Chewing your way to health at Viva Mayr in Austria

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Tiny food portions, colonic irrigation, a strict regime of herbal teas and Epsom salts – it’s hardly high on most people’s holiday lists. But Viva Mayr in Austria attracts clients from all over the world, celebrities included, to experience the benefits of the FX Mayr cure.

FX Mayr believed that almost every human health problem could be traced back to poor digestion; not just not eating the right foods, but more importantly not eating them at the right time and in the right way.

If you can solve your digestive issues, you can improve your health, your energy and your looks (yes, its anti-aging too).


I’ve heard it’s pretty hard-core so I am a bit apprehensive. I am hoping I can shift some weight, de-stress and boost my energy.

As we pull up at the lakeside hotel-cum-clinic de-stressing looks very likely. The surroundings are stunning; a clear, mirror still lake, surrounded by low, pine covered hills, dotted with pastel coloured houses. And it’s quiet. So quiet. All I can hear are a few excitable passerines chirping in the nearby trees.

I get settled in, take a tour around the facilities, watch a large white egret catch its supper just below my window and then head to the restaurant for dinner.

I am handed a menu and asked to make a choice from anything on the left hand page. I choose something called “alternative supplements”. It sounds like a panoply of delicious tidbits including almond puree, avocado, salmon caviar, humus, mozzarella. This really doesn’t sound as bad as I have been lead to believe.

So I ask the waitress for the “alternative supplement” minus the salmon caviar. In return I receive a gentle shake of the head. No, I can choose an item from the list – not the whole list! I end up with half an avocado. I guess I will be losing that weight.

After I have overcome the shock of the starter-sized supper, I attend a talk given by one of the resident doctors. Dr Nadja Aichbichler is an attractive blonde in her 40s (will following the Viva Mayr principles make me look that good?) her aim this evening is to help us find ways to integrate the eating advice into our daily lives once we get home. We talk about the importance of chewing our food thoroughly and how, if you continue nothing else but this, you will make a noticeable difference in your life.




When we gulp down our food without chewing we don’t get the full taste of it, nor do we give ourselves the opportunity to extract the nutrients. Our teeth are designed to chew – our stomach isn’t. If we take the time to chew our food properly it will taste better, our body can use the nutrients and we’ll lose weight.

Every day ay Viva Mayr starts with a drink of foul tasting Epsom Salts, followed by dry body brushing and a cool shower. Then it’s off to join the morning exercise class. There are about six of us struggling against early morning muscle stiffness as the cute personal trainer bounces up and down encouraging us all to stretch and bound along with him. I am huffing and puffing – it’s too early in the morning!

From there it is straight to my first appointment with the Doctor. He declares that my liver is enlarged and my intestines are blocked. I need manual stomach massages every day. He then pinches my Achilles tendon and I nearly shoot through the roof! “That’s a sign that your body is under a lot of stress” he says. So he prescribes some treatments to help me unwind.

Most of the people staying here are in their 40s or older. Some come just to relax, other because they have some serious health issues. An attractive blonde in her late 40s has come to lose some weight and sort out an hormonal imbalance. An elderly lady in her 70s is here for the 5th time – for the relaxation and the pampering, “it just makes me feel good” she explains. Another lady is here as a last ditch attempt to avoid a serious stomach operation back home in France.



My days at Viva Mayr are surprisingly busy. Meal times take up a fair proportion of the day. Although the portions are small, eating is a slow process due to all the chewing. And it’s a social gathering too as we all catch up on each others’ progress and share intimate details of our bowel movements and mental state!

I have daily sessions with the doctor, plus regular massages, a vitamin infusion, colonic irrigation, a couple of sessions in the light chamber, personal training in addition to the exercise classes and a couple of pampering detox treatments. It’s a hard life here by the Austrian Lakes…

After a week at Viva Mayr I have lost weight, my skin feels smoother, I have a better understanding of my current health, and I’ve learnt some new healthy techniques that I can continue at home, I’ve met some great people, and I do feel less stressed.

A week really isn’t enough – but it’s a good kick-start and an ideal way to get motivated. There is no doubt that Viva Mayr gets results and many people come back again and again, year after year.


For more information visit:

You can hear podcast interviews about the health philosophy of Viva Mayr at PASSION for the PLANET –



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