The Spa of Embarrassing Ignorance

Amanda Hamilton, the Queen of Detox, is the emerging, good looking face of daytime, lifestyle, detox TV. She is a self described homeopath and expert in nutritional therapy, iridology, yoga and Ayurveda. If we were playing quack bingo, I would be shouting ‘house!’ Amanda has appeared regularly on the BBC, GMTV and UKTV, runs a number of detox spas in Spain and Turkey, writes books and sells home detox kits.

And now, she starts a new TV series on UKTV. Entitled The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses, the show will take a group of people off to Amanda’s Spanish Detox Spa and,

detoxify, rejuvenate and deal with the root cause of their ailments, rather than simply masking them with quick and easy remedies.

Each will receive a specially tailored programme that Amanda and her team of specialists, who range from homoeopathists to a yoga guru, have created for them. These individual plans will combine nutrition, therapy, detox, meditation, counselling yoga and massage together with specialist therapies as and when required.

What is going on here? Why is TV about people with psoriasis going on holiday to Spain such compelling viewing to so many? And more generally, what is it about detox that allows Amanda to carve out a lucrative and glamorous business empire and spearhead an industry based around the detox myth?

But first, let’s get that myth out of the way. All this talk of ridding your body of accumulated toxins is nonsense. The human body is a remarkable machine that has evolved a large number of perfectly good mechanisms for getting rid of waste and unwanted substances. The thought that a few pills, a lie down and some fruit juice make much difference is rubbish. Professor John Henry, Clinical Toxicologist at St Mary’s Hospital, London says,

If you party to excess it is more than likely that you won’t be feeling your best. The cure? A good night’s sleep, your normal diet and plenty of water. Immoderation can only be repaid by moderation. Special detox diets and products are not going to do anything to hasten this process. Chemical scientists get fed up with debunking all these detox claims.

Catherine Collins, Chief Dietician at St George’s Hospital Medical School says,

The concept of ‘detox’ is a marketing myth rather than a physiological entity. The idea that an avalanche of vitamins, minerals, and laxatives taken over a 2 to 7 day period can have a long-lasting benefit for the body is also a marketing myth.

You can see more quotes on the Sense About Science web site. I don’t want to go into this further: it has been written about at huge length. The Quackometer Search Engine will provide a good reading list.

Now popping off to a nice spa somewhere exotic may well indeed be what it takes to rest and feel better about yourself. It’s what doctors technically call ‘taking a holiday’. What’s more, is that if you have an ’embarrassing illness’, the associated relaxation of a break and the undoubted improvement in regular sleep and meals may well help to see some improvement in your condition. So there is no surprise that people report benefits from such spas. These detox holidays are no more than was practiced by the likes of Dr James Gully on Charles Darwin as we saw in my recent post. A break away from work in the spa town of Malvern enabled Charles, in the modern vernacular, to re-charge his batteries. What is questionable is whether you have to pay for actual detox or whether a renting a villa with a pool with some friends would be just as good but for a third of the price. You might even be able to indulge in the odd glass of vino without too much undue effect.

Maybe Amanda is just talking about ‘detox’ in some sort of metaphorical sense? Maybe all these talk of toxins is just a poetic way of describing a healthy rest? You might be able to swallow that but Amanda does not talk like it is a metaphor. She really appears to believe that our bodies accumulate toxins that only magic herbs and enemas can sort out. The proof that she is not talking metaphorically is that she sells ‘home detox kits’. These consist of a set of useless pills to provide ‘colon support’, ‘detox support’, ‘priobiotic support’ and the ‘assimilation of toxins'(?) – plus (I kid you not) a scrubbing brush. It all sounds rather Victorian and it is just plain old fashioned quackery, despite the claims that this is “cutting edge techniques and technical knowledge [that] has been the talk of the industry”. This little kit will set you back nearly a hundred quid for fortnight’s worth of pills. (What is odd is that a week’s supply only costs £40.)

So, back to the question – what is going on here and why is detox so popular and such compelling TV? It strikes me that in out post-religious world, where we no longer believe in hell and sins and the authority of priests, that toxins are the new wages of ‘sin’, and they build up through our consumerist hedonism and hectic ‘lifestyles’. Detox is our penance for our toxic sins and enemas and restricted diets are our contrition. Amanda Hamilton is not the ‘Queen of Detox’ but the ‘High Priestess of Detox’ and she sells us indulgences to cleanse us of our ills. The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses is our modern day Pardoner’s Tale. And just as Chaucer’s medieval priest preached against greed and excess whilst pocketing money extorted from his penitents by selling fake relics, we see today’s priests of detox selling expensive but worthless pills and extolling the benefits of flagellation with a scrubbing brush. The sins of our everyday life can be magically transformed away with the right incantations and trinkets.

And this is what I find most objectionable about this high profile TV detox machine. It is trading in blatant falsehoods. Despite Amanda’s claim that her detox regime deals ‘with the root cause of their ailments, rather than simply masking them with quick and easy remedies’, the exact opposite is true. Detox is a token penance and a quick escape from reality. The underlying stresses, illnesses and dissatisfaction are still there. Just as buying a saintly relic was a shortcut to absolution, so there there is a strong, alluring belief that paying for a detox indulgence will give us a quick consumerist answer to life’s complex problems. And Amanda Hamilton trades off that wishful thinking.

The Medieval Pardoners were venal hypocrites. But somehow I get the impression that Amanda really does appear to believe in what she does. Nonetheless, our televisions and magazines wallow in these dark age myths. Professor David Colquhoun wrote in the Guardian recently about the encroaching ‘endarkenment’. Amanda Hamilton is one of the temple elite of the new age – dark age ignorance. And I find it embarrassing.

On this theme…

44 Comments on The Spa of Embarrassing Ignorance

  1. I disagree. I can’t speak to the science but I can speak out of experience. Not everyone’s body is effective at getting rid of toxins and waste. I would go 5-10 days without a bowel movement. I felt like crap (ya literally). I was always sick. A doctor diagnosed me with irritable bowel… and scripted me a trail drug to cure me. So if the body was so good at getting rid of this stuff why the need for drugs? Anyways my drug plan wouldn’t cover it until it was done with the trail (which is good cause I didn’t feel like being a lab rat). I went to a holistic doctor and he put me on a mono diet of apples. Yep I ate only apples for 5 days. Guess what my body started getting back on track. It took some time of trial and error thereafter of what foods my body could manage and which it could not. I watched part I of the program that you have stamped quackery. It is extreme. I don’t agree with all of the things they are doing but I would bet that if you screened for toxins before and after there would be a notable difference. You are what you eat. If you eat the nutritionally void over processed food, drink, live is a smog filled city for a majority of your life do you really think a good night sleep and a few days of eating clean will make you good as new? Come on. That just quacky. The doctor that gave me a weeks worth of pills – that guy’s a quack with a PHD. A reality show that cleans the system by a juice purge, manual flushing (icky and maybe even dangerous), deals with emotional blockages with therapy, and gives people a sense that they can have some power over their health doesn’t seem as odd to me.

  2. I also disagree. I was constantly overweight, always tired, cranky, and never regular. I did a lot of reading about detox and cleansing programs and after using some of the herbs along with organic fruits, vegetables, and lots of water, I felt so much better. I had so much more energy and felt excited about life again. It really is a lifestyle though and not a quick trip to a detox spa that really does the trick. If you do a cleansing or detox program and then go back to the way you were eating and living before, you’re going to be back where you started. Also, the mental detox aspect of it is so very important. By changing the way I thought about myself and others, I was able to really WANT to be better to my self and my body. I can honestly say that I’m much happier and healthier all because of a “quack” detox program. I can never thank it enough! 🙂

  3. Kristen et al.

    I think you are misunderstanding my point. Let me make it clear:

    Changing your lifestyle and eating/living better – good times.

    Talking pseudoscientific bullshit as a marketing excercise – bad times.

    • Hello Le Canard Noir,

      I often find in my practice that those who protest the most need the most help!! Trying to pull down something that is obviously beneficial to people, so much so that even ‘Blind Freddy’ can see that is a clear sign that you are unhappy internally. Do you really believe that helping people feel better is a bad thing? No of course not. But you are not really in control are you? I unfortunately see so many like you, chirpy on the outside, but bitter and twisted on the inside.

      What a joke quoting the medical “profession” on anything to do with natural healing processes – they are totally ignorant of such things. It is not part of their training, in fact they are trained to avoid it, warn others about it and generally debunk it every chance they get. The belief that the glorified drug dealers we call doctors are the gold standard of health care is now fading fast and will ultimately be forgotten as we move into a higher level of consciousness. Do they have a place? Yes of course, but that place is now being superceeded by a greater level of wisdom and understanding. One that seeks to work with nature rather than against it. Yes the Modern Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex is losing ground and losing it fast as more and more people wake up and see the reality of it all.

      Hey if you want to wave the banner of ignorance and ignore the great benefits people are receiving then that’s your choice, but it’s nothing to be proud of. Your claim that “there’s no such thing as detox” only highlights the massive level of your ignorance and folly. May I suggest you read one of the hundreds of books on detoxification with an open mind. Even better go and experience it for yourself with an open heart and mind and then see what you think. I suspect though that its really an emotional detox you are in need of as no one in balance considers even for a moment that a process that brings so much relief and happiness to the lives of others is a negative thing.

      I also suggest that you really look into the drug industry and I think very quickly you find a level of quackery far beyond your previous estimates. Psedoscientific bullshit reigns supreme here, especially when considering that the makers of the druga often do not even fully understand what the hell that Franken-molecule is even doing in the body. There’s the real scam, doctors are trained in 5 star luxury to puch these drugs onto the unsuspecting public, even if they don’t really need them. Unethical kick-backs drive this madness even further. The result? An overmedicated population, complications, suffering and even premature death. It’s an industry to them, a way to make money and not a calling to help people as it is in the true natural healing arts.

      My advice, spend more time looking for those things that help people rather than wasting energy trying to debunk something that is good for people on so many levels. Ask yourself what am I here for? Is it to tear down or is it to build up? You might also like to consider a more informed and balanced approach rather than shooting from the hip? Maybe seek out some therapy for this need to cut down? You will never be truly happy until you allow yourself to see the world through a pure and loving lens that sees the good and notices the evil but avoids it.

      All the best to you and your family, may your own personal inner journey be one filled with wonderment, surprise and joy as you grow into a greater version of your current self, a higher and more spiritual version who loves self and others unconditionally.

      Namaste.

  4. As someone who has been on one of Amanda’s retreats I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. She never claims to work miracles, its all about education around nutrition and lifestyle. Besides, it got results where nothing else had for 10 plus years – even my Doctor was impressed. It is all part of emerging science that takes us back to the wisdom of good lifestyle underpinning all else. And by the way, there were several Doctors and nurses doing the detox alongside me!

  5. My God. There is no such thing as ‘detox’.

    Have a holiday. Enjoy a break. But please don’t tell me you have fallen for this pseudoscientific bullshit.

    • Of course there is such a thing as detox – it’s the opposite of tox, short for toxin. Duh I hate morons who state something as fact before thinking about what they are saying. you definitely need an arrogance detox

      • Please state one toxin that is removed during a ‘detox’ and how you know this to be happening.

  6. I suggest you try the therapies first and then criticise them.- We may not yet fully understand what is going on in the body- I have tried conventional medicine (which was very useful to a large extent and has a place along side other therapies)for many years for a progressively worsening condition- (more conventional) nutritional intervention for intolerances was very useful but the only things that really largely cured the condition- not just by ‘papering over the cracks’- was alternative therapy (HK).
    We are coming out of the dark age (kali yuga)-I know that ignorance comes in many forms- Especially from those that come from the arrogant ‘I’m right’ attidude.
    I am a PhD scientist and health professional- I know first hand the flak you can get from the ‘medicines mafia’.To the enlightened- Just be aware of it and move on

  7. I rather disagree.

    There is nothing I can imagine that is more stimulating than to have a rubber tube stuck my arse and throbbed to overflow with rich, fresh Columbian coffee!

    Now that is what I call a ” Good morning, wake-up!” call.

  8. I completely disagree.. get out of your conventional medicine mind and start trying what really works. What actually works on healing the body… WAKE UP

  9. The comprehension of posters here is staggering. I am not advocating ‘conventional medicine’ over ‘detox’. Read my article. I am asking people to be critical of unnecessary and expensive pseudoscientific cures for their hectic lifestyle. Don’t go to a detox spa costing thousands, go on a bleedin’ holiday and lay off the booze for a few days.

    But no. People would rather pay an arm and a leg for their absolution granted by the priestess. And that is truly fascinating.

    • How would a holiday and booze fasting compare to actually detoxifying your body? It’s comparing apples to oranges. Did you ever think about the other benefits? The social side, actually being with people who sympathise instead of criticize….these things work, so don’t be so arrogant about it. People are individual and they have the right to choose.

      • “actually detoxifying your body”????

        If you could demonstrate lower levels of ANY TOXIN WHATSOEVER after one of these courses, or even say which “toxins” are being removed, you might have a point.

        As it is, the Detox mantra is complete and utter bullshit – people do have the right to choose, but people also have the right to point out that the people taking the money are either deluded or lying about what they’re selling.

  10. You state that the body is designed to keep up with the removal of toxins effectively, and “detox” will not help. This is true for HEALTHY bodies, but for those of use with severly compromised systems you could not be more wrong. I have CFS and toxin build up is a major factor of the illness. Our systems are very slow and some people even develop swollen lymph because of it. It has been proposed that our livers do not work properly, so anything that can help them get back on track is worth a go. Not to mention our poor immune systems, struggling with viruses and a disrupted krebbs cycle.

    It is all very well for you to sit there in your presumably healthy body, but spare a thought for those of us who have no official cure for our conditions, who are FORCED into the alternative field to try to repair ourselves, because no one else wants to.

    Things aren’t always black and white, so don’t be so quick to judge.

  11. Anon – I’m afraid you might not like my response, but it must be said – the people who are telling you that your illness is due to a build-up of toxins are either deluded or lying to you. There is no such thing as “detox” – it is a marketing scam – and it makes no difference if you are well or not.

    People with CFS will undoubtedly be satisfied that their doctors are unable to give explanations about their illness, or offer cures. But this does not mean the detox quacks are right – they are simply preying on your quite reasonable desire to have an explanation and hope for a cure. You are not FORCED into their world – they seduce you in. It is not that doctors do not want to help you, it is that we do not know the answers to all of life’s illnesses. Those that promise solutions are exploiting sometimes desperate people.

    Detox is pseudoscience. Exactly what toxins are building up? NAme them. Can they be independently measured? What evidence do they have beyond the anecdotal for their claims? Ask these questions – judge the responses critically.

  12. Having taken people through ‘detox’ programs I can certainly vouch for their effectiveness… and I’m no wealthy TV personality. Of course having a nice relaxing time on the beach, with sun, sand and massage is beneficial. Are you expecting these people to offer their programs on a winter’s day on Brighton beach? Get real. The actual process of detoxing is not just cleaning the body but mind, emotions and spirit. See what comes off the bowel walls after 10 days and you’ll sing a different song. Whatever the merits of the individual techniques, it’s the results that count and detoxing produces far better results than your 5 minute drug-peddling medics will ever achieve by suppressing symptoms. Put your own house in order before criticizing others.

  13. Anonymous – this sort of comment rather makes my point about ‘Embarrassing Ignorance’. And you excel. Did you actually read my post?

    You said, “Are you expecting these people to offer their programs on a winter’s day on Brighton beach?”

    Of course not and I make that quite clear. I would rather people went on their nice relaxing holidays without peddlers of pseudoscience misleading them about ‘detox’.

    You are obviously quite confused about it all as in one breath you claim that detox is about the ‘spirit’ and then asking me to see what “comes off the bowel walls”. You really have fallen for their tricks!

  14. Hi….Having read all these posts I have to say it’s very interesting seeing everyone’s point of view!!!!But It’s simple……….We are what we eat!!!Fact……Not everyone understands why we are the way we are!!!Fact(Everyone has their cross to bare and not everyone can deal with things that life throws at us or things that have happened……Nor realise the effect these things have on how we think!!!Therefore getting things off our chest or someone pointing out the basic facts (that sometimes are starring at us but we don’t see) Makes us see things differently……. (After all we weren’t all born in a palace and have had a fairy tale lifestyle with all the right answers!!!)……………So therefore eating the right things after getting rid of all the crap in our system……..Someone taking the time to chat to us and make life look a little simpler is not such a bad thing nor is it `hocus pocus `………………….:)
    Im a very pragmatic person who has looked into so many holistic treatments and experienced most of them……Some rubbish and some mind blowing……….Open your mind to most things as long as they are safe!!!Modern day pills and synthetic pick me ups in my opinion are not always the answer!!!
    Some people just like to CRITISISE what they do not understand!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Wow anne – so, many FACTS!!!

    In what sense is it true that ‘we are what we eat’? Literally true? Am I really roast chicken, mash and brussels sprouts? Or is this not really true and more of a meaningless aphorism?

    “Not everyone understands why we are the way we are”

    Quite.

    Some people know more than others though.

    “Some people just like to CRITISISE what they do not understand!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    That is also too true.

  16. Its really hard to figure out ‘facts.’ I have a spouse pushing me to try this weird water that is basically tap water run through a machine and then they give it a number, like 1,2,3 etc. 3 being more powerful than 1. Its supposed to remove toxins from the body. I suffer from a range of maladies and upon trying the water, it gave me incredible stomach pains that have taken weeks (after stopping it) to calm down. Of course they say they game me water that “was too powerful.”

    I know these guys are a total sham. A whole industry of water purifiers with silly claims has been around forever. But its being pushed by a “herbalist”, as if that is supposed to infuse it with greater authority.

    How do I convince my wife that this is just a bunch of crap? Are there studies that prove this? Anytime I try to google this problem I end up with a billion ads and links to the opposite of what I want, to more marketing BS about light water, water with the hydrogen bond at a 20 degree angle, etc.

    I need to be armed with facts, studies, anything using reason to get away from this. Quite honestly this is the only water I have drank in my life which is unhealthy for me. It is supposed to alter a body which is acidic (the cause of all disease as they claim), and make my body more alkaline. They have those testing strips to prove that it does indeed reduce acidity in the body.

    So whats up? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    PS: I think what a lot of readers and posters here are experiencing (not all, but some) is the placebo effect. One of my diseases is Multiple Sclerosis. I was about to go on Avonex weekly injections until I read a study of 200 some odd people. I was astounded to see in two columns, symptoms reported between the control group and the group getting the real thing. Basically, there was no statistically relevant difference in the majority of reported side effects. For a small group like that all feel within the statistical margin of error.

    For example, headaches. Even people NOT getting the drug reported headaches at a rate of 17%, while people getting the drug reported headaches at a rate of 19%. The list goes on and on.

    The bottom line is: If you think detox is working for you, the placebo effect is so powerful, even though we would think to deny that we could be affected in such a way, that it could really make one think they are better. A study of doctors revealed that a high percentage prescribe placebo drugs to patients when they cannot figure out what is really wrong. Food for thought…

  17. I am amused my the posters advocating such rubbish.

    To Frank – sounds like you have been trying homoeopathy, which has no stringent evidence to suggest efficacy other than placebo. Some charlatans may try to direct you to a paper published in a prominent medical journal in the late 80's, but was quickly retracted due to significant failings in its methodology, and no subsequent paper has shown any efficacy.

    Detoxes do not exist: people making you feel good about yourself with pseudo-science does. I actually don't mind people getting better through the placebo effect, because I consider it therapy enough for those that don't respond to scientific measures – the number of people that get frustrated my medicine though illnesses with large psychological components is practically crippling the NHS!

    No "nutritionist" (an unprotected title, which any one of us can call ourselves) will ever point you to rigorous evidence, because there isn't any. They may show you "evidence" from journals, but never from any reputable one, and will tend to be case histories (i.e. anecdotal stories with no science at all). They will spew out the usual rubbish on particular molecules and enzymes without mentioning the multiple caveats to their theories – absorption into the body, metabolism by the body, excretion by the body – and of course, the last of direct evidence to its effects on the body (and don't forget – substances have multiple effects on the body which can potentially cancel each other out).

    To those who advocate detoxes, enjoy your holidays in the Alps (when do you see a retreat in inner-cities, eh?). For the rest of us who want to move society forward, lets keep working with evidence-based medicine.

  18. I am Ray from South Africa
    To all the Anonymous posts I say this: If you have something to say then say your name! Are you frightened of reality or what.?
    To the pro "detoxers" I say: good, because your body requires maintenance,in the form of better input and regular cleansing,
    but YOU are not your body AND you are NOT what you eat. You are a beautiful entity ocupying a body, SO treat it with care and love. Also do not forget who you run to when you need a broken bone fixed or a complex surgery done, the orthodox medical world have some beautiful people in it who are only trying to keep you alive and free of pain. Do not be ignorant of the great work done by them.
    To the anti detoxer I say: you have never been in the position yet to need this "detoxing" but you may one day..some bodies are more resilient than others and the entity inside creates most of the problems. AND the higher we move toward the truth the more problems we may have with the body because of the increased resistance in the body due to greater energies which are flowing through them.
    To the Anti homoeopathy person: You are so ignorant of the facts.. you should read the facts from real scientists and read a book called "The Field" then maybe you will wakeup, but I dont think so because you are not ready for this type of information.
    To all the other and many "anti alternative health posts"; You will never see the reality because your minds are like a cloud of confusion and you are fighting your way through life because you do not want to see the real side of life that can help you. If you really understood the reasons and goals of life you may understand what I am saying, but you do not because in this life you are not ready, so maybe try in your next life little people…BUT stop the criticism because in one of your lives you will wake up and see the light..
    Ray

  19. Quackery indeed.Sunday Times: Experts dub Something for the Weekend TV presenter's detox treatments ‘as useful as Smarties’Detox products promoted by Amanda Hamilton, the television nutritionist, as fertility aids have been criticised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) which said her claims have no scientific or medical basis. Hamilton, who appears on GMTV and presents BBC2’s Something for the Weekend, offers a range of detox retreats on her website which she claims can “enhance the fertility” of childless couples. The retreats, which cost up to £2,000 a week and are held in Scotland, England and the French Alps, include a “fully supported juicing and broth programme”, “managed enemas”, exercise classes, Chinese herbal treatments and nutritional supplements developed by Hamilton. Ingredients include “potent probiotic bacteria”, a natural herbal formula to support the colon, a natural mineral and vitamin supplement to support enzyme activity in the liver and kidneys and “toxin assimilating” bentonite clay. The programme also includes tai chi, qigong and pilates, hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Hamilton, who was born in North Berwick and was the face of VisitScotland, has claimed nutrition is more effective than IVF at tackling infertility. A statement issued by her publicist, titled “Amanda Hamilton says IVF treatment is poor relation to natural fertility through nutrition”, states: “Top TV presenter and nutritionist Amanda Hamilton argues that nutrition is more effective than IVF at tackling infertility or recurring problems in pregnancy.” Dr Virginia Beckett, a consultant obstetrician and spokeswoman for the RCOG, said the claim was not supported by scientific or medical research. “I can’t see how nutrition can help a man who has got no sperm or a woman with blocked tubes. I really don’t think the scientific evidence is there to support Amanda Hamilton’s view that nutrition is more effective than IVF.” Beckett added that alternative fertility therapy of the type offered by Hamilton was no better than a placebo, adding: “Sometimes people get pregnant suddenly without IVF because there is no obvious cause for their initial infertility. It would be easy enough to offer these people Smarties and then credit their pregnancy on them eating the pink ones.” Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at Glasgow University, described the use of acupuncture, detox and Chinese medicine to boost fertility as “quack medicine”. “Amanda Hamilton is a TV personality, but this is not entertainment,” he said. “This is encouraging people to try methods that probably won’t work and, thereby, depriving themselves of the proper services which use methods that do work.”
    Dr Gillian Lockwood, of the British Fertility Society, said: “People might be put off coming for effective treatment because they have been led to believe that all they need to do is sign up for detox, acupuncture and macrobiotic remedies.” Hamilton said she stood by her claims and cited a small study by the University of Surrey which, she said, indicated that “nutrition corrections” led to higher numbers of previously infertile couples having healthy babies compared with those undergoing IVF. “Enhancing nutrition is fundamentally less invasive, less costly and more beneficial to the overall health of the parent and child than IVF. In cases where nutrition cannot help to solve a specific problem it can still enhance the health and wellbeing of the women undergoing treatment. “Only orthodox people can mount the larger studies. That they don’t betrays a lot of bias and it is very non-scientific to have a completely closed mind. For people with fertility problems what matters is getting results.”
    A factsheet produced by Nutrigold, the vitamin and supplements firm that produces Hamilton’s branded detox formulas, warns: “It is not generally considered to be a good thing to undergo a detox while trying to conceive. “So we recommend you take steps to make sure you don’t conceive hile undergoing a preconceptual detox.”

    • Evidence? Open your eyes, the evidence is everywhere. talk to people instead of criticizing and berating them just because you disagree with them

  20. At the end of the day if something works for a person, scientifically proved or not, then they have the right to choose. What does it matter if people decide to spend their hard earned cash on a detox retreat that you might think is full of crap? There must be a reason they are popular, perhaps it is the warm sun and the surf and nothing more – but it’s their perogative to decide where and how they spend their money.

    There are many things science cannot explain, and to think of the human body simply as a collection of chemical reactions is a very empty view of an organism that is capable of amazing things. Both on the micro level and the macro level.

    There is a place for everything in this world, be it science, religion, alternative therapies, meditation. Not all science works, and when it doesn’t, what else do people have? Alternative therapies give them a hope, and who are you to take that hope away from them?

    Stop using science to bully people into taking your view on things, live and let live, we’re all different and all believe different things. It is our human right – choice.

    • No one is denying you choice. You are free to make whatever choices you want. It is, of course, your human right to make completely nonsensical choices based on vacuous reasoning. I will not stop you and you have my full blessing.

      • There are many types of detoxes. Maybe Amanda Hamilton practices some and not others. However, if you want evidence, listen to those people who say that modern medical science didnt help them in their quest for healing. Yes, conventional medicine has benefits no doubt, esp. in diagnosing illness (not all the time) but usually fails miserably when it comes to treating and healing. It acts like cosmetic foundation – hiding all the flaws, but not healing.
        I had gall stones that were driving me mad with pain for months. All the doctors I went to prescribed gall bladder surgery – removing the organ that God has put inside me for a reason. (Doctors are modern day butchers – what they dont understand, they just want to remove). Anyway, I did a liver cleanse (epsom salts, and olive oil+grapefruit juice) and in one day it removed my gall stones painlessly. PAIN GONE. I did it again after a 2 week gap and more came out, and I kept doing until I was cleared. I DETOXED my body, and healed. I didnt need scientific data and lab testing to prove it. Some things ARE that simple. And effective.
        Read on the internet the stories of millions of people who had gall bladder surgery and still didnt heal, in fact, got worse. Had I like you, thought of conventional doctors as some sort of Gods, I would be weeping miserably today.
        I’m so glad I dont share your thinking.

  21. It seems evident from this thread that some people choose to stay stonely in one fixed mind set – I presume because it makes them feel safe, similar to the mindset of those that believed they would fall off the edge of the world if they ventured too far. Their minds are too closed, there is no point in trying to change them. They twist and turn in their opinion to wriggle out of answering a question directly, and when that fails they turn to sarcasm or plain old pushing people around with their opinions and calling them stupid.

    Le Canard Noir is a dinasaur. And quite possibly a miserable self loathing one too. I feel sad for him (or her). It’s taken me about 90 seconds to write this post, but I wouldn’t waste any more time on him and his fixed, narrow intellect.

    That safe, responsible field of medicine and pharmacy we call drugs? Those drugs we swallow, inject and absorb every other day to heal all ills? Read the side effects and weep. If I break my arm, yes, I’ll go to the doctor and be thankful for what modern medicine can do. I’m happy to envelope both worlds because they both have their place. If they moved forward together we’d probably get much further, much quicker for the benefit of many suffering people. Instead modern medicine is often pioneered by egos.

    I think we have a prime candidate for the next tv detox show. To rid Le Canard Noir of all his negative thoughts and poisonous attitude. And bring a little happiness into his or her life. Bless.

    • HAHAHahahaha. My god you’re ridiculous. It’s alright. Go on deceiving yourself. I’m having great fun reading of folks like you, believing all sorts of meaningless sham and claiming to be “open minded”…

      Next, please.

  22. Another thing: I know many people who were conventional doctors, but after years of practicing and becoming constantly frustrated that modern medical science does not heal in most cases, they became naturopaths and homeopaths. Talk to them, doctors armed with their cushy degrees, and find out how disappointed they are in this profession, which really is run by capitalistic egotistical people who are conditioned from university to disregard anything alternative.

      • You want names? How odd; are you going to email them or call them to confirm? The doctors I’m talking about are in Canada and Saudi Arabia.

        I noticed you didnt reply to my first post. Ahem..

      • You did ask me to talk to them. Do you not want me to?

        As for your first post. Perhaps you are not aware of the limits of anecdote. Also how gallstone can pass spontaneously.

  23. Of course ‘detoxing’ appears to work, but its not because some magical herb, ionised water or hugely expensive enema sorry ‘colonic therapy’ has made you better… If you are constipated due to a crap processed diet you are going to feel sluggish, headachey, bloated and yes and enema and changing your diet to a healthy balanced one will make a difference, but its not because these complimentary therapies are all healing,go to any GP who can advise you on eating fresh food, getting your 5 a day, limiting alcohol and upping your water intake and also while your there ask him for an enema to clear out your colon. a damn sight cheaper than having a rubber hose stuck up your arse and being charged 80 quid for it….
    The only difference is that the colonic therapists surround it with pseudo science and mystique to make it appear more magical because actually telling people you are just basically getting a water enema probably isnt magical enough…

  24. First of all, I should state that I don’t believe in the efficacy of detox diets – simply because there is no evidence to say they do what they say they do. However I believe that their psychological impact may be where people derive the most benefit; much like the placebo effect.

    I think your analogy to religion is a very good and amusing one. However, while science has done more for human kind in the last hundred years than religion has since the beginning of time, Science really hasn’t done much for our souls. It’s possibly the reason for such a backlash against western medicine – medical doctors are not seen as “healers” but only as “human body mechanics”.

    The fact is that psychological issues are also very much part of our make-up which affect our health and I believe it is this aspect that has made alternative therapies so popular. I am blessed with a wonderful doctor who remembers how much of a connection there is between psychology and illness (and it’s interesting to note that Psychology was also, at one time, considered quackery) and so will take the time to talk to people about issues in their life that may be affecting their health.

    I think Amanda Hamilton’s Spa is doing more than just giving people a holiday and a rest. People are allowed to explore psychological issues that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This coupled with good, natural food, rest and plenty of water is *in combination* what is so successful.

    People are paying a high price in order to do their penance for health sins, but if this ritual of “Detox” helps them make a positive change in their lives without causing them harm, then surely it has it’s place? I had a friend who was a drug addict but after having a religious experience he totally turned his life around. I could have debunked his experience but I didn’t. He traded an addiction for drugs to one for God – at least now he is healthy and happy, just like many of the folks who visited Amanda Hamilton’s Spa.

    So in summary, I agree that detox is a lie and that people are paying big money for what is probably nothing more than a very expensive placebo (if studies are correct). I just think that alternative “quack” therapies still have a place until we have more of a middle ground between them and western, pharmaceutical company driven medicine.

    Here is an example of pharmaceutical-driven medication with regards to SSRI’s, which may be as effective as a Detox Diet – http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/?pagination=false

  25. This thread is depressing. Firstly, you all need to sit in a science lesson. And secondly, if ‘detox’ is so great, why are its advocates spending all their time charging extortionate amounts for their ‘therapies’ rather than campaigning to get it introduced to the NHS??

  26. I can tell you that one alternative therapy has worked for me. I’ve had psoriasis for 20 years plus. Four months ago I tried using a traditional medicine approach. I’ve been taking a potion of 15 or so potent chinese herbs twice a day. When I started, my psoriasis was on the verge of severe. Wow! What a difference–I am 90% clear now. It has been amazing. I did it online with a TCM doctor in Canada (seemed like the best one and I don’t live in Canada). He certainly did not act like a quack–no giant empty promises or crazy fees–much cheaper than the dermatologist who wanted to give me medication that causes birth defects.

  27. When people say the research proves the detox myth, link us to the research because all I can find is affiliate marketing links, ALSO WHAT TOXINS, what chemicals, or toxins are present I n our body, as I understand it the body rejects toxins very quickly, that is what our kidneys and liver essentially do, I mean why do you think your sick when you drink to much alcohol, it’s a poison, a toxin if you will, and our bodies go, no I don’t want this, and expel it via vomiting, you dont need to take any special suppliment or be on a special diet for that, it just happens becuase outr bodies dont wanr poisons in them. change your diet, get more exersize and drink more water, you will feel healthier, detoxing is a myth, quiet often perpetuated to create superfast weight loss to sell weight loss products, check and back up your research if you belive in this detoxing nonsense, who does the research, who pays for the research, this whole thing is about to be blown wide open, watch this space, you may end up feeling a little silly.????

    and no-one is saying that medical science is 100 percent effective there is still a lot we don’t know or understand, but what we do know, is that our bodies dispel toxins regurlatrly and we have a system designed to do it.

  28. What a bunck of board certified QUACKS, I have seen the videos of them giving themselves coffe enemas then checking their shit in the toilet. Are they for real?

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