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Athens Marathon 2018 hit record numbers, huge enthousiasm and grief

Posted by moodhacker on November 12, 2018 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Some 55,000 professional and amateur athlete participated in the 36th “Athens Marathon. The Authentic”, on November 11 in the Greek capital, breaking last year’s record of 51,000 participants.

The event included the 42,195-meter Marathon Race, the morning 5km and 10km road races, the power walking race, the afternoon 5km race, the kids’ and Special Olympics race.

The 36th Athens Authentic Marathon took place in the Greek capital on Sunday, with the participation of a record number of 55,000 runners from 106 countries. People of all ages took part in the event, which had people running 5 and 10-kilometer routes, and also a special one for children and another one for people with special needs.

Around 18,750 runners competed in the historic 42-km route from Marathon into the Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro), with participants passing through areas affected by the fires which devastated the area in July.

Mayor of Marathon, Ilias Psinakis said this year’s race was dedicated to the 99 people who lost their lives in the East Attica wildfires and also held a one minute silence in their honour.

Brimin Kipkorir of Kenya won the 36th Athens Marathon, beating Ethiopia’s Tesfa Wokneth by almost two minutes.

Muriuki Shelmith Nyawira from Kenya was the first woman to finish the race, coming in at 17th spot, followed by Koech Rebby Cherono from Kenya ranking 21, and Eleftheria Petroulaki from Greece came in at 30th place.


With tears in her eyes, the Greek Olympic gold medalist Athanasia Tsoumeleka stopped running and began walking through a black-clad crowd lining the street,.fourteen kilometres into the Athens marathon.

That was because she had just reached Mati, the grief-stricken coastal village near Greece's capital, Athens, where 99 people lost their lives to devastating wildfires some three months ago.

"It was as if you were breathing the souls of the people that perished," Tsoumeleka, winner of the women's 20km walk in the Athens 2004 Olympics, told Al Jazeera.

"The race felt like it was honouring the lost lives.

"You could see that the people were trying to be happy and support us but there was endless grief in their eyes," the 36-year-old said.

The record 18,750 participants from 105 countries ran the historical 42km route of the Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday, cutting right across Mati and passing through decimated forest areas as well as blackened and burned houses.

Banners saying "I will not forget" and "99 victims" were hung along the way, as black balloons flew into the sky.

The spectators, many of whom were dressed in plain mourning black or dark t-shirts emblazoned with the words "I love Mati", cheered and clapped to encourage the passing runners.

Greece should teach the Greek experience of Well-being' to the world

Posted by moodhacker on November 12, 2018 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

George Patoulis: "We aim to offer the opportunity to Attica Region to become the place of the earth where Health travelers would be cured and revitalized."

The 4th Panhellenic Congress of Thermal Medicine at Kamena Vourla, Central Greece, closed its works today, October 14th 2018, announcing important scientific findings on Holistic, Wellness and Thermal Medicine, by the participation of Greek and international experts.

"Thermal tourism is the niche market and privileged particularity of our country that upgrades the Greek cities and regions to Health and Wellness destinations unique to the world travelers. Greece is rushing to meet the chance of the Health and Wellness Travelers’ boom expected in the near future, who rediscover in Greece the first Medical Tourism destination of antiquity", the President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), President of Athens Medical Association (ISA), and President of the National Council of Health Tourism ELITOUR, George Patoulis stated in his speech.

Addressing the specialized audience of Greek and international holistic and medical scientists at the at the 4th Panhellenic Congress of Thermal Medicine in Kamena Vourla, Mr.Patoulis stressed that in 2025 Health Tourism is estimated to become worldwide the 2nd largest industry after health and pharmaceutical industry, and presented the unique comparative advantages Greece has, over most of the international Health Travel destinations, for the development of spa and medi-spa tourism. G.Patoulis called the official state to collaborate closely with Greece’s local and regional government for the exploitation of the 750 natural mineral Thermal springs that are found in Greece .

The 4th Panhellenic Congress of Thermal Medicine titled "Updating of Thermal Medicine in the Light of the Holistic Approach" is co-organized by the Hellenic Academy of Thermal Medicine and the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, under the chairmanship of the Professor of Dermatology and President of the Hellenic Academy of Thermal Medicine Konstantinos Kouskoukis, and has been held by the participation of prominent Greek and foreign scientists of Holistic Medicine, representatives of foreign embassies, representatives of Greece’s local government, and also politicians and representatives of the Tourism and investment sector of Greece..

The President of the Hellenic Academy of Medical Medicine, Konstantinos Kouskoukis, presenting the newest findings of Complementary and Thermal Medicine, stressed that “the updating of Thermal Medicine is critical for Greece, firstly due to the demand shown by international travelers and patients on complementary therapies, secondly due to the inclusion of Thalassotherapy Units and Centers of Thalassotherapy in Primary Health Care, as well as the application of the provisions on patient mobility for holistic and thermal therapies in the European Union countries "

President of KEDE Giorgos Patoulis especially congratulated for his Action Plan on the exploitation of the Thermal Springs of Kamena Vourla , the Mayor of Kamena Vourla- Molos- Ag. Konstantinos, Ioannis Sykiotis, who, "made a breakthrough on Municipal Development in the field of Thermalism, and succeeded in highlighting the healing wealth of his region to Greek and international travelers, starting by the renaming of the Municipality of Molos- Agios Konstantinos, to Municipality of Kamena Vourla- Molos Konstantinos so as to re- launch a Thermal Tourism brand name to the area "

"We are aiming to establish Greece as one of Europe's largest Thermal centers, but still, the 696 of the country's 750 Thermal Springs remain untapped.

We call on the Local Government to insist in our effort to transform all health tourism areas of our country, the Blue Zones, and the Greek Regions into a chain of certified points of Thermal Tourism that will attract the Traveler to repeat his visits to Greece for his health and rejuvenation. We promise to do our best for Attica Region to become the cradle of Health Tourism of the 3rd millennium", concluded President of KEDE George Patoulis, who is running for Regional Attica governor next May

Experiential contact with the world of nature through the ancient Greek mythology

Posted by moodhacker on November 12, 2018 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Greek Nature: A Journey into the myth, is one among the very interesting educational programms launched by Oceanis Filyra, a Health Travel to Greece network , which designs and implements educational programs for children, as well as high aesthetics cultural activities for adults.

The cultural experiential programs are addressed to children and adults, especially also to to travelers and visitors in Greece, as well as expatriates children of the younger generations of the Hellenes Abroad 

All Oceanis Filyra educational programs are approved by the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. The programs objectives are to create positive stimuli for children, aiming at creative thinking and acquiring new knowledge through experiential and interdisciplinary activities.The programs for children utilize modern theories of learning and enhance informal education while all are carried out by experienced and scientifically qualified staff..

Adult visitors have also the choice of a variety of cultural activities programs,aiming to discover unknown aspects of history and civilization and reach a deeper connection with the Greek Cultural Heritage.

The philosophy of the programs, such as "Greek Nature: A Journey into the myth","The journey of Water in ancient times. The journey of Water today", and more,  is to familiarize the participating pupils with the ancient Greek mythical tradition, through an experiential walking tour, which is directly related to the world of nature.

In particular, pupils, through their participation in the educational program, cover t6he following  variety of objectives:



Through their participation in the program pupils will be able to:

  • Understand that many plants owe their names to Gods or heroes of the ancient Greeks and are closely related to the Greek mythological tradition
  • Recognize the intimate relationship that ancient Greeks had with the natural environment, as well as discover the timeless belief that plants are a loyal partner in people’s lives.
  • Comprehend the interaction between man and the environment, based on the values ​​of environmental education.
  • Develop their creative skills with group art activities, which will encourage the expression of ideas, experiences and emotions.
  • Use dialogue as a way of expression to enliven narration.


  • Develop interest in Greek mythology.
  • Develop interest in the natural and man-made environment.


  • Develop ecological consciousness and awareness.


  • Develop creative skills by encouraging the expression of ideas, experiences and feelings through their works.
  • Comprehend that art is a great way of expression.


  • Feel the joy of creation and acquire the ability to express their ideas.
  • Comprehend the value of teamwork and collaboration and develop social virtues.
  • Be entertained.



A. Introduction

Welcoming the pupils, taking some time to get familiar with the area of the J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden and be informed of its rules of operation.Concentration in a specific area where the educational program will be conducted.

Brief narration of plant myths using visual material and interactive discovery.

B. Research activity through observation in the area of ​​the J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden

The children are divided into three groups and directed to the site of Historic Plants accompanied by the program interpreters. Each team through observation conducts research activities and presents the results of its research.

C. Creative Synthetic Activity

Pupils, while maintaining their groups,return to the venue of the program.They are encouraged to develop artistic activities, drawing inspiration from the myths they discovered in their research. Their artwork accompanies them back to the classroom as a reminder of their participation in the educational program.

Research-Design-Implementation of the Educational Program: Panoraia Kalompratsou, Historian – Paleographer MA

Venue: J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden

Age of children: 4–7 years old

Duration: 90 mins

Number of children per program: 25-30

Participation fee: 3 euros per child

Hellenic- German Cooperation for Health Tourism

Posted by moodhacker on November 11, 2018 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Hellenic- German Cooperation for Health Tourism is being established under the auspices of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece within the framework of the Hellenic-German Assembly in Hersonissos, Crete


George Patoulis: "We are working systematically to offer certified Health tourism services, attractive to Germany and third countries"

Greece's Health Tourism and its prospects of growth, with the assistance of Greece’s and German Regional Government support and know how, has been among the central topics discussed at the 8th annual Hellenic-German Assembly, in Hersonissos, Crete.

The President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece Mr. George Patoulis, and the German Minister, authorized commissioner by Chancellor Angela Merkel for the Greek-German Cooperation, Mr. Norbert Barthle, and the Vice-President of the Association of Municipalities and Communities of Germany and President of the Union of Municipalities of Baden-Württemberg Mr. Roger Kehle, made an agreement for the cooperation between Germany and Greece for the further development of Greece’s Health Tourism under the auspices of the Hellenic-German Assembly, that implements the Regional Cooperation of the two countries, with the support of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, in the perspective of a united government of Europe.

The Hellenic- German cooperation for Health Tourism is being activated by an official Working Committee of the two countries with the participation of the local governments’ dignitaries and members of the scientific community of Greece and Germany, which will carry out annual conferences and scientific forums on Health Tourism for the cooperation of the two countries on Medical, Wellbeing and Spa Tourism, with the exchange of Health Tourists and the horizontal collaboration of Medical Specialties, Insurance and Investment Funds .

"Our meeting today takes place here in Hersonissos Crete, on the land of the well-known Cretan diet, a place with a developed rural and tourist economy, all being factors that, together with Greece’s climate conditions, create the ideal background for the promotion of Health Tourism.

The German tourism market sends annually an increasing number of visitors to Greece, - reaching the four million German tourists this year- , and is estimated to strongly benefit from the development of Greece’s Health Tourism. With the cooperation of the German Regional government’s dignitaries we look forward to exploit the opportunities the European Union now offers in this direction ", Mr. George Patoulis, President of the Central Union of Municiplaities of Greece said in his speech at the round table that was held with the participation of medical experts within the framework of the Hellenic- German Assembly.

The President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece ( KEDE) explained that the European Union creates today the ideal conditions for tourism development by removing bureaucratic difficulties, bridging the administrative differences of the EU member states and by implementing the financing policy, "a very favorable conjuncture that invites us to joint forces , " Mr. Patoulis said, adding that Greece offers the advantages that meet the new international trends of Health and Wellness Tourism.

"Many other issues emerging in the field of Health Tourism demand the creative co-operation of the regional government of the two countries" said the President of KEDE, "such as the prospects for the development and utilization of the thermal springs and spa towns of Greece and Germany, with the combination of therapies, conducting training programs, and re-directing health tourists who look for alternative wellness treatments to more than one travel destinations. "

"Medical and Wellness tourism is obviously the most dynamic section of Tourism which could be further developed between Greece and Germany and benefit both countries . The geophysical factors that Greece offers which contribute to the travelers’ health as well as the top scientific expertise, medical and tourism infrastructure and services, our country can offer, aim to attract massive numbers of tourists from the world market ", underlined in his speech Mr. George Patoulis. President of KEDE, President of the National Council of Health Tourism ELITOUR, President of Athens Medical Association (ISA) and President of the International Health Tourism Center.

At Greece’s Health Tourism Round Table, which was held with great success within the framework of the Hellenic-German Assembly, Mr. Constantinos Pantos, Vice President of the International Health Tourism Center, gave a speech on IVF medical tourists visiting today Greece all over the world, while Mr. Constantinos Kouskoukis, President of the Hellenic Academy of Thermal Medicine explained the challenges of the development of Greece’s spa towns. Speakers also were the Secretary General of the International Health Tourism Center and ELITOUR Mr. Petros Mamalakis, the IVF expert, Doctor of the University of Bonn, Mr. Yannis Zervomanolakis, and nutritionist Mrs.Despina Komninou, who presented the new promising sector of Health Tourism, called Medical Nutrition Tourism.

In Athens, Best Hammam Experirence by Luxury Travel

Posted by moodhacker on November 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

At the center of the historic city of Athens, at the shadows of the sacred rock of the Acropolis, you can visit a unique place of relaxation, hospitalization and purification of body, soul and spirit, the best Hammam in Europe, Polis Hammam, according to the Luxury Travel Guide.


in ancient Greece, the healing plants used the energy of water for healing purposes, a habit that the Romans continued, evolved in the Byzantine times to become a popular habit of the Greeks who lived in Constantinople and Smyrna.

Today Polis Hammam located in the busy Athens near Psirri, gives you an alternative by allowing you some self-relaxing time.

The Story of Hammam

A «scent» of East exudes Polis Hammam and a journey in the Ottoman history begins where legends and reality become one.

But what is the Hammam for all those who do not know... however the elders definitely remember and reminisce ...

Hammam is a timeless value as many centuries since its creation, still continues to be first in people's preferences and attracts all those who desire health and wellness along with a journey of all senses through time.

From the past, Turkish baths played an important role in shaping the culture as they were meeting points for social gatherings, body and soul purification, relaxation but also pursued the practical cleansing needs because only few homes had bath amenities.

The baths were the first buildings that the Ottoman Turks constructed in a city as it was an important aspect of everyday life of the inhabitants. Of course, the hammam was not discovered by the Ottomans as baths existed since Greek and Roman times and the Byzantine Empire.

For many years, the tradition of the hammam was integrated into the multicultural mosaic of Greece and was essential in the everyday life of its citizens.

Then the modernization and the Western lifestyle came and memories, values and traditions faded dragging along the hammam too.


Today, the metality of the hammam charms most people as it is an escape from everyday life. In Polis Hammamyou will find the traditional authentic marble hot room with the impressive dome, the polygonal marble bench, the carved basins with the running water, the traditional fountains, along with all the traditional clothes and materials and of course, the necessary rest in the special room with the traditional tea, the spoon sweets, the fresh juices and... the hookahs.

Step Back In Time in this Athenian unique taverna

Posted by moodhacker on November 11, 2018 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

In business since 1887, Diporto – a defiantly traditional spot in downtown Athens – has no sign and no menu. The staff doesn’t speak a word of English, and you might have to share a table with eccentric old men who look like they stepped out of a folk ballad.  But if you ever wondered what it would be like to eat in a working-class Greek taverna circa 1950, read on, (by the Culinary Backstreets editor's note in 2015)

Eversince, Dioprto won its fame among the world travelers and became the suggestion among eclectic ones for the authentic experience it offers as the original Greek taverna that literally steps you back in time 

Diporto is located smack in the middle of what is – at least by day – one of the Athens’ most fascinating areas, home to a variety of specialized marketplaces. Varvakeios, one of the few of its kind in Europe, is the city’s largest fish and meat market, in operation since 1886. Around this enormous, chaotic market, where vendors try to outdo each other in shouting, lies Athens’ traditional center of trade, with streets devoted to specific merchandise: hardware stores and bric-a-brac on Athinas Street; spices, cheeses, kitchen equipment and plants on Evripidou and Sofokleous; doorknobs on Vissis (yes, there is a street dedicated solely to doorknobs).

The basement-level taverna – whose name means “having two doors,” for the very simple reason that there are two doors leading inside – is easy to miss, given the lack of a sign and fact that the place is literally underground. Once you walk down the well-worn steps, a cavernous world of wonders awaits you. The place is dark, with a faded concrete-block mosaic floor and one wall covered in wine barrels, which, unlike at most Athenian taverns, are not meant purely for décor but are actually used to store wine. From the vintage marble sinks and old-fashioned aluminum wine jugs to the garlic wreaths next to a 1950s fridge and the strong smell of food and smoke that sticks to your clothes, the atmosphere is so reminiscent of the Greece of another era as to be almost eerie, as if through stepping through those two doors you have somehow traveled back in time.

This is the kind of place where you can see pretty much anyone from the mayor of Athens to elderly men working in the market who like yelling about politics and their love lives (“I had a Bulgarian girlfriend for five years and then she died,” one man confided to another the last time we were there). There are just eight wooden tables and chairs, meaning that when it’s crowded you might have to sit with total strangers in front of the open kitchen, which is overflowing with pots and pans. The rustic peasant bread is placed directly on the paper tablecloth, without a basket or napkins – all the better for you to tear it with your hands.

Diners don’t come to Diporto looking for the latest in culinary experimentation; choices are limited to only five or six dishes each day, based on what’s in season and available in the nearby markets. The white-haired owner, Mitsos, a rather brusque athletic figure, lets you know what’s on offer. The venue’s wintertime specialty – and, to our minds, the highlight of a meal at Diporto – is an excellent chickpea soup that comes in a large, shallow bowl filled to the brim and doused with olive oil; it’s enough to feed two people. This is simple home cooking, the chickpeas so soft they almost melt in your mouth. Other dishes, such as Greek salad, a plate of small fried fish, fried sausage or bean soup, are also consistently good.

The house white is a good, cloudy retsina and – as is typical in tavernas – it is ordered by the kilo (a quarter, a half kilo or a kilo) and brought to your table in aluminum wine jugs. Retsina, which has been produced in Greece for more than 2000 years, is essentially white wine infused with pine resin, originally added by the ancient Greeks as a preservative. Often this is the simplest, cheapest wine available, but when it’s good there is something deeply comforting about it, making it the ideal accompaniment to Diporto’s home-style cooking.


As one might expect, this is not the kind of place that will necessarily bring you an itemized bill – you’ll have to mime or draw on your tablecloth if you want one. A salad, a chickpea soup, some fish and a quarter-kilo of wine should not cost more than €20. Prices, alas, are the one thing that has kept up with the times here.


photos pinned by Nov 6, 2018

The Culinary Backstreets review was originally published on January 10, 2013.

Yoga by the Acropolis View

Posted by moodhacker on November 11, 2018 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Lynn is from San Francisco and moved to Athens in 2012. She instantly fell in Love with the city and decided to bring her own love for yoga to the Athenians and Athens' visitors. She started offering Kundalini Yoga lessons throughout different spots of the city, but the roof of the Acropolis became the hit.

Most of her lessons are in the form of a bid, that is, everyone gives any amount of money she can and wants.

"Yoga at its core is a technique associated with enlightenment and consciousness. When it came from the East to the West, most of the elements of the "enlightenment" were lost, resulting in much of the yoga we do today being more focused on physical elements rather than on spiritual practice. Kundalini yoga is the form of yoga that places great emphasis on breathing and meditation, and brings the person closer to the traditional goals of yoga. Its purpose is to help the person to the awakening stage which leads to the minful conciousness of living a life as a whole

In addition to the forms of exercise, Lynns also teaches the Enneagram, a character system that helps you discover yourself and those around you.

Information about Lynn on

For more choices of Yoga lessons with the view of Acropolis you can also follow the Moksha Yoga Center at Monastiraki 

Vinyasa Flow all levels with Konstantinos Siozios

There is also available the Yoga on the Roof school, by lessons taking place at PNIKA and at the yoga studios, Kallisperi &Erexhteioy Street next to Acropolis Metro, Special Yoga lessons an dpractise for pregnant wome are also inclkuded

Qigong Retreat In Amorgos to Uplift Your Energy Understanding

Posted by moodhacker on November 11, 2018 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

One of the most Alternative , Holistic Travel choises was offered this year in Greece, by six days Qigong retreat in the blue-white  island of Amorgos, held by the teacher Panagiotis Kontaxis , who writes on the Hellenic health Qigong Association Facebook page  


In a clean and tranquil environment, in an island that keeps true and pure Hellenic island environment,

just a few meters from the sea we will enjoy the practices of Qigong, Dao yin Chinese medicine health exercises, meditation and self massage.

It is one of these moments you are on the process of uplifting your energy. Get to open and prepare you inner ground, know how to discover your energy and prepare yourself for this.

You will be able to learn a new way of thinking and understanding of your body, energy and spirit.

Most important you will start to nourish the most critical representatives of your total health state, your five internal vital organs of heart, kidney, liver, lungs, spleen.

You will learn to breath and vibrate your inner landscape for balancing and harmonizing.

Recovering from tiredness, blockages, high or low fluctuations of your energy.

You will learn via practiting:

Heaven form

Full body Extension Qigong exercises

Tiger walking

Five organs melodies, breathing and dao yin medicine exercises

Expand like heaven, create like heaven in earth, open up your inner body space, calm and clear your mind, raise your potential for better health cultivation, recharge back to your original nature.

An ancient authentic 18 generations inheritage from China and its sacred mountains combines Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong, Daoist Alchemy, Dao Yin, Tuna [breathing], Meditation.

The sessions which took place between 4 - 9 September 2018, included¨


[When environment finds you weak, sickness arises] – This practice is a diamond found in the cave.

Heaven is the mother form. The meaning to heaven as a mother, talks about the foundation skills a qigong practitioner needs to develop. Mother form could provide such skills.

Body structure, body alignment is the root for health. Body movement itself is becoming your own medicine skill.

Moves your energy, opens up your energy channels and centers, expands the pathways to a harmonious flow of nurturing blood.


• 1 minute breathing QIGONG EXERCISE – helps to free yourself from stress in a very simple way, depression, mind confusion, worry, anxiety, nervousness and anger

• DAOIST MEDITATION - looking towards your origin

For the silent moment and for the clarity of the mind is setting the conditions to invite your true qi.


Stretching Qigong is to open up, expand every corner of your body and mind to receive awakening feelings of Qi, to stabilize and refresh the mind, to open the inner body shape space.

Qigong extension exercise form is a series of characteristic internal Daoyin movements which aim at understanding the inner scenery and reaching the integrity of body and spirit through means of body, qi and spirit cultivation. An essential exercise for Qigong practitioners, therapists of all kind and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, a supplementary treatment for patients with chronic diseases.

• Traditional Chinese medicine five organs chanting harmonizing melodies

To support your life essences, you need to support your vital organs.

Chanting is a way to harmonize your breathing vitality with your organs vitality. It’s the way to directly connect to the energy conditions of your Lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, spleen – stomach. Stress, bad eating habits, bad air, overworking, too much of emotions could disturb the functions of the vital organs. This can lead eventually to disharmony and illness.

Amorgos, host place, is the natural environment and wild simplicity of the island that surrounds our Qigong training space. The empowerment from clear air, the natural sounds, the relaxing and refreshing blue sea, the mountains and the breathing of healing herbs and colors will support our qigong practices.

This Qigong 6 days program suits the needs of all levels of qigong practitioners. From raw beginners, never exposed to qigong, to more advanced. For people who like Daoist philosophy or activities in nature, massage therapists, energy healers, people interested in Chinese medicine, dancers, physiotherapists, energy practitioners, sports fans, runners, people of the city it will enhance your health cultivation understanding.

With Panagiotis Kontaxakis


About the teachers:

Panagiotis Kontaxakis: a graduate of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science of University of Athens and ex-national champion and record man in track and field while he was also applying systematically in his trainings Chinese yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, Daoist meditation, qigong and athletic psychology. Panagiotis began his study and his practice in Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong and meditation since 1983. He is a researcher of Qigong, he has dedicated his life in spreading Qigong in Greece. He began to teach in Greece individually and in groups from 1988. Senior instructor of Universal Tao system of Grandmaster Mantak Chia. 1992 he opened GREEK HEALING TAO CENTER which functions until today under the umbrella of the Athletic Association of Cheerful Dragon. Studied Tai chi chuan and Qigong for 34 years.

Further he has created the Center of Science and Research of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong “Cheerful Dragon” where every year many known teachers are invited to teach their valuable practices and teaching skills. He is the President of Hellenic Health Qigong Association and Master coach of Health Qigong.

He is a student of the Emei System of Daoist Alchemy Medicine and Health Preservations Exercises.


Markella Tsopouridou: A wu style tai chi chuan close disciple of Master Li Bng Ci of the Wustyle family. A Qigong world champion of Health Qigong for several years. A master teacher of Dao yin yang Sheng, health Qigong and Ermei Daoist medicine exercise school. She is dedicated to the Qigong and Tai chi chuan arts for 18 years. She is the vice president of Hellenic health Qigong Association and main teacher of Cheerful Dragon. She is married to Panagiotis Kontaxakis and they both teach together.


Language spoken in the Qigong retreat: both English and Greek

For further communication use

Information for the Qigong retreats or for any help about Amorgos island contact: Miss Markella Tsopouridou [mobile phone 6937272629 or


You may also have the choice of Camping at Camping AEGIALI, Ormos Aegialis

Athens Bike Network to Link City Center with the Coast

Posted by moodhacker on November 10, 2018 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

From the city center to the coast, cycling lovers will be able to ride across Athens after municipal authorities announced that the city will soon have a complete bike network in place.

The new bicycle route will connect with the existing Gazi-Faliro route and is set to go through the central Athens neighborhoods of Kypseli, Ambelokipi, Exarchia, Kolonaki and Petralona.

The project aims to connect the central Athens network to the existing Gazi-Faliro circuit, a 7.5km route starting from the Faliro Delta through the neighborhoods of Moschato, Kallithea, Tavros and Petralona all the way to the Athens Technopolis.

“The city is on the right track: We are moving ahead with plans to offer space to both the pedestrian and the cyclist, encouraging the use of environmentally friendly means of transport, while aiming to reduce the use of private cars,” said Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.

The Exarheia and Kolonaki lanes will go through the streets of Stournari, Arachovis, Solomou, Andrea Metaxa, Didotou, Navarinou, Skoufa, Solonos, Massalias, Iraklitou, Mavromichali and Zoodochou Pigis, linking the center with Alexandras Ave and eventually with Kifissias Ave.

In the Kypseli area, roads to include cycling lanes are Michail Voda, Tritis Septemvriou, Agiou Meletiou and Epirou.

The Athens Municipality is working together with the C40 network on the completion of the project under the guidance of the Vienna walking and cycling network.

The project is part of the municipal authority’s ongoing city overhaul scheme, which also includes removing abandoned vehicles, cleaning up waste, freeing up public space, repairing benches, enhancing green spaces and clearing building facades. The program aims to transform Athens’ commercial center into a functional model with regulated public space, parking and vehicle traffic, catering hours and efficient waste management.

In the meantime, the Attica Region is preparing to complete the Gazi-Kifissia route and eventually all courses will be interconnected.


Foreign Media Introduced to Athenian Riviera , Attica Region Tourism Offerings

Posted by moodhacker on November 10, 2018 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The natural beauty and tourism offerings of Attica’s coastline – referred to as the Athenian Riviera – were recently presented to foreign journalists, who visited Athens as part of a press trip organized by the Region of Attica.

Eleven journalists of leading media organizations from Italy, Austria, The Netherlands, Russia, Portugal and Cyprus, recently arrived in Attica to learn more on the region’s unique coastline, gastronomy, ancient civilization and modern culture.


“They toured the coastline stretching between Sounio and Piraeus and were impressed by the beauty and biodiversity of Attica’s landscape, and the new upgraded tourism facilities offered,” the Region of Attica said in an announcement.

They visited the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio; the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the unique Lake of Vouliagmeni. They also had the chance to see some of Attica’s luxury hotel units, tour local vineyards and enjoy the region’s wines.

Other areas visited were also the Flisvos Marina, as well as the areas of Piraiki and Mikrolimano in Piraeus, where they learned more on Greece’s yacht tourism sector.

The journalists also had the opportunity to visit the landmark Acropolis, as well as the Acropolis Museum.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

“Our aim is to promote not only Attica’s popular tourism spots, but also the greater region, which includes the islands and areas offering additional gastronomic value and thematic tourism experiences,” said Attica Region Executive Councilor for Tourism Eleni Dimopoulou.

“The participants showed their interest on the possibilities of Attica as an all-year-round city break destination, which has a number of competitive advantages, excellent climate, unique gastronomy, rich culture and modern infrastructure, also combining the urban landscape with the sea and the islands.”

: Stoicism, Socrates theory, a Cognitive Therapy Treatment of Modern Medicine

Posted by moodhacker on November 10, 2018 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Socrates‘ teachings on Stoicism actually form the basis of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), an effective modern tool used widely today to treat psychological issues

Democracy, medicine, philosophy, science, technology, athleticism, gastronomy, art… all these are constructs that people currently still strongly connect to ancient Greek culture, where many of these concepts and practices were born and developed in highly sophisticated ways.

However, we don’t often relate ancient Greek philosophy with modern psychology; and many of us are not aware that Socrates‘ teachings on Stoicism actually form the basis of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), an effective modern tool used widely today to treat psychological issues. It has proven so effective that in the UK, the National Health System offers it for free.

Visiting Athens for the first time from his home in Canada (although he is Scottish by nationality), Donald Robertson, a CBT Therapist and the author of six books, the latest titled ‘How To Think Like A Roman Emperor’, has dedicated the last 15 years of his career combining CBT with Stoicism.

He is the founding member of a non-profit organisation called Modern Stoicism, run by a team of philosophers, classicists, and cognitive psychotherapists. Every year, they offer Stoic Week, a free online course every year that this year had over 8,000 participants from around the world.

They also run a one-month intensive course called Stoic Mindfulness and Resilience Training (SMRT).

“CBT is the dominant evidence-based form of psychotherapy today,” Roberston notes. “

The pioneers of this approach, Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, were both originally inspired by Stoic philosophy. Most importantly, both approaches are based on the shared premise that our ‘cognitions’ or thoughts or beliefs are caused mainly (if not entirely) by our underlying beliefs.”“Once we can recognise that feelings involve beliefs then we can start questioning what exactly those beliefs are, evaluating whether they’re true or false, helpful or unhelpful, and confirm or disprove them.

So the cognitive model of emotion opens up a whole new toolbox for therapists – but the Stoics knew this over two thousand years ago,” he says. Nevertheless, he adds,

“CBT is mainly a remedy for existing problems, such as anxiety and depression, and it’s designed to be a short-term approach, while Stoicism is a whole philosophy of life. It’s permanent, and it’s designed to be preventative as well as therapeutic – so it’s much broader in scope.”

Robertson’s successful techniques of combining Stoicism and CBT have generated a vast following globally, currently at around 45,000 individuals from all backgrounds reaping rewards from his teachings.

Stoicism has been adopted in the modern age by sportspeople, the military, psychologists and academics as well as ordinary people who find it can offer great improvements in their everyday life.

Here are Robertson’s top five guidelines for using Stoicism to improve our everyday life.

-The dichotomy of control: choices vs accidents.

The opening sentence of the Stoic Handbook of Epictetus stresses “Some things are up to us and other things are not.” Learn to clearly define your sphere of control: take more responsibility for the things that you do and learn to be more indifferent toward things that merely happen to you

.-Cognitive distancing: what you see is what you get.

Perhaps the most well-known Stoic quote comes a few lines later in the same book: “It’s not things that upset us but our judgments about things.” We should remember that it’s mainly our own value judgments that shape our emotions rather than the external events that befall us

.-Objective representation: drop the drama.

Stoics were known for speaking concisely (Laconically) and describing things in a matter-of-fact way, without emotive rhetoric or strong value judgements – Epictetus says just stick to the facts without adding an exclamation like “Oh no!”

-Premeditation of adversity: protect yourself cooly.

The Stoics were known for picturing setbacks in advance in order to rehearse coping with them, which people sometimes call “negative visualisation” today – although you have to be careful to do this patiently and to view the event with indifference rather than as something genuinely negative

.-The View from Above: see the forest not the tree.

Sometimes also described as a “comprehensive representation”, the Stoics encourage us to view disturbing events within the bigger picture. We’re to picture them from high above like the gods looking down from Mount Olympus, or we can go even further and imagine our current predicament as a tiny speck in relation to the whole of space and time.

Donald Robertson’s website: donaldrobertson.nameModern Stoicism: