Five ways to recover from the festive season – magnesium to massages

Forget about that juice detox or giving up cake; instead eat some whole food and go for a full-spectrum infrared sauna or maybe a nice massage

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 7:31am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 9:12am

We do it every time – ring in the new year then feel we should undergo a major detox after the excesses of the festive season. But do we really need to fast and cleanse to feel fit and gorgeous again? Juice cleanses, intermittent fasting and a “dry January” all feature annually on New Year’s resolution lists. But surely there must be a smarter way.

Don’t go on a juice cleanse

Saying you will never eat cookies and cake again is basically going to lead to failure. Going cold turkey is not going to solve the problem, and that is precisely the problem with juice cleanses – devoid of fibre, juices are never supposed to be a substitute for a meal. That’s not to say fruit juice is bad - have it as part of a healthy, plant-centric diet, but unless you are a cancer patient in need of detoxifying your cells, you really do not need a juice cleanse to reset your diet and health.

Do focus on whole foods

It’s that simple – turn your back on the latest diet fads, and focus on eating whole foods in a way that is sustainable for your personal lifestyle. Dr Alejandro Junger, founder of the Clean programme and nutritionist to celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, writes that it is best to think “clean eating”.

Hong Kong experts answer common questions about healthy eating

“It’s not a dogma, diet, or a set list of foods that are deemed good or bad. It’s not a restrictive diet or rabbit food, as some critics like to call healthy eating,” he writes on his blog (blog.cleanprogram.com/). “It’s really a way of looking at food. I like to imagine clean eating as a pair of glasses that lets you make sense of the food options around you.”

Join the crystal set

Australian model Miranda Kerr has an altar of crystals to keep her effervescent, clear-headed and svelte. But if that sounds too esoteric for you, at least consider facials administered with minerals and gems, which it’s claimed holistically enhance health and heal the psyche.

Used in facials, they are found to rejuvenate the skin by targeting pressure points and draining lymphatic toxins. Proven over centuries, even skincare science is now catching on. Hailing from Scandinavia, Själ Skincare is one such game changer. Founders, mother and daughter Karen and Kristin Petrovich, are big proponents of “integrative luxury skincare”. Their skincare line includes energy-infused gemstone and nano-mineral particles such as rose quartz and amethyst, and tools such as a scolecite wand and rose quartz and hematite stones for DIY face massages.

Full-spectrum infrared is the new detox

It may not have caught on just yet in Asia, but full-spectrum infrared sauna is an ingenious invention endorsed by many renowned nutritionists and wellness coaches.

The world’s best hangover cures, from century-egg congee to tom yum soup ... and the hair of the dog

Granted, a session is not cheap, but get this – within 30 to 45 minutes you get the following benefits: detox at cellular level (especially recommended for smokers), clearing up of skin acne, wound-healing, weight loss (it’s claimed it burns up to 500 calories in one session), and improvement in cardiovascular health.

Can’t get enough sleep? Get on the magnesium

Sleep, as bestselling author of The Sleep Revolution Arianna Huffington puts it, is the “key element of our well-being”. If you are only getting three hours of sleep a night, or are an insomniac, there is a real likelihood you won’t have the energy to exercise or meditate, which would be great for your post-party cleanse.

Herbal relaxation drinks: we sort truth from hype about trendy brews marketed to stressed-out Hongkongers

Tossing and turning through the night can also lead to many waking-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed days, so give magnesium a try. This supplement is scientifically proven to decrease cortisol production and bring about a tranquil veil that is helpfully sleep-inducing.

Massages are necessary

What could be more self-indulgent than a full-blown massage and body scrub, capped off with a facial? Experts argue this is necessary, if not life-changing, for your everyday vitality. Japanese and South Korean women are well-known for visiting the spa and facial therapists, which explains a lot about their ever-glowing faces and fit, taut bodies.

New in Hong Kong: massage technique that purportedly aids fertility

We could be generalising, of course, but body treatments that detoxify the lymphs and knead muscle knots into non-existence can complement your fitness routine.

The signature massage at Plateau Spa at the Grand Hyatt hotel does the trick – warm volcanic stones (again, minerals) detoxify the lymphs more effectively, and long massage strokes will calm the senses and release tension. The New Year Reviver also fits the bill – this package includes a facial and sea salt scrub to cleanse impurities – the essential oils used include geranium and rosemary, which are great at alleviating stress.