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  • Flora Gandolfo


Middle East's first full immersion wellbeing resort to welcome world-leading health practitioners

Pioneering wellness destination Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, Qatar, has announced its 2023 Practitioners-In-Residence programme, covering a range of practices, from Sorensensistem™ facial reflexology and Somatic Experiencing therapy to workshops and mentoring sessions on complete life transformation. Zulal's sophomore Practitioners-in-Residence programme offers guests the opportunity to benefit from the skills and knowledge of some of the most acclaimed health experts from around the world in both individual and group sessions.

Pictured (l-r): Smitha Jayakumar; Rajesh Ramani; Mariko Hiyama; Gonca Alban; Rajeshwari Amol Nerukar; Phil Davies

The 2023 programme includes:

Smitha Jayakumar, Personal Mentor and Counsellor (05-26 January)

Jayakumar’s journey began as a monk in the Hindu tradition during her early years, before working as a life enhancement mentor to guide individuals through relationship enhancement, emotional balance and self-acceptance. A certified CEB™ (Cultivating Emotional Balance) teacher, a practice that combines Buddhist psychology and practices with modern tools, Jayakumar creates sustainable strategies to help enhance stress dissolution and facilitate a shift in personal thinking.

Rajesh Ramani, Motivational Speaker (05-26 January)

A life enhancement mentor and teacher, Ramani has trained and worked in spiritual philosophy for the past 18 years. Through powerful processes of reflection and insights, he has helped individuals to become free of conflicting repetitive responses, heal unresolved emotions, establish greater connections in relationships and rediscover core strengths and values.

Mariko Hiyama, Facial Reflexologist (01-28 February)

A qualified Sorensensistem™ facial reflex therapist and instructor, Mariko Hiyama’s treatments combine oriental medicine, needle-less acupuncture techniques and neuroanatomy to tackle disease within the body by balancing the organs and endocrine, lymphatic and circulatory systems. Between her facial reflexology work, Hiyama also teaches various healing methods including Yoga and Qi Gong classes for those who are interested in acquiring knowledge on these techniques for general wellbeing.

Gonca Alban, Somatic Experiencing Therapy (01-23 March)

After over a decade of teaching and practicing yoga, which increased her awareness of her body, mind and emotions, Gonca Alban discovered Somatic Experiencing which heled her to understand herself and her attitude towards life. Somatic Experiencing teaches simple, powerful strategies that mobilise the body’s innate self-healing systems to relieve physical, emotional and psychological symptoms, including trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress, depression and fatigue.

Rajeshwari Amol Nerukar, Chakra Healing & Physical Therapy (25 April-25 May)

An expert in Chakra Healing, Nerukar is proficient in healing therapies such as Prana, an ancient healing system to heal the mood, body and spirit; Abhyanga, a traditional Indian massage using a combination of soothing and symmetrical local strokes to regulate the circulatory and nervous system; and Asian Sound Healing, which uses Tibetan singing bowls to harmonise and allow deep relaxation of both sides of the brain. Nerukar also has two decades’ experience as a physical therapy practitioner and posses profound skill and knowledge in Asian Bodywork Massage Therapy, used to treat muscular strain and sport injuries.

Phil Davies, Vibrational Attunement Therapy (01 May-01 June)

For the past 22 years Davies has been assisting people on their healing and spiritual journeys as a Vibrational Attunement Therapy specialist, a non-intrusive, energy therapy that uses frequency and light quotient as well as the higher consciousness to help individuals recognise and embrace challenges and issues that surround them. He is also skilled in Reiki, Sekhem, Magnified Healing, Marlin Trinity Healing, Akashic Records, Trance Work, Kinesiology and Shadow Work.

Additional names announced for 2023 include structural integration and scar tissue therapist Maria Hussain and life energy healer and certified hypnotherapist Mawya Dwaikat – one of the first Rapid Transformational therapy practitioners in Qatar. 2022 saw Zulal Wellness Resort welcome international authority and visionary on functional exercise and posture, Ivana Daniell, and acclaimed remedial massage specialist and inner child expert, Claude Simard, as part of its visiting practitioner programme.

Healing Holidays (; 020 7843 3597) can arrange a three-night Taste Of Zulal retreat from GBP2,419 per person based on two adults sharing, including transfers, full board accommodation and all retreat inclusions. The Taste Of Zulal retreat programme includes a health and wellness consultation on arrival; choice of daily treatment; one classic fitness activity; one deluxe fitness activity; one deluxe holistic activity; one classic physio treatment; one classic spa treatment; and three wellness cuisine meals daily. Prices shown are subject to availability and exclude flights.

– ENDS –


Zulal Wellness Resort is a unique wellbeing haven, brought to life by Qatar’s premier master developers, Msheireb Properties. Set to be Qatar’s largest wellness destination, and the Middle East’s first wellbeing resort, Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, the region’s largest holistic wellness resort and the world's first contemporary showcase of Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine (TAIM).

Located in Khasooma, a private coastal location to the north of Qatar, Zulal Wellness Resort brings visitors a luxurious experience, offering the highest international standards that are inclusive of local family values. Zulal, which is an Arabic word meaning ‘pure natural water,’ offers two exclusive venues for health and wellbeing. Adults can access a wide range of therapeutic and lifestyle enhancement treatments based upon traditional Arabic and Islamic wellness principles in the Zulal Serenity, and Zulal Discovery enables families to enjoy positive wellness experiences together, inspiring young children and their parents with fun, interactive activities that help them learn more about adopting a healthy lifestyle.


Since 1995, the award-winning Chiva-Som has pioneered transformative wellness practices to global acclaim. Its commitment to an innovative, holistic approach which expertly balances mind, body and spirit continues to this day with its flagship resort in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Optimal, bespoke wellness lies at the heart of each Chiva-Som experience. With its unique synergy of indigenous traditions and evidence-based wellness, Chiva-Som partners with guests on highly personalised wellness journeys focused on complete lifestyle transformation. At the new Zulal Wellness Resort these extend to the entire family.

Guests are motivated throughout their journey by knowledgeable and caring staff, who address their goals with the unique heart of Chiva-Som hospitality.

Chiva-Som’s approach to wellness extends to the wider community, with educational opportunities and global sustainability initiatives at the core of everything we do.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Harvey (, Nat Frogley ( or Flora Gandolfo ( at Frog & Wolf PR.

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