Magazines are crammed with diets and detox all year round. When you've overdone it, the choice seems to be between eating very little food, or eating things that seem very little like food. Neither of them ever seem very tempting.
But detox doesn't have to mean wheatgrass and thalassotherapy. Lots of spas offer delicious treats for your body and your palate that are much easier to swallow, and don't make you feel like you've been run over.
What is a detox treatment?
A detox treatment is any therapy, massage, wrap or regime that helps you to get rid of the toxins in your body. The idea of detox is to improve your general health, boost your circulation and help your body's immune system so that you are less likely to get sick and will feel and look better generally.
What is a detox treatment good for?
Detoxing is a great way of launching a new health regime, or just helping you to recover from a period of poor health or over-indulgence. It's also a good way of battling winter blues. If you've been feeling a bit low over the dark winter days, or facing the prospect of a long year ahead, a detox spa day is a great way to refresh and energise you.
What to expect from a detox treatment
You "detox" by getting rid of as many toxins as you can from your body, and replacing them with vitamins, minerals and other goodness, all washed down with a good two litres of water a day. There are many treatments that will help you do this, ranging from massage through wraps to heat treatments such as saunas and steam rooms. Mud and algae-based body treatments will also help you detox.
Before you go
Just look forward to it. Detox doesn't have to mean fun-vacuum when you're doing it at a good spa. That's the great thing about it. Take a deep breath, choose a few treatments and take your time over them. You'll feel glad you did it with your whole heart afterwards!
You should always tell your therapist in advance if you:
* are, or think you might be, pregnant
* have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication
* have recently had an injury or operation
* are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies
* have any broken skin or sores on your scalp as this may affect the kind of treatment you receive.
If you're going to detox, we'd advise you book for a whole day or a few days and really commit to it. A couple of days of water, massage, swimming, cleansing facials and sleep can work wonders in terms of making you feel and look at least five years younger. Don't waste the opportunity!
If you're just looking to clean yourself out to improve your stamina ready for more alcohol and cream buns, then a detox isn't really for you. A good detox treatment is likely to make you feel so flushed-out and holy that you might be surprised to find the last thing you fancy afterwards is a bottle of Merlot and an all-nighter.
Different types of detox treatments
There are many treatments that detox by design, and are sold to you on that basis, from scrubs to wraps to lymphatic drainage massage to heat treatments.
The truth is that a lot of spa treatments that are not even titled or promoted on the basis of their detoxifying properties do help your body to flush out toxins. For example, any firm massage should boost your lymphatic system and circulation and leave you thirsty and groping for one bottle of water after another. See you in the sauna!