Acupuncture is a one of the most important components of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used in medical treatments for over 2500 years. In recent decades it has rapidly become acknowledged and accepted by the West as valid alternative therapy for treating a wide variety of symptoms and ailments. Acupuncture requires the delicate and exact insertion of small needles into specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of Qi which is also regarded as the life force in living things. The needles are inserted into one or many corresponding acupuncture points on the body to alleviate the associated symptoms and conditions of aliment or complaint. These range from headaches and migraines to arthritis and joint pain, Fibromyalgia, allergies, eczema, depression, anxiety and infertility. It’s a quick, relaxing and painless procedure which can produce changes shortly after the treatment has been completed.
The pH scale ranges from 0 – 14 with 0 being highly acidic, 7 neutral and anything above alkaline. For the human body to function at it’s optimal level a pH of 7.4 should be maintained, this Ph can be easily disturbed by stress, an unhealthy diet and an over consumption of highly acidic and sugary foods. By incorporating alkalising foods in the diet, the balance of the pH can be restored offering many health benefits including, improved digestion, weight loss, decreased cholesterol levels.
Ayurveda is a complex, ancient health care tradition originating in India where the practice can be traced back thousands of years and is still widely used today. The basic principles of Ayurveda are that the mind and body are intrinsically linked. To maintain internal balance and harmony with nature and the Universe one must balance the body holistically. There are many factors including genetic defects, injuries, climatic and seasonal changes, age and emotions that may disrupt this delicate balance between the internal and external world. Ayurveda defines the constitution of the body in 3 categories or doshas. Each person is comprised of a combination of the 3; Vata, Pitta and Kapha Dosha. Each of the Dosha’s will present with a different set of symptoms and ailments and will therefore be treated accordingly. Ayurveda seeks to maintain balance in the doshas through diet, yogic practice and meditation.
Balneotherapy is an ancient water treatment therapy once used by the Greeks and Egyptians. Treatments can come in many forms from hot/cold water bathing in hot spring or baths and water assisted massage. Some treatments may include the use of medicinal clays or minerals such as sulphur and magnesium, which may occur naturally or be added to the water. These minerals have the ability to fight illness and boost the immune system by increasing blood circulation, promoting detoxifcation and relaxation. Balneotherapy can be used in the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses and ailments, including eczema, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety are just a few examples.
Bentonite otherwise known as Montmorillonite, is used as a healing and detox clay, it is composed of aged volcanic ash and is a common ingredient in detox and cleansing products. Bentonite clay can be used externally as a full body mask or mudpack and it is commonly taken orally. When the clay is combined with water it produces an electrical charge. The positive charge bonds to the negative charges in toxins, chemicals and heavy metals inside the body, which are later expelled through the colon. It is effective and natural method of alkalising and balancing the bacteria in the digestive system and thus providing a harmonising effect on the entire body. Uses and benefits of Bentonite clay include:
- Boosts Immunity by Killing Harmful Bacteria and Viruses
- Harmonises the bacteria in the intestinal tract, offering relief from IBS, Nausea, acid reflux, constipation, bloating, gas, etc.
- Alkalises the Body
- Helps in treating skin and allergy issues, Eczema, Dermatitis & Psoriasis
- Allows Cells to Receive More Oxygen
- Rich in vital minerals – including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.
Brain fog is a relatively new description for an all-familiar sensation; brain fog is the sensation of feeling cloudy and having unclear thoughts and disrupted thinking. Studies have found a link between lifestyle and the occurrence of brain fog, with a sedentary and high sugar, high fat diet being one of the main culprits for the condition. Brain fog is also a common symptom of stress and many associated conditions such as Candida and gluten and wheat intolerance.
Candida is a naturally occurring yeast fungus found in the human body predominantly in the mouth and intestine, in small quantities Candida is safe and causes no harm to the body. The increase of Candida yeast in the body has been found to be the cause of many illnesses and aggravating symptoms. The cause of the overgrowth is commonly related to stress and poor lifestyle choices such as a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates and alcohol. Oral medications such as antibiotics and the oral contraceptive may also disrupt the balance of the intestinal flora resulting in the overgrowth of Candida. Candida overgrowth weakens the immune system by releasing toxic waste into the blood stream. As the fungus begins to multiply and grow out of control, they create the toxic by product known as Acetaldehyde, this toxin is known to cause damage to the body tissues and organs and weakens the immune system and it’s ability to fight infection. SYMPTOMS OF CANDIDA OVERGROWTH:
- Feeling tired and run down, chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia
- Digestive disruptions such as constipation, diarrhea and bloating.
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
- Brain fog, poor concentrating and memory, inability to focus, ADD and ADHD.
- Skin irritations eczema, psoriasis, hives and rashes.
- Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
- Mood swings, Irritability, anxiety or depression
- Vaginal infections, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Severe allergies or itchy ears
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
Colon cleansing has gained much popularity as a detoxing method in recent years; it was originally used by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians to maintain general health and wellbeing. Colonic cleansing uses a combination of herb infused water or coffee injected into the anus to detach the putrefied feces, which may attach itself to the colon wall. It is believed that a colon obstructed by eces will slow digestion and minimise the absorption of vitamins and minerals into the body. It may also play host to parasites and other pathogens causing an imbalance in the gut flora. People have reported and increase in general well being and relief from many symptoms including IBS, gas, bloating, headaches, fatigue and irritability after a colon cleanse. Benefits of colon cleansing:
- Increases the efficiency of the digestive system, by increasing the body’s absorption of vitamins and nutrients
- Prevents and alleviates constipation
- Increases energy levels
- Improves concentration
- Assists with weight loss
- Decreases risk of colon cancer
- Maintains pH balance in the bloodstream
- Improves general well being
Some think of detoxing as a modern and trendy idea that just happens to be in vogue. In actual fact the act of extracting toxins through the skin and fasting has been used for thousands of years, evidence of this dates back to 400BC, where detox was used by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians. There are many methods and techniques, which can all be undertaken as part of a detox programme. The aim being to purify the digestive system and body, the longer the course the deeper the detox tends to be. The other aspect of detoxing relates to the mind, detoxing of the mind is also a key part of the process as you remove yourself from external stimuli and give yourself the chance to unwind, relax and take proper mental rest and relaxation. This can help you to identify reoccurring feelings, thoughts and emotions, which have long been pushed to the back of your sub conscious mind which can sap energy and motivation if left un-rooted.
Detox drinks and smoothies are usually made from natural organic ingredients, which would typically be high in vitamins and minerals and are selected to be gentle on the digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes are just a few examples of what you could expect to find within these health drinks. By liquefying food and eliminating certain fats and proteins from the diet which are difficult to digest, the digestive system is given the much-needed break it requires to kick-start the bodies natural detoxification process, in turn boosting the immune system with a healthy dose of nutrients which are commonly missing from the modern day diet. Nearly every retreat will have its own special recipes and schedule of detox drinks to form part of your daily routine throughout the course of the programme. Following a strict course of Detox drinks and smoothies may be challenging at first, as they may be accompanied by the sensation of hunger and cravings. Once the body and mind commit to these adjustments, cravings and hunger subside, followed by an increase in energy levels and concentration as well as huge improvements in the feeling of well-being. Benefits of Detox drinks and Smoothies:
- Assists and boost weight loss
- Increased consumption of vitamins and minerals
- Increased nutrient absorption
- High in antioxidants
- Increased energy levels
- Mental clarity and the lifting of brain fog
- Reduction is problem skin and eczema
- Reduce food cravings
- Alkalises the body, creating overall well-being
The use and benefits of traditional saunas have long being held as reliable way to help rejuvenate and detoxify the body through the excretion of toxins, which results from heating the body and sweating. This may result in a reduction in blood pressure and improvements in circulation. In recent years FAR infrared has been improved and mastered, the infrared light rays penetrates the body deeper than a regular hot sauna and thus produce additional benefits which include:
- weight loss
- anti-aging as the infrared wavelength is able to interact and heal the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin, without damaging the skin.
- Boost biological function
Fasting involves reducing or abstaining from the intake of food and drink for a fixed period of time. Science has begun to recognize and acknowledge the benefits of fasting deducing that it giving the digestive system a rest causing the body to switch into to ‘spring clean’ mode, which aids in removing unwanted toxins from the cells of the body. The process at a retreat typically reduces intake of all heavy foods and proteins shifting your diet towards small portions of raw foods, light organic meals or natural fruit and vegetable smoothies. Benefits of fasting:
- Assists the body in repairing itself and reducing the effects of aging
- Proven to be a very effective aid to short and long term weight loss when incorporated with an effective calorie controlled diet
- Improved levels of mental awareness and reduced brain fog.
- Significant decreases in high blood pressure
- Reduced levels of growth hormone IGF-1 in the body which are linked to colorectal, breast and prostate cancer
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the digestive tract.
- Harmonizes and alkalises the blood and body.
Gluten and gluten intolerance has become a hot topic in recent years, with and increase in digestive issues and IBS at the helm or the discussion. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. People with the inability to digest the protein will experience symptoms, which may be mild or sever including, bloating and gas, IBS, diarrhea and constipation. People with gluten intolerance may also experience brain fog, fatigue and mental lethargy after consuming wheat products. In extreme cases people may form celiac disease. Through the introduction of a wheat free or substituted diet many people have found relief from the many symptoms associated with the intolerance. Often people found to have a gluten intolerance are also more prone to lactose intolerance.
Herbs and the use of Herbal Medicine to treat illness can be traced back thousands of years, to the Ancient Egyptians and Chinese. Many Indigenous cultures in South America, Africa and Asia still us herbs as their primary medicine today. Botanical or Herbal medicine uses a combination of the plants seeds, roots, berries, leaves, bark, fruit and flowers, many modern day pharmaceuticals use plants and plant extracts as their active ingredient. Herbal medicine may be used to naturally and safely treat many conditions, including allergies, asthma, eczema, headaches and migraines, nervous conditions, depression and anxiety, diabetes, Fibromyalgia and many other conditions. Benefits of herbal medicine Used to treat a vide range of conditions Don’t leave chemical or metal residue in the body unlike pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical drugs normally have sever side effects which are avoided with Herbal Medicine. Maintains alkalinity in the body by not disrupting naturally occurring bacteria. Is suitable for use in young children.
Is a cleansing method used to clear the sinuses. This is a method often found in Hatha yoga and is one of the six purification methods for the body. The sinus cavities can often become blocked with toxins, resulting in infections and inflammation, the passing of sterilized warm water between one nostril and the other using a Neti pot helps to clear out passages and maintain nasal hygiene. Benefits of Jala Neti
- Relief from allergies
- Relief from pressure headaches which are caused from a build up in the sinus
- Aids breathing, helping people who suffer from asthma
Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and dairy products, much like gluten intolerance the symptoms are found to be similar, bloating and gas, IBS, diarrhea and constipation, brain fog, fatigue and mental lethargy after consuming dairy. Lactose intolerance is formed when the small intestine is not able to produce a sufficient amount of Lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the sugar.
A healthy body requires a healthy and balanced digestive system. As the balance of naturally occurring bacteria and flora may be easily disrupted in the digestive tract through a diet rich in sugars and fatty foods as well as through the intake of antibiotics and an increase in stress levels a probiotics supplement can be of great benefit. Probiotics are a combination of live bacteria and yeasts, the incorporation of probiotics in the diet assists in balancing and restoring the naturally occurring bacteria in the intestinal tract. Most probiotic supplements will contain the bacteria Bifidobacterium, which assists in alkalising and maintaining balance in the gut, which may have been disrupted by an increase in acid producing bacteria such as Lactobacteria. Many retreats will include a probiotic supplement such as Flora Grow Capsule as part of their detox program. Benefits of probiotics:
- Clean and alkalise the digestive system
- Improve the absorption of nutrients and vitamins
- Reduce the signs of aging
- Boost immunity
- Reduces yeast and vaginal infections
- Reduces the reaction to allergies
- Assist in losing and maintaining weight.
- When taken simultaneously with antibiotics it balances the naturally occurring bacteria levels in the body.
Food supplements and super foods can be eaten in conjunction with a normal healthy diet to help provide the body with a concentrated source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Food supplements come in various different forms such as liquids, tablets or capsules. The reason for incorporating food supplements and super foods into ones diets is to enable the body to obtain the nutrients that might otherwise be difficult to obtain from foods that are found more commonly at the dinner table. Specific supplements can have specific effects on the body and are often used in retreats as part of a detoxification program.
Hydrotherapy utilizes the properties of water to aid healing and to provide people with pain relief. A combination of both cold and warm water may be used to stimulate and invigorate the body or to calm and soothe. Many conditions have been successfully treated through the use of hydrotherapy, including joint pain, muscular skeletal disorders, sleep disorders, headache, digestive disturbance and depression. Hydrotherapy is typically performed in a pool with the water temperature between 33 – 36 degrees Celsius. In some cases, a trained therapist will be in the pool, directing and ensuring that the movements are done in a correct and controlled manner. The treatment is normally less strenuous than water aerobics, as the movements are slow, controlled and relaxing and do not involve swimming or the ability to do so. Benefits of hydrotherapy:
- Reduces muscle tension and pain
- Rehabilitates muscle injuries
- Boosts the immune system and general well being
- Increases circulation and blood flow
- Detoxifies the body
- Relieves stress and anxiety.
- Suitable for those suffering with Arthritis
Ion cleansing footbath aims to eliminate toxins by using electrically charged ions, which resonate through the body in order to stimulate cells and rebalance the body’s pH levels. The process is perfectly safe and requires that you place your feet into a footbath, which has low-level electrical current passing through it. The feet should be submerged for around 30 minutes. Benefits of the Ion cleansing foot bath:
- Balances the PH level of the body
- Reduces swelling and inflammation
- Detoxifies the body
- Boosts the immune system
Juice detoxes have been at the forefront of healthy living for the past few years. During a juice detox or fast you eliminate the consumption of cooked food and replace meals with a healthy mix of juiced fruit and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables. The elimination of cooked and processed food from the diet allows the body the time to re-boost, cleanse and regenerate. The increase in phytonutrients results in a boost in the general well – being. Benefits of a juice cleanse:
- Reduces sugar and processed food cravings
- Aids and boosts weight loss
- Cleanses the liver, gall bladder and digestive tract
- Alkalises the body
- Clears mental fog and aids concentration
- Increases nutrient intake and absorption
- Relief from skin irritations and eczema
- Relief from IBS and digestive disturbances.
The liver is the workhorse of the body in terms of cleaning, cleansing and purifying toxins. It’s the largest organ within the body and its responsible for many vital functions such as sugar control and metabolic processes. It’s most important function is bile production, which is vital in the effective break down of fat. When the liver becomes overloaded with fatty food, it is unable to produce sufficient bile to break down and process the fat before it enters into the small intestine, resulting in weight gain and a build up of fat around the organs and arteries. The aim of the liver flush detox is to use natural ingredients and supplements to activate production of the liver’s own natural detoxification enzymes. The liver is vital to good health and its detoxification has huge benefits to general well being. Benefits of liver cleanse:
- Improves digestion and the break down of fats
- Improves concentration
- Aids in weight loss
- Improves general well being and decreases sluggishness and fatigue
- Lightens liver spots and skin discoloration
- Decreases headaches
- Clears chronic sinusitis
- Clears gall stones
The body contains a natural waste management and extraction system called the Lymphatic system. Its primary responsibility is to remove toxins and waste material from tissues; it is the first line of defence from colds, flu’s and infections. Unlike the blood system, which uses the heart, lymphatic fluid does not have a dedicated pumping system to assist with drainage, the contraction of the muscles during exercise assist in moving and draining the Lymphatic fluid. A sedentary lifestyle with long periods of prolonged sitting inhibits the flow and drainage of the lymphatic fluid. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is the process of massaging the body with a specific pressure and motion producing a natural aid to help encourage drainage of this system as blockages can occur. MLD massages need to occur regularly in order to increase their effectiveness as single treatment initiates the beginning of this process.
Naturopathy is the collective name given to a wide range of alternative medical treatments, which only use natural occurring methods and ingredients to treat an ailment instead of the use of invasive surgical treatments and prescription pharmaceuticals. Treatments can include, but are not limited to homeopathy, nutrition and lifestyle guidance, herbal medicines, water cure therapy and physiotherapy.
Papayas is a bright orange pear-shaped fruit. Papaya or pawpaw, is a highly nutritious alkaline fruit, offering numerous health benefits and assisting in maintaining the pH of the body and the blood. Papaya has a cooling and soothing effect on the body making it a popular choice for detoxing and cleansing. The exotic fruit is low in calories and is a rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids. B vitamins such as foliate and pantothenic acid. The minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium are also found in the fruit. Health benefits of Papaya:
- Aids weight loss
- Boosts Immunity
- Improves lipid and insulin levels in diabetics.
- Prevents Asthma
- Aids bone health and prevent arthritis.
- Improves eye sight
- Prevents Cancer
- Aids and improves digestion
Psyllium is a form of fibre derived from the husks of the Plantago Ovata plant. Physllium husk is an excellent source of fibre, helping to improve and sustain a healthy digestive tract. It has also been proven to relieve constipation and IBS. Other studies have found a tangible link between the intake of the husk and a decreased risk in heart disease it has also been found effective in the treatment of high cholesterol. Physllium husk can also be used as part of a gluten free baking.
You’ll feel and see the difference a detox can make regardless of how long the programme. The benefits and commitment to detox is something that you’ll want to try and sustain post detox. Whilst it might be unrealistic to expect that one can only eat 100% healthy foods all the time it should be a goal to incorporate healthy food you really enjoy into your diet. When you discover new food you enjoy and find satisfying it becomes desirable and thus can satisfy your hunger and craving whilst forming part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s important to note that once a detox has been completed the digestive system has begun a transformation process and re-introducing certain foods should be done in moderation. Many people find processed and fatty foods unappealing after detox, body awareness may also become so acute after detox that people report feeling lethargic, tired and even sickly after eating. Foods such as steamed or blended vegetables, lightly sautéed greens and lean proteins such as nuts, legumes and eggs are ideal post detox. There are a host of good recipe books and online recipes, which are great for post detox inspiration.
Many detox programmes recommend that a pre-cleanse is undertaken as part of the course. Generally the more time that one can devote the better the results during and after the detox. Normally, 3-7 days would be the minimum recommended time to gain the most benefits. A pre-cleanse detox should consist of eating mostly raw foods including fruits and salads. Complete abstinence from heavy proteins and processed foods is recommended and therefore includes food such as red meat, fried foods, breads, sugars and alcohol etc. A liver flush drink is commonly prescribed as part of the process aiming to cleanse both the liver and gall bladder, which may aid in the removal of gallstones and thus improve digestive health.
Raw food diets are the fast track way to healthy eating. The basic principle and general philosophy is largely explained in the preparation, which explains that food shouldn’t be processed or cooked at temperatures exceeding 40 – 48 Degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit). The reason being that cooking at what is considered ‘normal’ or high temperatures effectively destroys the nutrients and renders the best part of the food useless before it has been digested. Processed foods are bypassed because during the manufacturing process many additional ingredients are added to enhance taste, flavour or shelf life resulting in us ingesting chemicals that aren’t necessarily healthy or good for the body. Benefits of a raw food diet
- Relief from headaches
- An overall boost of the immune system
- Memory and concentration benefits and clearing of brain fog
- Reduction and eradication of allergies
- Assists in fighting against arthritis and diabetes
- Alkalises the blood and body
Qi is a core concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Qi pronounced ‘Chee’ is the word used to describe life force and energy; this includes every form of universal energy from earth energy, human energy, light, movement, nerves, thoughts and even emotions. In TCM a great deal of importance is placed on Qi and maintaining it’s balance. Should the balance of Qi become disturbed through either an internal or external factor which may include genetic defects, injuries, climatic and seasonal changes, pathogens, age and emotions, the entire system will be imbalanced, creating disharmony and in most cases illness and disease.
By definition a toxin is anything that damages or is poisonous to the body. It can be produced from within the body or ingested from the outside world.Toxins can take on different forms and can include small molecules, peptides or proteins which in some cases can cause disease as they interact and cause harmful cell mutations. Detox retreats are specifically designed to target and remove toxins from the body. Each retreat has its own methods and techniques used to produce significant detoxification by the end of the course. Typically a retreat will be based around healthy eating, exercise and a mixture of treatments that could include colon cleanse, massage and Lymphatic Draining to name just a few examples.
Vegan food and diets consist of natural, plant based ingredients whereby the consumption of animals or anything derived from animals would be omitted completely. For example, eggs, milk and anything based on diary would be abstained from along with less obvious animal based ingredients such as gelatin which is made from beef extract and can be found in jelly sweets. Veganism is more than just a moral crusade against the morality of raising animals only for slaughter, its also a healthy lifestyle option which requires education and awareness as you learn how to replace your intake of certain vitamins, nutrients and minerals that would otherwise be obtained from the consumption of meat, diary and fish.
Vegetarianism is the abstinence of consuming meat, including fish and shell fish, this may also include dairy and eggs. Lacto–Ovo vegetarians will normally still include dairy and eggs in their diet. Over recent years vegetarianism has gain popularity as a healthily alternative lifestyle, with importance placed on the humane treatment of animals, less impact on the environment and an improvement in overall health. With the increase in steroids, antibiotics and hormones used in the cultivation and farming of meat products many health conditions have been associated with the consumption of meat. These conditions include, cancer, early onset menopause, early onset puberty (precocious puberty) occurring in children as young as 6 years old.
Wheatgrass is one of the many foods that makes it onto the superfood list for its amazing health and nutritional benefits. It has been recognized as great way to get a concentrated dose of Vitamin A, C, E as well as Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and other amino acids. Wheatgrass is normally blended to form a juice and is drunk as an immune boosting health shot. Benefits of wheatgrass
- Aids in removing deposits of drugs, heavy metals and cancer causing toxins in the body.
- Aids in the reduction of blood pressure and the removal of toxins from the liver and blood
- Prevents the growth and build of harmful bacteria inside of the body
- High Vitamin content
- Has antibacterial properties