Detox for a fresh start to the new year

Detoxing is becoming ever more commonplace, and this is the time of year when people are keen to turn over a new leaf and start living right.

"The festive season is always a time of celebration: end-of-year work events, Christmas parties, family vacations and so on," says Kay Vosloo at Talise Spa Madinat Jumeirah. "Therefore, people generally let themselves go in terms of healthy eating and well-being. Detoxing and kick-starting health and fitness always seems to be the most common New Year's resolution," she says.

Vosloo has been a colonic hydrotherapist in Dubai for four years. Before that, she practised as a nutritionist, aromatherapist and massage therapist.

Colonic hydrotherapy is a treatment rising in popularity in the UAE. "When we detox, we are literally giving the body a break from all the external factors contributing towards the added pressure we put on the body in terms of stress, digestion and toxins," Vosloo says.

"Detoxing should not be taken lightly. We need to remember our bodies do not take too kindly to sudden and drastic change. The pre- and post-detox are just as important as the detox itself, and this is why my 14-day detox is spread out over this length of time. We ease the body into the detox and ease it out of the detox, allowing our bodies the time to adjust and reboot itself."

It is not a treatment suited to everyone, she admits. "If there is a long-standing medical case surrounding an individual, then it is imperative that the individual be monitored by a medical professional, too. And at Talise Wellness we can do exactly that, as we have a specialist medical doctor in internal medicine, cardiology and homoeopathy. So we have a very strong supporting team."

Vosloo's programmes vary from one to 14 days and, while it is a boost for the body, she says too much detoxing can be harmful. "I don't recommend someone to constantly detox because this confuses the body and it is not healthy to over-detox. You can actually lose vital vitamins and minerals from the body if you are constantly detoxing. With this in mind, though, this does not mean we can lead unhealthy lifestyles with the mindset that we will detox twice per year.

"Consistency is the key here - it's all about a healthy balance and positive outlook, keeping things simple. There is no point in detoxing if we do not remove the contaminants from our daily diet. And exercise boosts our circulation and metabolism, not to mention those feel-good endorphins."

Vosloo works with Detox Delight, a juicing company that delivers either soup or juice detox fasts to people's homes.

Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre (DHTC) offers three- to 21-day programmes aiming to both remove toxins and alkalise the body's pH level.

"Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which can eventually affect other systems in the body," says Lily Mueller Valkenberg, a detox therapist specialising in colonic hydrotherapy and nutrition.

"A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing." She says there can be many benefits, from higher energy levels to improved concentration and better immunity.

"A good cleansing programme should ideally culminate in a lifelong change," she says. The DHTC plan begins with a consultation in which your current lifestyle and diet are discussed, then it is tailored to individual needs. Natural supplements and treatments or diagnostic tests will be recommended during the detox, as well as a meal plan and regular check-ups.

Even spas are getting in on the detox action. The Spa at The Address Dubai Marina has a range of detox treatments, from a marine algae scrub and wrap to a detoxifying facial to help you start the new year fresh.