So, 2016 had revealed itself to be for me, like millions the world over, my annus horribilis.
Complications during surgery had resulted in a crippling bout of septicaemia and my long term relationship had broken down, culminating in a stressful house move and re-imagining of my future life.
I felt, in short, physically and emotionally destitute, barely clinging to reality and sanity as I had known it.
"You need The Cure" one friend had exclaimed. Whilst agreeing that a punk revolution of sorts was necessitated, I wasn't completely sold on the idea that rehabilitation could come from a fading English rock band. As it turns out, 'The Cure' takes on different connotations depending on who you speak to. In West London moneyed circles; it meant MAYR.
The key to optimum health is, according to The Mayr Cure, grounded in 5 basic principles: Rest, Cleansing, Training, Rhythm and Conscious Abstinence.
The theory is that colon conditions like arthritis, diabetes, allergies and insomnia are caused primarily by an over-acidic diet and the fermentation of insufficiently digested food.
This causes putrefaction, which leads to vitamins, and minerals not being properly absorbed which has a profound effect on our health.
As Viva Mayr General Manager Dr Resch explains:
'When digestion is good, so is our sleep, our nervous and endocrine systems, and so too are we drawn to nutritious food and lifestyle choices. Its usually we were are running low on energy and deficient in certain minerals/vitamins that we turn to caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine and it's a vicious cycle in terms of pressure on the body's systems'.
The Mayr Cure aims to break this cycle, but to do this you must first experience a period of deprivation and withdrawal.
My usual morning coffee was replaced by a warm cup of Epsom salts, and my evening meal substituted for a mug of clear vegetable broth instead.
Each programme is tailor-made to the patient so your visit starts with a lengthy consultation with your appointed doctor. After your consultation, a daily programme is printed, which includes your bespoke diet and a schedule of medical appointments designed to tackle your own specific ailments.
In addition to chronic fatigue (the side effect of septicaemia) I was suffering from IBS and permanently blocked sinuses, so my programme included intravenous vitamin infusions, hypoxitraining, kinesiology, massage, yoga and a daily trip to the SalinAir inhalation booth. The medical centre is state of the art and Viva Mayr earns its title as the 'world's leading medical clinic' with good reason.
In addition to the medical, the programme involves a spiritual rehabilitation of sorts that is nothing to do with the treatments and everything to do with the relationships you build with your fellow 'patients' and, of course, yourself.
Viva Mayr tends to attract a repeat customer, many of the guests I encountered were on their annual pilgrimage and, largely speaking, these guests are diverse in profession and experience. An extremely famous supermodel was here on her 3rd visit when I arrived, as was an Indian Princess, a café owner and a very successful English author.
Despite the differences in background, we all settled into an easy routine of after dinner chit-chat around the fire, the commonality of the Viva Mayr experience removing the usual barriers to social interaction. It became a special time of the day, aided by the clinic's encouragement of a digital detox. At Viva Mayr we were all just people, brought together by the same experience and this hour of easy conversation became an important and unexpected element of my 'recovery'.
Six weeks on and the chronic stomach pain, blocked sinuses and general fatigue have completely disappeared.
What is more though, my skin is clear, my eyes are bright and I no longer need three coffees to get out of bed. It's an astonishing turn round and one I wouldn't necessarily have believed had it not happened to me personally.
Would I go back? I've already booked for the summer.
At Viva Mayr in Altuasee, prices from €225 per night which includes all meals and the daily programme. Medical treatments and dietary supplements are at an additional cost.