Austria: Mayr and More Health Centre

mayr and more

When I returned from my recent stay in the Mayr & More Health Centre my brain sifted through various ways to describe the place. The best I could come up with was that it’s a clinical crossroads, where they offer a cure (detox), and where evidence based medicine intersects with alternative methods with a heavy leaning, on the scale of that tower in Pisa, towards different and holistic ways of healing.


The Mayr & More is in the Carinthia region of Austria nestled between densely forested mountains and the magical Lake Worthersee, it’s about half an hour by car from the city of Klagenfurt. The weather was glorious during my stay with warm sunshine bathing the autumnal landscape.


The Mayr & More is one of two Mayr establishments, close to Klagenfurt, that practise Mayr medicine: the other being the newer and shinier Viva Mayr clinic a few kilometres down the road in the charming village of Maria Worth.

mayr and more

Staying at the Mayr & More, although restful, is no walk in the park, it’s more of an endurance hike through the valley of hardcore detox. Mayr medicine, named after its originator Dr F X Mayr, has four central tenets. Firstly, recuperation and regeneration of the digestive system, which means you get VERY little food to eat, a two course lunch is the principal daily food event but the main course is starter-sized. Secondly, a cleansing of the digestive system, this involves chugging down an early morning dose of vile tasting Epsom salts and then being in and out of the bathroom like a demented jack-in-the-box when these salts take their laxative toll. Thirdly, training on how to eat properly, no, not some bonkers etiquette based session on using the right cutlery but encouragement to chew every mouthful fifty time. And lastly, if needed, supplements and vitamins are prescribed.

mayr and more

You see a doctor every day at Mayr & More and on the first morning you are assigned a diet for the rest of your stay. I got the mild cleansing diet, which sounded fine until I discovered I had the version where ‘dinner’ is a bowl of vegetable broth and absolutely nothing else. The only possibility of a second course was to eat the spoon!

village of maria worth

The Mayr & More is a tranquil place, and you are encouraged to take time out to rest. But there are things to do such as: attend the early morning exercise class; hike in the beautiful surrounding forests; explore the nearby pretty villages; swim in the pool or the lake … Plus you have appointments for massage, kneipping (dipping various body parts alternatively into hot and cold water as an aid to circulation) and for anything else that’s been ‘prescribed’.

mayr and more

I went to the Viva Mayr clinic five years so I was curious to compare the two establishments, and even thought the Viva Mayr is newer and more luxurious I much preferred, despite the garish time-warp decor in my room, the homelier Mayr & More. The good news on the decor front is that the Mayr & More closed on the last day of October for refurbishment, it reopens in March 2014.

lake worthersee

I plan to go back in another five years, many of my fellow guests had been multiple times with some returning every year. Staying at the Mayr & More is by no means cheap but I think that my stay there and my previous one at the Viva Mayr were good investments in my health.

It might seem a tad mad to say that my week’s stay altered my perspective on life but in a way it has because I returned somewhat soul-restored and feeling more able to deal with life’s vicissitudes.


Filed under Healthy Living, Travel

27 responses to “Austria: Mayr and More Health Centre

  1. Gosh, I think I might have been hungry enough to eat the spoon. However, it does look a lovely place and it is ever so good that you are feeling ‘somewhat’ restored.

    • Thank you. Would you believe the spoon was a teaspoon! That was to encourage me to eat the broth slowly and strangely by the time I had got a little over half way through the bowl of broth I started to feel full up.

      • A teaspoon! Yes that would slow you down. My grandfather used to chew each mouthful of food a hundred times ( I think) so when he got very old, it used to take him ages to finish a meal! He didn’t use a teaspoon for his soup though!

      • It did slow me down! I am not sure that I could chew each mouthful of food a hundred times like your grandfather did, fifty was difficult enough. But maybe it’s a good idea, healthwise and longevity-wise, to do so as you mention he got very old.

      • Very old! And with scarcely a health problem. He was one of the lucky ones who died of old age, nothing more, nothing less. So keep up the thoughtful chewing 🙂

  2. Couldn’t you just stay home and starve?

  3. Glad you had good weather. I find exercise in the fresh air always clears my mind – not sure about the tiny portions though! Hope you’re feeling re-invorated.

  4. Wow, that sounds like a wonderful time to just relax and slow down. So often it seems we are rushing from one thing to the next in life, without really taking time to cherish each experience. Sometimes I think about how I just scarf down a meal without actually taking time to feel full or satiated. I’m glad that you were able to spend an enjoyable and relaxing week there!

    • It was exactly that a time to relax and wind down. I too often scarf down my meals mindlessly and fail to realize I am actually full at a certain point. All the chewing certainly made me fell satiated quickly so maybe I do eat too much. I hope to keep up the chewing habit now that I am home even if I don’t always reach the fifty mark. You are so right about us not getting time to cherish each experience when we rush around too much.

  5. Dear B, as lovely as the views are, I think I may be better off staying away from that place because, based on your description of the “dinner menu”, I would seriously run the risk of giving in to cannibalism as the will is strong, but… hunger can be even stronger! 😉

  6. Your closing remark is what it’s all about–regardless of how we achieve it, a sense of being renewed and calmed and refreshed is a great thing. Marvelous that this suited you, rigorous as it was.

  7. You make me laugh, eat the spoon, Mmmm…. vegetable broth for dinner. Well I think it sounds really good and is quite an accomplishment. I have never done anything like this before, I probably should though, You are right it is an investment in your health, Are you going to alter how you eat from now on? I don’t think I would be happy without coffee, wine and other niceties, chocolate too!!

    • No, I am not going to alter my eating habits much but I will try to eat more fruit and vegetables and to cut down on sweet treats – I am very fond of cake. As for coffee, wine and chocolate, no I am not giving them up although I am trying to limit my caffeine intake. Gulp!

  8. B., your post brought up a memory of my mother and her friends going to a Mességué center at Capri a couple of decades ago. My mother told me that the only thing they had for dinner was a consommé and one of her friends from Naples always used to say “Why do have to pay a fortune and starve?”. I thought she had a very good point! 😉

    • Hi Francesca,

      An absolute fair point – however I am still very glad I went. There is obviously something that works in the clearing out of the digestive system as I have more energy, which is great. Many people go to loose weight, I didn’t go for that reason, but naturally on such a restricted diet I did loose some – 2 kilos. I never heard of a Messegue centre so I am off to goole it now. B 😉

  9. Pingback: ♥ In Which I Aim For a Healthier Lifestyle | Just Add Attitude

  10. I have been to Königstein in Taunus several times for a F X Mayr kur (fasten) , I always felt really great afterwards. In Germany it’s very popular. Glad you enjoyed it, B – but who wouldn’t, in this lovely place! 🙂

    • That’s interesting Dina as I heard from fellow guests when I was staying at the Mayr that the cure is very, very popular in Germany. Like you I felt great after the cure and I will definitely go back. The views of mountain and lake were beautiful and I think they added to a certain sense of peace that the cure bestows – or at lest I found it did the two times I did it. 🙂


  11. I’ve always wondered about those type of places– the more “austere” spas. Thanks for sharing your experiences– I love the health aspects and eating healthy but I really don’t think I could handle the lack of food. Do you have the option of selecting a different diet?

    • So sorry for the delayed reply. There was zero option to select a different diet! It’s funny though how quickly you get your head around eating very little food, the fact that I was encouraged to chew every mouthful fifty times meant that I felt full after even the smallest portion.

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