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Grayshott Spa launches nurturing programme for post-cancer patients

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Simon Lowe, CEO of Grayshott Spa in Surrey, UK, well known for its gut health regime, welcomed guests to the 50th anniversary of the spa and the launch of its new 'Nurture & Support’ wellness programme for people who are living with cancer or are in remission.

On Monday evening (8 September) a champagne reception was held at City Hall in London, co-hosted by English fashion designer and breast cancer ambassador for the London mayor Boris Johnson – Dame Zandra Rhodes – to highlight two cancer charities in particular: Tackle – which raises awareness of prostate cancer – and The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres, which offer psychological support to breast cancer patients.

Grayshott is donating a sum of £50,000 to the charities (£25,000 each). This money will help fund breast and prostate cancer patients’ trips to the spa facility to experience the new Nurture & Support programme.

The four-night retreat at Grayshott features treatments specifically designed for guests' post-cancer treatments. Designed by Elaine Williams, Grayshott director of natural therapies, and Susan Harmsworth, founder of ESPA, products and treatments are designed to not conflict with conventional medicine.

During their stay, guests have access to health consultants and a team of in-house professionals including natural therapists, physiotherapists, fitness experts and nutritionists.

Williams told Spa Opportunities why she created the post cancer programme, “Even simple aromatherapy and essential oil treatments can conflict with the body’s hormonal balance, which can be dangerous for cancer patients whose immune systems have been damaged by radiation.

"So although our ethos is about providing wellbeing for all our clients, we were turning people away as we didn’t have a way to give people treatments post-cancer. Now we can welcome them back thanks to ESPA’s new range of harmonising skincare.”

Marian Hook, director of training for ESPA, said that the products in use at Grayshott Spa had been selected specifically to work with post-cancer medication. “These clients aren’t looking for results-driven treatments, they want to feel supported and relaxed. This is something that the exclusive treatments we’ve implemented at Grayshott can provide.”

Lowe maintains that Grayshott is a place for nurture and support – in addition to its seven-day Paleo and intermittent fasting diet regime – and is not a curative medi-spa. “While we have nurses, we don’t have doctors,” said Lowe. “Maybe in a year or so we will debate offering medi-spa treatments.

“So many places are offering treatments at cut prices but we don’t want to do that. We want to offer a premium service to our guests that’s worth paying for,” added Lowe. “We, at Grayshott, are in the need market, not the want market – we offer wellbeing services that can’t be provided on a mass market scale.”

Grayshott has several projects planned for January 2015, according to Lowe, including the addition of a new regime for super fit youngsters. Lowe said Grayshott is experiencing an increase in young people hoping to stay at the weekend and he believes these consumers represent a large market share he and his team can target.

Executive chef for Grayshott, Adam Palmer, has co-authored a book for the facility, with nutritionist and author Vicki Edgeson, called Gut Gastronomy. It will be published in January, comprising 100 recipes used at the retreat during its digestive balancing regime. Steering clear of all grains, sugar and dairy, replacement ingredients in the recipes include coconut flour and chia seeds.

“We use butter, which some nutritionists find goes against the idea of weight loss and health, but it’s about using the right fats now,” said Palmer. “So-called experts have tried all kinds of dietary changes to make people healthier – from calorie counting, smaller portions and then low fat regimes. We effectively implement the 5:2 diet but minus the grains and dairy that ancient civilisations didn’t ingest.”

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Simon Lowe, CEO of Grayshott Spa in Surrey, UK, well known for its gut health regime, welcomed guests to the 50th anniversary of the spa and the launch of its new 'Nurture & Support’ wellness programme for people who are living with cancer or are in remission.
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Simon Lowe, CEO of Grayshott, hosted the champagne reception with British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes