Here's what to expect from a detox holiday at The Farm at San Benito

The programme is designed such that the day begins with movement; either yoga or a meditative walk/ trek, and another mindful activity later in the morning

By Delna Mistry Anand

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Published: Thu 26 Jan 2023, 9:30 PM

In this age of dramatic distraction, it’s become normal for the mind, body and spirit to get overloaded. Stress has a unique way of creeping into our system — so indistinctly, gradually and inconspicuously, that it’s hard to recognise the additional weight it piles on us. Like the ‘boiling frog’ syndrome, we just get accustomed to the extra load. While the trend for ‘detox breaks’ has been picking up in recent times, there are still questions about its genuine benefits.

Being in the wellness business myself, I live a fairly clean lifestyle. I eat clean, I meditate and do yoga. Yet, when life was pushing me from all corners, I felt I needed to take some time out for myself. I believe that when we better manage our body and mind, we can also manage the way we respond to life. So, I booked the ‘Detox Cleanse’ programme at The Farm at San Benito, and off I headed to the Philippines.

The fatigue of the air travel quickly dissipated as my car approached the resort, gliding through the endless lush green landscape. I rolled down my window to inhale the nurturing fragrance of wet earth after a soft afternoon shower; I could even hear the symphonic rustling of leaves and birds cooing in the distance. We hadn’t even reached our destination and I was already in blissful anticipation of a peaceful stay.

The Farm at San Benito is an award-winning eco luxury world-class holistic medical wellness resort, sitting on a 51-hectare former coconut plantation, shaded by trees and nearby mountains. The physicality of this incredible resort is its greatest blessing; with vast landscaped gardens, semi-wild forests, organic gardens, walking tracks, secluded natural spots for meditation and a few friendly passers-by like ducks, chickens and peacocks to greet you as you walk along. Couple this with a serious team of internationally trained integrative medical doctors, nutritionists, food experts, fitness coaches, yoga teachers, spa therapists, and you have the ideal ground for healing, nourishing, nurturing and transformation.

Healing will not begin till the body starts to get rid of toxins. The Farm’s detoxification programme commences with a series of medical tests to assess our current state of well-being, and a customised plan is designed including specific medical therapies and holistic treatments.

I was assigned a special representative, a bright young man called Elbert, to guide me through the programme and appointments. That evening, I enjoyed a hearty two-course meal at Alive! Vegan Restaurant with the pitter patter of raindrops in the background, ready for my juice cleanse which was to begin the next morning. I got to enjoy fresh, eco-friendly, home-grown produce, as The Farm follows a farm-to-table philosophy, rooting from the belief that the human body is designed to experience nourishment through nature.

The detox programme is designed such that the day begins with movement; either yoga or a meditative walk/ trek, and another mindful activity later in the morning. The afternoon is scheduled for medical tests and therapies as per individual requirement, followed by an engaging activity early evening — a HIIT class, a cooking demo or a beautiful sound healing session. And the day ends with a healing spa treatment — a different one each day.

“All disease begins in the gut” — is a quote attributed to the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates nearly 2,500 years ago, and even today, all healing begins with cleansing the gut. The highlight of day one was a gentle yet effective session of colon hydrotherapy ‘Colema’, with the kind and loving support of a qualified nurse. The therapy continued on day two with a technique called ‘Angel of Water’, a final session of ‘Colonic’ — an even deeper colon cleanse and ‘Infusion Therapy’ to complete the process. Even for someone who is generally a clean eater, I was rather surprised at how much the body holds on to. My loving medical supervisor Cleo explained how a colon cleanse kicks-starts the body onto the road of wellness.

While I was undergoing the physical medical processes, I had several opportunities during the day to meditate; and this includes walking meditation, sound healing meditation and meditative mandala flower art, which plays a therapeutic role in calming emotional turbulence. In a conversation with Elbert, I learnt about a 300-year-old Mango Tree in the resort premises. Legend says, that whoever has meditated under that tree and connected with its energies, has received blessings and fruition of their wishes. General Manager Preet Singh was kind enough to walk me to the magnificent ancient tree and left me there to connect with its nurturing energy. Just when I marvelled at this magical site, a white peacock came fluttering down, almost like the white dragon of the medieval era in fantasy tales, making its appearance for poetic justice.

An important part of the detox programme is the offloading of mental clutter. Consultations of Brain Biofeedback, Voice Analysis, and Harmonising Flow are scheduled into the programme to ensure a mental detox. Dr Marian Alonzo, Medical Chief of the Holistic Medical Sanctuary explained the principle of salutogenesis: "salut" — health, "genesis" — origin or creation, and how it inspires her work at The Farm, having studied 1) the nature of humans as spiritual beings in physical form and 2) the factors that bring optimal health. Through her session, she seamlessly strung together the healings of mind, body and spirit that I received during the programme. I realised that detoxing and letting go is just one part of the process, the other important part is replenishing the newly emptied spaces with nourishment and nurturing, which I received with gratitude. My concluding session was about sustaining and integrating all my learnings into regular life.

Dr Marian was right, being healthy and healed is all about bringing our body back to its natural state. How sneakily the excess baggage creeps in to our personal space and makes itself comfortable. Its only when we let it go that we realise how much it has been costing us.

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