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Detox Retreats

by Debra Bokur

Over the course of daily life, our bodies are exposed to a host of potentially dangerous toxins—from the air we breathe, to the food and water we ingest, to the products that we come into physical contact with. Detoxification programs like those listed here are designed to help the body safely eliminate these accumulated toxins, allowing our systems to function at optimal levels.

1. We Care Spa Juice Fasting & Spiritual Retreats  Desert Hot Springs, California
Choose from a one- to four-weeklong retreat, or three-day weekend that focuses on detoxification through juice fasting. Offered throughout the year, We Care is located in a peaceful desert environment close to Joshua Tree National Park and Indian Canyons. The facility is equipped with a sauna, swimming pool, and Jacuzzi. Complimentary day passes to the area's natural hot springs are included. Walking paths, yoga, meditation, spa therapies, and sessions on mind-body wellness, metaphysics, and stress management round out programs. Nutrition classes include demonstrations and food tastings.  (800) 888-2523,

2. Elemental Embrace Brighton, Ontario, Canada
Located about 90 minutes east of Toronto, this tranquil Canadian property offers year-round Ayurvedic panchakarma detox retreats that range from seven to twenty-eight nights. Groups are limited to no more than twenty guests at a time. Cuisine is mostly Indian, with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Extensive spa offerings include energy therapies, massage, scrubs, and facials including the luxurious Japanese Milk Facial. Regular health lectures are offered, and the facilities have a heated indoor pool, steam bath, sauna, fully equipped gym, yoga-meditation room, labyrinth, and nature paths. There's even a movie room for evening film viewings.  (866) 212-9355,

3. Regency House Natural Health Spa Fasting & Detoxification Programs Hallandale Beach, Florida
Near Fort Lauderdale and Florida's wide, sandy beaches, Regency House offers both juice and water fasting options, tailored to the heath needs and goals of each guest. Spa services include European-style lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, reflexology, anti-cellulite treatments, and a good selection of facials, wraps, and massages. Meals are vegetarian, with vegan options. Programs range from day-long to several weeks.(800) 454-0003,

4. The Raj Fairfield, Iowa
Customized retreats at this world-renowned facility begin with a consultation with an Ayurveda Health Consultant who will evaluate your health using the Maharishi Ayurveda Pulse Assessment (an ancient diagnostic technique recognized by the World Health Organization). A personal treatment program is then designed based on the outcome of this evaluation, including a daily series of prescribed treatments. During leisure time, take a hike through the surrounding countryside, or take part in twice-daily yoga classes. Meals are organic and vegetarian. Lectures given by guest speakers from a variety of health backgrounds follow dinner each evening. (800) 864-8714,

5. Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center Spiritual Fasting Retreats  Patagonia, Arizona
Detoxification programs are led by Gabriel Cousens, MD, and his wife, Shanti Golds Cousens. Daily activities include yoga, hiking, meditation, yogic chanting, Monday evening fire ceremonies, labyrinth walking, spiritual gardening, and classes in Conscious Living Food Preparation. A full range of spa therapies are available, and depending upon the timing of your stay, you can take part in a New Moon Sweat Lodge or Women's Circle New Moon ceremony. This 166-acre property embodies a number of green operating practices, including the use of renewable energy. Gourmet, seasonal cuisine of organic, vegan-vegetarian, kosher, and live-food is prepared at the on-site Live Food Café.  Retreat dates include July 12–21 and Aug. 30–Sept. 8, with personal retreat dates also available.  (866) 394 2520,

July/August 2008

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