Saturday, February 7, 2015

Detox Adventure in Ananda Marga Cebu

Willpower is not enough to conquer your goal. 

You need a support system to achieve your goal. A healthy lifestyle requires determination, commitment and discipline. Among the three, discipline is the most challenging element. Discipline requires you to make the smarter choice in a set of bad options (like ordering in a restaurant, or eating at a birthday party).

At some point in your life, you’ll gain weight. (Read: when you age) Losing weight is a short/medium term goal. Getting healthy is a long term goal. As 2015 rolled in, I chose to kickstart this healthy living project by going on a detox. 

Research led me to local and foreign options. The Farm in San Benito is a popular choice but a week in it would cost me the same as three weeks in Europe. I'd rather spend the money in Europe. There are also mid-range options in Phuket. There's also Bahay Kalipay in Palawan, but I was a bit iffy with their bathroom arrangements. Fortunately, Ananda Marga Cebu came up in my research. I called the center to inquire about their prices. Pretty affordable compared to others.

Contact the center first before booking your plane tickets. Sometimes, they conduct trainings that lasts for weeks, so they cannot accommodate patients-students.

I booked my plane tickets and filed my leaves for this 7-day detox adventure. Yes, I allocated my precious leaves for this. They did have a 3-day cleanse but I thought that it was to short, parang hilaw na detox.

This blog entry is not meant to be a comprehensive guide. I just wanna share my 7-day detox adventure in Ananda Marga Wellness Center in Cebu. I am actually writing this with care, as I don’t want to spoil all the details of the program. It is best to try it out yourself.

5:00 am         Staff kirtan/meditation (not applicable for students)
6:00               Students wake-up
6:15                Warm-ups
6:30                Yoga postures with instructor   
7:15               Kirtan/meditation
8:00               Treatments/shower
9:15               Breakfast
10:30             Morning activity (cooking class/discussion/art/music)
11:00             Treatments or cardiovascular exercise
12:30 pm      Kirtan/meditation
1:15               Lunch
2:00              Personal time (I love thiiiiizzzz!!!!)
3:00              Afternoon activity (cooking class/discussion/art/music)                             
3:30              Treatments or cardiovascular exercise
5:00              Yoga postures
6:30              Kirtan/Meditation
7:15              Dinner
8:00              Evening Walk
8:30              Movie/relaxation/diary/reading
9:00              Night treatment (if applicable)
10:00             Lights off

Day 1 Saturday – Arrival
‘Twas my first time to commute to NAIA Terminal 4 or Manila Domestic airport. As I entered the airport, I wanted to take a photo. That’s when it struck me: I LEFT MY CAMERA AT HOME. For the first time, I forgot to bring my camera during a trip. Mercury Retrograde is up in action. I had to use my phone to take photos.

Turbulence hit the flight when we landed in Mactan airport. The last time I was in Mactan airport was over five years ago, when I conquered Cebu with my college barkada. A staff from AM fetched me from the airport (included in the package). The center was a 20-minute drive from the airport. Ananda Marga Wellness center is located in a Village in Mandaue city. 

‘Twas past 1pm when I arrived. After showing my room and introducing some key staff, I was directed to the lunch table. There was rice, but it was only applicable for some students who are not on graduated rice. I had rice for lunch. I had rice for dinner too.

I was asked to fill-out a form after lunch. It contained the normal medical questions: age, weight, height, current diseases. It also inquired about the student’s eating habits: water intake, snack intake, food intake. Because I was a normal person without dieases, I put in the condition I was struggling the most: sleep. It takes me 1-2 hours to fall asleep on a normal day. I never tried sleeping pills and I never want to try them. So I put that as my main cause of being in the center.

Day 2 Sunday – Vegetarian
Fruits for breakfast. Veggies for lunch and dinner.
I had the mudpack for my treatment - this is really awesome. I had smooth skin after the treatment.

Day 3 – Vegetarian

More veggies. We watched a documentary called "Raw Food" which changed my perception of animal food. I had to recalibrate my beliefs about protein (we don't need a lot) and calcium (osteoporosis is caused my too much calcium, instead of lack of calcium). A very enlightening day for all the students.

Day 4 – First day of juicing
Woke up with a mild sore throat. Oh boy. Got sick during a detox. Given that it was mild, I decided not tell the staff yet. But it got a a bit worse by lunch time so I told the medical in charge that I had sore throat. She consoled me and told me that was normal. I went back to my room and Googled “Detox and sorethroat”. Sure enough, having a sorethroat is a sign that the body is purging out the toxins. I thought it was healthy all the way once you start eating healthy!
Watermelon, pineapple and another fruit. You have to chew the juice before swallowing it.

I had a hard time sleeping that night as I had mucus blockage in my sinuses so I had to breathe using my mouth.

Day 5  - Second day of juicing and colema

I cleaned my tongue and there was an excess of icky white stuff. Even if I brushed my teeth or used a tongue cleaner, there's this film of icky saliva in my mouth every hour. I was still sneezing out mucus, but this time, yellow and green mucus came out as well. The medical in charge said those came from deep within me. Yuck. By dinner time, I was wheezing. Dry cough. Tough. I spent the night trying to get some sleep. I failed. No sleep at all.

The colema experience
I haven’t tried giving birth, but it felt like I was giving birth to a water poop. That lasted for 40 minutes. I am eternally grateful that the staff was really accommodating during that time and consistently reminded me to relax. Relaxing was really difficult for me. After 40 minutes, I finally emptied the 20 liters of water. I felt so light afterward. Parang ayoko a maglagay ng kahit anong toxic stuff sa katawan ko ever. 
I inhaled water with eucalyptus oil before bedtime. My nasals cleared but I was still coughing up clear phlegm, or worse, dry cough. But I got some sleep this time. I got a couple of hours of sleep while sitting down. Yes, I slept sitting down, so I could breathe better. It is better than not getting any sleep at all.

Day 6 – Third day of juicing

Today, I was feeling slightly better, albeit my lungs are still clouded in mucus and phlegm. Absolutely no appetite. I just finished my juice meals because I was scared I might go hungry if I didn’t eat them. But I felt I could just go on with water. I also vomited twice. Interesting to see the phlegm with my lunch. So all of that yucky stuff inside me? How did those get in me?
Day 7 – Back to fruits day
 I got a fresh bowl of watermelon slices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Honestly, I had no appetite at all for solid foods and I could go on a juice fast for a couple days more. But there’s my real life waiting for me and I had to break the fast. Watermelon whole day. Didn’t have an appetite at all. But I didn’t want to go hungry.

Takeaway Lessons:
Hydrate. I drink 3-4 liters of water daily. Same requirement here, but may proper timing. Can't drink 30 minutes before and 1 hour after a meal. I think that is my biggest adjustment. The food/juice adjustment is easier than the water schedule.

Kiirtan. I love the kiirtans! To an outsider, it may look very cult-ish and ethnic, but I loved them the moment the group started singing the mantra together. Music is my first love (way before I loved finances and travel) and group singing always makes me happy (karaoke nights, choir singing). So when I had the sore throat, I was bummed I couldn’t sing along with the crowd.

Meditation. This was and is still a challenge for me. I think I am only successful in quieting the mind for one minute then it starts to wander again. This is a lifelong lesson to learn. 

Get your own room. Rates are cheaper if you share the room with another person. But the detoxing process requires you to be friends with the toilet. I'd rather have some privacy with that than share the experience.

The rooms are spartan, not a lot of frills - but the center gets the job done. There's also no hot water in the shower - you can request them to heat up some water for you, for a fee of course.

Decrease your animal-food consumption two weeks prior to going to the center. Hindi ka naman bibitayin so avoid eating animal and fried food before your cleanse. 

Write in your journal. The center provides a notebook and pen where you can write down your notes and thoughts.

Ananda Marga rate for a 7-day detox: Php 14,850
Additional detox kit for colema: Php 750.00
I also paid for a bottle of Triphala pills which helped me to eliminate all the bad stuff inside me. 

I left the center at lunchtime, my flight was still at 7pm. I watched a movie and did some window shopping in the mall. Buying pasalubong at the groceries was difficult. It was not difficult to resist. Coming from a clean-eating program for 7 days, I felt that there's so much junk in the world! Yuuuuuck! I settled for some peeled fruits at the supermarket - good thing they have that.

Going vegetarian for 7-days sounds like something that you can do at home. I challenge that you try that when everyone else around you is goading you with eating meat and questioning your "healthy choice". That's why I still recommend going to a detox facility if you want to cleanse. You'll be detoxing with solid support - from both the students and staff of Ananda Marga.

1 comment:

  1. I volunteered in Ananda Marga children's home in Nepal! You should try to visit them too when you get the chance to go to that country. I was vegetarian for 3 months when I was traveling in Nepal, and somehow I felt healthier.. I still try to be a vegetarian pero minsan masarap talaga ang meat ^_^.. although it really helps me feel more healthier when I eat more veggies in my diet too.


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