A combination of stress, lifestyle and diet can lead to feelings of lethargy, depression or even chronic fatigue. This is when a detox retreat can be of great value.

One popular detox method is fasting. As 75% of the body's energy is used by the digestive system, that means that when you stop eating, all that energy can be redirected to healing the body. Toxins that have built up over years of consuming coffee and alcohol, smoking, eating red meat and dairy products to excess, and all the build up of heavy metals and pesticides that occur through a normal diet can, be expeled from the body because of fast means that a massive cleansing takes place. Not only does it improve your physical state, including your appearance, but also your mind. Indeed, fast has been used for millennia to aid cognitive skills as well as spiritual powers.

There are generally two ways to fast: on just pure water or on juices. In both cases, it is recommended you see your doctor before. If doing a water fast, you will have very little energy, so plan to do essentially nothing but rest. You need to drink around two liters of pure water and not much more than that as it can actually have the reverse effect and dehydrate you by flushing away the minerals that hold water in your body.

On a vegetable juice fast, detox symptoms will still occur but in a less extreme way.

This way also allows enough energy to cope with ordinary life, including some exercise. Although it is possible to juice fruit, it is better to use alkalising vegetables such as cucumber and celery and leafy greens of any type. Your needs are covered while you allow your body to concentrate on restoring you back to health. Again about two litres is plenty. A green juice fast, combined with wheat grass shots, water and herbal tea is a popular way to fast.

Over the course of a six to ten day fast, people tend to experience, to begin with, a funny stomach, maybe headaches and some nausea or a runny nose. By day three symptoms should have lessened and some have a surprisingly clear head and feel joyful for no apparent reason. Subsequently, spots or rashes can appear, even skin usually feels very soft. No hunger or hunger pains but tiredness and forgetfulness are common.

By day five, people can feel transformed, although they are often emotional, forgetful and irritable. Between days six to ten, depending on how long the fast is for, people find their tastes have changed and some experience smells and colors in a different way. For those who carry on, days 11 – 21 are a plateau of gentle improvement. It takes this long for all toxic substances to fully leave your body. At the end of 3 weeks, you will be practically free of physical addictions. Given how extreme the process can be for many, it is advisable to conduct a fast within the safety of, and with the support of, a detox retreat center.