Holistic Mental Health Healing with Dr Stefania Doria

Holistic Mental Health Healing with Dr Stefania Doria


As part of our ongoing Insider Interview series, we regularly sit down with wellness professionals across our portfolio of resorts to for detailed insights into their specialisms and how they help their clients. Today we sit down with Dr Stefania Doria of Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda to talk all things holistic mental health!

1. You're an extremely accomplished psychiatrist, psychologist and nutritionist. How do you integrate this with your expertise in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine - do all of these field of knowledge complement one another?

Everything happened spontaneously, driven by the curiosity and flexibility naturally present in my mind and temperament. When I was young, I was a doctor with very high scientific standards working at a university and in a hospital in the centre of Milan. During these long years, I developed a clinical and pharmacological awareness strictly based on Western standards, but thanks to my curiosity and sensitivity, I have always felt attracted at the same time to older Medicines than the Hippocratic one, especially TCM and Ayurvedic Medicine. I have spent a lot of time in China and India studying their medicine with them, being able to find my own integrated approach with between Shen, Qi and Jing, the three treasures of TCM, mind body and spirit, the three treasures of Hippocratic medicine and the Prana and Doshas of Ayurvedic medicine, succeeding in giving full expression to the holistic aspect integrated between these Medicines aiming at achieving a holistic treatment of the patient.

2. What does a typical day at Lefay look like for you?

I start with a clinical "Hippocratic" interview to find out the client's state of health in terms of Western medicine, then I integrate it with an energy examination, i.e. with an analysis of the wrists, because in TCM the pulse works a bit like an internal energy ultrasound of all our organs. Based on the response of the wrists, I design the treatment for the patient with that type of Shen of Qi and Jing, establishing the type of massage, which acupuncture points should be treated, which Chinese herbs should be taken as infusions and which foods should be eaten to nourish the three treasures of Chinese medicine and to re-establish, according to Hippocratic medicine, the balance between mind, body and (secular) spirit.

3. Could you tell us more about your studies into yoga and it's benefits for those with anxiety disorders?

When I was working in a hospital, I conducted experimental research about Yoga activity on a psycho-physiological level and thanks to the results obtained, the research was published in a prestigious international magazine: Journal of Affective Disorder on June 24, 2015. I conducted this study on patients with mild to moderate anxiety and depression and all of them showed a very significant decrease in symptoms. This data demonstrates that yoga is an excellent therapeutic remedy and that it can be combined with the use of pharmacological remedies, if necessary, at the minimum effective dosage. The therapeutic power of Yoga lies in Patanjali's description of the 8 petals and the physiological power of Yoga lies in the possibility, through Pranajama, of activating the Parasympathetic System over the Sympathetic System and diminishing the symptoms of sympathetic activation. Stress is an over-activation of the Sympathetic System and Yoga is an excellent therapeutic remedy for this condition.

4. What is one thing we should all be doing to maintain good mental health?

Energies between Shen QI and Jing or between mind body and spirit (secular) which means being aware of who you are and how you are without fear. This keeps all our biological systems in dynamic balance. This keeps all our biological systems in dynamic balance. Nowadays we talk a lot, even too much, about Awareness, Resilience and Flexibility but rarely do we manage to successfully embody these 3 aspects within ourselves. Very often, too often we become too rigid with the mind and the body, and this blocks the flow of the energy, of the prana of the breath, blocking us in our biological systems.

5. Who can benefit from acupuncture?

Acupuncture in my experience as a psychiatrist is the therapy of choice for physical illnesses caused by chronic stress. Patients often come to the surgery with perfect examinations, but they report feeling unwell and this malaise alters their quality of life. Acupuncture, exactly because of its rebalancing energy action, can bring excellent results. In the same way, it is also an excellent therapy for musculoskeletal disorders.

6. What are your favourite things about Lefay's resorts?

Everything!!! From examinations to team meetings, individual interviews to interactions with the chefs, because at Lefay I talk to the whole team all the time for the wellbeing of the Guest, who is always examined from a holistic point of view and therefore food is also really important.

7. How are guests equipped to continue feeling their best after their stay at Lefay?

In the final interview I place a lot of emphasis on making the guests aware of how they have changed since they arrived, what has happened in them, because only through this awareness will they be able to continue the positive change started at Lefay, even at home. We also give them a sort of final letter with advice to be carried out at home. In addition, we are also starting a new series of online meetings with guests who wish to do so in order to follow up remotely and always check their state of well-being.


Would you like to experience Dr Doria's holistic approach to mental health first-hand? 

Talk to one of our Wellness Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss booking a wellness holiday at Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda today!

Dr Stefania Doria   About Dr Stefania Doria

Stefania Doria is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and acupuncturist, and is committed to a personal and patient-centred approach.
Thanks to the experience she has acquired in the medical field, her knowledge of oriental/ayurvedic medicine and integrated medicine she is able to explore, and evaluate with the patient, the most suitable therapies for achieving a state of well-being. She is manager and medical director of the Studio Medico Quantico in Milan. Within her Centre she has several collaborators trained and specialised in other fields such as: Nutritionist, holistic medicine doctor, Yoga therapist, Massophysiotherapist, Psychologist specialised in clinical hypnosis, TMS for treatment of addictions.


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