‘What it means to Detox’, emerged from a conversation I had with The Retreat Company who we advertise our retreats with. We were discussing subject heading categories for their website and I mentioned that many holidays listed under their heading of ‘detox’ were not actually offering detox. As the founder of a detox retreats company I felt the general use and over use of the word detox was confusing and made it difficult for people to know exactly what they were getting from a ‘detox’ holiday. The word meant very little by way of description because it included such an extensive range of holidays, many of which had nothing to do with actual detoxification. We all have some idea of what detox means to us: at one end of the scale there is a medically supervised drug and alcohol detox and at the other a vegetarian yoga holiday, so it’s no easy task to define its meaning in a way that everyone understands in relation to a wellness retreat or healthy holiday.
Defining detox is something that I have been talking to the Retreat Company about for a while because it feels important to me to pin down what it is. By true definition, detox is a metabolic process through which toxins are reduced and removed by the body. It involves a deliberate metabolic push to get toxins mobilised and eliminated and which normally uses nutritional supplements, herbs, colon and liver cleansing and raw food or juices. This is a powerful and deliberate process, very different from eating a healthy diet for a week. And this is the key point, that detox has the intentional aim of causing the body to eliminate toxins using natural remedies and naturopathic processes; while a healthy eating holiday is healthy by default. It might be mildly detoxifying depending how healthy or unhealthy your lifestyle was before, but a true detox sets out to cause detoxification as its aim and even the healthiest of people will get a deep and changing experience.
The eliminative pressure of detox also allows people to drop into a deep place within them self and we find that huge emotion and mental shifts can be made as well as physical change as long as it is well supported on all levels. Our detox is a holistic programme of juice fasting, nutritional supplements and liver cleansing at its core which can bring huge physical, emotional, mental and spiritual changes in people. It’s powerful stuff and needs carefully managed by professionals in the field. It is not a simple healthy holiday. It can be a catalyst for deep life change and it can also bring up a lot of emotions in need of healing and also cause some unpleasant physical symptoms along the way. It’s worth the journey though as the results are transforming.
Trying to define what is detox is about meeting expectations by better describing what we offer so that anyone who comes to us knows what they can realistically expect from our detox retreats and how that differs from other retreats offering a different but also a healthy experience.
By Midi Fairgrieve, founder of Detox International Retreats