Entries in the spa resort changmai (1)

Wednesday
Feb262014

Health Holiday: Detoxing at The Spa Resort Koh Chang, Thailand

Ever since I filled up on fresh juices and emptied out my guts in Thailand last year I’ve been wanting to do it again. So a year later – this February - I found myself on yet another 6 days/5 nights juice detox, this time at The Spa Resort in wonderful Koh Chang - with Lara juicing and pooing alongside me.

Fasting 

If you’re new to the whole concept of fasting you might want to read my post on the Samui experience or one on fasting at home. In brief, you spend almost a week not letting anything solid pass your lips while you clean out the other end with gallons of coffee water. By the end you feel wonderfully light, clean and clear. Or I did. After seeing me do it last year, Lara had decided to fast for 3.5 days to see what the fuss was about. But as she said herself: fasting isn’t for everybody. As each day went by she got quieter and quieter and more and more introvert. This woman usually never shuts up, she crawls up robes and does box jumps at Crossfit, but at The Spa all she wanted to do was to lay by the pool with her book while all the life force slowly ran out of her. At breakfast after 3.5 days she finally got some sparkle back in her eye with a ‘Guys Breakfast’. You can read her experience with the whole thing here.

Anyway. I again enjoyed the feeling of alertness and clarity when the hunger had passed after the first couple of days. I did meditation and yoga every morning and as the teacher had a few days off to go to a wedding in Bangkok I ended up teaching some of the other fasters in the beautiful yoga shala.

The Colemas

Every day (or as often as you want - some of the programs have two a day) you flush out your bum with a coffee colema. You get a 5 liter bucket with coffee and vinegar solution. When in the privacy of your own bathroom, you fill it with warm water, lie back and empty out your body. You can read a more 'graphic' discription of the process here form my first experience with enemas here.

The Spa Resort Koh Chang

The Koh Chang venue is different than the one in Samui. In Samui you have the beach, the main road right out the door and lots going on (we were staying at The Spa Village accommodation in the jungle so in the afternoons and nights we were away from it all up in the hills). The Spa in Koh Chang is very secluded. It’s right on the water, but there’s no beach and the water’s not suitable for swimming. It’s great for kayaking, though and you have the beautiful pool for swimming - if you have the energy...

Each day the skilled Thai massage therapists would combine Thai massage and oil massage and rub our entire bodies with tiger balm. What bliss.

The rooms were amazing. The very helpful Guest Relation Manager, Beer,  had put us in a Lower Hill Cottage with a nice balcony overlooking the jungle. The huge bath looked amazing but it really was quite ridiculous as it was impossible to fill due to it’s size. If you had the time to run it the water would be cold by the end of it. Ah, first world problems...

The Food

We again did the mistake of only booking enough days to complete the fast with only one day to spare to eat. The last day is spent on breaking the fast with raw veggies, so again I didn’t really get a chance to sample the impressive raw, vegan and healthy menu. I did go a little nuts the last night in the company of the lovely Miss Mao and her German friend, Monica, and ordered both a salad and raw spring rolls. A bit much on an almost empty stomach. The day we left for Bangkok I brought more spring rolls to avoid spicy (and most likely meaty) curries at the bus stops.

So now there’s just The Spa Resort  in Chang Mai left to try. Next time we’ve decided to just go and eat delicious, healthy food without fasting. I want to go now.

So What's detox?

A growing body of research suggests that many of the chemicals we consume daily through food, water, and air can get stuck in fat cells in our bodies. These toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and cigarette smoke.

Detoxification is the body's natural, ongoing process of neutralising or eliminating toxins from the body. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems work together to ensure that toxins are eliminated from the body. You can aid this process by eating or drinking a diet of natural foods and basically flush out your system to restore the natural balance in the body and get rid of the toxins.

This is one side of the story. The other side represents doctors like Frank Sacks, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health who will argue that the idea that your body needs help getting rid of toxins has 'no basis in human biology', as your immune system handles those duties, no matter what you eat. Please know that I am in no way a medical professional so please consult your GP if you want to take up fasting.

For me the detox is not only about cleaning the body of toxins. It’s also about clearing your mind and realising how much energy we use on food. Both on worrying about what to eat, how much to eat, but also how much energy the body uses on digestion. In my experience, fasting increases one’s awareness, one’s capacity to think, to digest, to feel and express.