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By Linsy Hilton

It’s no secret that sugar is a concern when it comes to our health. Most of us are aware that too much of the sweet stuff can put us at risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, liver issues, and unstable moods, yet we still see it pop up in so much of the foods on our supermarket shelves.

So what is sugar’s story?

 

SUGAR: THE LOW-DOWN

Glucose, fructose, and galactose are sugar in its simple form, as a single molecule. When these molecules merge into different combinations, they create forms such as maltose, lactose, and sucrose. Sugar technically refers to any substance that is made up of these molecules; however, it’s typically the refined version found in processed foods, fizzy drinks, and cakes that is the most harmful to your health. Packed with naturally sweet ingredients, sugar is commonly used to enrich food with flavour. The highly caloric ingredient has been a staple in cooking and our diets for thousands of years, with the first reports of humans successfully cultivating sugarcane originating in New Guinea. Soon the “sweet spice” was incorporated into Middle Eastern and Chinese cuisine, and the countries quickly jumped on the sugar trade train and established their own sugarcane plantations and productions.

Today sugar is almost everywhere we look when it comes to food. With processed foods heavily on the rise globally, sugar is hiding in more foods than many of us realise. A U.S study concluded that 74% of packaged foods sold in supermarkets included sugar as an ingredient! With scary stats like these, do we need any more reasons to opt for unprocessed foods?!

A NECESSARY EVIL?

Up until the 18th century, sugar was an expensive commodity and not accessible to the general population. As plantations and productions expanded around the globe, so did sugars popularity as a food ingredient. By the 19th century, sugar was considered a necessity and commonly found in diets across the world.

Beyond its flavour and kilojoule enhancing qualities, why is sugar so frequently used as an ingredient in our food? Believe it or not, sugar serves many functions beyond satisfying your sweet tooth and fuelling your sugar high. Sugar is included as an ingredient in foods to contribute to the texture, as a preservative, to enhance flavours, and add colour and density. This means the unique role sugar plays in the production of food, apart from its role as a sweetener, is a major hurdle for food manufacturers who are actively trying to reduce the sugar content in their products or create sugar-free foods.

THE SWEET AND NOT-SO-SWEET STUFF

Before you give all sugars the boot, it’s essential to understand the role it has in our diet. The body needs sugar to operate. Sugar breaks down into glucose and is sent to our cells where it turns into energy. But don’t use that as an excuse to chow down on another chocolate bar! Sugar is also found in complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and grains. Consuming sugar in this form provides a more stable blood-sugar level than simple sugars, meaning you can still fuel your body when opting for nutrient dense foods rather than processed foods.

Though sugar has a place in our diets, it’s important to keep in mind the health risks of consumption of excess amounts of refined sugars–sometimes easier said than done, right? Sugar can be a hard vice to conquer. Studies show sugar could have an addictive effect on the brain and experts have even compared it to addictive drugs!

Blood sugar imbalances can be the primary cause of sugar cravings. Spikes in blood sugar can happen when simple sugar foods are consumed, causing the body to release insulin in an effort to stabilise the blood sugar; but if the level comes down too far, your body will crave sugar to bring it back up. Generally, this is when you will reach for the sugar-laden foods, and the vicious cycle begins. Taking a balanced approach to your diet by including plenty of protein, healthy fats, and nutrient dense foods plays an important part in stabilising your blood sugar.

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NATURAL ALTERNATIVES: WHAT & HOW?

Educating ourselves about the effects of sugar is an important tool for our health and wellness. With plenty of alternatives to choose from, there’s no need to miss out on the sweeter things in life by eating natural foods when clean eating. The following are great alternatives to processed, refined sugars:

Honey: Full of antioxidants, honey is one of the easiest sugar substitutes to source and provides a robust level of sweetness. To replace one cup of sugar when baking, use two tablespoons less than one cup of honey, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and reduce one liquid ingredient in the recipe by three tablespoons.

Dates: Dates are an excellent substitute for sugar in baked goods and raw treats. Use two-thirds of a cup of dates to replace one cup of refined sugar when baking. Agave Nectar: Similar to honey, this plant-based sweetener is the perfect replacement for sugar in drinks and also works in salad dressings or sauces.

TAKING A BREAK

If you feel like you can’t shake the sugary stuff, a detox is the best way to combat the habit and give your body a chance to break the addiction. Taking a break from sugar is a great way to reset and could also help shift weight, reduce inflammation in the body, increase energy, and stabilise mood. An overhaul of your diet, fridge, and pantry to eliminate any refined or processed sugar is the first step to giving your body a sugar break. But if you find the idea of planning a sugar detox overwhelming, treating yourself and your body to an all-inclusive detox package with professionals is a fantastic way to kickstart your sugar-free wellness journey.

At Visit Natural Detox Resort, we take a natural approach to diet, combining raw foods, unprocessed foods, and clean eating with a holistic approach to the mind and body. Mindful movement practices such as yoga are included in our packages, ensuring your body returns to balance while it detoxes. While indulging in one of our packages, you will have The Wild Tribe Superfood Cafe on your doorstep. Here you will have access to a healthy and nutritional menu, created by a certified nutritionist and full of mouth-watering delights that will have you forgetting sugar in no time.

If you are looking for a natural detox, contact us via contact form today and kick that sugar addiction to the curb!

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By Rae Hadley

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

 

These are our watchwords. In fact, they are not just ours, these words were spoken around 430 BC by the Greek philosopher Hippocrates, often considered the Father of Medicine and the originator of the Hippocratic Oath. There are multiple reasons for its continued relevance: the first is that everyone on the planet needs nutrition to survive, the second is that when people are in a position to make choices about their food consumption they also make choices about whether they thrive or just survive.

Thirdly, the developing understanding of what we individually and globally do to our surroundings and our bodies creates levels of ease or dis-ease, depending on the specific circumstances. These ideas resonate as strongly now as they did thousands of years ago because they were, and continue to be, globally and individually relevant. Raw food as an aspect of healthier living has received many accolades over the years. It has also been held up to ridicule on occasion, so let’s debunk some of the myths that have surrounded it, and check out the reasons why a raw food diet might support you in developing a greater sense of holistic wholeness and wellness.

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Raw Food

THE MYTHS AND FACTS

#1

ON A RAW DIET, YOU CAN ONLY EAT UNCOOKED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.

No! Not true! What is true is that in order to benefit from a raw food diet, you should eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, clean food and unprocessed food. All of these avoid added sugars and preservatives, keeping the food items as close to their natural, unmodified state as possible. There are also numerous options for seeds, sprouted grains, pulses and seeds, nuts and nut butters, seaweeds, juices-limiting these if eating is focused on managing sugar levels and cravings-as well as an array of fermented and ‘naturally processed’ foods such as cold pressed raw oils, miso, kimchee, and raw soy sauce-‘nama shoyu’.

Developing imaginative dishes - most of which are raw and some could be steamed- with such a variety of ingredients becomes easier with a little practise and conscious effort. The Visit Natural Detox Resort cafe, Wild Tribe, has its detox menu beautifully planned. Their nutrient-dense meals showcase raw, clean and unprocessed food at its best, and they also have gluten-free options. If you haven’t breakfasted on a revitalising juice or unprocessed, raw smoothie, you are truly missing out on one of the cleanest, most natural starts to the day.

#2

YOU CAN ONLY EAT COLD FOOD.

Wrong! Warming certain foods offers the opportunity to benefit from a physically and emotionally soothing heat. Keeping the temperature below 104F will ensure that they are still at their optimum. Unfortunately, there is a common myth that cooking fruit and vegetables destroys all of the nutritional value. Whilst it is true that cooking these items far beyond necessity will ruin the best of them, certain foods, such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, benefit from being cooked.

Cooking can break down solid cellulose walls and making nutrients more accessible to our bodies. The loss of our fragile friend, vitamin C, is unavoidable if food is cooked, however with a balanced approach and eating a range of foods, that gap will quickly be filled. The Wild Tribe cafe has a multitude of ways to enjoy a healthy meal, even when on a detox, utilising the best nutrient-dense foods available:from soups to salads-and even steamed vegetable dishes. The range of  tasty, unprocessed, raw and clean foods, is an imaginative and joyful feast. After eating clean, there is no longer a place for those pesky preservatives and processes in your diet.

Developing imaginative dishes - most of which are raw and some could be steamed- with such a variety of ingredients becomes easier with a little practise and conscious effort. The Visit Natural Detox Resort cafe, Wild Tribe, has its detox menu beautifully planned. Their nutrient-dense meals showcase raw, clean and unprocessed food at its best, and they also have gluten-free options. If you haven’t breakfasted on a revitalising juice or unprocessed, raw smoothie, you are truly missing out on one of the cleanest, most natural starts to the day.

#3

RAW MEANS I CAN EAT AS MUCH OF IT AS I WANT.

Sorry, no! I’m as sad as anyone that this is an ‘untruth’. To be able to eat the Wild Tribe ‘gluten-free, vegan, blueberry ‘cheesecake’ to my heart’s desire would be bliss. However, no.

Raw ingredients or snacks can be nutrient-dense and also, unfortunately, highly calorific. Nuts and nut butters. Fruits and fruit juices. The mighty avocado. All these items have a high fat or sugar calorific payload. The fats and sugars may be naturally occurring, but it is impossible to eat them without impunity. Consuming high quantities, without partaking in the necessary exercise to burn off the calories, will naturally lead to a gain in weight. However, following a natural, balanced approach will allow you to eat these delicious ingredients in a way that will reset your body’s expectation of what is sufficient, allowing enjoyment in health affirming quantities.

Raw Food

VISIT NATURAL DETOX RESORT

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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By Gystilyn O’Brien

Being an adult in this world is crazy demanding and it’s incredibly easy to take in and on more than you realize. We all know our base responsibilities include paying the bills, putting dinner on the table, taking care of rent, and supporting the family. We get that those responsibilities can be stressful. Yet, life is often more complicated than just bills.

We have responsibilities to our friends, our co-workers. We have a responsibility to nature – to compost and recycle, to the population – to read the news and vote and stay up on current affairs. And we have a responsibility to ourselves, to keep fit and eat right, perform self-care with a balanced approach, and appreciate life.

In short, being an adult is a lot… all the time, and where a few of those responsibilities and stresses would be manageable, the load of them can put our systems on overload. Face it, friend, you need a reset.

 

Detox Naturally

DETOXING IN THE TROPICS, SWEAT IT OUT

There are a lot of places to holiday. Different types of holidays invite different forms of release and decompression. A cold weather holiday – like visiting somewhere with snow – is sharp and refreshing and a good way to clear the mind. A different perspective can shift things on your insides and help promote goals you never dreamt were attainable. For all that, not so much in the realm of detoxing.

Hot weather? Now, there’s something! Visiting the tropics is an exercise in sweat, and it’s through sweat that we begin to detox and reset from overly busy and stressful lives. Heat increases sweat production, a natural body cooling response, which increases the metabolism, and begins feasting on extraneous body holdings such as fat cells. Fat cells hold stress and toxins like nothing else. Even an organic eater will accumulate fat cells, not per-se from the quality of food, but from the body’s natural responses to protect itself against stress.

See, when we stress, our bodies go into a type of shock. Our systems believe we are under attack because we are producing hormones that evolutionarily would have represented something dangerous happening – that’s cortisol. Our biological response is to protect itself, that means syphoning away nutrients (fat), in the event that the issue escalates into something that will require extra energy – ya know, for running from a bear, or some such. Except there is no bear – just a boss yelling in your face. The fat storage isn’t being used, and is polluted with cortisol, and whatever other toxins happen to be present, which isn’t doing your body any favors at all.

One of the problems with our environment at present is that most of our food, water, and air carries in it particulates that are not particularly good for humans. Be it exhaust fumes from cars, fluoride in the water, or pesticides on our food. There is a lot for a body to battle in the toxin department and frankly, even a vigilant eye can’t cover them all. All that stuff hangs out in fat.

One of the major benefits of hot climate is sweat because it forces your body to work through that fat to the toxins buried within, and herein lies the natural detox. Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after a workout? It’s not just the adrenaline, it’s the sweat burning through the toxins – like a very small maintenance detox. Visiting a place of high temperature, where you sweat constantly, that’s a forced detox – not just a small maintenance, but a profound, constant, full body approach.

Often people hit the tropics ready to nap and rest because it’s a holiday. Once they are there, the physical need to nap becomes real because their bodies are going through a natural detox by being exposed to heat. If you aren’t prepared for it the heat can hit you like a sack of bricks. A lot of folks get sick on holiday – that’s because the stress and toxins are trying to bleed out of the system through sweat.

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Detox Naturally

REMOVAL OF TOXINS

Toxins do a lot of damage – not just for the stress we carry, but for the toxin particles as well. Toxins can affect the organs, which in turn can affect the skin. An overladen gut will affect the entire body, particularly in terms of processing.

Detox is not just a process of sweating and drinking lots of water, it’s a process of mindfulness. It’s walking into the tropics with the intent of coming out feeling better. It’s saying, “not only am I going to engage in ‘beach time’, but I’m going outdoors, to immerse in nature. I’m going to eat fresh fruit pulled right from the tree in front of me, swim in the ocean and soak up the sun. I’m going to engage in the peaceful life of an island and let all my unnecessary cares melt away.” That’s detox. That’s letting go of stress.

Detox With Us

VISIT NATURAL DETOX RESORT

Almost every island in the world has a flow, a sense of balance and wellness. It probably has something to do with the sea: being surrounded by ever-moving and changing waters keeps the waters inside the body moving too. Koh Samui’s tropical climate provides all the right elements for a balanced detox. Water on all sides, groves upon groves of palms – never underestimate the power of a good tree, they provide oxygen, after all. A ton of temples and wats to contemplate. At the Natural Detox Center, there are yoga classes, an organic restaurant, and staff practitioners available to teach you the best practices available for stress management, fasting, and overall balanced self care for when you return home. A holistic approach to detox does not just include coming to the tropics to sweat out stress, it’s also learning skills and practices to take home with you, so that you can mindfully keep yourself from taking on more responsibilities and toxins. Visit Natural Detox today and let us show you how to approach detox and overall well-being in a productive and intentional way.

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By Nancymarie B. 

Fasting seems to be a trend right now, however, the practice of fasting dates back thousands of years and has been done by vast groups of people and countless institutions to conserve energy, restore balance, and gain enlightenment. Hindus, Yogis, athletes, and even animals practice regular fasting of some sort. Fasting is a natural approach to detox.  

 

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WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Fasting is actually a natural process. Living in a world where instant gratification and gluttony are king, it can seem confusing to hear that our bodies were designed to fast. Whether spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, or all the above, all forms of natural detox are done with the purpose of healing. When you withhold food from your body for extended periods of time it is like your body is a soldier going to war to protect and strengthen you. 

Intermittent fasting (IF) is designating a certain amount of hours to eating, and the others to not eating. The focus of IF is highly concentrated on the time you eat, as opposed to other forms of fasting that focus more on what you eat. 

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WHO SHOULD AVOID INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Fasting is generally safe for most people, and there is a lot of debate in this area. However, there are some who are highly recommended to consult with their health provider including:

  • Moms-to-be
  • Nursing moms
  • Diabetics
  • Binge eaters
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Those with anxiety
  • Those with high blood pressure
  • Those on certain medications

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting provides a plethora of benefits to the body, mind, and spirit. It:

  • Detoxifies and heals the body
  • Brings mental clarity
  • Balances hormones
  • Lowers and balance insulin levels
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Increases tissue healing and repair
  • Increases HGH levels (slows aging)
  • Increases energy
  • Improves the condition of the skin (no more bronzer because your glow will be natural)
  • Improves the five senses

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HOW DO WE APPROACH OUR FASTING PACKAGES?

We understand that there are many different ways to fast and that for many, fasting can be an intimidating subject to approach. We’ve designed an Eat-Fast-Eat methodology which includes juice, tea and water over a 5 day period with one organic light meal a day. We provide a selection of vitamins to accompany your journey to ensure detoxification and organ health, accompanied by three daily visits with a certified practitioner to help guide you through the process of processing the self to find inner peace. 

Our fasting packages can be joined with full detoxification packages to approach a clean gut, focused dietary plan for post fast, which will likely include some level of IF, and a workout plan to improve blood circulation and overall movement. Our team is dedicated to getting you on the right track for better energy and vitality.

Intermittent Fasting can include:

12/12 – a pretty standard eat during a 12 hour period, fast for a 12 hour period. Most people live this way naturally.  

7 A.M. – 7 P.M. Eat

7 P.M. – 7 A.M. Fast 

16/8Instead of eating during half the day and fasting half the day, you will fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour timeframe. 

11 A.M. – 7 P.M Eat

7 P.M. – 11 A.M. Fast

This is the most common IF method. Breakfast lovers may struggle at first but many end up preferring it. 

 

Alternate Day FastingFast with 12/12 or 16/8 every other day. This may be a good method for someone who juggles a lot on rotation weekly, where some days are more demanding than others. 

 

The Warrior a.k.a. 20/4 – For those in love with the fasting the 20-hours fast and 4-hours eat window may be the way to live. Practitioners tend to have a very specific diet in this case. 

7 P.M. – 3 P.M. Fast 

3 P.M. – 7 P.M. Eat

 

Eat-Stop-EatOur method: For this fasting method choose 1 to 3 days out of the week to do a full 24-hour fast with only water, and fresh-squeezed juices if you’d like. 

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What to Expect When Fasting?

Fasting can be challenging, but if you can push through the temporary discomforts, your body will thank you. There are some who will experience few to no symptoms and others who will suffer from many, but the two key things to remember is your personal “why” and that the discomfort will pass.

Hunger, Cravings, Mood swings, Frustration, Irritability, Low energy, Headaches, Dizziness, Heartburn, Bloating, Constipation, Feeling cold, Overeating, Breakouts 

TIPS:

  • During the fasting period drink lots of water, fresh juices (especially green), and herbal teas
  • Replace your normal eating times, and times you think about food, with meditation, prayer, reading, stretching, exercise, and other activities that bring joy, peace, and balance
  • Be kind to yourself. Remember your body is undergoing a holistic change and it is working overtime to heal. If you feel the need to rest, cry, or vent, do it without guilt, fear, or shame. It is apart of your unique healing journey.

When making any change in your life, challenges and discomfort are to be expected as you are training your mind and body to do something different. You’ve already made huge progress in coming out to engage in a fasting package here at Natural Detox Center. Give us a call and don’t let the temporary discomfort keep you from achieving the goals you have set for your health. Our practitioners are here to support and provide encouragement to you when things get tough. Trust in this natural approach. You’ll be glad you did.

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By Nguyet Tran

With the advancement of technology and artificial intelligence, we find ourselves engrossed with phones, computers, and TVs. We have a lot of options to engage in natural approaches. We can order organic, engage in online meditation and yoga. Yet, in this high-tech age, we are able to stay online 24 hours a day, and often we forget to engage in the basic self care points. It’s becoming more and more evident that technology addiction is becoming a widespread health problem in many countries.

Life can seem quite short, particularly when spending time in the electronic world, which often means spending less time in the natural one. Technology is great but it may be distracting us from some of the values of being alive. We may be losing sight of what is truly important. We stay indoors close to our electrical outlets and panic when we lose our phones. Technology has made life convenient in many ways, but at what cost?

 

Natural Cycles

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO RECONNECT WITH NATURE

There are numerous studies that show the benefits of interacting with nature. The University of Minnesota suggests that exposure to nature not only makes us feel emotionally better but also contributes to our physical well being. Nature inspires a natural detox by decreasing the production of stress hormones, lessening blood pressure and cholesterol, and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. That combination of beauty and fresh air relaxes us, and reduces muscle tension and heart rate. Interacting with nature can help control the symptoms of anxiety and depression, promoting recovery alongside medication.

Humans are genetically predisposed to gravitate towards nature. We prefer rooms with a view, and studies have shown that hospital patients with views of green spaces took fewer painkillers, had better evaluations from nursing staff, recovered faster, and had fewer postoperative complications. In a prison environment, inmates were reported to have less stress and sickness with cells that have windows to views of nature.  Similarly, those working in an office with views of trees and flowers had less job stress, were more productive, and were reported to have better job satisfaction compared to employees with views of concrete environments. Studies show that university students scored better on a test when they had access to a view of nature. Just by looking at the outside environment, contentment is increased, focus is enhanced, and anger and anxiety dwindle.

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Children who spend time in nature have an increase in self-esteem and children with ADHD can experience an increased attention span long-term. Applying healthy foods can be of great import to a child’s growing cycle. Organic produce and proper nutrition combined with outdoor outings can prevent child obesity. Surprisingly though, surveys have shown that children between the ages of 5 and 16 have real misconceptions about the origins of food. More than 40 percent of kids don’t know where eggs come from, 29 percent think cheese is a plant. Other misconceptions are that pasta and bread come from animals and that fruit pastilles are part of a recommended daily diet of fruits and vegetables. 

Interacting with nature inspires empathy and love, helping us to build better relationships with our partners, families, and communities. Green spaces such as parks and gardens provide the community with a space to socialise, building community cohesion and decreasing prejudices of race, economic, and educational status. Neighbourhoods with green spaces are reported to have less street crime, less domestic violence, and less graffiti. Workers feel an increased sense of identity and integration by having contact with nature.

Nature provides a multitude of benefits for both the individual and the community. It helps in the progress of a healthier workforce. Health services are now looking at how to integrate contact with nature and nutritionists to promote health for the population. As technology surrounds our lives, we need to find ways to reconnect with nature.

Natural Cycles

EXERCISE AND NATURE

Exercise in all its forms is good for the body and mind. It reduces the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Rock climbing, swimming in the sea, kayaking, canyoneering, surfing, hiking, trail running, cycling, just to name a few, can all be done outdoors.  Exercise done in natural surroundings produces more benefits than when done indoors. The Detox Center promotes healthy activity in our Detox packages, often including yoga, tai chi, dancing, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or weight training outside. Exercise in natural surroundings not only stimulates greater feelings of revitalisation, it also increases motivation. It reduces the perceived level of effort, helping you to exercise harder and more often.

Natural Cycles

LEISURE AND NATURE

Just being in nature has a multitude of benefits. Enjoying an organic picnic, bird watching, feeding the ducks, gardening, and stargazing are just a few examples of embracing nature without the need to exercise. Being in natural detox surroundings can be as simple as sitting in a treehouse, visiting a beach, or reading in the park. Sculpture parks are an enjoyable integration of art and nature, and visiting one encourages you to walk, as well as exposing you to green spaces. If accessing the outdoors is difficult, interacting with nature indoors is also possible, such as organic produce greenhouses and herb gardens. Try your hand at growing indoor plants and spend a little more time with your pets.

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Natural Cycles

NUTRITION AND NATURE

With the advancement of technology, our food is greatly affected. The use of pesticides produces a bigger yield in farming, and processed foods have a longer shelf life. Though these aspects are convenient, research suggests that organic food is better than non-organic, and the need to know how it is produced will help in making informed decisions regarding nutrition.

Organic food contains more antioxidants, which are important nutrients found in fruit and vegetables that help prevent cancer, improve vision, fight infection, and combat ageing. Organic foods are cultivated without pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Therefore, eating organic foods means ingesting fewer chemicals that contribute to deficiencies in neurodevelopment, and negatively affect the healthy bacteria our gut requires. Organic meat is leaner (less fatty) than non-organic meat and comes from grass-fed stock without the use of antibiotics. The benefits of organic foods are numerous and decrease the need to fortify our foods by promoting health naturally.

Join us at the Natural Detox Center and engage in the tropical beauty of Thailand in an environment which focuses on health, exercise and well being. Our practitioners will be happy to help you naturally detox from the busy everyday hustle you know, to engage in a sense of tranquility and natural calm.

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By Rae Hadley

Hey! Hang on a minute! Don’t go! Before you turn away in disgust and horror at the thought of parasites living in, on, and off us, let’s acknowledge that it is far better to have the knowledge and be prepared than to be ambushed and to find oneself in an unpleasant situation–with a dodgy gut. 

So take a moment, take a breath. Let’s be brave and discuss, quickly and with focused intent, the issue of these nasty critters, their unpleasant effect on our bodies, and more importantly, what we can all do to keep them at bay or to evict these unwanted, uninvited gatecrashers.

 

WHAT ARE THEY?

So what is a parasite? The most comprehensive definition is that of an organism that is dependent upon its host for its survival. A parasite derives its nourishment from the host it lives in, or on, and during this process can inflict varying levels of damage on the host. There are–I’m sorry, this is a tough one to hear–scores of different types of parasites, all of which have various ways of life and modes of survival. 

Protozoa are single-celled organisms that live inside, feed off the host, and depend on it for survival. Ectoparasites live on the surface of the host’s body; on skin, or scale, or fur depending on its preferred habitat. Helminths are particularly famous in human lore as the all-too disgusting ‘worms’ which can inhabit our digestive tract. Epiparasites are ‘twice removed’, initially living in another organism before reaching us. The protozoa, Plasmodium, responsible for malaria is one such case. It lives, in an undeveloped form, in the mosquito before the mosquito (un)helpfully ‘introduces’ it to us. 

In short, parasitic beasties can populate your guts, blood, skin, and hair. They will try to adapt to any situation where there is a suitable fuel supply for their reproductive life cycle. And they are tenacious, determined creatures, ready to do battle for their survival. Uggggh!

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HOW DO THEY GET INSIDE ME?

I know! It’s hideous but, to be honest, you have to marvel at parasites! They are amazingly adaptable and creative creatures. For this reason, the various different species have evolved into every facet of life. It is possible for humans to acquire one or more parasitic organisms through our skin, the food and water we consume, by being bitten by another organism, and in the case of the teeny, tiny pinworm, even through air-born infection.

HOW THEY AFFECT YOUR BODY

The symptoms of a parasitic infection in your body might be very obvious, such as nausea, vomiting, a bloated stomach, stomach pain or tenderness, gas, diarrhea, an actual, visible worm, or a nasty skin complaint. However, without any visual cues, these symptoms can be mistaken for any number of other bacterial or viral infections. Determining the cause of the problem and identifying the culprit will help you organise a concerted assault and eradicate your enemy.

Other symptoms can include fatigue, muscle weakness or pain, unexplained anxiety, feeling unusually hungry after eating, and even grinding your teeth in your sleep. There are many symptoms and diagnosis can be difficult because not everyone will present the same condition in the same way. 

HOW TO RECOGNISE WHEN YOU HAVE THEM

A doctor will usually take a blood or stool sample to see what is the cause of your symptoms, and maybe even request that you have an internal endoscopy or colonoscopy–a tiny camera inserted into your either your mouth or rectum – to look for signs of parasitic infestation.

The ongoing effects of parasitic infection can be determined by the speed at which you get help, your level of health pre-infection, your age, and any other underlying health conditions you might have. Don’t wait too long for treatment. Catch the critters early, before they have set up camp and are unwilling to leave.

GETTING RID IOF PARASITES

There are multiple ways and means to get rid of unwanted parasitic freeloaders; however, as is often the case, not all ways are equal. A course of antibiotics might appear to be a quick fix. In certain countries, you can get these “over-the-counter.” However, without being certain of the problem, you may be causing more harm than good.

Antibiotics have saved many millions of lives, but they can be indiscriminate in their approach and often kill off the positive bacteria which inhabit our bodies, leaving us open to further infection and with an even more unbalanced microbiome. You need to know what you’re dealing with before you go treating it with antibiotics.

Apple cider vinegar has shown it has the capacity to disrupt certain pathogens by breaking down their structural proteins. Clove and cinnamon are spices considered to have antimicrobial properties which damage the cell walls of the pathogens tested, and disrupt the synthesis of DNA and their reproductive capacity. Neither results have been specifically related to parasitic infections; however, future tests may validate the anecdotal weight they have carried for several thousand years. In addition, a health or medical practitioner may advise you of additional essential oils and extracts to eradicate your parasite.

A consideration with regard to our eating habits is that when we consume sugar and carbohydrates, we are providing lots of lovely fuel for these lousy beasts to keep leaching our energy supplies and building their empires. For this reason, different types of fasting have become popular to ‘flush out the fiends’. 

The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is, interestingly, the set of symptoms of toxicity from the chemicals produced by the parasites or bacteria as they die off. It is an additional side-effect of parasitic infection. The bi-product of the death of your nemesis is still further dis-ease. It can manifest as a continuation of the symptoms which you already had, or become a case of getting worse before you get better. Parasites just don’t want to give you up.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY GUT

Gut health affects your entire system so, in order to manage your health, you must look at every part of you. This will give you the best chance both pre- and post-infection. You are more likely to be able to shrug off the unwanted intruder or bounce back from the symptoms if you are fit, healthy, and your gut is at its optimum. Consider your emotional and physical health for full-body, holistic-impact solutions. 

Pre and probiotics, fibre, and a varied diet will all contribute to your gut health and the repopulation and replenishing of your good gut flora. There are also numerous health food supplements to decrease gut permeability and increase health following a parasite infection, a course of antibiotics, or both. 

Bone broth with collagen is a popular option for its high levels of amino acids; however, if you are vegan or vegetarian you can concentrate on the plant-based foods which may support gut health. Perhaps try pickled foods, or ‘yogurt’. You might also feel it necessary to take some additional vitamin and mineral supplements.

Staying on Top

Maintaining solid, personal health and top-notch hygiene are the main ways to ensure that you don’t encounter these unwanted passengers in the first place. A fit body, healthy mind, and strong will are all key to setting up an ‘almost’ unbreachable defense. 

A good personal hygiene routine with regular showering, not sharing towels or washcloths, and regular laundering of bed linen is important. Scrupulous handwashing before eating, and of course, after any outside activities and using the toilet is essential to good health. Ensuring that children, especially, maintain this will stop the chance of constant cross-contamination and reinfection. Truly, prevention is better than cure.

At home and abroad, it is equally important to be conscious of the food and drink you consume. Assess the quality, where it comes from, how it is transported, and how it is washed and prepared before you eat it. All these factors are potential routes for parasites to enter your system.

Finally, to end on a less anti-parasite note because where there’s bad there’s always good, new therapies are being tested utilising specific parasites to treat conditions like colitis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and even asthma. So, perhaps these pesky parasites are a blessing waiting to be discovered!

 

Note – Self-diagnosis may halt the spread of a parasite in a family and in your body; therefore it is important to be aware of any signs and symptoms which give cause for concern. Consider prophylactic treatment. However, this is no substitute for visiting a knowledgeable, qualified medical or health practitioner for a full diagnosis and treatment plan, to alleviate the symptoms and address the root cause.

Taking a more natural approach to managing parasites is important to consider. However, always engage with a clear understanding that it might alleviate some symptoms but may not be able to give a complete cure. Should symptoms persist, then it is important to seek qualified advice before your system has reached a point too low and is less able to fight back.

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By Gystilyn O’Brien

 

TCM

IS IT FOR ME?

The overall concept of acupuncture is to ensure that Qi (chi), the natural flow of energy through the body, can move freely. Acupuncture is a method of Eastern medicine that takes a preventative approach towards health. It’s culturally normal to visit a practitioner regularly and to integrate certain foods and practices into the daily life to ensure that the system, as a whole, is working in an optimum fashion. This is typically called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Anyone can attend acupuncture or TCM sessions, regardless of ailments. In Chinese culture, it would be as usual as going grocery shopping. 

TCM

QI

The study of the flow of Qi in the body is roughly 3,000 years old and originates in China. Qi translates roughly to ‘breath’ in Chinese and represents the concept of life force, that energy which animates our bodies. Many cultures believe in life-force including Hindu (prana), Japanese (ki), and Hawaiian (mana). The idea is that through attention (meditation), breathing, and proper care, the body’s Qi can be balanced to achieve health and vitality. 

TCM, as a whole, makes a study of the improvement of Qi. A practitioner will examine the body and evaluate problem spots based on complaints, skin, wrinkles, bumps on the tongue, and the colour of the eyes. TCM observes that underlying organ stress will show physical signs of ailment in minor ways. A practitioner may then instruct you to include in your daily activities various teas, types of food to be ingested at certain hours, breathing techniques, and stretches that will help bring your body into alignment. TCM often follows Chinese astrology, meaning that the time of day you breathe or drink tea may have an effect on Qi’s ability to move freely. By applying these systems to daily life your Qi is kept in optimum flow, reducing the stress on your body and organs, thus ensuring that illness never has a chance to take root.

TCM

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is a practitioner-based, hands-on approach to moving Qi. Where most other forms of Eastern healing can be done at home, acupuncture is more of a science, and it requires a great deal of study to be able to practise successfully. Based on The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, written around the 15th century during the rule of the Ming Dynasty, the book outlines the 12 main channels (meridians) which movement of energy flows between organs creating a symbiotic whole system. These meridians are not necessarily synonymous with blood flow and realistically have more to do with the nervous system pathways. The book outlines 365 points where applying pressure to the body can affect Qi flowing through the 12 meridians. Acupuncture applies hair-thin needles, a process which is usually quite painless, to any selection of these 365 points to positively affect the flow of energy.

Acupressure, cupping, and massage are also forms of TCM that can create similar effects. Acupressure is typically done to the ears by placing tiny seeds against pressure points and holding them there with tape. The idea is that all the organs are represented in the ears, hands, and feet. Cupping takes glass jars that have been held over a candle and then placed on the back. The heat (warm, not hot) pulls the skin of the back up into the cup, thus pulling the muscles to sit differently for a short period. Massage also manipulates the muscles, and in TCM is called Tui Na or An Mo, and focuses on pressing into the same meridian points in a similar way to acupuncture and acupressure. 

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TCM

CAN I TREAT MY CONDITION?

While acupuncture is not an exact science, a great deal of research has been done to discover whether acupuncture is effective. Hundreds of clinical studies have shown success in treating a variety of illnesses, including arthritis, and improving outcomes following a stroke. 

From personal experience, I can report that on the occasion I damaged my back my practitioner had me up and moving in less than two hours, where before I couldn’t stand. On a separate occasion I was convinced I had torn the medial meniscus in my right knee, and after a two-hour session was up and walking. A week later, and after two more sessions, I was back to practising yoga. 

In my experience, a good practitioner will apply needles to parts of the body you weren’t expecting: the toes to work out a tension headache, for example. The concept is mentally strange, but there’s usually nothing painful about the process. You may feel warmth at the needle spots and sometimes the sensation travels through the body. Everything becomes very calm. I was a relative sceptic when I began acupuncture, and now I’m a full believer, not only in acupuncture but in Qi. I practice breathing exercises daily, watch my diet, do yoga and Tai Chi, and attempt to visit a practitioner once a month for what I call ‘a maintenance check-up’. Just like a machine, I pop in to ensure that my systems are running well. 

TCM

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PRACTITIONER

Most countries have an official Acupuncture Council, which will list qualified practitioners based on their medical certificates. I recommend going down this route as most of these practitioners are cross educated in modern sciences, ensuring a greater overall approach to your health. Keep in mind that acupuncture works by inserting needles into the body, so you also want a practitioner who works in a sterile environment. Never accept acupuncture needles that are not from sterile packs. Ancient practices used sharpened wood or bone, and where this classic method may seem attractive, these tools can carry bacteria. If an office is not clean, it’s probably best to find a different doctor.

If you are interested in something more stereotypical and picturesque, the little Chinese doctor with a long beard and lots of wrinkles, you can certainly find one with little issue, although, unless you speak Mandarin or Cantonese there may be no clear communication. 

Acupuncture is a great practice and a wonderful way to help maintain the flow of Qi through the body. It is important to take an active approach to your health and to engage with your energy–however you term it–to ensure that you can live your very best life. If you are interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we here at Koh Samui Detox Resort offer cupping as part of our holistic packages. We also offer traditional Thai massage that applies pressure along the meridian and various pressure points also used in the application of acupressure.

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By Lyra Joy Almoite

UNDERSTANDING BALANCE ON A DEEPER LEVEL AND EMBODYING IT IN LIFE

 

You have probably seen the Yin-Yang symbol quite a few times in your life, but what does it mean?

 

YIN YANG, WHAT IS IT?

Associated with Chinese cultures, practices, and traditions, the Yin and Yang is a concept with roots in Daoism, a religion born in China. The word Yin means ”shady side,” while the word Yang means “sunny side,” which already tells us that the concept of Yin and Yang has to do with the opposites.

The Yin and Yang depicts two opposing forces, but it shouldn’t be confused with conflict. It’s very common in western culture to think about life vs. death, good vs. evil, and light vs. dark. This language instills the idea that we should cultivate the good and destroy the bad. However, Yin and Yang doesn’t destroy or cultivate–it balances and co-exists, like day and night, man and woman, and life and death.

However, Yin and Yang is about more than the static existence of the opposites. Yin and Yang tells us about the differences and opposites that co-exist peacefully and harmoniously. It is about a constantly changing and balancing of differences and opposites. Yin and Yang is a cycle. It is about concepts that are technically opposites, but are also continuously complementing each other as they transition. It is the flow of the universe.

The Yin

FEMININE CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES

Yin is the feminine and passive, the shady side of the hill, the stillness and the silence. In regards to lifestyle, Yin is the peace of mind and balance we are all looking for in Yang lifestyles. However, it could also be the illness you fall into after pushing your limits by working too hard. Yin exists in everything—all of us, our daily lives, in the environment. It is our conscious and continuous approach to balance our lives. It is the softer, slower and less physical movements and activities.

Yin can be observed in yoga and tai chi. It is not aimed to make someone tired, burn calories, or lose weight, but instead to find focus, lower blood pressure, promote calmness, and enhance mood to find balance. To keep our balance, nourishing our Yin energy is essential and it can be done in the simplest ways, like eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, slowing down, taking a break or enjoying vacations. Studies show that taking a break and going for a vacation just to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet is proven to improve our Yin energies and way of life.

The Yang

MASCULINE CONCEPTS AND ACTIVITIES

Yang is on the opposite side of the Yin. Yang is the masculine, active, warm, light, receptive counterpart of the Yin. Like the Yin, Yang also exists in all of us, within us and around us. Yang is the success we are all striving for. It is the daily rat-race in life, chasing deadlines, and advancing our careers. It is the sunny side of the mountain, the movement, the action and the creative energy. Yang is the energy that takes motion, and the energy that gets things done.

Yang is you getting out of bed in the morning, staying active, and engaged; it is you moving at a faster pace and finding the balance of your forward centripetal speed. In our day-to-day life, Yang is easy to abuse, by overworking or engaging in intense physical activities and pressure. Often, we don’t feel as though we are abusing our Yang energy, but we are.

Yin and Yang

BALANCING THE TWO

Yin and Yang co-exist with one another. They are a part of the same system and removing one is as good as removing the whole system. Without Yin, there would be no Yang. One’s existence gives the other meaning. You wouldn’t even appreciate the Yin or Yang without the other.

Both are important and should be given equal focus and attention. As much as we all work hard to achieve success, we all have to take a break and slow down to keep our balance, or our bodies, minds, and souls will eventually pay the price. If we keep working our Yang non-stop, eventually falling sick, it will be our body’s way of making us slow down and nurture our Yin energy. It is a cycle. That is how the universe works. 

The way to achieve a Yin and Yang balance is a conscious effort and not always easy. At Natural Detox in Koh Samui we provide good food to fuel your body, a safe space to explore your inner self and practitioners full of wisdom and knowledge from different cultures to help guide you onto a successful path of balance. Check out our Ying and Yang detox packages: Yang is cardio and strength training and Yin is the day trip, rest days, daily massage, yoga and stretching … they offer a balanced programme, yet still achieve great results.

Work hard if you must, but feed your body with good food to fuel your day and get enough rest. Avoid toxic relationships. Stay in a job that you enjoy and that brings out the best in you. Explore, travel, and see the world. Nurture your mind with wisdom and knowledge from different cultures and practices. Live a healthy life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Natural Detox Center can help you learn how. At the end of the day, you need to make choices that feed both the Yin and the Yang. It’s all about balance.

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By Renee Daly 

 

Full Body Reset

WHAT IS A DETOX? AND WHY NATURAL DETOX?

Simply put, detoxification is a method used to “reset” our bodies. It gives the body a rest from the barrage of toxins that we take in as part of modern life, from processed and fatty foods, sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine, to unexpected sources like household cleaning agents, personal care products, chemical medications, and air pollution.

All of these place extra load on the body, particularly on the liver, colon, and kidneys. Toxins interfere with normal digestion and elimination functions. The body does naturally detox itself; however, it can’t always keep up with the sheer volume of what we are ingesting in our post-industrial age and busy lifestyles that focus on convenience and instant gratification. 

Detoxification supports and stimulates your body to remove the toxins—despite the build-up—and expel them from your body. When there are too many impurities for your liver to handle, they accumulate and store themselves in the fat cells of the body. This means they are not being excreted and we end up re-absorbing that which was poisonous for us from the start. And so the cycle continues. A balanced approach to health needs to be taken into consideration.

Our bodies are giving us clues all the time: unexplained fatigue, digestive issues, bloating and general sluggishness, dark circles under the eyes, skin problems and diminished ability to concentrate and function at our full mental capacity are just some examples. We have become so accustomed to feeling like this that we often don’t realise it can be any other way. 

Below we outline four simple approaches to detoxify your body and mind, helping you to reset your system and get back your mojo! Give it a try, the pros far outweigh any cons.  

SETTING BOUNDARIES

As with anything of importance that you set out to do, be prepared. Make a plan, choose appropriate timing, and create a conducive environment for your natural detox process. Engage the support of your family, friends, and colleagues, so that they are not tempted to distract or deter you from your goal. We sometimes struggle to allow time and space for ourselves in this capacity, partly due to our commitment filled lives, where we are used to putting others before our own needs—in this case, health and wellbeing. A balanced natural approach needs to include your time.

Set parameters for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about practising self-care, it’s not selfish; it’s a necessity. Prioritise your health and vitality. Cherish, respect and value this time, your support networks, and the natural detox process. 

DRINKING WATER

Water is key for our day-to-day health, but particularly so from a natural detox perspective. Adequate water is needed to flush the kidneys of toxins. It also flushes out the impurities lurking in our bloodstream and even our skin. As a general rule of thumb, women need an average of 2.7 litres per day, and men need 3.7 litres per day. Furthermore, depending on the climate, and level of physical work and exercise you engage in, you may need more. Be aware though, that it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing in this regard. Too much water dilutes the electrolytes and, in extreme cases, can do more harm than good. 

If you struggle with drinking plain water, it’s possible to infuse your water with fruit and vegetable combinations to add flavour as well as increase the detoxifying effects on your digestive system and organs. With the exception of lemon and lime which are known for their detoxification qualities, limit the fruit due to the extra sugars. 

Water provides basic hydration and nourishment for every aspect of our body. A “dry” body can lead to constipation, for example, as the colon and excretion organs are not receiving what they need to fully function. Remember, elimination in all its forms is the goal of natural detox.  

AVOIDING COFFEE

As we have already covered, helping the liver to replenish itself and remove excess waste material is a large part of detoxification. Caffeine actually needs to be filtered by the liver too, so continuing to drink coffee during the detoxification process would be “toxing” as quickly as you are detoxing. Removing coffee, or more to the point, becoming caffeine-free at this time will give the liver an optimal chance at cleaning, clearing, and returning to full functioning capacity. Additionally, coffee and caffeine act as diuretics, so all that hard won hydration from your water intake would be adversely affected, too. 

Try to work up to eliminating coffee for a few days, before you even start your main detox. This will give you a chance to wean off of it, its effects, and any potential withdrawal symptoms you may experience. You can ease things down with caffeine-free coffee, though you’d eventually want move onto caffeine-free tea as well.

Caffeine is a stimulant, I mean, that’s why we drink it, right? During this time, over-stimulation of the mind and body is not what we are trying to achieve—in fact, it’s the opposite. 

DE-STRESSING ACTIVITIES

To really get the best results, you need to be gentle with yourself. Over-stimulation of any kind is not beneficial to this process. Try to get out in nature as much as possible. Nature is very calming in all aspects, right down to our cells and physiology.

A medium-paced walk can be enough to feel the positive effects. Take the time to look around and immerse yourself in the natural sights, sounds, and smells—these are the things that we don’t get enough time for in our hectic schedules. Reconnect with nature, and subsequently, yourself. Observe yourself and you will notice that your breathing slows, your mind stops racing so much, your shoulders relax, etc. 

Yoga and meditation also help to de-stress, working with the nervous system, as well as being very cleansing for the lymphatic and digestive systems, too. If yoga is something you already do, step it up a notch and really surrender to your practice. 

Think a little outside the box if meditation, in the classic sense, doesn’t appeal to you. You can do moving meditations (tai chi), dance, and sway to gentle music, and allow your creativity to flow. There are many options of course, not just limited to those suggested here. 

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Full Body Reset

THE POWER OF GREEN

We have covered the main components that you will be limiting or avoiding, now let’s talk about what you really want to boost. The healing power of nature, of course, flows through to our foods, as well. Natural (organic if possible) immunity boosting, nutrient-dense greens are one of the most important factors to your detoxification. 

Lush, leafy greens help to clean by way of reducing acidity and providing an alkaline environment within your gut and digestive tract and organs, which in turn promotes a disease-free body. Greens also help to purify the blood and deodorise the body naturally. They are actively helping to replenish and re-nourish you. The power of green is truly amazing and completely natural!

There are so many options. Try green salads, soups, side dishes, smoothies and juices. It doesn’t take long to become accustomed to the taste, and your energy levels will be through the roof, rendering any objections you may have initially no longer a concern. 

Congratulations. You have taken the first step to understanding your health and needs from a different perspective. A little education and myth-busting when it comes to detoxification goes a long way. Visit Natural Detox Center. We provide natural detox packages, complete with purified water, flavoured water, herbal teas, all caffeine-free. We also provide yoga, daily massage, downtime, natural foods, organic (where possible on Samui) foods, lots and lots of greens (power of green!), combination of raw and some warming, easy to digest foods, exercise in nature, outdoor gym, beach workouts, cycling and hiking on the island. We’re here and ready to help get your body the whole reset that it needs.

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By Nancymarie B.

The world is a noisy place, full of distractions, opinions, and standards. Everyday we are fighting off the negativity that is fueled from different sources and that can take a serious toll on our overall well-being. You are your most valuable asset. Your mind, emotions, body, and spirit deserve to be nurtured, so, in turn, they can operate at optimal function.  Meditation is a powerful way to nurture yourself and a balanced approach can pour light and life into each day.  

 

Myth and Truth

TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION

Yoga International defines meditation as, a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state.” There are many misconceptions surrounding meditation practices and who can participate. Unfortunately, the myths keep many people from embracing the numerous benefits of this experience. Let’s expose some of the most widely spread myths.

 

MYTH: Meditation is a practice belonging to a particular religion which conflicts with mine.

TRUTH: Meditation is a scientific process that, when followed, consistently brings about proven results. Regardless of your religious beliefs, meditation can be tailored to fit your needs and faith. 

MYTH: Meditation is easy.  Meditation is difficult. 

TRUTH: Meditation offers a process that can be frustrating at times and rewarding at others. In the beginning, meditation may seem impossible but that usually comes from putting unrealistic expectations on yourself and your process. Meditation calls for us to do the opposite of what we have been conditioned to do. It invites us to slow down, be present, accept reality for what it is, and take a natural approach on what steps we take moving forward. This can be very uncomfortable at first, and even throughout the journey. In a world of instant gratification, meditation says, “Wait”. 

MYTH: Meditation only works for people who are…

TRUTH: Meditation is about practice and patience. If you want to experience true results you will have to decide to be patient with both yourself and the process. And, like anything else, one must be consistent and disciplined to see results. Anyone can meditate and reap the rewards if they commit to practice and patience.

MYTH: I can’t meditate because my thoughts run rampant. 

TRUTH: Despite popular belief, meditation has nothing to do with having a mind without thoughts. On the contrary, it is about being aware of your thoughts and bringing your mind back to your original focus. It is about developing self-control and awareness. If your thoughts seem to be all over the place, that’s ok. Through meditation you will learn how to acknowledge your thoughts and re-focus. 

MYTH: I want to meditate so I can just escape from reality.

TRUTH: Meditation is all about facing reality head on and finding the lessons in it.  When meditating you don’t want to escape; instead learn to rise up as the bold eagle you are and confront it. Confront without shame, guilt, and judgement of yourself. Meditation reminds you there is nothing you cannot get through if you change your mindset. Meditation is a natural approach to altering your perspective.

MEDITATION FOR HOLISTIC HEALTH

Holistic health focuses on the entire being, spirit, body, mind, and emotions. Meditation promotes health in each area of our life. A relief of stress and change in mindset are two of the first things people experience when meditating. When stress levels are reduced and the mind is able to see what is good, the trajectory of a person’s health begins to transform. Physical pain is a side effect of high stress levels and a negative mindset. Through meditation, physical pain can be decreased, if not eliminated. It also makes dealing with emotions more manageable. Once the mind and body are free of stress, there is room for clarity. And, with clarity comes healing, productivity, creativity, and confidence. You will be able to build a strong spiritual connection with your higher power. Through regular meditation all of this is possible.  

THE VERSATILITY OF MEDITATION

As we stated before, anyone can enjoy the benefits of meditation. Your religious beliefs, age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or anything else, does not matter.  All you need is a willingness to embrace a different way of thinking about and processing life issues.  

#1

GUIDED OR UNGUIDED

When you meditate you can choose to be guided or to guide yourself. It is suggested that beginners start with guided practice as it provides step-by-step instruction through the process. It also tends to relieve the stress of learning to meditate, through a calm voice and affirmations. Consider trying several of both styles until you find what works for you. 

#2

TIME

Whether you woke up late for work and only have 3 minutes, or it is your day off and you have an hour, you have time to meditate. Do not focus on how long you meditate, but on being consistent with it. It is quality over quantity that is important. Beginners can start with three to five minutes of meditation each morning for seven days. This allows you to ease into the practice and commit without the pressure of time. Once you have gotten comfortable with this regimen, consider adding another five minutes and another seven days. Remember, practice and patience.  

#3

POSTURE

What do you picture when you think of a meditation posture? Do you think of a cross-legged, levitating guru? Though that is an option, it is not the only one. Meditation can be done with your legs crossed and hands resting on your knees. You can also lie down, sit in a chair, or exercise. Many guided meditations will suggest a position for you, while others will give you the freedom to get into a relaxed position of your choosing. Just note your posture should enhance your experience, not distract from or hinder it. 

#4

RELIGION

For those who follow a particular religious teaching, such as, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, there are specific meditations just for you. Religion, or lack thereof, need not be a barrier to the meditation experience. 

Meditation Matters

IMPLEMENTING MEDITATION FOR YOUR DAILY LIFE

One of the best ways to begin implementing meditation into your daily life is through apps like Insight, which can be downloaded to your phone as well as accessed online.  Decide on the day(s) and time you want to meditate. We suggest keeping the same day and time each week to build consistency. Find a meditation that addresses something you are currently dealing with or need. And, just go. It is okay to try many meditations until you find one that you are comfortable with, and the same goes for postures and times. Constantly remind yourself that this is your unique journey and it won’t look like anyone else’s. 

Life is too short to be lived in stress, negativity, and fear. Through meditation, peace, acceptance, and love, a host of other characteristics of “light” can be produced.  Visit the Natural Detox Center and participate in our meditation or yoga classes. Our practitioners will be happy to answer any questions you may have, address any concerns and help your create a self-guided meditation practice that works for you.  Your well-being and your relationships will appreciate the investment. Namaste. 

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