Hop into Health – The deadly side effects of stress

Today on the show I interviewed Tracy Willis from Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat which is a magic place in the mountains behind the Gold Coast.


A few years ago I started working up at Gwinganna and discovered an amazing time-out, zen haven that permits guests to reconnect with life and themselves. And today, being about stress , seemed apt to have Tracy on to talk about stress and what a retreat may be able to offer.

Last week I did a few blogs on stress so refer back to them if you would like to know more about stress and what it does to your body and mind.

a. Stress sex and rock n roll – stress part 

b. Stress sex and rock n roll – the rock n roll part

c. Stress sex and rock n roll – the sex part

The podcast didn’t’ save today – DOH but this is the gist of what was discussed.

Q: Who comes to a health retreat?

A: All walks of life but there has been a shift in clientel. Many are every day people looking for some time out to reconnect with themselves and destress or find happiness again.

Q: What sorts of things do you offer that helps with destressing?

A: At Gwinganna there is a range of activities that people can engage in: tribal dancing, tai chi, yoga, pilates, spa treatments (Ed note: Gwinganna Spa centre is amazing and the menu has incredible options). There is also a component of education and program structure for those who wish to learn more about their bodies and mind

Q: Can people access and experience Gwinganna without having to attend a retreat?

A: Yes! Gwinganna is launching its Four Weeks of Wellness starting in April. This on-line FREE program will offer people recipes, health tips and is the perfect adjunct for someone looking to improve their health.

Q: Retreats – what’s coming up?

A: on 12-14th April I will be presenting at Gwinganna a new program called The Feminine YOU. Book now to reserve your place. Partners can come too

Q: Why do you think stress is becoming more prevalent?

A: people are over committing, putting unrealistic time frames on things and disconnecting. This means they are relying more on coffee, wine at night to relax and short cuts with nutrition (i.e. eating sandwiches or toast for dinners instead of salads and nutritious meals). They are also putting things like exercise off so they can finish work etc.

At Gwinganna people are given the opportunity to take time out from their every day lives and reconnect with themselves and the basics of life (organic nutrition, relaxation and connection to the planet).

Q: What are some simple strategies that people can do from home to help decrease stress?


1. Breathing: this is the most fundamental principle behind relaxation. When we are stressed we tend to use the top third of our lungs only and this leads to pH changes in the blood stream and hormone changes. Deep belly breathing is paramount to circuit breaking stress and can be done any where, any time.


2. Connect with the Earth. So many people don’t touch the planet (grass, sand, soil) every day. The average person wakes up, walks on carpet to the shower, stands on tiles, then a mat, dries off and puts on socks or shoes. They spend their day in these shoes, then go to the gym or walk around in shoes before returning to their homes to walk on more floor coverings before going to bed.

Connecting to the earth means standing on the earth with your skin in contact with soil, grass or the beach. This will relax your body immensely

3. Green light activities. The way we allocate time and energy can be divided into the colours of a traffic light. Red, amber and green. Green light activities lead to the hormone oxytocin being excreted. This relaxes the person and decreases testosterone and adrenaline (which drive stress and makes us feel irritable, rushed, panicked, FAST).

For more on green light actives and how to roll out the principles into your every day life,  consider the Happy Female Formulae. 

Stress and it’s affects are here to stay.Learning to manage stress better is necessary. If you need more help feel free to contact me, or even attend Gwinganna for a weekend or week. There are other retreats around the world, but Gwinganna is my pick for now.

Thank-you Tracy for coming in.

Next week on the show I will be interviewing Debbie Nolan from The Door of Youth about synthetic versus natural skin care products and what the later is a better way to go.

Thank-you for Amcal Broadbeach Pharmacy for supporting the show.