t’s hard to describe the benefits of fasting to someone who has never tried it. Most of us are not used to the wonderful feeling of peace, clarity and well being that can arise after the body has eliminated the toxins it normally carries around. So instead we try and get the “feel good” factor from a whole range of substances that enhance our mood and keep our energy levels up. It may be coffee, chocolate, sugar, alcohol, tobacco or even drugs – and there are few people in the developed world who do not regularly crave at least some of these things.
Before cravings start to take over to the degree where they become more than harmless pleasures, they can have a strong impact on both physical and mental well being. Fasting is one of the most simple and effective ways to break old habits – partly by changing the cycle of chemical cravings and partly by restoring the body and mind to a vibrant and healthy state where it is not always felt that something is lacking or needs to be topped up.
However addiction is not the only cause of toxicity in the body. Even if we eat a relatively healthy diet we all too easily accumulate pesticide residues and contaminants from the air and water. If poisons are not quickly eliminated, fat cells often form around them in an attempt to protect the body from damage – this then impairs our natural and vibrant functioning.
High up in the hills of Ibiza it is possible to experience a guided fast, alongside a lot of therapeutic pampering in the form of various massages. The fasts are run by Ilona who originally came to Ibiza in the late seventies inspired by the movie “More”. With the music of Pink Floyd ringing in her ears she arrived in search of fun and freedom. Originally she shared a house with friends whilst popping back to complete her studies in Barcelona. Finally she set up her own home on the island because “it just seemed like paradise”. Her home is now the venue for the fasting retreats and once you make it up the steep mountain track you realise have arrived somewhere very special. The views are breathtaking and the surroundings are at once luxurious, rustic and inviting.
Ilona says she got into fasting 15 years ago “for all the wrong reasons” – she wanted to loose weight after having a baby but was amazed to discover a whole range of other benefits. She did visualisations to explore her addictive eating habits and finally as she broke free of them (and losing weight in the process) she was inspired to clean out her fridge and start again. Since then she has become a qualified fasting instructor. If you are new to this process, it’s a good idea to have someone around who can talk you through any concerns and monitor some of the healing symptoms which can arise when the body is given a chance to rid itself of a lifetimes build up of toxins. It’s also nice to hang out with others who are going through a similar process – especially as changes are as likely to be felt on an emotional and spiritual level as well as the physical - one becomes more alive, more receptive on every level. Each person is given the space to go through their own process, but there are opportunities to do many things which will help. Walking, yoga, swimming, body brushing, massage, naturopathic water treatments, and reflexology are all used to enhance well being.
There are many types of fasting and Illona works with the Buchinger method. This usually involves drinking about 3 litres of water daily plus fresh vegetable juices and broths to help support the body with vitamins and minerals. In addition, special salts are used to accelerate toxin release.
There are usually 5-7 people in a group and despite the life changing process Ilona aims to keep the atmosphere light and playful. Fasting is not about dull deprivation, but about joyful renewal-made possible by getting rid of the things you don’t need!
Ilona -> 0034 606 967 097