Thursday, March 02, 2006

Destination detox

There is nothing, it seems, that European women would rather spend a great deal of money on than getting away from it all at a spa or health farm and as correspondent Caroline Wyatt discovers, the bill is often as painful as the rather intrusive treatments.

"Maharishi Ayurveda spa, Bad Ems, Germany
The health centre boasts more than 10,000 satisfied customers"

The brochure had a photo of a luxurious hotel, and all the buzzwords: revitalising, rejuvenating.

A detox. Well, I was not sure about a detox.

I like to tox, and I think my liver and kidneys do an admirable job, considering the challenges.

Apparently, the Maharishi Ayurveda spa offered daily full-body massages, with hot oil dribbled over the entire body, rubbed in by two people simultaneously.

I booked straightaway.

The name Maharishi rang a vague bell, but I could not think why.

The brochure had a picture of the man himself - the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - an Indian with a serene other-worldly expression and a long white beard.

I began to suspect all might not be quite what I expected when the health check questionnaire arrived from the spa a few days later.

It seemed utterly fixated on matters of a deeply personal nature. Namely my digestion.

More specifically, the exit.

How often? What did it look like? Colour? Consistency?

The questions were all of an equally personal nature.

I discovered that many Germans were rather obsessed with these matters when I worked as a geriatric nurse in Munich in my early 20s, and to my horror found out why German toilets had ledges.

So that each production could be examined in detail.
Read full article via bbc news