for those who need to get away from it all. Whether you need your mental and physical health attended to or are simply looking for a luxurious vacation with a focus on health and exercise, you’re sure to enjoy a stay at a health farm.


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