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The new meaning of detox

Mark Smith, AKA The Spa Man, visits around 30 spas a year, so when it comes to spa and grooming he knows what he’s talking about. Writing for magazines across the world, he explains why this January his detox won’t have anything to do with green juices…

digital detox

As Christmas comes and goes, and the excesses of the festive period slowly catch up with us, it’s natural to want to rest the body and shift one or two of the pounds that have settled around the midriff during December. However, as the swathe of news stories appear promising a new year complete with a new you, I always urge restraint and caution. There’s never a quick fix that will have long-lasting effects and the idea of the instant detox really is a bit of a myth.

Small changes, made over a longer period are more likely to result in behavioural change, so if its weight loss that you are after, start small and make healthy choices. Drastic juice cleanses really aren’t the way forward in my opinion. You will only crave food and potentially develop an odd relationship with it where it becomes positioned as the enemy.

“Small changes, made over a longer period are more likely to result in behavioural change”

Now onto detox. Many spas will offer a detox package, but many more are now offering more wellness oriented programmes, there are still lots of offer around the country and indeed around the world.

Our bodies are designed very well to handle detoxification. Most of us are born with a liver and kidneys which, with a healthy amount of water, will serve to detoxify the body perfectly. If you are looking to reset your body and mind, then look more to a wellness programme that includes healthy food, good nutritional advice, an exercise programme, perhaps some mindfulness practice, yoga, pilates and meditation. Naturally you will want a few nice spa therapies thrown into the mix. I would suggest a full body scrub, massage and facial.

“One time I do think a detox is good for you is a digital detox.”

One time I do think a detox is good for you is a digital detox. As a society, we have become addicted to our phones and mobile gadgets. You see it all of the time on the train, on the bus or simply walking along the street.

The spa industry was quick to embrace the idea that we should have time away from our screens. The blue light emitted from our phones and tablets can disrupt our sleep patterns and can lead to neck and shoulder pain too. Mandarin Oriental Hotels around the world were amongst the first to offer digital detox escapes.

“The concept may frighten the socks off you - but ask anyone who has done a digital detox, they find it totally liberating.”

They are usually offered as a day spa option, but you can also build it into an overnight stay (or longer), they will take your phone away, clean it and pop it away whilst you totally immerse yourself in a spa day. For the whole experience they have now introduced spa escapes where your hotel room is furnished without a television, wifi or any other digital gadgets. The concept may frighten the socks off you - but ask anyone who has done a digital detox, they find it totally liberating.

There are many digital detox retreats that aren’t in posh hotels and you can escape to the countryside for wellness walks, swimming and yoga. Here you connect with nature, and more importantly, reconnect with yourself and if you are in a party or with your partner, you can have some much-needed quality time together without the distraction of a device.

So as the hangover subsides on the first of January, don’t plan for a total overhaul. Remember that small changes will make the most difference as they generally last a lifetime.

FIND THE RIGHT WELLBEING RETREAT FOR YOU

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