Didgeridoo by the lake.
Nobody seems to agree about exactly which day most detoxers will get over the hump, but sometime near the end of your first week, something strange will happen: You’ll stop feeling like you’re starving. Though you’ve only eaten the new diet for a few days, your body will have changed.

And your mind will have changed too. For many, the yurt is the site of this transformation. The cool, circular space hosts yoga and Pilates classes for all levels, along with early-morning meditation led by Dr. Keith Cini. As the ex-football player guides you to a state of relaxation, the hour will simultaneously fly by and last forever.

Perhaps the perfect health retreat would eschew any hint of mysticism. But there are basic ingredients at the core of what makes Hippocrates and all such retreats successful. The food is inarguably some of the healthiest stuff you can eat, and there is a plethora of fitness and relaxation options. (The greatest stress relief I found was the fact that you can exchange your weekly colonic for a bonus Swedish massage.) When attendees get their second blood test and weigh-in at the end of their visit, nearly all will see profound improvements to their cholesterol levels and body mass.

It’s not hard to understand why the wellness industry is expanding in tandem with our ever-busier lives. For centuries, the rich and famous have understood that the best way to spend a vacation is at the spa, unwinding in thermal pools and treated to healthy foods and personalized pampering. And in these days of technologically accelerated lives, even a skeptical commoner could benefit from a few weeks of scientifically approved relaxation. 



As editorial director of INK, which produces travel publications, ORION RAY-JONES helped launch airline magazines for United, Delta and AirTran. He has also worked for music magazines Mixer and Big Shot. This is his first article for American Way.