After winning an anguishing two-and-a-half-year battle against a mysterious skin rash by applying her Ivy League scientific training to create a radically detoxed diet, environmental systems engineer Jennifer Thompson swapped the corporate life for Koh Samui, where she delivered this distinctly intelligent wellness approach to spa goers at the Thai island’s most sought-after wellness centres. A move to Tel Aviv two years ago allowed Thompson to extend her services to Middle Eastern and European properties. The latest addition to her offerings is Healthy Living with Jennifer Thompson, a series of three- and seven-day juice cleanse retreats at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum from May 15 to 28, from €895 per person per day.
When I met the Australian-American at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui’s treetop spa in 2009, I felt a rare simpatico connection. The woman with now-flawless skin used her certification in iridology to identify the cause of my nagging digestive complaint and explained to me this ancient science of reading the iris of the eyes to identify physical and emotional concerns. Thompson’s analytics-based health coaching more significantly changed my life two years later, when a tropical virus left me frighteningly weak and ceaselessly suffering from vertigo. Steadying me as we walked through a Whole Foods in southern California, Thompson handpicked the unprocessed foods and natural supplements that have comprised my diet ever since. By scrupulous process of elimination, Thompson deduced the vertigo triggers that simply did not show up on traditional allergy tests. While western medicine played a role, I credit Thompson with spearheading my full recovery.
Thompson’s stint in residence at Mandarin Oriental’s first Turkish property (pictured) will combine accessible recipes from her user-friendly manuals, such as Green Smoothies for Dummies, with nutrition workshops and private consultations she describes as “providing clients with a good intellectual fix on understanding the how, what and why of detox, so they are prepared and excited to make these changes at home.”
Those who like a bit more eastern philosophy with their wellness will appreciate the yoga and meditation, as well as her uniquely meticulous chakra rebalancing. “The seven-day cleanse is really special,” says my detox guru when I reach her in Hong Kong, wrapping up a whirlwind tour of Asia luxury hotel spas. “Every day we will focus on clearing one of the seven chakras, restoring energetic balance and also drinking juices colour coded for the corresponding chakra. It’s a full body-beautiful combination of physical and energetic cleansing.”