Along with “luxurious,” “relaxing” and “rejuvenating,” the word “detox” is surely among the more popular spa menu adjectives. Nearly every treatment seems to have a “detoxifying” effect; every spa stay claims to help “detox” the system. So what exactly does this favored phrase mean?
In medical terms, the definition is clear: In the body, the detoxification process happens in the liver and kidneys, where toxins—harmful or poisonous elements taken in by everything from food to pollution and infection—are separated and sent on their way out. But sometimes, the body needs a little help cleaning up. The most common example of assisted purging is with people addicted to alcohol or drugs, who undergo detoxes to help clear their bodies of chemical substances and make a break with their addiction. This type of detox typically involves abstinence, counseling and, in some cases, medication or alternative therapies like acupuncture.
In the spa world, the detox concept is similar, though it’s applied in a broader sense. To help flush out impurities, spa menus often feature targeted body services like lymphatic drainage massage, a French technique that uses specific wave-like movements to stimulate stagnant fluid build-up and improve circulation; the results range from a general release of toxins and a boost to the immune system to alleviation of insomnia, relief from chronic pain and anti-aging effects on the skin. Essential oils like Fennel, Lemon and Juniper Berry and natural ingredients like Seaweed can also help jump-start both internal and skin detoxification, the latter being effective against the appearance of cellulite.
And for those looking for something a little deeper, health spas and nutritionists can oversee full internal detox programs involving a combination of custom-developed fasts or flushes and vitamin and mineral supplements. Ranging in length, this type of detoxification can act as a system re-boot for the body, helping those who might have recently over-indulged in food, partying or alcohol, or who have been under a lot of stress. Results can include a general all-over feeling of health and well-being, increased energy, improved bodily functions and, in many cases, some weight loss or metabolism boost
Featured images taken from zen-chi.net.au