Body Mind Spirit
Check out the benefits of Juice Fasting for:
Do's & Don't
Some suggestions of what you should do and not to do for a Healthier
The wonderful benefits of a Finnish type Sauna
Benefits of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy
Frank's diary of his experience with The Living on Light Process
Books on Fasting Health & Healing that we recommend
Is Moinhos Velhos fasting retreat suitable for Christians?
How to do a fasting program at home with much information on the benefit
of juice fasting.
at Yoga Camp
Fasting Programs at Sivananda Yoga Camp in Canada
Fasting in India
Fasting Programs at the Sivananda Ashram in India
Computerized Biofeedback scanning and therapy
Flushed With Success
McGarry discovers how to get modern living out of her
system at a health farm on the Algarve
October 20, 2001
was giving up fags and wanted to shed a few kilos prior
to obligatory post-nicotine weight gain, but a two-week
juice fast at Moinhos Velhos, an organic farm
in Portugal, resulted in food for thought regarding
my cynical, hedonistic city lifestyle. There are no
short-cuts to health and happiness, but a complete gastrointestinal
purification program detoxifies and rejuvenates the
most sluggish system, enabling either a life of post-fast
purity, or outrageous amounts of fun re-toxing.
program was devised by Anne-Karine Moss and Frank Jensen,
Norwegian holistic health practitioners who established
their retreat eight years ago, for the purification
of body, mind and spirit, in a beautiful valley
deep in the Algarve countryside, and who are indecently
fit for their ages, respectively 65 and 71.
care that has gone into fine-tuning every aspect of
the fast and its environment is the key to its success:
from the glass-walled yoga temple, the wind-chimes swaying
gently on the
trees, the various Shivas and Buddhas dotted around
the undergrowth, to the staff who dedicate endless time
and energy to each group, and the sauna, saltwater swimming
pool and the acres of land. It is clear that if one
must be deprived of food in order to emerge, chrysalis-like,
from a layer of toxins and blubber, this is clearly
the place to do it. The
we will, we will, cleanse you!
vibe was something of a shock to someone from the grimy
bowels of sarf London, carrying a thumping hangover
along with her luggage. I was suddenly in a place which
credited devas and nature spirits with equal rights,
and which necessitated an extended, though not entirely
unwelcome, reality check.
typical day goes like this:
Chandra and his silver bell provide a gentle wake-up
Up to the house for lemon tea, and a spot of meditation.
Yoga (once weekly chi gong).
A litre of orange juice is taken with mineral and
herb supplements to flush out the toxins, stimulate
the breakdown of undigested matter, and generally assist
the cleansing process.
Individual therapy sessions, comprising kinesiology
(muscle testing to reveal energy blockages), acupuncture,
bio resonance therapy (to restore energy balance, cure
allergies, and treat scar tissue), ACTS (a computerized
system to rid the body of negative cellular memories/energies,
and zapping (to eliminate internal parasites). Massage
is an optional and irresistible extra, from McTimoney,
to realign the spine, to Thai, for relaxation.
Clysmatic (self-administered colonic irrigation).
Lunch, usually melon, apple or cucumber juice, followed
by more afternoon treatments (usually one or two per
person per day).
Vegetable juice (generally carrot with beetroot as side
Another clysmatic. (Sauna sessions run in the late afternoon,
The evening meal is broth: vegetables cooked in water, and
strained before the addition of miso paste. For added spice,
piri-piri and olive oil can be added. While it felt strange
for the first few days to be so full of liquid yet empty of
food, there was none of that bloated, energy-sapped feeling
you get digesting large amounts of solids. However, the knowledge
that everything entering my body was for once virtuous was
a tad mind-blowing.
Meditation. The rest of the evening is free to walk the
dogs, watch a vid, read, satellite-gaze, or go crazy on ginger
I was initially dubious about such sustained sobriety, the
exercise, sun, clean air and early starts meant that I was
out for the count by 11 most nights.
beauty of the holistic approach is that while many retreats
may administer similar treatments in a bid to purify the body,
few concentrate so equally on the mind and the emotions,
which are often the root of the body's problems. What I found
most surprising was the emotional side of the detox: feelings
that I would normally subsume by lighting up or glugging down
some alcohol came to the fore. To my horror, I found tears
rolling down my cheeks during difficult yoga moves
or when my fellow fasters got on my nerves. But afterwards
I felt release, and the highs that followed made up for the
more difficult moments
rest of the group were there for various reasons: one woman
wanted relief from the ME she had suffered for several years,
which rendered her unable to digest solid food; another sought
help for her recuperation from a back operation. The only
man in our group wanted to reduce his considerable frame after
20 years of excessive falafel consumption in the Middle East.
years of basing my fitness regime around dancing and stairs
machines, I could almost hear my muscles shouting Yeeessss!
as I stretched them to their limits during yoga. While the
pain of extending my hamstrings meant I was rendered tearful
during forward bends (blame the high heels, apparently), the
excitement of being able to touch my toes for the first time
in 18 years - (the last successful attempt was when I was
eight) was such a buzz that I almost took a lap of honour.
The small groups and unhurried teaching offer a level of attention
all too absent in big yoga centres, which means that even
the roundest, wheeziest specimens were soon performing shoulder
stands and balancing on one leg with aplomb.
not the kind of girl who welcomes inanimate anal intrusion,
so for me the twice-daily clysmatic
was the most feared aspect of the fast. For those who have
never experienced colonic irrigation, the clysmatic is used
to remove the buildup of hardened deposits in the intestinal
wall with the aid of around five litres of water. It was an
unsavoury process, and the sensations produced were novel
to say the least, yet the twice-daily evacuation triggered
a feeling of lightness within. It's rather liberating, but
I was disappointed that I failed to pass the black deposits
which are the oldest and most toxic.
is free day, which means a trip to nearby Lagos, the beach,
or anywhere that gains the majority vote (no, not the pub).
While it's a nice change to leave the farm and check out normality,
I found the sight of portly tourists stuffing themselves with
inordinately large plates of calamari nausea-inducing, and
even my big weakness, ice-cream, didn't appeal. The local
beaches are beautiful, however, and the days out offer the
opportunity to see the world outside Moinhos Velhos. We felt
like a travelling freak show, the Amazing Non-Eaters, but
as an exercise in self-control, the outings proved that temptation
is easily overcome.
fast spans 10 days, after which food is gradually re-introduced:
first fruit, then salad (I never thought that I would drool
over lettuce), then a full meal on the final night (complete
with wine - after the abstinence from alcohol I instantly
felt rather tipsy!) It was strange, however, that having looked
forward to it for so long, food was less intense in flavour
than juice, and mastication seemed a lot of hassle, particularly
as we were urged to chew each mouthful 36 times. The simplicity
and innate freshness of juice makes readjustment to food,
no matter how salivated over, a curious process. And while
some of our number returned to eating like over-enthusiastic
cows to cud, others didn't feel ready and stayed on the juice
for a few more days.
might sound an extreme step to take, but to my surprise it
was only on the rare occasions that I felt genuinely hungry.
Indeed, only towards the end did I start to crave solids.
I left Moinhos Velhos
slimmer, fitter and healthier. My eyes were clear, my tongue
pink as a newborn pup's, and I felt as if the over-indulgence
and stress of the past decade had been effectively removed.
While re-integration meant balancing my new knowledge with
my old lifestyle, sushi, Thai food accompanied by a glass
or two of wine rendered me ecstatic in the first week. As
for giving up smoking, the fast worked wonders - the removal
of nicotine toxins flushes the physical addiction from the
body quickly, effectively, and remarkably painlessly.
Velhos taught me a lot about the benefits of healthy living,
but more than that I learned to listen to my body, which includes
being naughty once in a while. I was left in no doubt that
the holistic approach is beneficial as an ethos, but it needs
the time, space and aesthetically-pleasing environment offered
by somewhere such as Moinhos Velhos to be truly effective.
Which is why I intend to re-visit when my stress levels reach
a level where my body threatens to revolt.
the meantime, lemon tea, anyone?
to go Getting
there: The nearest airport is Faro, and transport to Moinhos
Velhos can be arranged by the staff at the farm. Go (0870
60 76543 go-fly.com)
flies to Faro from London Stansted or Bristol for £112
it costs: Two-week programs at Moinhos Velhos for the
2002 season run from March 3-October 27. Packages start from
£1,800 for a single room with bath, excluding flight.
information from Moinhos Velhos, Cotifo, 8600 Lagos, Portugal
(tel: l351 282 687 147, fax: 351 282 687 697, Moinhos-Velhos.com). Flight time from London:
3hr. Time difference: 0hrs. £1 = 3.11.69 escudos.
All the programs 2011
More information on Fasting and Detoxification.
Articles about our Fasting Programs
Information on who, where & what we are Many pictures
More pictures from Moinhos Velhos Fasting Retreat
About our Programs
Testimonials from some of our guests
Answers to FAQ about fasting
Fasting in other
German, Portuguese, French, Spanish; Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Russian
Colon Cleansing using the Clysmatic, a gravity Colonic unit
NLP Trainers NLP Training course