Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Researchers explore wellness benefits of residential retreats

Researchers explore wellness benefits of residential retreats
January 31, 2018

Retreat experiences can provide health benefits for people suffering conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart conditions and mental health issues, according to new research.

Professor Marc Cohen, from Melbourne’s RMIT University in Australia, and a team of researchers examined 23 studies relating to the health impacts of immersive residential retreat experiences, with their findings published this month in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Cohen advised “the findings from the reviewed studies suggest there are many positive health benefits from retreat experiences, which include improvements in both subjective and objective measures.

“It's likely that improvements in health are due to a combination of psychological and behavioural factors that lead to better coping mechanisms, lifestyle choices and enhanced resilience to stress.”

The studies involved 2,592 participants from a wide range of geographical and demographic populations – from luxury resort guests to unemployed adults and even prison inmates.

Seven studies examined objective outcomes such as blood pressure or biological markers of disease, while 16 had subjective outcomes, mostly involving self-reported questionnaires on psychological and spiritual measures.

All of the studies reported post-retreat health benefits ranging from immediately after the retreat to five years after.

Professor Cohen explained “the results suggest retreat experiences significantly improve people’s lives.

"This is evident from reported improvements in quality of life and subjective wellbeing, decreases in the frequency and severity of health symptoms, reductions in body weight, blood pressure and abdominal girth, and positive changes in metabolic and neurological pathways.”

Four studies looked at retreats aimed at improving quality of life for cancer patients, and all showed benefits, including improvements in quality of life, depression and anxiety scores, and increased telomere length, with benefits being recorded up to five years after the retreat.

Professor Cohen added “the finding that retreat experiences can lead to sustained and significant health improvements long after participants return home suggests they help guests make positive lifestyle changes and adopt healthy behaviours that lead to positive psychological, physiological, cognitive, clinical and metabolic effects.

“While retreat experiences can have significant medical benefits, communication between the retreat and health industry is limited and there is scope for much greater collaboration.

"The health industry could benefit from recommending retreat experiences to reduce the burden of lifestyle-related chronic disease and the retreat industry could benefit from routinely collecting medical data from guests so the medical benefits can be better documented and the influence of different types of retreat experiences can be determined for specific guests.”

Professor Cohen said that more research is needed, with larger numbers of subjects and longer follow-up periods to determine the economic benefits of retreats for individuals, as well as for businesses, health insurers and policymakers.

He concluded “such research could allow the retreat industry to become better integrated into mainstream care.” 

Image: The Gwinganna retreat on the Gold Coast (top) and the Peninsula Hot Springs Resort on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula (below).

9th September 2017 - NEW LUXURY SPA AND WELLNESS CENTRE TO OPEN IN ROTORUA

6th August 2017 - BELGRAVIA LEISURE’S HEPBURN WELLNESS GROUP WINS FOUR WORLD LUXURY SPA AWARDS 

1st September 2016 - WTTC CHALLENGES TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SHOW HOW SUSTAINABLE THEY ARE ‚Äč

10th June 2016 - FITNESS INDUSTRY SAYS ‘YES’ TO GLOBAL WELLNESS DAY

11th April 2016 - WELLNESS TOURISM ON THE RISE 

29th April 2015 - AUSTRALIAN BACKED WELLNESS RESORT PRESENTS A NEW APPROACH TO LIFESTYLE TOURISM

4th February 2015 - FITNESS AND WELLNESS HOLIDAYS A GROWING TREND

28th January 2015 - EXERCISE TONES WOMEN’S MINDS AS WELL AS THEIR BODIES

2nd December 2014 - NEW CLINIC ADVANCES NORFOLK ISLAND AS A WELLNESS DESTINATION

19th May 2013 - BRISK WALKING JUST AS GOOD FOR THE HEART AS RUNNING 


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

HIDROPLAY

Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation

 
 

LIFE FLOOR (Aus & NZ)

Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

PathMinder

PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business