Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… Hippocrates Health Institute

’That little thing is a parasite. There’s another one, and another one’

Spa Junkie at... Hippocrates Health Institute

Image: Jay Yeo

January 10 2012
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3

Spa Junkie has embarked on a hard-core, raw-food detox at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.


Tom the nurse pricks the tip of my finger, takes a drop of my blood, places it on a glass slide and examines it with a lens attached to a TV on the wall, so I can see it in glorious technicolour. He shines a red light on a little speckle that is squiggling around. “That little thing is a parasite. Yup, there’s another one, and another one… No doubt about it, you have parasites in your blood.”

Feeling distinctly weaker at the sight of these slippery little suckers doing the backstroke in my bloodstream, I let out a little shriek. What? Are you kidding? “No,” says Tom with a resigned sigh. Sensing my near-panic at his diagnosis, his bedside manner kicks in. “Listen, don’t fret – it’s quite common, and we will give you something for it. You just have to cut out fruit and raw fish for three months.” This is hardly consoling; my raw fish consumption is so prolific I should have shares in Nobu-san’s empire.

The dry blood slide looks like the cross-section of a tree trunk. The rings, essentially layers of cellular memory, further reveal that I have heavy metal poisoning and a slight inflammation of the lymph nodes.

Like a forensic archaeologist, he looks back one year and five years and is able to identify with absolute accuracy a time of severe stress and gastric tension. During that same period I was selling my business and on the verge of an ulcer. He also suspects I was suffering from intolerances, but I reckon that was more due to the grande soya cappuccinos I was necking four times a day – my office was handily opposite a Starbucks.

Tom reminds me that many cancers are environmentally caused, and I am urged to start looking at seriously changing my diet. But with a schedule involving long-haul travel every other week, I cannot see how I can pull off a total transformation. How, even with all the best intentions, will I be able to find bags of sprouts in downtown Buenos Aires or Beijing? I have the same problem with macrobiotics – can I really ask for a miso soup over a business breakfast at The Wolseley?

I slink out of the blood room clutching a prescription for hundreds of pounds worth of supplements. I’m depressed. I am riddled with parasites, and I have some heavy metal poisoning from using my laptop without a keyboard and hours spent waffling on my mobile device; at least, Tom says all of this has played a part in poisoning me. I am quite devastated; I honestly thought I was (relatively) healthy.

Just as I contemplate an existence without sushi and an abrupt end to my sex life due to a diet primarily consisting of sprouts and garlic, Daffers has turned up to lighten the mood.


An all-juice and silence day.

There is to be no talking – which is fine by me, insofar as to date no one has said anything remotely good. People wander the building with a slightly disturbed glazed look in their eyes, wearing badges saying “I’m silent today”. We’ve definitely moved into Cuckoo’s Nest territory here.

“Your juice and wheatgrass for your implants?” says one of the maids.

Excuse me? Daffers and I have no idea what’s being talked about. Obviously we missed the ass-implant orientation. Daffers gets onto reception and asks, without skipping a beat, to speak to someone about her daily enema. The sheer ridiculousness of this request is not lost on any of us.

But Daffers has done this before: “Kiddo, I know it seems primitive, but it works. Assemble the bag like this, fill with lukewarm water, lubricate tip with coconut butter, place yoga mat on the bathroom floor, attach bag to special hook, pipe up the rectum, and let the water in. Then, romance the colon, baby.” I resist the urge to crack a joke. Time is ticking, the wheatgrass dies in 15 minutes. I have to get this together and fast. We rush to our respective bathrooms.

Yoga mat on the floor, bag filled with water, legs akimbo up the wall – oops, there goes half the lukewarm water. Never mind; I will figure it out.

Just then, and right on cue, my phone rings. The conference call I had been waiting on interrupts my concentration. I ignore it. It rings again. And again. And again. And again.

Contemplating my predicament, for a moment I almost consider picking up, and coming clean. “Sorry guys, just implanting some wheatgrass up my nethers. Can I put you on hold for a sec?” I decide it’s best to email my apologies when this procedure is over.

After a few false starts, it goes without a hitch. The wheatgrass is very potent and I feel almost giddy with the sense of accomplishment. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.