There are eight dimensions of wellness: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. Each dimension of wellness is interrelated with another. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health and should be considered on a trip with wellness in mind.
There’s no question that the atmosphere and attributes of Cape Town deliver on a well-rounded wellness travel experience. Here are 6 reasons why:
Cape Town is known as the “Mother City”
The first indication that Cape Town is a center for wellness travel is found in its nickname. Known as the “Mother City”, Cape Towns maternal moniker is derived from multiple origins. The most prevalent story is from 1930’s when an anonymous person wrote in the local newspaper that Cape Town was the only city that could call itself a Metropolis in South Africa, this word is derived from the Greek, “metro,” meaning mother and “polis,” meaning city. However, this nickname is more aptly used as a sign of affection by locals and visitors due to a widely recognized feeling of protection, serenity and calm.
Nature is the Centerpiece of Cape Town
Nature provides more than just a pretty view or a breathtaking photo to share. Being connected to nature and natural environments is shown to have incredible healing and restorative benefits. According to a study by public health researchers, Stamatakis and Mitchell, being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It’s no wonder then that the famous South African historical figure, Cecil John Rhodes, was sent to South Africa from the UK as a young man to improve his health.
Cape Town provides the ultimate restorative landscape, filled with unequivocal natural beauty at every angle. Towering Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill mountains cascade into the vast Atlantic Ocean below. And if that wasn’t enough, you can travel less than an hour outside the city where you will be able to explore the beautiful vineyards and green countryside.
To gain the true restorative effect of the Cape Town landscape, one should take advantage of the myriad outdoor and adventures activities. Some of our favorites include seal snorkeling, kayaking to boulders beach, cycling around the peninsula, hiking table mountain or devil’s peak. Canyoning or Zipping in the Elgin Valley. There are so many options to choose from in Cape Town that it helps to get advice from someone who knows what to do when and how.
Table Mountain is Considered the Earth Chakra
For the spiritual traveller, Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain is considered the earth chakra. Chakras are spiritual lines of energy and, according to certain elements of the global population, the earth is interconnected by these chakras. They balance and regulate the electromagnetic field of Earth to stabilize our planet’s energy. Chakras are iconic natural places, known for their history and for their high electromagnetic volume. They connect with Earth vortices, each of these vortices represents an element, and Table Mountain is known to be the Earth vortice. It governs the usage of light as a force to develop life. Light can be either destructive and constructive, however, Table Mountain directs the constructive energy of light.
Cape Town boasts some of the world’s best spas and wellness centers
For those that want the ultimate relaxation experience, there is good news, Cape Town is home to many world-class spas and wellness retreats. Many of these spas include references to the earth or Mother Nature into their practices.
Babylonstoren is one of South Africa’s most beautiful wine estates. The expansive estate features sprawling gardens, an artisanal deli, 2 farm-to-table restaurants, wine and a spa overlooking the breathtaking gardens. They even have a healing garden, which is a medicinal garden that includes a range of powerful, aromatic, rare and restorative plant species that are incorporated into tea infusions that can be enjoyed after a spa treatment. Staying true to the surrounding nature, the Babylonstoren spa is surrounded by a forest bamboo, lush greenery and streams of water to set a calming tone.
Urban Retreat is a holistic wellness sanctuary in the city. Located in Sea Point with views of Lions Head as the backdrop, there are a variety of holistic practices that one can discover when visiting. They offer Reiki energy healing, which is a Japanese technique using the laying of the hands to channel life force energy, or “ki” into the energy system. This practice is meant to cleanse chakras (energy centres) and aura (energy fields) and can also help release and deal with past issues. Additionally, they offer meditation and well-being classes as well as Shiatsu massage, which is like acupuncture without the needles. Shiatsu is meant to detox and unblock energy using pressure points along the human meridian system using thumbs and elbows.
While on your visit attention to detail is one aspect you’ll see when visiting the One&Only in Cape Town. The One&Only Hotel consistently features as the home base for the Cape’s most elite visitors. Spa treatments at the One&Only Spa take place on a private island set in the Waterfront’s quiet canals. This means that even though you’re just a stone’s throw from the heaving V&A Waterfront, you’ll feel a million miles away.
The Vineyard Hotel in the lush suburb of Newlands is the ideal suburban wellness retreat. The in-house Angsana Spa offers a variety of treatments that draw heavily on Asian influences to provide the ultimate in rest and relaxation. The idyllic gardens, with views of Table Mountain, offer the perfect setting to compliment a day, or a weekend, at the spa.
They offer the ideal escape where harmony and tranquillity gently restore mind, body and soul. The Twelve Apostles spa team are dedicated to restoring beauty and balance through individual treatments and spa journeys, personalised for each of their guests by exceptionally skilled therapists. Their commitment to wellbeing focuses on holistic principles, combining ancient wisdom and modern expertise.
Local, Organic Health Foods are Plentiful and celebrated
You are what you eat and the age of organic is here. Many people believe that eating organic food is a much healthier lifestyle than not. Here are five reasons why it is important to eat organic:
- Eating organic helps to reduce your body’s total toxic burden
- Organic foods are non-GMO
- Organic farming is good for the earth
- Organic crops are more nutritious
- By buying organic food you contribute to local farms and businesses
- Organic produce has up to 40 percent higher levels of vitamin C, zinc, iron and other key nutrients
For the best in locally grown. organic produce head to the many farmers markets to discover the delicious options available. Cape Town locals love markets and have a great way of supporting the many upcoming local entrepreneurs that practise ways of sustainable living by using the “reduce, reuse, recycle” method to create new, eco friendly brands. Contribute to the wellbeing of the planet and join in the sense of community by visiting these markets yourself: https://exploresideways.com/7-best-open-air-markets-in-the-winelands/
Indigenous African products and ingredients provide all kinds of new benefits
South Africa has many unique remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation. A well known medicinal plant is one called Buchu which some call South Africa’s miracle herb. Many people know it as a herb used by the nomadic San and pastoral Khoi peoples – used in natural remedies that would clean ones body, kidneys and makes you feel refreshed and energetic. It is also known to have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help with pain relief and chronic illness, but the plant has no side effects like other anti-inflammatories.
The Vitamin C content of the Marula fruits is eight times higher than that in an orange. The fruits are also rich in oleic acids and antioxidants. The nuts of these trees are rich in nutritional content having high levels of protein, energy and mineral. They are rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. More often found further north in the country but available in certain specialist health stores in the Cape.
Wide Variety of Unique Healing Practices
There are many ways one can think of healing including healing the mind, the body and the soul. Cape Town, known as a centre for healing and restoration, has a variety of options when it comes to implementing healing in any one of those categories.
Naturopaths or functional medicine doctors
Naturopathic medicine is a science-based tradition that promotes wellness by identifying the unique aspects of each patient and then employing non-toxic natural therapies to restore his or her physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
When we heal holistically, we address imbalances on all levels, rather than one or two, and so it becomes a life-long process in achieving overall life balance. The ultimate goal of aligning the body, mind and soul promises a happier, healthier, more balanced state of being.
A Sangoma is a traditional medicine practitioner, or shaman, of South Africa. Sangomas communicate with Ancestors, work with plant medicine (herbalism) and use the power of prayer for healing. While most practice all three, you will find others that work solely with one or any combination of these methods. Their training varies depending on lineage and land location. However, what they all have in common is a calling to serve their families, their communities and the Earth in accordance with the unconditional love of God (Goddess, Creator, Universe, Source, Great Spirit, Allah, Buddha, etc.). Being a Sangoma is not and does not replace a religious practice. It is considered a way of life.
Cape Town has many Yoga teachers, Yoga studios and ongoing Yoga events to choose from. From Ashtanga to Bikram, Vinyasa to Jiva Mukti, there are also plenty of styles to choose from. One can even practise SUPing Yoga or yoga on a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board when it is a calming day on the ocean or tidal pools with no wind. Table Mountain is also becoming a popular new destination for yogis to engage in their practice.
A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
When it comes to crystal basics, these otherworldly rocks connect us to the Earth because they are tangible, physical forms that have powerful vibrations. This energy continues to connect with you when you wear these intention crystals close to the skin or place them in your environment. Cape Town has a number of outlets from which to purchase crystals, amulets, and jewellery. Many holistic health stores will stock a range of crystals well worth checking out.
When on a holiday on the beautiful mother city, make sure to truly approach your zen and switch your mind off and connecting with one self and put your wellness first. Cape Town has so much to offer and an off day for yourself you should incorporate in your itinerary. World class Wellness centres, Indigenous foods and Markets and the best views to practice yoga.
Inhale the good and Exhale the Bad. The Mother City has you in her hands.