Posts tagged #detoxification

LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

Integrative Medicine is an approach that puts the patient at the centre of care and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect one's health and wellbeing. It utilises conventional western medicine diagnostics and treats with evidence-based complementary functional medicine and alternative therapies.

Functional Medicine views the body as one integrated system and addresses the underlying causes of ill health, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both you and your team of practitioners in a therapeutic partnership. It is a personalised approach to preventative care and wellbeing with an understanding that every individual is different; genetically and biochemically unique. 

Through the lens of functional scientifically based medicine the question posed is: “What is the cause of this health challenge?” and “What can be done to restore function?

Lifestyle Medicine is a new branch of evidence based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, stress management, social support and environmental exposures) are used to prevent, treat and reverse the progression of chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes. The underlying cause of disease can stem from a variety of imbalances. 

The importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing and treating chronic disease is undisputed. Retreat environments provide a unique living laboratory where all aspects of lifestyle can be controlled and studied. Retreat experiences provide a unique opportunity for people to escape from unhealthy routines and engage in healthy practices and activities that lead to immediate and sustained health benefits. 

A health retreat creates an environment with a daily schedule of habits that support optimal wellness. Guided by experts from various modalities, guests are holistically supported towards harmony and homeostasis on all levels - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. 

The body is intelligent and has the capacity for healing and immense vitality when given the right care - this is what a health retreat can provide.

A health retreat or wellness centre provides a holistic living laboratory that supports; 

Gut Health : Emotional Wellbeing : Detoxification : Nutrition : Exercise : Mental Health : Brain Health : Sleep & Rest : Relationships : Spiritual Wellbeing : Social Connection & Community : Digital Detox : Clarity of Purpose

Specific therapies, treatments and consultations address; 

Stress & Anxiety : Inflammation : Digestive Dysfunction : Hormonal Imbalance : Structural Imbalance : Physical Toxicity : Cognitive Health : Toxic Emotions : Trauma : Immune System Imbalance 

I have been an advocate for health retreats since my early 20s and I have witnessed the power and transformation that can take place when staying on retreat. There is no better investment than that of your health, and as one wise yogi said - “health is wealth and peace of mind is happiness”.

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KAMALAYA, KOH SAMUI

I have been visiting health retreats all over the world for 20 years now and Kamalaya had been on my wish list for well over 6 years, so you can imagine my delight when I was asked to fly to Thailand and visit Kamalaya as a mystery judge for the World Spa & Wellness Awards. 

The island of Koh Samui in Thailand has been health retreat central for over 20 years. In fact it was here that I went through my first 7 day fasting program back in 2000. It was also at this retreat that I attended my first yoga class and met my yoga teacher. Some years later I returned to the island for a second retreat and so when I landed at the airport I felt like I was coming home. 

The transfer to Kamalaya was smooth and within 50 minutes I was greeted into the lovely reception area for check-in. I was feeling wonderful already! I had booked a 7 night stay and after a busy year of moving interstate, studying interior design and work I was certainly ready to get my glow back on, and be an advocate for spa wellness. It was truly the perfect end to the year. 

My initial wellness consultation was thorough and my wellness advisor was exceptionally helpful with explaining certain speciality therapies on the spa menu. From there a plan was made and soon thereafter I arrived to the spa reception for my first treatment, which was an Ayurvedic Marma Point Massage, ideal for grounding and balancing. I had now arrived into my body and could already feel this was going to be an amazing week. 

Perched on a steep hillside that drops down to the sea and a private beach, I found myself feeling expanded and yet still. Whichever way I walked required some incidental exercise, along with some detoxification due to the sweating that naturally happens in the humidity of Thailand. In addition there was a daily schedule of classes that included yoga, meditation, pilates, aqua aerobics and some other things. I loved using the fitness centre and running on the treadmill with its spectacular view over the water and I also loved dancing freely in the yoga pavilion that sat on top of the hill. I hold this in my memory as 'my special place'. 

The food philosophy was absolutely perfect and I could not fault a single item. It has been carefully planned from all angles and whether one follows a vegan, raw, ayuvedic, TCM or paleo diet the menu and breakfast buffet had it all. The food was always beautifully presented, full of life, vitality and colour and of course delicious. It was such an inspiring culinary experience that I would return for this alone. The restaurant featured private tables along with a communal dining experience which is fabulous when travelling alone or if you are wanting to meet other wellness travellers. 

The spa and wellness menu is amongst the most comprehensive you will find anywhere. The approach to healing for mind, body and soul is available via a myriad of treatments to choose from. In addition, Kamalaya hosts some of the worlds best healing practitioners who offer their own specialty therapies, which ensures this spa menu will never be boring, and nor will your journey back to self. 

Finally what I most loved about Kamalaya is the pure intention that it was built upon. Created by John and Karina Stewart, this is a tale of love. They met at the feet of their Guru in India and from there became good friends. John was living in a Himalayan ashram at this time, and Karina was living in the USA and a practicing Chinese Doctor amongst other things. Some 11 years later John was told that it was time for him to leave the ashram and go into the world. He called Karina and with a shared vision they soon married and began the task of finding the perfect location for the retreat they imagined. During this time they met Marc Cornaz, who brought his exceptional experience as a hotelier to the development of the retreat so that today Kamalaya offers a luxury 5 star experience that rivals any other luxury resort.

Kamalaya offers an experience that touches mind, body and soul. I absolutely loved my week here and hope to return some day in the not too distant future.

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SKIN WELLNESS

Did you know that your skin is your largest living breathing organ? In fact, as adults we carry some 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of skin on our body. As important as our skin is, it is the last organ to receive nutrients, but the first organ to show signs of imbalance, which is why our skin is such a great barometer for our overall health. 

The skin is often referred to as the third kidney or lung, because we absorb more impurities, and eliminate more waste through the skin than any other organ in our bodies (including the colon). Two pounds of waste are eliminated every day through the skin, which means that our health is reliant on the skin being able to perform this incredibly important function. We will come back to how we support the function of our skin in a moment, but first let’s stop and appreciate a few more things our skin does for us every day.

Biologically, our skin is our first line of defense and it holds our bodies together, shielding us from the outside world. Culturally, skin defines much of our standard for beauty, because bright, youthful skin signals healthy and vitality. And, like every part of our bodies, skin responds to care and attention.

Dry body brushing is a traditional natural health practice, which involves brushing over dry skin before following with a bath or shower. Dry brushing exfoliates dry, rough skin, opening pores so that toxins can freely pass out from the body and it lightly stimulates the nerves under the skin that connect to the lymphatic system, to drain these toxins from the body. It also assists with stimulation of sweat and oil glands, contributing to the restoration of moist, supple skin. Dry skin brushing also strengthens and improves skin tone and it alleviates vein and lymph congestion to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Another way we can support the skin as a passage way to expel toxins, is via the use of an infrared sauna or sweating through exercise. Sweating purges the body of toxins that can clog pores and plague the skin with pimples and blemishes. Induced sweating enhances your circulation and natural metabolic processes as well as helping to oxygenate your tissues. I hired an infrared sauna over winter and experienced amazing results. My skin glowed with cleanliness and was no longer dry. Plus, I generally felt a lot healthier.

What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our body, because your skin absorbs a large percentage of what you put on it. Therefore, its very important that you only use natural skincare that is rich with oils the skin can actually recognize and metabolise/eat, for want of a better word. If pores are congested and blocked with chemical products and mineral oils, our skin cannot function and eliminate properly as described above. Our oil glands secrete oil that contains bacteria to fight off disease. Harsh chemicals, soaps and skin care products that deplete our bodies’ natural protective oils demolish this natural defense strategy. Another reason that making informed choices about personal care products is so important.

So much of how we feel about ourselves is also wrapped up in our appearance. Those suffering from skin ailments such as rosacea, acne, psoriasis and eczema, understand the anxiety and stress that blemished skin can have on emotional wellbeing. Understanding how the skin functions can help to alleviate these problematic skin conditions.

Finally, drinking a lot of water and eating a healthy diet rich in wholefoods, oils and fruits and vegetables is key to great skin. We need to nourish ourselves from the inside out, both through nutrition and healthy compassionate thoughts.

How ever your skin looks, I hope this article will highlight just how important your skin is for physical and emotional health. I recommend creating daily rituals to keep your skin healthy and nourished from the inside and out.

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