WORDS BY GAYE GERARD, SPA LIFE MAGAZINE
Golden rays pour through the glass balcony doors of my suite, as I awake to the stunning view of sunrise over the sea with its pink and magenta hues. The gentle breeze off the ocean caresses my face as I gaze below at the azure waters shimmering in the infinity pool. This is enough to inspire me the whole day.
I slowly make my way down to the Detox Spa where I am to meet the Wellness Consultant Manager, Sara Canney from Australia, for an introduction to the Absolute Sanctuary Ultimate Holistic Detox Program. Sitting in the spa foyer, only the sound of flowing water and soft music fills my ears, with the subtle scent of jasmine drifting through the air, waking my senses.
When I think of the concept of detoxing the term conjures up many ideas. Too often it can be associated with an intense week of gruelling workouts where you can almost hear the phrase “No Pain No Gain” echoed in your ears as you regret signing up for what feels like an extreme boot camp, whilst you graze on salads with the goal of shedding a few pounds.
At Absolute Sanctuary in Koh Samui they bring a whole new meaning to the idea of Detoxing, where it is a pleasant experience allowing you to eliminate the toxic substances from your body to become more alkaline and optimize your natural vitality and energy. Combining personalised nutritional guidance, with the powerful cleansing aid of colon hydrotherapy under the care of warm professional and friendly staff.
Featuring 3 signature detox programs which have been expertly designed to cater for all levels including beginners. The Ultimate Detox includes the full fast with colon hydrotherapy which promotes effective and generally fast weight loss, The Living Foods program which is a more gentle approach with raw living foods with or without colon hydrotherapy and the Vegetarian plan for those new to detoxing and who want to focus on relaxing and yoga.
All programs include a combination of the following; traditional Thai massage, yoga, relaxing meditation classes and variety of beauty treatments containing ancient herbal remedies and exotic tropical fruits enriched with vitamins, designed to pamper and revitalise you, all in a comfortable resort setting.
The resorts serene hillside location is between Cheong Mon and Chaweng, a peaceful setting surrounded by lush gardens. The pool with its sparkling water is in the centre of the resort with the juice bar and herbal steam room alongside. Featuring 38 spacious all balcony suites with an outdoor setting, so you can enjoy the sea breeze. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities including: air conditioning, TV, in-room mini safe and fridge. The resorts also offers a mini theatre where you can sit back and be entertained by the latest movies which also operates as a conference room and yoga training room.
Sitting with Sara in the spa, I immediately feel at home in her calm presence as we discuss my goals and expectations. The 12 day Ultimate Holistic detox program starts with a raw food cleanse for 3 days followed by a 7 day fast and finally a post cleanse of raw foods for a final 2 days.
I head over to the in house restaurant which is called the Love Kitchen for a raw food breakfast, as I sit down on the outdoor terrace I am delighted to see such an extensive range of dishes available. I order the raw (non dairy) creamy coconut yogurt with tropical fruits and the signature Love Kitchen Juice called “Happy Belly” which is pineapple, ginger and coriander, a sweet yet spicy elixir, perfect for a hot day.
The Love Kitchen offers a wide range of healthy juices and smoothies packed with extra vitamin supplements, scrumptious raw food and vegetarian treats such as the “Green Junkie Salad.”
The Love Kitchen’s signature salad with greens, tomato, carrot, and 4 dollops of creamy hummus. Topped with ground flaxseeds and coriander. Served with a sheet of nori (seaweed) and is very popular with the locals and other tourists visiting the island.
Time to relax now and a steam bath seems like the ideal way to take a breather and collect my thoughts, followed by a refreshing swim in the pool that has been beckoning me since my arrival.
With plenty of time on my side to catch up on some reading, the sun lounges are the perfect place to unwind, put my feet up and bask in the warmth of the sun, in between spa treatments and yoga.
Before I know it the sun has slowly dipped behind the mountains, the sky turning a rich shade of sapphire blue and the reflection of the Morroccan dome is shimmering in the water of the infinity pool, as night falls upon me.
Rising early this morning, I head down to the yoga studio to participate in morning meditation. As I close my eyes and gently control my breathing I feel the tension of my muscles fall away, the mindless chatter begins to cease and I absorb the sound of silence. At the completion of a series of breathing exercises, we slowly begin our daily yoga practice which leaves my body and mind feeling connected and re-energized a positive start to the day.
It seems the poolside juice bar becomes the daily meeting spot as all the detoxers gather to collect their supplements for the day ahead and start with their first detox drink. On the menu there is a selection of 4 detox drinks including: Carrot & Cucumber, Watermelon, Pineapple or Cucumber, Mint, Parsley and Lime all blended with bentonite clay; which is a powerful detoxing agent which absorbs toxins in the intestines and psyllium husk; a fibre and bulking agent so you don’t feel hungry.
A typical day on the detox program includes, 4 detox drinks alternated with 4 sets of nutritional supplements every 2 hours consisting of Vitamin C, Digestive enzymes and a mix of Greens which is packed with nutrients. During the course of the day you are also encouraged to have a couple of bowls of vegetable broth available at the Love Kitchen restaurant, plenty of water and one fresh coconut drink to keep your body well hydrated. The highlight of the day is the healing spa therapies such as gentle detox massage, Thai massage, colonics, herbal steam, far infrared sauna, absolute foot sanctuary treatments, magnesium foot baths plus a variety of yoga class options.
In a more in-depth discussion about Detoxing with the Head Wellness Consultant, Sara says Detoxing is: “A process of removing as much day to day acidic foods, alcohol, toxic substances and stress from your life. This allows the body to focus internally on clearing out the accumulated toxins and excess waste that it has stored. During this time it is helpful to use a variety of supplements and treatments to ensure the most effective clearance of toxins and also ensure nutritional support.”
Colon Hydrotherapy is also used an effective treatment in detoxing that cleans the colon and large intestine and assists the body in quickly removing waste matter that has become impacted over time. A small tube is used to cleanse the colon with a series of fills including: warm water, apple cider vinegar and coffee to stimulate evacuation and probiotics are added to restore healthy bacteria. Colonics help rejuvenate the body and skin and release toxins quickly, you generally feel lighter and more energetic after a session.
The Absolute spa has 5 colon hydrotherapy rooms, 6 private treatment rooms and an outdoor massage area all nicely decorated with a Moroccan style and an open foyer and sitting area where you can indulge in a foot spa filled with beautiful flowers, lime, herbs and minerals to relax your feet and make them silky smooth.
A few days in and a lower back ache and headache comes out of nowhere as if someone had a new drum they were testing out with great enthusiasm pounding out a new song. For anyone who has detoxed before this may or may not occur depending on how toxic or acidic your body is and for me as a coffee drinker with perhaps a little more acidity in my body than I realised, I am feeling a little low on energy and the thought of doing anything that requires a great deal of movement is definitely out of the question, thank fully my tropical indulgence massage is booked in for before lunch.
May has been assigned my therapist for the duration of my program here at Absolute Sanctuary and for anyone about to book a program here she will have you feeling like you are floating off into paradise by the time you leave. May starts the treatment by offering me a herbal ginger tea in the spa foyer, then I am ushered into the serenity of the private treatment room, subtly lit by candles with the fresh fragrance of lemongrass and soft soothing music. I slowly begin to relax as the 4 hands of my therapists gently work together in a harmonious rhythm to release the tension and body aches to simply melt away as I am lulled into a deep sense of bliss. This sublime treatment will leave you feeling divinely pampered and undoubtedly revitalized.
The spa staff are extremely kind, gentle and sensitive to the needs of all of the guests, nothing is too much trouble and they are always on hand to answer any questions you may have during your stay.
Also a leader in Yoga Programs for beginners to the advanced practitioner running from 5-10 days, with teacher training workshops for up to 35 days, with world renowned teachers. The resort features a variety of classes daily including hot yoga to sweat and detox and tone the body, gentle flow, Yin Yoga, Flow, Hatha a slower more gentle class for beginners and Pilates to strengthen core muscles. The indoor studio is one of the largest on Koh Samui and is surrounded by lush tropical fauna and attracts both locals and guests alike.
Holistic and alternative healing therapies and workshops such as: Emotional Freedom Technique, Astrology and Palm Reading Sessions, Chiropractic sessions, Reiki, Clinical Kinesiology, Iridology and Get Fit Personal Training Sessions are also available allowing you the opportunity to heal yourself physically, mentally and emotionally while you let your spirit rest and come back into a place of harmony and balance.
Last day of the program and after 12 days I am feeling completely relaxed, looking and feeling visibly lighter with a greater sense of clarity than I have had in months, my eyes lovely and bright and a new found understanding and appreciation for yoga. During my final exit consultation with Sara, she gave me some beneficial tips on how to maintain my wellbeing at home and gave me some nutritional charts with information on what foods are alkaline and acidic.
This has been an incredible journey, where I have experienced that detoxing can be a rewarding and enjoyable process, far more than just restoring a radiant complexion. It’s about cleansing the body and giving it a complete rest, reducing the stress and reconnecting with yourself. What better place to do this than here in the warmth of Absolute Sanctuary, where the friendly staff will treat you like family, your spirit will be uplifted and you will surely want to return just as I do.
Absolute Sanctuary – Thailand’s Premier Detox & Yoga Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand +66(0) 77-601-190
Thai Airways fly daily to Bangkok from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Connecting flights are available to Koh Samui with Bangkok Air.
The Writer/Photographer was a guest of:
Thai Tourism with flights from Sydney Australia to Koh Samui Thailand.