I Tried Gwyneth Paltrow’s Favorite Detox Treatment, and It Was Intense

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Though I admire Gwyneth Paltrow for her dedication to all things natural, healthy, and detox-worthy, my own routine falls far, far on the other end of the spectrum. If Gwyneth—regal and chilly—were the North Pole, you could place me somewhere near the bottom tip of South America, fumbling around in my own, not-quite-gluten-free diet and once-a-month barre workouts. That isn’t to say I don’t try—in fact, tell me about a natural detox or cleanse that promises to reset your body, and I’ll be the first to volunteer. (“There’s a Goop­ person inside me just dying to get out!” I exclaim when my friends raise their eyebrows at whatever new cleanse I’m trying.) Which would explain why I found myself in the hills of the Pacific Palisades on a Sunday afternoon, getting sticky red Amish milk bounced off my naked body in little sacks. Oh, and then there was that chlorophyll enema… But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

When I got invited to try a treatment at Surya Spa, a retreat created by Ayurvedic doctor and healer Martha Soffer, I eagerly accepted. I’ll admit knowing Gwyneth had once tried the week-long Panchakarma detox at the same spa and deemed it “no joke” did pique my interest—but so did the promise of leaving feeling refreshed, renewed, and reset. What happened in the next six (yes, six) hours was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before—and I left feeling like I had been inducted into the small and quiet group of Ayurveda believers. From pulse reading to four-handed massage, keep scrolling to read about my experience at Surya Spa!

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