General Questions

Because it will give your body a chance to cleanse, heal and rejuvenate. It will reset your system and leave you feeling more energised, healthy and vital. The human body uses approximately 80% of its energy digesting and assimilating food. When it no longer has to do this, all that energy goes into cleaning, healing and rebalancing.

It’s not for the faint hearted because it can be quite tough at times but yes it is possible for everyone to detox. There are a few contra-indications to detoxing, the main one of which is pregnancy. However, we will advise you on this when you phone or email. Also, as everyone has their own reasons for coming we will tailor the programme to suit your individual needs, whatever they are.

The majority of our clients are women but we are seeing more and more men as the benefits of detox are becoming more widely recognised. Men tend to respond very well to the programme losing more weight on average than women and having fewer symptoms. We have worked with ex-servicemen; men who are health conscious; retired men and men who have come along with their partners for the couples detox. The Journey Work is particularly effective with men as it provides a forum in which they can release emotional difficulties in a solution focussed and practical way.

Our youngest client, who came with his mum, was 12, and our oldest was 89. We work very well with teenagers and find that the programme is very effective in getting to the roots of issues such as eating disorders; self-harming; depression; anxiety; school refusal and friendship problems.There is no upper age limit. With much younger and older people we may offer a cleansing diet including soups and smoothies as well as the juices. Each client fills in a health questionnaire, is interviewed by either Anna or Barbara to plan their week and therapies and is seen by our nutritional expert Fiona. The programme will be tailored to your requirements.

We have had many clients who have come to us because they are getting married and want to look their radiant best for their big day – men and women. Not only will you lose a few pounds so your wedding outfit will fit you perfectly but your skin, hair and nails will all benefit and you will leave with that special sparkly-eyed look which is so common after detox. As well as feeling better on the outside you are likely to feel more ready on the inside after your therapy and coaching sessions. You will have the opportunity to deal with any old issues which may have stood in the way of you being fully emotionally available to your partner. Fran is our resident relationship expert and a session with her could help you deal with any pre-wedding nerves or relationship issues.

Yes, we have a variety of accommodation options for couples in self contained cottages. We also have a special ‘Detox your Relationship’ package which includes a session with Fran who worked for many years with Relate and an opportunity to look at your joint astrological chart with Annie. Call Anna to find out what accommodation is available for your chosen dates.

If you are about to have surgery a detox can be of enormous benefit because it will cleanse all the cells of toxins that may have accumulated over many years. This will help your immune system so you are less prone to infection and can aid the healing process post-op. Surgery is a major trauma for the body so it makes sense to be in the best physical shape possible before you undergo it. Detox can also be useful after medical intervention to help cleanse drug build up from the body.

Yes, it is one of the best things you can do if you are serious about breaking a sugar addiction. Not only will the detox programme help you break the physical addiction but we will also equip you with strategies for managing cravings when you go home. Our nutritional talks with Fiona will help you discover where hidden sugars are in your diet and the therapy sessions can help you uncover the causes of emotional eating. Barbara runs sessions in Emotional Freedom Technique and the Havening Technique which are fantastic tools you can use when faced with temptation. We have an introduction to 12 step programmes (the food ones are Overeaters Anonymous and Food Addicts Anonymous). These can be a wonderful source of fellowship and support when you leave the retreat and help ensure that the changes you make while you are with us blossom into a radiant recovery and a life free from addiction.

We never advise anyone to stop prescription medication while they are detoxing but they may find that they need to reduce the dose as the take up of medication is higher on an empty stomach. You will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire and everyone is interviewed to assess their needs by our health expert Fiona. If you have a chronic health condition please do consult your doctor before booking onto a detox retreat.

Although Vital Detox is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other 12 Step organisation, we run an introduction to AA and 12 step fellowships and an Al-anon meeting during the week. These meetings are facilitated by Fran who is an active member of both fellowships herself and has been in recover for 12 years. They are run just like a regular meeting and participants have the chance to share their experience, strengths and hopes. There is also a chance for people to ask questions about the fellowships, their own recovery and where to find support outside of the retreat. Many existing AA members have said that the detox retreat revitalised their recovery and took it to the next level. Many other clients found that coming to Vital Detox was the beginning of their recovery journey.

Questions about the programme

When the body cleanses the toxins are dumped in the bowel. Colonics are the best way to get rid of them before they are re-absorbed by the body. There are many advantages to doing the colonics and it is a very gentle process which most people comment was a lot more pleasant than they were expecting – like your insides having a nice warm bath. Fiona is a qualified colonic hydro-therapist. She will demonstrate the equipment to the whole group and come to each cottage to help set up your equipment. She is always on hand if you need any help or guidance with the procedure.We understand that even with all the help and support available some people simply don’t want to do the colonics and that’s OK. You will still get many benefits from the programme.

How many symptoms you get will depend very much on your health and lifestyle before you come to us and on how much preparation you do – we will send you a preparation guide when you book your place. Symptoms can occur during the detox process the most common being headaches, tiredness and nausea – most often as a result of withdrawal from caffeine and sugar.

Some people get no symptoms, some people get lots. Whichever you are remember that it’s always better out than in. The important thing is not to compare yourself with anybody else and trust that whatever you go through is perfectly normal. Fiona is a master herbalist and has a whole herbal pharmacy and many techniques to help relieve symptoms.

What’s on offer at Vital Detox is so much more than juicing and colonics. There is something very powerful about being with other people who are going through the same thing. You may not feel very sociable while detoxing but it’s still good to know everybody is in the same boat.

Not having to deal with food in any way, shape or form also makes it much easier to stick to whereas at home even if you didn’t have to prepare family meals you would still have to shop and handle food to make your juices. We do it all for you so you can concentrate on tuning into your body and finding out what it needs.

It’s the whole holistic package which gives such amazing results time after time – the team,  venue, location, group dynamic, therapies, workshops, discussions, walks, massages, yoga, encouragement from other people, laughter and the sense of celebration at the raw food feast and at the last night open mic session – you couldn’t get that at home. If you can then maybe we should all come to your house!

We know how difficult it can be if you feel hungry when you are detoxing so we provide psyllium capsules which expand in your stomach and give a feeling of fullness. There is also loose psyllium if you prefer to take it that way. Nutritionally you are getting all you need through the juices and potassium broth. Even if you decide to skip some juices and do a water fast taking the psyllium will ensure that you don’t feel too empty.

A lot of what we think is hunger is actually thirst so do make sure you drink plenty of the Glastonbury spring water that’s always available. We also have an amazing new water filter attached to the tap in the kitchen which ionises, filters and alkalises the water.

Your mind might think you are hungry because it misses the constant preoccupation with food. If you are someone who is an emotional eater you may find that difficult feelings arise once your crutch is taken away. There is always someone on hand to help you through, provide a listening ear, or a hug and give you strategies to deal with cravings.

Yes, it is perfectly OK to come and do a water fast with us. Fiona, our expert nutritionalist will keep a special eye on you to make sure that you are getting everything you need to help your body cleanse.

You can still take the psyllium and other supplements which will help you cleanse and of course there is the potassium broth in the evening which we find most people look forward to.

Yes, many of our clients bring their dogs with them. Only certain cottages are suitable for dogs so please do ring Anna and discuss what options are available for your preferred month on retreat. Bear in mind we are getting booked up quite far in advance so be sure to book early if you want to get the right place for you and your pooch.

We have a great variety of activities available on our retreat holidays and will adjust the programme according to the needs and interests of the group.

We have a projector so can show educational and feature films in the group room. A creative writing workshop is held on Sunday evening which has proved to be very popular and requires no prior writing experience. In the past we have enjoyed 5 rhythms dancing, guided meditations, games evenings and our open mic night on Thursday evening is the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to showcase their talent whether it’s musical or written.

Yes there is an open connection which can be accessed in all of the cottages and which tends to be strongest in the group room.

While we understand that people may need to be on the internet on retreat we do invite you to take the time here to do a digital detox. Unplugging from emails and social media gives you a chance to become more fully present to your experience. When you take away your normal distractions there is an opportunity for healing at an even deeper level.

We have some singe occupancy cottages and E-Dens. The rest of the cottages are shared and this is reflected in the prices. Sharing a cottage has many benefits and we recognise it can also be challenging particularly if sleep is an issue. We have found over many years experience that people really do get what they need and often house mates form bonds that last well beyond the retreat.

Insomnia can be a real problem and we do all we can to reduce noise from other people in the cottage. We ask people to be considerate of others and particularly not to flush toilets during the night. Sleep patterns often change when you’re detoxing as the body needs less sleep when it’s not having to process food. We have a number of sleep aids we can offer including melatonin, a herbal sleep formula and Barbara will lead sessions on the Havening Technique which helps both body and mind relax.

We offer a full and varied programme which changes from day to day – there will always be announcements and signs to tell you what is on offer that day

  • 8am breathing meditation
  • 45 massage train
  • 9am first juice
  • 9-12 individual sessions or free time – a chance to use the steam room, hot tub or pool
  • 12pm Juice
  • 30 – workshop or nutritional talk
  • 2pm guided walk
  • 3pm Juice
  • 15 12 steps meetings on Monday and Wednesday
  • 30 yoga
  • 6pm Juice
  • 30 workshop/activity or film showing
  • 8pm potassium broth

All of these things are optional, how much you participate in the activities on offer will depend very much on your personality and on your own personal experience of the detox process – some people just need to sleep!