I'm a Sunshine Coast journalist who jumped out of a lengthy mainstream media career 18 months ago to do some hearty work for the soul. A pescatarian sharing with you her secrets on our little piece of coast paradise.
But ladies: we're not doing ourselves any favours. Those "quick fix" city escapes and nights on the tiles with our besties? They don't fix anything except our insatiable appetite for pretty pink drinks with floating fruit. (At least for 30 days).
There are those among us who have long been awoken to the futility of such self-sabotage. These women are foregoing the "fix" and opting instead to "restore". And they're "fixing" to be restored at luxury day spa Casa Di Natura.
It's a good half hour's drive from my central Sunshine Coast home to this picturesque sanctuary nestled in the heart of the 3.2ha of a hinterland forest ampitheatre that by all appearances has been forgotten by the world. Or ingeniously created for my own personal desire. I can't quite decide.
The luxury that is Casa Di Natura – meaning "house of nature" - comes from an intoxicating yet back-to-basic blend of treatments infusing a bitter sweet combination of natural physical therapies that cumulatively can only be found right here on the Sunshine Coast.
Moments after my arrival, I am sauntering out in my plush white robe and slippers to the 'far infrared sauna' where my lymphatic and respiratory system is given a good stretching out. This sauna's point of difference being the infrared connecting to a deeper level of toxins and fatty acids within our body.
I walk out into the sweetest and purest air I have ever known. I can almost taste it. But within seconds every breath has been sucked from my body the second my toes break the icy waters of the magnesium swimming pool.
In a scene I - however mistakenly - envisage is reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor's epic "Cleopatra" scene, I brave the pool steps and desperately attempt to shift my attention off the Antarctic encasing me, and focus on the lush forest backdrop complete with waterfall of waterfall rolling down the mountainside below.
The rainwater-filled pool's combination of magnesium and potassium chloride provides dual benefits from skin-deep relief of impurities and toxins to a deeper mind-soul respite of anxiety, depression, muscular aches and pains.(Chocolate cravings are a common sign of magnesium deficiency. Best get me a straw...)
As predicted to me by my host, my discomfort doesn't last long (I am now almost literally squealing with childlike delight floating face up under the water curtain) and I am coaxed from the pool by my grinning "I-told-you-so" host Sue Broughton.
So I'm out of the pool and into the hydrotherapy spa where the combination of heat, buoyancy and massage reduces my stresses and strains from the week that was into a distant memory. Research explains other common benefits include better circulation, muscle relaxation, lowered blood pressure, and relief from arthritis.
Host Sue is a genuine gift
It is here I need to make the introduction to the lady of the house – Casa Di Natura host Sue Broughton. Because for all the beauty, comfort, luxury and care lavished on me and only me - an indulgence she bestows on all her guests - it is Sue's talent and expertise as a teacher of a new leading edge therapy "Body Talk" and as a Reiki master where you will truly become a believer.
What I experience over the next 45 minutes on a complete conscious level is the most surreal and yes, confronting intuitive insights I have ever encountered. Without so much of a hint from yours truly, my story is laid bare: from my own body intolerances both conscious and sub-conscious to personal baggage - both historic and current.
It has been a roller coaster morning where I have both floated and plummeted into the most deliciously decadent and discerning escapes of my life. Renewed and invigorated: this is the "fix" all of us need.
See Sue Broughton and her small discreet team for your next escape: solitary, romantic or getting the girls together at Casa Di Natura, 144 Ensbey Road, Flaxton.