Ibiza wellness: Physical benefits of treatment at Ibiza Calm
Rehab in the 21st century doesn’t have to be a dirty word or have negative associations – embarking on a recovery program to treat addictions is something a person should be proud of. Something they should be encouraged to do. Something they should be supported for doing. It’s an overall positive experience. Operating under this belief is bespoke addiction treatment facility Ibiza Calm – a rehabilitation centre expertly run with a contemporary mindset and holistic overview of the recovery process.
While the psychological benefits of such a treatment may appear obvious (read more about them in the White Ibiza wellness blog here), some of the physical benefits are lesser known. Patients at Ibiza Calm experience a major improvement in their overall health and wellbeing in addition to fitness levels over the course of their treatment, thanks to the forward thinking programme including nutrition, yoga and fitness within its day-to-day activities.
Ibiza Calm Clinical Director John McKeown believes the treatment of drug and alcohol addictions (among others) should be approached with regards to the mind, body and soul. “We have a very strong focus on this,” he says. “More than any other centre I’ve ever come across. We really believe in these complementary approaches. It’s not just the mind you need to treat during recovery – you’ve got to get the body moving.”
Of course, the first physical experience of treatment is going to be the withdrawal process but it’s important to acknowledge this with the realisation that one has to first experience this in order to move forward and see more benefits. “Not everyone experiences detoxification this at the same time,” he says, of the four to six week recommended in-house treatment program with a maximum of 10 people. “But we start the day acknowledging any aches, sweats, pains – however the body is feeling. Then we can move on and really come into the day and start to look ahead at what your priorities are.”
Each day begins with an ‘energy flow’ breathing and light movement session while afternoons at Ibiza Calm are focused on a combination of yoga, fitness and relaxation. “It is fairly rigorous,” admits John of the twice weekly 90-minute Hatha and Kundalini classes, plus three days of physical fitness incorporated in the programme. “Generally our clients are prepared for this. They’ve seen our website. They know what we’re about. It’s not a shock or a surprise – they know what they’re in for before arriving.”
In-house yoga teachers Nora Belton and Daya Cabestany deliver strong, powerful classes that can be adapted to suit the fitness levels of any client. If a client feels weak, they may be guided through exercises in a chair until slowly, day by day, they have the ability to do the position standing up. The process isn’t meant to be instant. It’s not a fast fix. Of course, delivering endorphins to the body via exercise is going to increase feelings of positivity – getting up the next day and looking forward to doing it all again is the aim.
Nutrition too, contributes enormously to the physical recovery process. Ibiza Calm’s in-house chef Alasdair boasts a background in Michelin starred restaurants, in addition to a passion for creating healthy, fresh and healing cuisine, using as much locally sourced ingredients and produce as possible. His kitchen – like in many homes – is almost like the heart of the facility. Warm, savoury smells waft through the air, inspiring even the most difficult of eaters to pick up a bowl at mealtimes. Food prepared here is designed to be gentle on the stomach, yet always with the aim of nurturing and comforting, all the while being packed with nourishment.
“Many people with addiction problems neglect themselves,” says John when asked why cuisine is such an important part of treatment. “They may overeat, or under-eat – and when they do eat, it’s generally the wrong foods. Ali tailors meals to suit each patient’s dietary requirements and tastes, whether they are vegetarian, don’t eat fish, need to eat wheat-free or prefer smaller portions. Whatever it is they need at the time, he’s onto it.” As your body weans itself off any substances, it is nursed back to health through good eating. Replacing negative cravings with the desire to be healthy and strong plus listening to the true ‘needs’ of your body, rather than the ‘wants’ of the past.
“Treatment at Ibiza Calm means your brain gets a rest and your body will thank you for it,” quips John of the process. As clients start to get physically fitter, evening out their weight (whether gaining or losing kilos was the objective), they start to experience better sleep patterns, greater self awareness and improved clarity. A swimming pool in the sun-drenched country garden provides the perfect place to relax and reflect, swim laps or simply immerse yourself in water. The absorption of Vitamin D through sunlight is proven to have a powerful effect on the healing process – all jokes aside, it’s a tan with a purpose.
Massage therapists are also on-hand at Ibiza Calm to soothe sore muscles when needed. Time is also dedicated to improving appearance – whether it is male grooming or manicures and pedicures for women – in the belief that projecting a positive appearance contributes to a positive mindset. As the effects of addiction wear off, and the benefits of physical exercise and nutritionally dense cuisine start to show, skin resumes a glow, hair becomes more lustrous, nails grow and patients start to feel themselves again. “It’s a good, safe experience,” finishes John. “Who doesn’t want to look at themselves in a safe environment, explore the issues they’ve been carrying around for years and let it go? Get in therapy, do some exercise, eat some good food – Ibiza Calm is a forward move.”