Frequently Asked Questions
Get Your Questions Answered & Many Health Issues Solved
On the UK's Leading Detox and Colonic Retreat
Use the dropdown links below to choose the subject of your enquiry, but if there are still unresolved questions,
please feel free to phone us, or email us via our contact page
Do you have a brochure you can send me?
We encourage use of the ecologically-sound, non paper-based, internet. Ecology and health being inseparable ultimately. For years we have relied upon strategic adverts, word of mouth and the internet. When asked to send material to people who do not have access to internet, we normally send a leaflet with a description of the retreat and a couple of pictures as well as discuss the retreat over the phone.
I have never done anything like this, is it for me?
90% of our clients are new to most, if not all, of what we do and no one has ever walked away unhappy or disatisfied. We offer a high degree of integrity, physical safety and emotional support which is appreciated by all who stay with us. Again and again, unsure moments are replaced by realizations of just how simple the techniques we use are.
As for whether it is exactly what you want to do, you are a better judge of that. Let me know what you are expecting, wanting and needing from us, and I will do my best to bring clarity to your decision.
I have never fasted or done yoga, am overweight and live a city life of stress and toxins. Is this retreat suitable for me ?
You are exactly the kind of person we are used to working with. If you were all healthy, yogis living in caves and eating fruit, I would be coming to you to learn a thing or two ! If you have awareness of just how out of whack modern life has become, and are starting to see yourself fraying at the edges, then you are ready. If a pill is NOT what you need, then perhaps a restful time to think about it and try some new techniques IS.
Where are the retreats held?
The venue we are currently using is Near Winkleigh, N. Devon in the South West of England.
It is a wonderfully comfortable country farmhouse and selection of holiday cottages, enjoying the homeliness and earthy relaxation of country life. The setting encourages outdoor activities such as walks through fields and woods - breathing clean fresh air - just what the doctor ordered, and what nature intended.
The venue also provides indoor facilities such as a swimming pool, sauna and gym room, all beneficial to the overall program.
Can I have my own room, or do I have to share?
Our retreats offer a choice of single and shared accommodation. We have found that sharing a room naturally creates a special bond between the roommates as well as providing additional support throughout the fast, as well as offering a substantial discount.
However, most people prefer not to share, so as to be able to fully retreat into their own space.
Note: If choosing a shared room, please consider such things as whether you are a heavy snorer!
Is that many colonics really necessary?
During any Colonic session that follows our normal meals, the majority of the material released is simply digested food. It is only once this layer has been expelled that harder, older layers are revealed and expelled. Please see our colonics page for further information. Whilst on retreat, the colon is refilled, not with foods which leave a new residue, but with mucous-melting materials that aid elimination. Each day the colons fills again with more material to be released, and each day we aid this process with colonics. More than two per day seems to be redundant, as there is a limit to how much mucous can be expelled. However, one each morning and evening aids and improves the ongoing detox process tremendously. Moreover, if you feel that it is too much during the retreat, you are free to skip as many colonics as you choose to.
Will I have a sparkling clean Colon by the end of the fast?
Detoxing is a process, and I have yet to see anyone fully cleansed after a single treatment of any description or any length. Many people still report major physical shifts and releases after 5 years of regular colonic fasts of this kind. While in others change is more noticeable in their improved lifestyle and fresh positive attitude to life. Regardless of results, the colon still remains the body's best route for eliminating toxins, and if the lifestyle we lead does not benefit the body, then it will generally be the colon that backs-up first.
Remember, it didn't take a week to get to the situation we are in now. Give it time to unravel and heal!
How did all this stuff get in there, and what is it?
The short answer to that is that it is a product of indigestion, as well as the undigested foods themselves that remain within us. For further reference, please see our page on digestion.
What is the difference between a colonic and an enema?
An enema is the insertion of around 1 litre of fluid into the lower part of the bowel. Once injected, the fluid is held for as long as possible before being expelled with any constipated material from that lower part of the bowel. A simple practice that has long been used to start the bowel moving again. However, its effects are temporary and merely lessen the autointoxicing effects of constipation. Colonics are a continuous flow of water throughout the entire colon, whilst relaxing in the prone position. In gravity-fed colonics, such as we practice, the water expands the bowel to a level at which its own triggers tell it when to eliminate. Without any need to hold the water inside, or to move at all during the process, they are not only painless, but -to be honest - very relaxing akin to being massaged from the inside. Moreover, because the entire colon gets washed with water,
the resulting expulsions are from the walls of the colon far beyond where an enema could reach. One further difference is that because the colon is in control of its own contractions, the entire muscle structure therein gets a good workout - very different from an enema.
I had my Appendix out some years ago, would the colonics still be good for me?
While the role of the Appendix is very misunderstood, it is well established that it may be removed without much noticeable damage to the rest of the body. It does not hinder the performance or safety of colonics.
For further reference to the role of the Appendix, please see our page on digestion.
I had an operation recently, and still feel tender in my belly, would colonics help me?
Best left until all physical trauma from the operation has ceased. Reserving discretion regarding your individual circumstances, most are welcome to join us to partake in the fasting and supplementation side of the retreat, as well as the dietary education and Yoga. All of the above have proven very beneficial for individuals unable to perform the colonics.
Do you use coffee or other additions to the enema water?
We reserve the use of coffee in the colonic water for clients seen to have a lazy bowel. That is, one that will not eliminate of its own volition during the colonic. The coffee produces strong peristaltic contractions, and does get things moving, but it has been seen to cross the bowel-wall and jump-start the rest of the nervous system as well - not a product I advise for an individual trying to rest and recuperate. Moreover, coffee is the #2 killer of friendly bacteria in the bowel. By default we use body-temperature, filtered water.
Doesn't it hurt having all that water in there?
At any one time, most people have less than a litre of colonic water inside them. Though I have seen occasional individuals who could take in seemingly huge quantities of water before the first elimination - but this is rare. Often, till the technique is understood people tend to 'hold it in' resulting in feeling pressure in the abdomen, till elimination of the water. Once relaxed, a natural process occurs with a continuous flow both entering and leaving at the same time, rather like pouring from a jug that is being filled from a tap.
I don't like the idea of being pumped full of water! What pressure does your system use?
I wouldn't like to be pumped full of water either, that's why we use a gravity system. The 10 litres of water takes 30 minutes to pass through a 6mm tube from 1.5 metres above you (I let the physicist amongst you do the math), and you can stop the flow anytime with the toggle. There really is no pressure to speak of.
Will I lose weight?
Most clients loose between 3 - 6 Kg's (6 - 13 lbs) during the week, though the full spectrum is up to 10 Kg's (1 st 8lbs), and the maximum we have seen was 15 Kg's (2st 8lbs). We find that this weight loss is due not only to dissolution of fat deposits, but also the body's adaptation to this new environment. Once reintroduced to meals, the previous weight can be regained. New eating habits will determine your new weight; after which, overweight individuals tend to get lighter due to a lessened need to store excesses and toxins, and the underweight fill-out in response their body's ability to absorb and assimilate foods through a less restricted digestive tract. We have also found that the fat/mass ratio is reduced.
I am looking forward to losing weight during the fast! How much is normal?
Between 3 and 6 Kg's is average range, but everyone is unique. The changes you make after your retreat will make a long lasting difference. It is the lifestyle between fasts that create health, not the fasts themselves - these are simply time of special rest and healing.
I don't want to lose too much weight, what can I do to prevent it?
Thin people will indeed lose weight on a fast, as everyone does. However, how much weight lost is individual, and more to the point: it is only temporary. After the fast a gradual introduction to healthy foods and lifestyle is a sure way to gain long lasting benefits and thin people will often find that if they let themselves, they will reach a new weight average that might be higher than before the fast.
An important point here is to be fluid in one's expectations regarding image, body image etc. We tend to worry about our weight and therefore use valuable energy fretting plus disrupt our clear intuition regarding what we truly want to be eating and doing right now. Our body actually knows when it is hungry and even what it wants or doesn't want to eat. With some trial and error this sensitivity can be regained and then best let go of your idea of how the body needs to be, and let the body reach its own medium. Remembering that natural weight is always shifting, in response to environmental factors (diet, exercise, emotions, etc.). To change the weight of an individual you must change some of these factors.
To summarise: You may loose weight during the fast, but if it has been effective, then you will pick up again and reach a new balance point, as well as a different lifestyle for your system to nourish itself through.
Isn't fasting starving the body?
Fasting is an ancient time-tested practice used to maintain perfect health of body and mind. Starvation begins several weeks after food is discontinued. Until then the body goes into several levels of internal miracle, or 'house cleaning'. Starting with breaking down excess foods in the system, it then starts burning old or damaged tissue as fuel. These alternative sources of energy are abundant in modern mankind, and it is several weeks before the switch is made to healthy tissue - and even this is done in great wisdom; strategically using those tissues that are most easily replaced and least essential. Generally speaking, more than a month can pass before any irreversible damage is done. Any fast that is broken wisely before this later stage results in magical health increases.
The regime we follow is mild as far as fasts go, as the juice 'meals' introduce carbohydrates to give the body energy.
What juice do you use?
We mostly use Organic Carrot juice because carrots have a wonderfully subtle cleansing effect upon the liver.
Why only one type of juice?
In response to each juice, the system would have to readjust, costing energy and chemistry that would otherwise go into detox, so we stick with one type. It provides your body with the energy to keep you moving, and the brain clear enough to take full advantage of the nutritional talks.
Won't all that sugar feed my Candida?
Candida is a very widespread problem, hence widespread hype and cures. Thus far, we have not found the carrot to be antagonistic towards it. More importantly, the dietary adjustments advised during the talks adjust the pH balance of the body to ensure that Candida can only survive in the colon in the appropriate amounts, thus controlling the overgrowth of this yeast under.
I have a problem with blood sugar levels, is fasting right for me?
Many people suffer from glycaemia issues which are often just taken as surface mood-swings. These people tend to have a harder time with their energy levels during the retreat, but report newfound balance upon their return to their normal lives (usually adjusted somewhat by the nutritional understanding).
What symptoms should I expect ?
Every body has it's individual detox tendencies. The body always chooses the most appropriate channel of elimination once the detox process has started. This is experienced as symptoms, often familiar symptoms, which are recognisable as what we tend to feel when we are 'sick'. We will learn that many of these instances are not 'sickness' rather are the body's 'house cleaning' methods to clear debris and restore health. We will need to reprogram our minds to appreciate these health-inducing methods and to celebrate detox!
As to the symptoms experienced, they can be anything: headache, hiccups, fever, pimples, lowered BP, runny nose, nausea, tiredness, etc... They are the strongest elimination route for your particular system. The symptom that takes most people by surprise are waves of tiredness. Most of us have busy schedules which do not allow us to regularly take time out. During this week, we are intentionally using our energy towards a full physical 'spring cleaning', and so some other parts of you may have less energy from time to time. During the retreat you may take time to nap and rest!
It is important to note that by the end of the week's fast many people find that chronic symptoms, lifelong causes of discomfort and pain, are much alleviated or even gone. This is a well documented process and an inevitable result of fasting, though the duration and number of fasts till all chronic symptoms are alleviated and eliminated depends on each individual process.
Will this cure my symptoms?
Symptoms are healing messengers, signs that the body is overloaded, out of balance or failing in some way. Symptoms are the process by which balance and health are restored. God forbid we cure the symptoms ! That would really be a loss. But we have found that by lessening the source of the overload (usually excessive heavy foods), allowed the system to re-balance (rest and relaxed exercise), and encouraged the healing of ailing systems (real nutrition and fasting), then the symptoms have less to say.
Will I be able to go straight back to work on Monday ?
Yes, however you are advised to take a few days off to rest from commitments after the retreat, if at all possible. It is more about giving your the body the 'option' of not needing to do anything over the next few days. It may not need it at the surface, but the more time you can give it to rebuild and readjust, the more you will be getting from your experience regarding long term benefits...
I cannot see myself getting up for Meditation, can I skip it?
The daily program is for the facilitators to know what is next to be offered. If anyone feels like sleeping rather than rising for Meditation, or walking rather than coming to the talk, then they are encouraged to do so. It is week out from timetables and obligations, a chance for the body to speak to you personally.
Meditation is against my religious principles, may I not attend?
We wish to clarify that there are no religious connotations in anything that we practice. We have distilled positive practices from millennia of spiritual rites (Yoga & Meditation) and scientific dogma (Colonics and Fasting) as they are beneficial to the body and mind.
Also, should you wish to skip any of the practices, please feel free to do so.
After reading many books I've been left rather confused, why will your course be different?
There is much controversy in any field. In fact it seems to be an inevitable product of science. So, you may never 'know' whether something is true or not. But keep your mind free to judge things from all angles. Experience always beats intellectual debate, but better than either, is both. We have come through many schools of thought to get back to where we started - nature. The best way to understand why we do what we do is to join us in doing it.
I am a total beginner at yoga - is that a problem?
Rest assured, you will get a great introduction here and be encouraged to learn according to your own pace. Nothing in the Yoga classes are too challenging, and each individual in the group experiences something new and encouraging regardless of their previous experience. A beginner has as much to enjoy in the classes as an advanced practitioner.
I think I am a little too old & stiff for all that bending!
Yoga is more about experiencing how your body works, than it is about flexibility. Some of the most graceful and poised people on Earth are also the stiffest - they simply know their body's strengths and weakness, and seek to move within those. It is generally true that with relaxed repetition of movement flexibility does come, as does strength and stamina, but to try too hard is to lose the wood for the trees.
How do I pay for a retreat? Can I use my Credit Card?
We take payment by bank wire transfer, a cheque or credit card over the phone.
Can I pay in a series of deposits, or must I come up with the whole amount now?
Payment can be made all at once or the place can be held up to two months in advance with a deposit of £250.
How far in advance should I book?
It is hard to say. Our retreats have always filled, but sometimes only in the last month or fortnight. It always pays to check with us to see if there is a spot available for you, however note that some retreats are booked months in advance. Safest policy to get the dates you want is, of course, to reserve it with a deposit.