Are you ‘bile’, ‘phlegm’ or ‘wind’? Discovering at a luxury Swiss spa the benefits of knowing your Tibetan energy type

Antonis, the head therapist of Tibetan medicine, looks me in the eye and says: ‘You’re not very emotional, are you?’ I’m not sure how to respond. I mumble a confused answer and we continue with what’s turning out to be a thorough health consultation, as he checks my pulse and presses me about my diet, digestion, family history and more.

He then explains that, in Tibetan medicine, we are all one of the three energy types: bile, phlegm or wind. Charming. I’m bile, with top notes of phlegm, if you must know. When mind, body and nature are not in harmony, it causes anger in bile, attachment in wind and ignorance in phlegm. Or something like that. Antonis personalises a programme for me.

This isn’t the white fluffy robe and slippers love-in that I was expecting at The Alpina Gstaad. But it’s intriguing, and I have most of the place to myself. Despite the imposing facade of turrets and timber, there are only 56 bedrooms. My ‘group’ tai chi and yoga lessons are just one-on-one. As no one else fancies sweating it out in the women-only sauna or steam rooms, I’m on my own, as I am in the steamy outdoor pool.

My chakras (if I have them) don’t seem to appreciate the hour-long session to rebalance them, and my colours aren’t in the mood to be healed either, but the Tibetan singing bowl therapy is different.

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