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A Summary of the Article in Conde Nast Traveller

For half a decade, journalist Anna Tetlow longed for a more tranquil start to her mornings. The impact of menopause, described by feminist author Sharon Blackie as an “earthquake, shaking the foundations”, deeply resonated with Anna, prompting her to draw parallels between herself and the salty and irate Roy Kent from ‘Ted Lasso.’

This summary of the article in Conde Nast Traveller’s 2024 Wellness and Spa Guide shares insights into her transformative experience.

The persistent symptoms of menopause, including disrupted sleep, overwhelming sensations, anxiety and anger, weighed heavily on Anna.

As a single working mother grappling with heightened stress and a course of hormone replacement therapy or HRT, Anna yearned for a reset. She turned to the specialised Menopause Retreat Programme offered at Combe Grove, the pioneering Metabolic Health Centre in the UK, in the hope of alleviating her symptoms. These included her struggle with “rushing woman syndrome”, addiction to Cadbury Bournville, aversion to meditation and impatience with her children.

Upon arrival at Combe Grove, Anna found herself enchanted by the serene surroundings, over 70 acres of woodlands and captivating views of the Limpley Stoke Valley. Her consciously appointed room, featuring a specialist soaking tub, offered peaceful sanctuary.

The week began with a focus on metabolic health, emphasising the importance of stable blood sugar, balanced hormones and heightened energy levels. Helen Aylward Smith, founder of The Elmhurst Foundation, the custodians of Combe Grove, ardently expressed their mission to support women and share vital knowledge of metabolic health.

With a preference for evidence-based approaches, Anna found the Retreat’s offerings to be both firmly rooted in science and personally transformative. Medical assessments, overseen by Dr. Campbell Murdoch and the team, included blood tests and body composition analysis, providing a window into her overall wellbeing.

Engaging sessions explored the Five Roots of Metabolic Health: Nutrition, Sleep, Movement, Mindset and Environment. Anna valued the atmosphere of acceptance and warmth at Combe Grove. She also embraced the discoveries and concepts of Time Restricted Eating or TRE, eagerly participating in cooking classes led by Nutritionist Oliver Pratt.

Despite initial doubts, Anna found solace in activities such as Structural Integration and forest bathing. Crafting inner goddess headdresses and practicing relaxation techniques fostered a sense of camaraderie and inner peace.

Before bidding farewell, Anna and her fellow participants devised personalised plans to continue and sustain their progress. Four weeks after the retreat, Anna reflected on the transformative experience, remaining connected with her peers. True to expectations, the Retreat proved to be a priceless gift, equipping Anna with invaluable insights and strategies for navigating the challenges of menopause and beyond.


Read the full article here.