What to Expect at the Hormone Balance Clinic at Costa Navarino

This spring, Dr. Sabine Wünschmann leads an exceptional wellness retreat at Costa Navarino, promising to be equally pampering and educational.

By Paulina Björk Kapsalis

Do you know what affects our hormones, or how you feel when they’re out of balance? Did you know that changes in lifestyle and environment can greatly alter the way we feel? Dr. Sabine Wünschmann, a renowned obstetrician gynecologist and women’s hormone and endocrine expert, who will lead a special Hormone Balance Clinic at Costa Navarino on May 17-21, explains that most of us, women in particular, periodically experience symptoms caused by a drop in hormonal health – changes ranging from fatigue and anxiety to fertility challenges and pain – which can all be treated or even eliminated with holistic lifestyle changes.

Participants at the retreat will start their days with yoga and meditation (led by hatha yoga and integral transformational yoga instructor Maria Maleviti), followed by breakfast, educational seminars with Dr. Wünschmann, exclusive treatments at the world-renowned Anazoe Spa, special meals, and cooking classes (taught by anti-inflammatory cooking educator Kanelli Scalcoyannis).

In a conversation with Dr. Wünschmann, we talked about what it means to care for your hormonal health, struggles that every woman goes through before finding it, and exactly what we might expect from the retreat.

You have over 30 years of experience working in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology and holistic medicine. What drew you to these specialties?

My elementary school teachers actually encouraged my parents to consider me becoming a doctor, as I was always caring for others when they fell ill or needed assistance, whether it was fellow children, adults, or animals. I had a deep desire to serve, and ended up pursuing medicine at the University of Frankfurt and specialized in obstetrics and gynecology.

However, it was only after becoming a parent that I became intrigued by holistic and integrative medicine. Witnessing my own children’s health challenges sparked an interest in exploring ways to address illness at its root cause, rather than merely treating symptoms with repetitive antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. This journey opened up an additional pathway for me to understand and approach illness more comprehensively.

Tell me about the retreat at Costa Navarino. Who should come?

I am thrilled to lead the Hormone Balance Clinic retreat at Costa Navarino! In a world that’s constantly accelerating, it’s essential to create sanctuaries where women can not only gain knowledge but also experience practices that enhance their hormonal health. Costa Navarino, which is nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, is renowned for its slow living ethos, which enhances the healing process.

In short, the retreat is designed to empower women to take control of their well-being, allowing them to thrive with hormones working for them, not against them.

And it’s for women only. Why are women in particular in more need of hormonal health education?

Women often require more hormonal education due to the unique and complex nature of their hormonal and endocrine systems, which undergo significant fluctuations throughout various stages of life, such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause.

Moreover, societal and cultural factors may contribute to a lack of understanding or awareness about women’s hormonal health. Historically, women’s health concerns have often been marginalized or overlooked in medical research and education, leading to a knowledge gap and inadequate support for addressing hormonal imbalances. Educating women about their hormonal health empowers them to make informed decisions about their bodies, advocate for their healthcare needs, and proactively manage hormonal imbalances to improve their quality of life. In other words, education is what can ultimately promote early detection of hormonal disorders or conditions.

What should participants expect at the retreat?

The entire retreat is designed to experientially learn, and each day, our focus will center on the fundamental pillars of hormone health. The participants will embark on a carefully curated journey designed to stimulate organ function, which is key. This includes engaging in morning yoga classes, pelvic floor strength sessions, and hormone education classes aimed at understanding which habits bolster or hinder hormone production. These educational sessions are tailored to empower women to comprehend and implement necessary changes.

The human body operates much like a symphony orchestra; if one section is out of tune, it impacts the entire symphony. To support each organ’s function, we have also crafted a culinary experience and offer culinary lessons to ensure participants can maintain these beneficial habits long after they leave the retreat. Furthermore, the award-winning Anazoe Spa will provide participants with daily pampering sessions that detoxify and rejuvenate the body.

Being immersed in the unspoiled landscape of Costa Navarino in spring will be beneficial too. Early morning yoga surrounded by nature will harmonize their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, otherwise known as the “stress response.”

When they leave, participants will take with them a greater understanding of how to protect their hormone and endocrine health. They’ll have knowledge on the production of healthy hormones, how to safely eliminate harmful ones, what tests are good to do and when, and what practices will keep them healthy well into old age.

What are some of the most common complaints from women of symptoms that may be due to hormonal imbalances?

There are the well-known hormonal imbalances, such as menstrual irregularities, fertility challenges, and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, and then there are some less talked about but problematic symptoms like menstrual migraines, low sex drive, chronic urinary tract infections, and vaginal infections, which may not immediately be recognized as hormonal. These also include mental health challenges, like anxiety and memory issues, as well as physical discomforts like stiff joints and skin conditions. Then we have chronic fatigue, migraines, and autoimmune symptoms. The diversity of these symptoms really underscores the intricate connection between hormonal health and overall well-being.

Are there simple solutions or tips you can share for treating such symptoms? Any key factors that most women need to evaluate?

Improving gut health and addressing inflammation is of most importance. Most need to address stress and the HPA axis to regulate hormone production. Also, eliminating endocrine disruptors and focusing regularly on liver health.

You encourage women to “savor the journey of menopause.” Could you explain what that means?

The meaning of savoring the journey is to embrace this transitional phase of life with a positive and empowered mindset, viewing it as an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and transformation. Instead of dreading or resisting the changes associated with menopause, such as hormonal fluctuations, physical symptoms, and societal perceptions of aging, savoring the journey involves approaching it with acceptance, gratitude, and a sense of curiosity for changes that must be implemented. By approaching menopause with this mindset, women can navigate the transition with greater ease and joy.

At Costa Navarino, we enjoy spa treatments based on the holistic ideas of ancient Greece. Do you find our history and environment as inspiring as we do?

Yes! A lot of my work is inspired by Hippocrates encouraging patients to “let food be thy medicine,” and I use functional medicine components in order to optimize the organic function. Greece is blessed with year-round sunshine, plentiful access to organic fruits and vegetables of high quality – without mass production and refrigeration methods – and excellent terrain, mountains and sea where one can be physically active in nature in a myriad of different ways. Vitamin D is a vital component of hormone health, and the accessibility to fresh organic food without endocrine disruptors is one of Greece’s best assets.

Discover more about the wellness retreat


Dr Sabine Wünschmann, a cutting edge Gynaecologist, Obstetrician, and Hormone Expert with over 30 years of experience, is a graduate of Frankfurt University Medical School and has completed international practicums in South Africa and London. She has expanded her practice to encompass integrative medicine, specializing in minimal invasive surgery, holistic menopause management, natural childbirth, homeopathy, and functional medicine. Known for her medication-free relief approaches, Dr. Sabine created the globally acclaimed “Hormone Harmony” program, empowering women to naturally heal from hormonal imbalances. She has authored numerous programs addressing a range of issues including menstrual migraines, immune health, recurrent urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and hot flashes, thus guiding women towards natural healing.

Disclaimer: The retreat does not claim to diagnose, treat, prescribe, overcome or cure any disease or ailment. Those clients with acute or chronic illness must seek advice from a qualified health professional or GP. It is understood that the retreat is to educate guests in key aspects of hormone health creation.