While traveling through the Northern region of Alto Adige in the area also known as the South Tyrol, I stayed at the Hotel Turm, a true jewel nestled in the Dolomite mountain range, also known as the pre-Alps. Apart from the breathtaking panorama, cozy yet dignified atmosphere and absolutely exquisite cuisine, this hotel offers a vast and unique array of wellness treatments. Among the many different ways to relax, such as unwinding in the salt grotto listening to the birds singing, laying in a bath of hay (yes, hay), one in particular struck me the most and I had to undoubtedly experience it for myself. That treatment was simply called wine therapy. I instantly pictured myself drinking a goblet of wine in a bubble bath amongst marble statues of Bacchus. However, it was not so much like that. Although I always knew that drinking a glass of red wine a day had many health benefits to it, to my surprise soaking in a bathtub of that nectar of Bacchus could be just as beneficiary.
Wine therapy is becoming more and more popular especially in the heavily cultivated wine regions of Italy, France, Argentina and Brazil. However, it originates in the culture of our ancestors: the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. The benefits of grapes and wine were already well known to these ancient civilizations. But don't be too quick to call all of this a bunch of bologna, scientists and doctors have extensively researched the benefits of wine therapy and the results prove that those ancients we're really onto something. In fact, studies have proven that wine therapy treatment helps to cancel the signs of aging, flatten the abdomen, tone the gluteus, purify and rejuvenate the skin and help stimulate blood circulation. Grapes and red wine are not only rich with vitamins A, C and E but contain crucial polyphenolic compounds. These compounds are high in OPC's (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) which are the most powerful antioxidants today and work as protectors against environmental toxins and free radicals. In other words, these antioxidants help with premature aging, eliminate existing wrinkles and help keep the body young. Unfortunately all of this doesn't occur just lying in a tub of red Cabernet, it involves approximately a 90 minute process, which is then to be repeated, for best results. So how does it all work?
To start things off, it is important to prepare the skin for the treatment. A scrub consisting of a mix of grape rinds, fresh soil from the Earth, gypsum and evening primrose oil is used to eliminate dead cells from the skin and naturally reactivates cellular regeneration. The peeling takes 30 minutes. After, the next step is full immersion into a large tub of red wine to relax for 45 minutes while, of course sipping a goblet of wine. The last step is a massage with a highly concentrated grape seed oil. The grape seed oil serves to hydrate and nourish the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory which increases blood circulation. Its fatty acids give elasticity to the skin eventually rendering it youthful looking and help stop the degeneration of tissues.
The unique ancient ritual of wine therapy is still today and becoming increasingly popular. If you ever have the opportunity to experience wine therapy treatment, I highly recommend it.