10 questions to ask before booking a detox retreat

June 7, 2012 |  by  |  Detoxification, Naturopathy

We understand trying to find the right detox holiday for you, can be a bewildering experience. This is why we have put together a guide to help clear away any confusion and get down to what you need to know when choosing your retreat.

This is a no-nonsense guide, to help you make the most of your precious holiday time and get what you want and deserve from a professional, inspirational and effective detox

1. What do you want from a detox?

Firstly, you need to ask yourself, what is it you would like to gain from your detoxification program and what are you prepared to commit to. Detoxes can vary from a water fast, fruit juice fast, vegetable juice fast, vital super foods raw and cooked healthy detoxing meals with some including detox herbs and supplements to potentise the detoxifying effects on the body.

So it is important that you are clear on what you would like to gain and prepared to commit to during your week of detoxing.

Some objectives of a detox:

  • weight loss
  • detoxify organs & cells to help with illness and prevention of disease
  • improve immunity and digestive disorders +/or specific health challenges
  • improve fitness and stamina
  • relax and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit

All of the above sound good to me! And generally depending on the detox program you chose, you will address all these issues whether you want to or not.

Generally speaking on most detoxes you will lose weight as suddenly your body is being given nutrient rich, vital organic vegetables (whether in the form of juices or raw/cooked foods) that it loves and can use efficiently in the body. These foods have a detoxifying, blood cleansing and alkalising effect on the body, helping the body release toxic residues that are stored in your fat cells and around the body. As the body sweats, moves and cleanses, you start to feel healthier, lighter, clearer headed and more energised.

Therefore you need to decide whether you would like to do a fast or a detox. A fast is where you either have only water or juices and/or detox herbs. Whilst you may lose weight more quickly on a fast initially, I find that women generally maintain the weight loss better after a detox as the metabolism stays boosted and the regular exercise of yoga, walks, swimming etc help encourage strengthening and toning of muscles and improve stamina for the long term.

Either way a a detox holiday gives you the chance to switch-off, rest and reconnect with your body as you take a step back from your usual eating habits, day to day stresses and give your system a chance to cleanse and embrace a more meaningful relationship with food.

2. What is a detox?

If you have never gone on a detox or mini cleanse you are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. You might even think of a detox as some sort of “punishment” or even as a quick-fix lose weight solution.

Although you do lose weight when you detox, the true purpose of detox or a fast is to rest and cleanse the body of the build up of toxins which accumulate in the body; which then brings a sense of balance and harmony to your system allowing it to heal from the inside out.

Your body has natural built in systems – the lymphatic system, your liver, kidneys and colon to cleanse itself from bacteria and pollution yet our senses are continually bombarded with noise, grime and dust from external factors which effect your body’s ability to effectively remove toxins and waste matters. Over the years of abuse are systems are overwhelmed by toxins and stress and are unable to cope with modern day stresses. A detox helps reset these systems by cleansing each one individually.

3. Do they individualise a detox program tailored to your unique requirements?

Choose a detox holiday or retreat program which offers you individualised health assessments, nutritional advice and lifestyle consultations as part of the package. Find out what follow-up support the organisers offer and whether they give you take-away tips and suggestions to maintain your health once you leave the program.

Remember a Detox & Yoga Retreat offers you a chance to learn yoga (if you’re a beginner) or go deeper into your yoga and meditation practice. You should also check that they offer regular colon cleansing too, with either colonics, colemas or enemas as this is an integral part of detoxification and clearing out all the old impacted faecal matter that pollutes the body.

4. What other treatments are on offer?

Ideally, a detox holiday offers you the opportunity to experience a wide range of healthy living and therapeutic treatments to nurture your mind, body and soul. Most will include a range of other complementary therapies and treatments as part of the program eg. massage to help with lymphatic drainage, deep tissue massage, yoga, qi gung, colonic irrigation, steam baths, hydrotherapy, swimming etc

Find out what treatment and therapies are included in the program. Some retreats offer you a complementary treatment and then you have to pay for any other treatments you have. If it’s all inclusive, find out how flexible the program is and whether you can choose to participate in, for example, early morning yoga and meditation classes. Some places “insist” you take part in all group programs whereas others allow you to pick and choose what you want to do and when to do it.

Always ask what qualifications and experience the therapists have. All therapists should also have appropriate professional insurance cover.

You may find that regular yoga sessions are available, as well as Tai Chi, meditation and Qi Gong. Detox retreats often work from a holistic perspective and are usually located out in the countryside, near a beach, woods or mountains or hills. You may be encouraged to take walks, to swim, to rest and to meditate. A detox retreat can be as much about relaxation, time-out and self-exploration as physical detoxification, and counselling or other therapies may be available during your stay.

5. What foods will be served?

There are various ways to detox the body from complete 3-7 days fasting; juice only meals to more relax whole foods healthy eating plans. A detox retreat will almost certainly provide a vegetarian or vegan menu. Many retreats will mostly offer raw food and broth, with a focus on fresh fruit, vegetables, salad, and nuts. Some detox retreats will put you on a liquid-only diet, so prepare to go hungry! You will be encouraged to drink plenty of water and may be offered specific supplements or juices designed to promote the cleansing of your bowel.

Alcohol, meat and smoking are generally not allowed on a yoga detox retreat.

Tip: Find out exactly what food options are on offer. Talk with the organisers; see how much flexibility they offer re foods served. Do they offer you a choice of menus or is there a strict program to follow. Also, find out what advice they offer to help you prepare your body for the detox and how to end the detox and reintroduce you to “regular eating habits.”

If, for example you are a diabetic check how they cater for special medical conditions, allergies and cultural food preferences.

Find out if the program includes nutritional workshops and classes on how to prepare meals once you return home and maintain your healthier eating options.

Most detox retreats will provide nutritional supplements to ensure your body doesn’t miss out (which should be included in the price). If you feel faint, short of breath or in any way unwell, immediately speak to one of the retreat staff who should be on hand to help.

6. Is it organic?

Ensuring you have an abundance of vital organic foods beautifully prepared helps make your retreat enjoyable and nourishing. Not only does it give your body the chance to absorb the goodness of natural foods as nature intended, without any damaging pesticides, you allow the body to experience what’s it’s like to live according to nature and enjoying the pleasures of simple home-made food straight from the garden – yum!

7. Do they provide natural spring water?

Natural Spring water is essential for helping the body cleanse itself of impurities. It is important to check what kind of water is available as chlorinated water does not really hydrate and assist the body in healing as much as natural organic water fresh from the ground.

8. Do they do regular health assessments throughout the detox? Is there any aftercare?

It is important to feel supported during your detox by a professional practitioner who has experience in dealing with the ups and downs of a detox. It is natural to sometimes experience ‘detox symptoms’ eg. headache, depression, aches & pains, foul taste in the mouth, diarrhoea, constipation. Having the continued support throughout the detox, helping you adapt to the needs of your body is imperative and will give you the confidence to keep going.

Aftercare is extremely important after a detox as you need guidance how to go continue with your new habits into normal daily life. Find out how you will be supported.

9. How inviting is the detox retreat?

Location is everything!

If you are searching online for a yoga detox program this gives you a chance to have a look at different options and facilities. Things to consider are your budget, do you wish to travel overseas and maybe combine the detox with a family holiday, or are you happy staying in your home country. Check out the location. Ideally, you want to be in a tranquil, natural and peaceful environment with natural sun which helps the body open up pores, sweat, cleanse and glow.

Accommodation is another important factor. Consider whether you want a luxurious 5 star resort hotel with everything laid on, or a more intimate cosy environment for fewer people making it more intimate and peaceful.

As you browse the websites, things to think about are easy is it for you to navigate the site, do they offer you the options discussed in this guide? How simple is it for you to contact the organisers and when you do, are they professional, warm, responsive to your questions and preferences.

Tip: Personal recommendation is always a good place to start; however, if none of your friends have gone on a yoga detox make sure you do your homework and trust your intuition. You can always forward your questions to me and I will be happy to share what I know.

10. Are you open to the detox experience?

This may sound vague and wishy-washy yet at the end of the day, investing your time and energy on a detox & yoga is a natural progression in your personal and spiritual journey. In yoga you are encouraged to trust the process, to surrender and allow goodness to flow. Taking time out of your busy schedule to relax and rebalance is essential to your sense of wellbeing and fulfillment. When you are well, you are able to be more balanced giving more to you, your family and business.

Tip: Deep down your body knows what it needs, so trust the process and know that everything you experience whilst choosing your detox retreat is all good and part of your personal growth and desire to grow stronger and healthier. Remember to trust your own intuition.

Please feel free to contact me should you have queries about booking a retreat and what you can expect. I’m passionate about detoxing and making it as enjoyable as possible.

With love & light

x Debbie

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