At Park Igls, ‘prevention, nutrition and health’ are the three pillars for guest healing. The Austrian health retreat is a leading pioneer in conventional therapies and immersive programmes that centre around Modern Mayr Medicine. Dr Peter R Gartner is the medical director at Park Igls and specialises in holistic medicine, nutritional medicine, acupuncture and hypnotherapy. We speak to Peter on his journey to medical health, retreats at Park Igls and how the Mayr Method is integrated into the property’s core.
What was your life before Park Igls? Previously, I was a medical director of a small but well-established spa hotel in western Austria performing Mayr medicine, as well as other detox methods, over many years, but I always dreamt of running ‘my’ own F. X. Mayr clinic.
Could you tell us about your journey to medical health? As a schoolboy I spent a few summer holidays working for an optician and became increasingly interested in optics and ophthalmology. So, it was only natural that I started studying medicine after graduating from school—with the aim of one day becoming an ophthalmologist. But then everything turned out differently. I happened to get to know the charismatic Dr Ernst Kojer as part of a specialist training course. He was a student of legendary Dr Franz Xaver Mayr and I was fascinated with his extraordinary approach to medicine. With that, my path as a Mayr doctor was destined.
Where do you draw inspiration from in terms of medical health? Of course, I draw inspiration from the regular exchanges with my colleagues—whether at international training courses or when we’re just having lunch together at Park Igls. It’s a rich source of medical inspiration. But sometimes it is also the amazing creativity of my patients that inspires me to invent new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Who do you admire professionally and why? To be honest, I have to admire my four colleagues at Park Igls—Irene, Sonja, Richard and Peter. They have been with me for almost ten years and because I can always ask any one of them for advice if necessary!
How have you turned any weaknesses into strengths? I’d say that we turned a weakness into a strength by developing our three special packages that were created because of the Coronavirus pandemic: ‘Immune System Booster’, ‘Resilience After Crisis’ and finally ‘Fit after COVID’. In these programmes, mankind’s worldwide weakness against a simple but insidious virus, has led to the development of special diagnostic and therapeutic packages that will ultimately strengthen us all.
What is an interesting daily routine that has set you up for success? Every morning, long before I call in the first patient, I prepare meticulously by reviewing any new medical reports that have come in. This simple habit makes me feel safe and up to the challenges every single day.
What can guests expect on a health retreat at Park Igls? At Park Igls, the focus is on investigating the causes of disease, mostly in the gastrointestinal tract, and not primarily on curing symptoms. Our team of medical specialists as well as our range of diagnostic options are on hand to illuminate and solve problems. Thanks to our close collaboration with Innsbruck University Hospital and its wide range of specialist consultants, we have the most up-to-date examination methods and can respond to silent conditions or chronic diseases from an early stage.
As a holistic method for prevention and early diagnosis, Modern Mayr Medicine at Park Igls is based on six fundamental principles:
- Resting the digestive tract by means of a therapeutic fast or personalised diet plan.
- Cleansing the digestive system with daily ‘bitter water’ (Epsom salt) applications and increased fluid intake.
- Learning how to chew and eat properly, and adjusting dietary habits to suit individual nutritional needs for long term recovery and regeneration.
- Supplementing the diet with key alkalies, vitamins, minerals and trace elements as and if required.
- Daily indoor and outdoor exercise programmes under the instruction of dedicated professionals boost therapeutic effectiveness as well as overall fitness and vitality.
- Self-discovery with the help of talk therapy, psychological counselling, mental training, craniosacral treatments and mental coaching.
- Fasting can also be an impetus for emotional healing.
The acquisition of good eating habits is an essential part of any stay at the Park Igls. We consult with each guest to determine factors such as physical constitution and tissue tone as well as their long-term goals and length of stay. This helps us to set the dietary stage at which the patient starts the therapy. Nutritional continuity, even monotony, forms an important element in restoring the digestive tract to health. The rule is that the greater the uniformity of the food, the more intense and beneficial the gut’s rest.
Sport and exercise are also vital components of the therapeutic concept. To process food properly the metabolism needs to be stimulated and function well. To this end, we run a varied and balanced exercise activity programme.
What is the Mayr Method? How is it integrated at Park Igls? Early in the 20th century, the Austrian doctor and scientist Franz Xaver Mayr developed a theory that would fundamentally influence the course of preventive medicine. He based his approach on the fact that most common lifestyle diseases originate in the digestive system. Dr FX Mayr significantly shaped the treatment methods and perceptions of the 20th century. By drawing on his broad knowledge, which focuses on the relationship between disorder patterns and the gut as the body’s ‘central organ’, we aim to improve your wellbeing. Dr FX Mayr is considered a pioneer of natural, preventive medicine. He introduced dietetics and therapeutic fasting to Western medicine and developed a holistic medical health maintenance concept: the FX Mayr method of diagnostics and therapy. This is a comprehensive programme for restoring digestive health in which fat, protein, carbohydrates and toxic deposits are dissolved and excreted.
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Modern Mayr Medicine was pioneered at Park Igls. The holistic approach developed here is based on the findings of Dr FX Mayr, and forms the heart of our diagnostic and therapeutic approach. The focus is on investigating the cause of disease—mostly in the area of the gastrointestinal tract—and not primarily on curing symptoms. A team of medical specialists is on hand to provide a range of diagnostic options.