10 great ways to give your body (and mind) a quick spring clean
1 Colon hydrotherapy: Since the general rule of detoxing is to start with that which you least like the sound of, colon hydrotherapy is at the very top of our list. Feared among the uninitiated, primarily because it involves putting a small hose up your backside and essentially pooping in front of someone, most people won’t touch it with a barge pole. The good news is, once you’re over the initial embarrassment, the treatment is no more invasive than having your teeth cleaned.
Colon hydrotherapy works on the premise that, thanks to your colon being several miles long, most people’s waste is rarely ejected successfully. Apparently, the remnants of faeces can unwittingly stay in your system for weeks and even months, causing a serious toxic problem (and even cancer). Colon hydrotherapy sends a sustained gush of water up there to completely clean you out. Those wanting an even greater purification can try a coffee colonic, which is the same thing only with coffee-infused water. Allegedly, the caffeine draws out impurities from the blood vessels close to the colon wall, offering a deeper and longer lasting cleanse.
Health House has practically the only colon hydrotherapy treatment centre in the country, and proprietor Jamilla Alqaseer is well versed in the realms of detoxing, offering 24-hour to three-day detox packages involving colonics, lymphatic drainage massage and juice diets for both men and women. Contact her on 39 418 841.
2 Life Coach: Detoxes come in myriad forms, from throwing out the debris from a failed relationship, to coming to terms with something terrible you did at the office Christmas party. And for that, you require a life coach (and, depending how bad the latter was, a solicitor). If you are reading this and are American, then you probably already have one, but for the rest of us, let me explain. The role of a life coach is to listen to your problems without burdening you with theirs. So basically, a friend, only better.
Visiting a life coach for the first time can be a rather daunting experience, and is up there with going on a blind date and meeting the in-laws in term of stress, but once you have broken the seal, and have told them a little bit about yourself and everything about your spouse, they are on hand through thick and thin to help you muddle through life in Bahrain.
Kecia Braggs is one of Bahrain’s top life coaches, and is one of the friendliest people on the planet to boot. She’s written our Body & Mind leader article this month (see page 26) and is a great guide to working through problems and achieving your goals. Contact her on 39 301 946.
3 Meditation: Everyone reacts slightly differently to meditation. Some people have a pop at it and in a matter of weeks have found their calling and join the trappist monks, never to be seen again. Others can’t seem to crack it, feel like they are denied access to a club that everyone else is a member of, and leave meditation classes in a knot of anxiety and grief. For most people, meditation is one of the only times in the day that they get time to be silent and reflect and, whether or not their mind is reeling off a to-do list in the background or is attaining new levels of enlightenment, most people come to rely on it as one of the few ways to stay sane in the rat race.
There are many forms of meditation spanning practically all cultures and certainly all religions. Most of the meditation classes offered here in Bahrain are resolutely non-religious, but all have a generic spiritual elements to them. With both open eye and closed eye sessions on offer, the goal is to be able to slip into meditation mode whenever a stressful situation arises.
Bahrain Meditation Centre is an oasis of calm in the madness of Um Al Hassan and offers regular open-eye meditations. With mixed and women-only classes, all religions, backgrounds and ages are welcome. For more information, call 17 712 545.
4 Juice diet: The closest some people come to a juice diet is turning luminous from overdosing on Sunny Delight. But a juice diet can be one of the most effective ways to flush out the toxins of New Year’s Eve and start 2011 fresh and rejuvenated. Denying the body sold food might sound like starvation, but is in fact a good way to give the body a chance to metabolise the toxins and give itself a proper spring clean. The emphasis here is on fluids, lots of them, and with a carefully controlled juice diet, you can feel thinner, younger, fresher, more alert and full of energy.
Jamilla Alqaseer from Health House is the queen of juice diets on the island, and offers 24-hour to three-day juice diets, tailor-made to your body and lifestyle. Contact her on 39 418 841.
5 Feng shui: If you thought the way things were laid out in either your office or your home didn’t impact your energy levels or efficiency, try sitting at the other side of your desk or sleeping at the other end of your bed. The way objects are positioned around us affect the way we feel, just as different environments and landscapes can feel either oppressive or enlightening and energising. One of the cultures to have most successfully explored the benefits of positive ergonomics is the Chinese. Their system of feng shui is based on ancient Chinese principles, but can be applied to the modern world with ease. From getting rid of creative blocks, to feeling happier at home, give your home and office a spatial spring clean.
8 Mansions in Country Mall is one of the few place in Bahrain that you can find professional feng shui. Janet Chua offers commercial and residential feng shui analysis which promotes peace and harmony in our natural and man-made environments. Contact her on 17 594 575.
6 The sea: The biggest problem with a detox is that very few of them are particularly cheap. Well, here’s one that’s free: the sea. You might not see much of it in Bahrain (in spite of the fact that this is an island), but the sea has always been and remains Bahrain’s biggest natural resource both in terms of industry and in terms of health. While the sea is not particularly appetising to drink (though there are a fair few doctors out there who advise sipping deep seawater to get your daily quota of minerals – we don’t), for your skin it is like a car wash. Salty, mineral-saturated and with any luck not too polluted, the sea purifies the skin and helps to heal skin conditions. Combine it with a short sunbathe, and it is like stepping into a new body.
7 Hydrotherapy Garden: Staying with water (which, after all, is one of nature’s best detox ingredients), the Al Areen Palace & Spa’s Hydrotherapy Garden forms one of Bahrain’s most stunning spas. Basically a series of saunas, steam rooms, rain showers and Jacuzzis, you will be heated up, cooled down, pummelled by water jets and washed with scented water all in the space of an hour. If you don’t leave feeling as fresh as a daisy and mentally rejuvenated, then you ought to see a doctor.
The Hydrotherapy Garden at Al Areen Palace & Spa is open daily between 9am and 8pm and is the bargain price of just BD12 per person for an hour. To book, call 17 845 000.
8 Lymphatic drainage massage: It might sound like some horrible surgical procedure, but lymphatic drainage massages have become an increasingly important part of the detox industry. Ten years ago, a lymphatic drainage massage would have been a deep tissue massage that follows the lymphatic system around the body, literally squeezing out the toxins. Today, machines do all the hard work, and the massage takes place in a bodysuit machine that gently squeezes you, bringing about a similar effect. Often coupled with colon hydrotherapy and a sauna for the ultimate detox.
La Fontaine’s charming spa is also one of the most high-tech in the country, and is one of the few spas to have invested in cutting edge lymphatic drainage technology. The treatment lasts one hour and costs BD30. To book, call 17 230 123.
9 Astral travel: Sometimes you need to go way out there to come back a little bit stronger. How far out? Erm, how about... Astral travel? This is essentially a focused meditation that allows those meditating to feel like they are moving and experiencing places they have never been before. Therapist and astral travel practitioner Lisa Kennedy claims she regularly visits Uluru in Australia by virtue of astral travel, and has even heard of people going out into the solar system and into the sun! Whether or not you believe it, or want to believe it, astral travel gives you the chance to free yourself for a short time from the stresses and strains of everyday life and concentrate on mental self preservation for a while. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
Lisa Kennedy runs regular astral travel workshops, combined with a companion workshop on sacred geometry, from her beautiful apartment in Adliya. For enquiries and booking details, call her on 36 813 408.
10 Cut out caffeine: Coffee and tea are among the world’s most valuable traded commodities, and the thirst for caffeine is growing. Studies reveal that coffee contains cancer-fighting tannins, while tea is almost universally given the thumbs up and cited as having properties that fight AIDS, prevent obesity, improve skin texture and increase longevity. But what each of these studies fails to take into account is that caffeine is a stimulant, one that superficially increases your energy for a certain length of time, only for the drinker to suffer even greater fatigue later in the day. Drunk too late at night, caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns, inhibit REM and mentally leave its addicts drained and unbalanced. While most of us require a caffeine drip while we work, why not make a resolution to cut out caffeine at the weekend, giving your body the chance to catch up on sleep and recover from its forced energetic output during the week? Only when our bodies are properly rested can they begin to fight the toxic overload of modern life.