Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney
When Cloona first opened its doors in 1973, it launched the concept of Health Tourism in Ireland. Though now there are many mind-body-spirit facilities, Cloona has the distinction of being one of the first of its kind.
The venue was an old woollen mill, renovated with taste and oriental simplicity. The original renovation work was done in order to welcome Tibetan monks, but diplomatic protocol inhibited the open-hearted gesture.
Run by Dhara Kelly, the son of the founder, Cloona is one of the founding members of the Health Farms of Ireland Association, and stacks of testimonials mark the contribution that Cloona has made to health awareness in Ireland.
An original concept, the full daily program has the balance and fluidity you would expect from a time-honored tradition, bring together training in yoga, massage, counseling, stress management, movement awareness, reflexology and homeopathy.
Well worth the trip from wherever, Cloona's special six-day New-Year weight-loss retreat is repeated in January and February each year. Using all of the Cloona tools, they dedicate this one week to making great strides on the journey to a slimmer self. There is extra walking, yoga with a particular emphasis, and some extra juice fasting. The beauty of weight-loss 'Cloona-style' is that you get detoxed as well, and, to be frank, attempting weight-loss without detoxing is a bit like painting your house without scraping off the old flakey paint first.
The house and grounds are situated three miles from Westport, off the Louisburgh road. This is a unique rural setting, with the Centre forming an integral part of a close-knit community. Surrounded by a myriad of small roads and byways, these provide guests on their daily walk with views ranging from expansive mountain and beach scenes to intimate native woodlands. The grounds of more than five acres include an arbor, a labyrinth, and a hill with wondrous panoramic views that stretch from Croagh Patrick, Irelandís holy mountain, over Clew Bay to Achill Island, the Nephin Mountains, and beyond.
Cloona Health Centre, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland.