The Medical Director of the Center for Healthy Living in São Paulo, Dr. Elson Nunes, talks about the new state-of-the-art water therapy facilities now serving patients with a variety of health issues.
Question: The Adventist Center for Healthy Living, CEVISA, in São Paulo, Brazil, opened a new hydrotherapy facility in the last few weeks. Why did you decide to open this new space?
Answer: CEVISA has shown significant growth in recent years, and with this, it was necessary to modernize and expand the space. In addition, as we are a spa, where the origin of the word already says “health by water,” it was important to upgrade to best practices in hydrotherapy, using all the therapeutic capacity in all forms and temperatures of water.
Tell us about some of the different treatments and facilities you have in the new center.
We created an environment with more than 20 different hydrotherapy treatments: some that we already had and others that are new, such as an Epsom salt floating bath, vichy shower, immersion contrast bath, cryotherapy, infrared sauna, and soaking clay tub, among others.
How is your hydrotherapy center different to other hydrotherapy centers?
I believe that the biggest difference is the concentration of a very large variety of treatments in the same place, as well as a pleasant rest area that includes integration with the landscape and nature.
Who comes to use the new hydrotherapy facility? Who are your patients?
We have a large variety of patients and clients. We receive patients with common pathologies related to lifestyle such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, as well as patients with depression, anxiety, stress, and patients who are in rehabilitation, or treating pain or some neurological and orthopedic disease.
Is the center a residential one — do people come and stay for days or weeks at a time? Can people come and drop in to use the new hydrotherapy pool and treatments?
The main objective of CEVISA, the Center for Healthy Living, is to comprehensively treat patients for various diseases related to lifestyle, as well as re-educating with new habits. Hydrotherapy is part of the treatments that the patient does daily in CEVISA, aiding in detoxification, insomnia treatment, pain, stress, weight loss and more.
Many treatments are available for one day only, or even an isolated treatment for those who cannot take a week off. But the minimum recommended period is one week, increasing according to the state of health of those who come, which is evaluated by the doctors.
Do people have to pay a lot to visit?
Staying one week in CEVISA costs around $1800 dollars, with stay, medical consultations, nutritional consultation, all personalized meals, all physical activities monitored, physiotherapy, psychotherapy, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and 24-hour nursing. The price goes up based on the complexity and services provided.
How is the Adventist lifestyle message imparted to visitors to the pool and facilities?
The health message is passed in the form of the eight natural remedies, presented simply and naturally.
Is the Adventist Medical Spa wholly owned by the Adventist Church? How long has it been in existence?
CEVISA is 12 years old, and belongs to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brazil. CEVISA aims to fully address health, with a physical, emotional and spiritual approach following the principles of church health and the spirit of prophecy.
CEVISA includes individualized medical care, 24-hour nursing care, a rehabilitation and physiotherapy center, psychologists and psychiatrists, physical educators, nutritionists, functional vegetarian therapeutic feeding, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, geothermal therapy, daily massages, gymnastics, water aerobics, daily spiritual reflections, and rest.
In addition, the spa has integrated a clinical team with various exams and specialties.
Do you know of similar Adventist facilities around the world?
In the USA there are some like Wildwood.
How many employees work at the center?
We have 90 employees and 14 service providers.
What are your goals for the new hydrotherapy center?
To increase the number of patients seen in a week with higher quality and efficiency.
How long did it take from planning to the opening day?
Project planning took two years for treatment visits and research, as well as a functional study, and the project took 10 months to complete.
What advice would you have for other Adventists around the world who might want to open a similar facility?
CEVISA took 12 years to achieve its excellence, and a satisfactory number of clients per week. It is a time-consuming work to become known, and it grows gradually. The best advertising is the personal testimony of the health effects of those who pass through here.
Photos courtesy of CEVISA.
Alita Byrd is interviews editor for Spectrum.
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