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Jul 14, 2021 | Health, Wellness

Retreat Yourself: 21 Reasons to go to a Spa!

By Nicole van Hattem 

In 2008 I was a burned-out corporate executive, high on caffeine and stress and struggling with weight issues, bouts of depression, chronic anxiety, insomnia and a myriad of minor health issues which medical professionals put down to “just the normal process of aging” – even though I was only 38 at the time. I had to admit when I looked in the mirror, the face looking back at me was not that of a vibrant 38-year-old woman. I looked exhausted and old for my age. My face looked puffy and shiny, a tinge yellow and sallow, my eyes dull and red-rimmed. Lack of sleep, eating convenience foods and skipping meals, excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption and endless hours working at my desk under intense time and resource pressures, were taking a toll on my mental and emotional health too.

Although I didn’t look or feel good, I wasn’t paying attention. I had deadlines to meet, goals to exceed and people relying on me not to drop any of the multiple balls I was juggling. So I kept going. Secretly I was also grateful for the distraction that my heavy workload provided, as it meant I didn’t have time to stop and risk reflecting on what was not going well in my life and could just keep forging ahead without having to face my reality or make any difficult or uncomfortable changes. That was until I just couldn’t do it any longer and I started dropping balls unwittingly.

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So with a friend, I headed off to a detox centre in Koh Samui, Thailand to cleanse my body and give myself a chance to simply stop and sleep. At the time I could not have imagined the huge benefits that this decision would have not just on my mental and physical health, but on my career and business too. That was 11 years ago.

Over an 18 month period after the first retreat, I lost 17 kgs and have stayed a pretty consistent weight ever since. I also left my corporate career and started my own coaching practice – which while it still has many stressors – I am much more capable of balancing the time/resource/energy commitment with practices I’ve learned on retreat, and the work I do is much more aligned with my who I truly am – which in and of itself brings greater health in mind and body. I’m about to turn 50 and I’m feeling better and enjoying the look of my body so much more than in my thirties and know that I’ve not only reduced the chances

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of developing chronic illnesses but have slowed the ageing process as well. Since that first healing experience, I have implemented different forms of cleansing programs and retreats into my annual plans.

Fourteen-day smoothie challenges, 2 day home retreats, silent meditation days, juice fasting and more but by far the type that I have found to be the most beneficial is a complete time out and away for at least 8 days. Stepping completely away from the day-to-day distractions of life is essential for me to recalibrate my mind, body, spirit and yes business.

Here are just a few reasons I go on retreat…

  • Mental clarity and focus
  • Natural weight loss (including a reduction in cellulite)
  • Balance out my digestion
  • Elevate mood
  • Reduction/elimination of anxiety
  • Inner peace and calm
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Increased natural energy
  • Hydrate
  • Boost my nutrition levels
  • Rest
  • Get back in control of food addictions and cravings
  • Slow the ageing process
  • Greater physical flexibility
  • Get back on track with my healthy lifestyle habits
  • Open my mind back up to the realm of possibilities
  • Connect with my higher purpose
  • Gain perspective in my life or business
  • Improve my relationships – I’m a much nicer person to be around when I’ve deeply taken care of myself. I’m calmer, more tolerant, more present and less distracted, patient, joyful, clear-headed and that’s great for everyone I interact with.
  • Access natural healers
  • Spend time with like-minded health seekers

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It had been 5 years since I did a full detox program and I knew I needed to commit to deep restorative cleansing to give my system a reboot.

In August 2019 I took time out to go to The Spa Resorts in Koh Samui and did the “Clean-Me-Out” program. It had been 5 years since I did a full detox program and I knew I needed to commit to deep restorative cleansing to give my system a reboot. If you’ve not been on a retreat before or you just want to talk to a wellness professional to discuss which cleansing package could be right for you, contact The Wellness Director at The Spa Resort – Patrick Van Brussel.

If a health holiday is what you are looking for – without the detox program, or you want to detox but your family or friends don’t want to and just want to come for a break with you – check out the amazing facilities and healthy holiday options at The Spa Resorts too. 2020 will see me return to retreat again. Let’s go together. Drop me an email and let’s talk about it.

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