The Discover Dominica Authority has launched a new health and wellness directory outlining what the Caribbeanâ€™s Nature Island has to offer for wellbeing breaks.
As well as information on Dominicaâ€™s natural wonders such as its hot springs and waterfalls, its organic cuisine and rejuvenating activities, the online directory provides A to Z listings of practitioners in a complete range of holistic therapies including crystal bowl therapy, baby massage, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga.
Colin Piper, director of tourism, comments â€œThe vast array of wellbeing services available in Dominica clearly positions the island as a leading destination for health and wellness travel. This new directory makes it easy for travellers to search for options that will make their holiday on the Nature Island exactly what it should be â€“ relaxing, enjoyable and revitalising.â€
The islandâ€™s health-boosting properties are also backed up by its unusually high rate of centenarians â€“ people living to over the age of 100 â€“ which the people of Dominica attribute to the islandâ€™s mineral rich waters, fresh foods and the active lifestyle dictated by the mountainous landscape.
A feature article within the directory examines the secrets of Dominicaâ€™s centenarians, including Ma Pampo who it was claimed was 128 â€“ and the worldâ€™s oldest person â€“ when she died in October 2003.
Other features within the health and wellness directory include information on how hiking in Dominica can tone the body and lift the spirit; and a guide to Dominicaâ€™s â€˜healing foodsâ€™. Visitors to the island will find most food and drink is locally sourced and organically grown, so it is rich in vitamins and nutrients. The food guide lists the benefits of various local ingredients such as:
CACAO TEA – Studies have linked drinking minimally processed local cacao to increased blood flow to the brain; a positive effect on cardiovascular function; healthy cholesterol levels; reduced blood clot formation; lower blood pressure; improved insulin resistance; clear skin; the release of endorphins in the brain; increased energy levels; cough suppressing abilities; diuretic abilities; eased menstrual symptoms; lower cancer rates; and an enhanced immune system.
COCONUT WATER â€“ Also known as jelly water, this is a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of electrolytes present in our blood. The liquid contains vitamin C and some B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and traces of iron to maintain good health and boost the immune system.
SPICES â€“ The herbs and spices traditionally added to Creole dishes have a variety of health benefits. Some have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, others aid digestion or simply contribute nutritionally to the diet in Dominica.
PROVISIONS â€“ Breadfruit, dasheen, Tanya, yam, cassava, green kokoy, plantain and fig are the tropical answer to grains, providing a great source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, plus a wide range of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The guide also examines how natural features of Dominica can promote good health. For example:
SEA WATER â€“ Inhaling sea water has long been recognised as a curative for clogged-up, painful sinus cavities. In addition, bathing in sea water following a strenuous hike draws out waste acids released by muscles that have been tensed and stretched, preventing stiff legs the following day.
SULPHUR WATER â€“ There are various warm and cold sulphur water sites and spas dotted around Dominica. Many medical skin treatments for conditions such as eczema contain sulphur-based ingredients, confirming what the people of Dominica have known for hundreds of years â€“ that sulphur water is a natural path to smoother skin.