Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… Hippocrates Health Institute

As the going gets tough, our reporter makes a decision

Spa Junkie at... Hippocrates Health Institute

Image: Jay Yeo

January 14 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.


My appointment in the Harmony Room with the Ceragem-RH machine. This is a very uncomfortable massage bed, which rolls up and down and digs deeply into your muscles as you hold an infrared pad on your stomach and/or any area with pain. If I wasn’t in pain before, I am now.


A colonic with wheatgrass implant. As I am preparing myself for round two, the therapist observes that she thinks the amount of nuts they serve here is not ideal on a detox, as it creates gas. Interesting.


Over our umpteenth bowls of sprouts, even the eternally enthusiastic Daffers has lost the will to go on, and we start plotting our escape. We settle on Sunday, and with the Escape from Alcatraz spirit, our mood lightens at the thought of our first glass of wine.


Cucumber juice, wheatgrass, enema. Oh joy, oh joy, oh joy. Is it only Thursday? Thankfully, I have lost 1.4kg, which goes some way to making up for the pain.


Tom tells me during the neuro-muscular massage that my hips are out, my pubic bone is out, my shoulders are out and my face is askew too. God almighty – can this get any worse?

He shows me, and at closer inspection I can see that one ear lobe indeed seems a little longer. Next he points at my eyebrows and again, yes, I can see... My modern lifestyle has turned me into a Picasso.

He sets about kneading, clicking, pulling and pushing my muscles, bones and limbs. He does a great job – I feel perfectly aligned as I swan out to have my insides shaken. There is virtually no exercise offered here and Daffers and I, both five-days-a-week gym bunnies, are resigned to turn to a machine to do the work for us. At $15 a pop, it’s great value, and much less strenuous than a spin class.


We can’t take it any more. The health zealots are frankly starting to disturb me. We slip past Tom and company and make our escape.

Hello South Beach, how I love thee.


I lost 2kg in four days, learnt a great deal about sprouts and magnetic therapies, and even more about how to insert wheatgrass up my bottom – so it wasn’t without success and a certain value. But if the Hippocrates Health Institute is trying to go upscale, it is about 100 miles and quite a bit of deodorant away from success.

It’s also among the most expensive in its category, at close to $6k for a week. I have never paid so much for raw vegetables and lectures. I know they do a lot of good for people with serious illnesses here, but if they’re trying to attract people looking for general health over quasi-medical cures, then they need to create a programme that is less scientifically rigid.

The next instalment of Chronicles of a Spa Junkie will be published on January 17.

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