In Conversation With Dr. George Gaitanos, Chief Operating and Scientific Officer, Chenot Group

Dr. George Gaitanos is the Chief Operating and Scientific Officer, Chenot Group. With more than 35 years’ experience in the promotion of optimum health he has worked with elite international athletes as an expert in energy metabolism and recovery, Dr. Gaitanos is now responsible for the development of the award-winning programmes delivered at Chenot health wellness retreats worldwide.  

Read our fascinating interview to discover more about his approach to maintaining optimal health. 

How / what first sparked your interest in the Chenot Method?

The Chenot Method® was very interesting to me because there was a defined, well framed methodology focusing on ageing in the sense of prevention rather than cure. Back then ageing was not seen as a medical condition so the Chenot Method® was advanced in its focus on health instead of disease. Now we see ageing as a condition that affects all of us.  

And how did your involvement with the Chenot Group evolve?

I joined Chenot 10 years ago as Scientific Director. I was fortunate to work closely with Henri Chenot to help him develop the Chenot Palace concept and the programmes we offer today. While the principles of the Chenot Method® are the same as those first developed by Henri in the 70s, I have worked to ensure that everything we do today is backed up by the latest scientific research. I feel very humbled to have taken the reins from Henri, and to be able to continue to develop his vision for optimal health.  

Your current role is fundamental to the continued development of the brand within the health wellness sector. Please tell us more about how you have positioned Chenot Palace Weggis as a leading health and wellness retreat. 

Our differentiation is that at Chenot we have built our success around a concept (the Chenot Method®) with a scientific background and holistic approach to wellness, combining precision medicine, Traditional Chinese healing and luxury hospitality. The fundamentals of what we do are quite simple: We are aiming to restore our body’s natural ability to heal itself from within. 

And how will you continue to maintain this position and differentiate from other wellness retreats?

What differentiates us from other retreats is that we are focused on promoting health, we focus on prevention rather than cure. Our aim is to unlock the potential of your body, to improve functionality and help you become the healthiest version of yourself. Our Method is also continually evolving, backed by the latest science and newly available treatments.

What can a client expect from the award-winning programmes at Chenot Palace Weggis? 

Clients come to Chenot for a total reset – we look at their body and health as a system of interconnected parts, we clean it and re-energise it so they leave ready to perform better and reach optimal health.

Do these programmes differ from retreat to retreat? For example, does the geographical location have any influence? 

Wherever you decide to experience Chenot the same principles underpin our approach to health wellness. Geographical location does not play a major role, the key difference is the level of flexibility and intensity of the experience. Our Chenot Palace resorts are next generation health wellness retreats, the Chenot Espace resorts offer a more flexible approach to the Chenot Method® and the Chenot Spas provide an introduction to our approach to health wellness with the possibility of a la carte treatments. 

With medical and technological advances, people are living longer than ever before. Do you think we (the human race) are prepared for greater longevity? How can we better prepare ourselves to lead a fully active and fulfilling life at any age?

A key problem we face as a society when seeking to lead fully active lives in our later years, is our attitude towards health. Western medicine has always been designed around sickness, not health. We need a mindset shift which seeks to promote health rather than address symptoms.

Do you believe that people should ‘grow old gracefully’?

What does it mean to grow old gracefully? Does this mean accepting that as time passes we inevitably experience a decline in function, leading to disease? I’d prefer people to grow older healthily – respect and support their natural biological functions, promote recovery and enjoy social connections and, of course, a sense of purpose.

A scientific personalised wellness programme is a truly unique experience, something that is highly sought after in the luxury market. How have you seen demands evolve? And what are your predictions for the next five years within this sector?

There is a growing trend to know more about real time health status, and people are increasingly turning to innovative technologies and devices to gain valuable insights into their bodies.

One of the most exciting developments that helps to determine the biological ageing status is the launch of the Chenot Molecular Lab for Optimal Living. Here we can quantify the relative expression of important genes associated with the presence of silent inflammation, oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, structural integrity of connective tissue and biological ageing – we can see whether these genes are turned ‘on’ or ‘off’ and to what degree. This innovation addresses another current trend – personalisation of wellness offerings. Only 20% of your health is predetermined by your genetic makeup, whereas 80% is determined by your lifestyle which is why knowing the expression of genes is important. After the test, we are able to prescribe an effective personalised treatment plan to downregulate undesirable gene activity and optimise health.

Luxury is highly subjective – what does it mean to you? 

Our health is invaluable because without it, all the wealth and luxury items in the world lose their value and meaning. Good health allows us to lead fulfilling lives, it enables us to enjoy meaningful relationships amongst many other things. Health also impacts our mental well-being, productivity, and overall quality of life. Taking care and control of your own health is luxury in itself.

What is your life motto? If you have one. 

Stop ageing, start living.

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