This Portuguese is requested by some of the best spas in the world
He switched from a computer graphics mathematics course to a degree in Chinese medicine and currently spends almost half the year working at luxury resorts.
At the time when we were trying to set the time for the interview, via video call, Rui Pedro Loureiro let out a photograph that was not recommended for Portuguese (and Europeans in general) in confinement. A tongue of white sand bathed by a turquoise sea; the antipode of the scenario that has been taking over our days. One of the many idyllic beaches that this natural Portuguese from Águeda has the opportunity to visit while working. At 45, Rui Pedro Loureiro is called to guide retreats and wellness programs in some of the best spas in the world.
The day he talked to Fugas he was in the Mandarin Oriental, on the island of Canouan, belonging to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He was forced to extend his stay at that luxury resort due to the new wave of Covid-19, a disease that last year led him to live an atypical year. He ended up spending a lot more time at home than usual - like all of us. This year, he has planned work trips to the Maldives, Greece and possibly also to Costa Rica. There are conditions to travel, because work requests are not lacking. Rui Pedro Loureiro is used to people only seeing the good side of this international component of his career and seems to live well with the comments most given to envy. Still, he makes a point of explaining that this international recognition did not come about by chance, alluding to the long journey he had to make until he reached the spas of the Six Senses and Anantara chains. “I had to walk for several years to get here”, he notes.
It all started in the 90s, when he decided to leave the mathematics course for computer graphics, in Coimbra, behind and look for a new direction for his life. Fate led him to find a degree in Chinese medicine. Her connection to the martial arts and her parents' professional experience also contributed to this - her mother had an herbalist and her father was a pharmacist. “I was part of Pedro Choy's second class in Portugal. He managed to pass me this passion for Chinese medicine ”, he says, regarding the one who was only one of several steps that had to go up. After finishing his degree, he went to graduate school in England, also went to China "to gain a little more practice", did a few more trainings - one of them took him back to the United Kingdom - and developed a research that would come to be recognized internationally: “I discovered a technique for people to stop smoking in just one session”, he affirms.
Treatments for millionaires
As of 2016, and hitchhiking to this anti-cigarette treatment, Rui Pedro Loureiro started receiving invitations to take his treatments to some renowned hotels. It started in Portugal, at the invitation of Six Senses, in an experience that later extended to Spain, Greece and other more distant destinations, such as Qatar and Kuwait. “However, other large companies have started to invite me too”, reports the acupuncturist, who has a more or less fixed routine in the hotels he visits. “I consult guests and define a plan, based on a healthy vacation concept. Most of my patients are CEOS and are often exhausted, with a lot of stress. They go a week or two, do acupuncture, epigenetics, follow their own eating plan, associated with some activities such as yoga and therapeutic massages ”, he specifies. Another of Rui Pedro Loureiro's missions is to help form teams in spas wherever he goes.
The offices he occupies around the world - most of the time with a direct view of the sea - essentially serve millionaires (and some famous ones as well), and it is certain that this is a growing market. “With all this confinement, people are going to need even more retreats. This year and the next ones, the watchwords will be: health, well-being and the immune system ”, he stresses. "The big hotels are realizing this and predict that the demand for these retreats will increase in the near future", he adds.
For those who cannot afford this luxury, here are some tips accessible to all scholarships: “Be calm, take a deep breath and focus on maintaining stable mental health. It is also important that they drink plenty of water, hydration is essential to hydrate the part of the brain and kidney - the latter, in Chinese medicine, improves self-esteem and self-confidence ”, he suggests. “And it is necessary to move, fighting sedentary lifestyle”, he exhorts. To this care, we must also add a diet rich in “local and seasonal fruits and vegetables”. “It is no use eating things that are on the other side of the world; these things will do good to the people who live there ", he maintains, leaving this last tip:" it is important to avoid excesses; realize how many calories we eat and how many we burn ”.
Do you have the notion that you have an enviable job?
People often tell me that. They think it is fabulous to be in these luxury resorts, with all these conditions. However, this life is a little lonely. I am estranged from my family, particularly my son, who is eight, and my friends. And sometimes they are months of absence.
But there is a positive side ...
Yes. Since 2016/2017 I spend the New Year in a different part of the world: Maldives, Barbados, etc. And since I started doing winter in hot areas and summer in Portugal, I stopped having cold winters.
Of all the spas where has your favorite been?
It is a difficult question. There are some that are beautiful for the location, others for the resort itself. Perhaps highlighting a top three: the Anantara from Thailand and the Maldives, and the Six Senses from Crete, Greece.
In normal situations, without a pandemic, how much time do you spend outside?
I try that the stays abroad are not too long because I also have my patients in Portugal, who need my accompaniment. In general, in total, I spend half a year away and six months in Portugal
Computer, mobile phone and needles: three objects essential to the work of Rui Pedro Loureiro