Writer Aynur Tattersall has just completed a 12-day total detox at The LifeCo Phuket Well-Being Detox Centre, a favourite with models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss
Thailand has had its finger firmly on the health pulse for some considerable time. A far cry from the urban jungle of concrete and chaos, The LifeCo Phuket is an ideal destination for those who seek serenity and rejuvenation. The Centre has received over 30,000 guests since 2005, each experiencing wellness programmes specifically designed to improve health and happiness.
The many proven benefits include better functioning digestion, healthier and shinier skin, and boosted metabolism. In addition, guests leave with the knowledge of how to live a healthier and happier lifestyle, gained by improving choices in nutrition and managing stress levels after a full make-over for the mind and body through detox programmes, natural therapies and treatments that deepen the process of cleansing and nourishment.
In an environment which promises mental and physical comfort, the Centre is one of the most popular health spas in Phuket. I travelled there, having prepared myself for a full MOT of mind and body. Never having experienced anything like it before, I found myself managing to survive a week of eating virtually nothing, instead drinking a variety of fresh juices and multi-coloured shakes. As a result, the experience has completely changed my life… and I also lost over 8lb! However, the experience was not simply about weight loss, but more about the deep cleansing of mind and body, and taking time out for oneself.
Conscious of other people that have tried to lose weight but failed, but then gone to a detox camp, and left feeling rejuvenated and having lost weight, I thought it time to experience the same. Thailand is one of the places in the world I always love to re-visit, and having heard about The LifeCo Phuket through a friend, I decided to book myself in.
Once there, I did not have to think about a thing. If I was not in my room, for example, a member of staff would find me at the appropriate time with juice and pills to hand. There was always someone around with a green or red shake, although I did find some juices hard to drink!
During the programme, one’s whole eating habit changes. Because there are no set meal times, I found myself not thinking about food in the same way I would at home. Juice is taken with a psyllium husk, which fills you up so you don’t feel hungry. (Psyllium is the husk of the seed from the Plantago plant, and is proving to be an increasingly popular food supplement for weight control and intestinal health.)
My days were filled with various treatments, including Thai body and face massages, and an infrared sauna. There were daily morning walks and yoga sessions, and during the afternoons, there were talks about nutrition and the benefits of giving our bodies a break from our otherwise toxin-filled lives. There were also cookery classes, which helped prepare guests on their journey to a continued healthy eating regime.I particularly enjoyed the daily ‘do-it-yourself’ colon cleansing therapy, which made me feel both balanced and renewed.
I loving fresh fish, squid and octopus, and the occasional glass of organic wine, but with no temptations in the Centre, I was able to enjoy 12 days of a different type of self-indulgence, and one that turned me into a different person. Much of that was thanks to the support of Gonca Yarimer, who was responsible for the detox programme, and helped keep me focused.
I returned to London having lost weight and feeling totally rejuvenated. I am determined to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and although I still enjoy my Sunday roast of lamb, healthy salads and a vegetable diet will remain on the menu.
- Recommended seven-day master detox programme in a standard room at The LifeCo Phuket starts at £1,500, excluding flights and transfers. For more details, visit thelifeco.com
There are many beautiful beaches in Phuket. The closest one to the Centre is Bangtao, complete with luxurious resorts and villas dotted along its four-mile stretch, just minutes from the town of Cherng Talay, where many villagers still make their living by fishing and farming. The northern tip of the beach is so far untouched by development and is where visitors might find that they have the beach to themselves.