What Rejuvenation Means to Chiva-Som’s Dr Jason Culp

Dr Jason Culp | Image courtesy of Chiva Som
Dr Jason Culp | Image courtesy of Chiva Som

With a longstanding curiosity and the desire to help heal, Dr Jason Culp has devoted his life to seeking a holistic, natural path to wellness. Graduating as a Naturopathic Physician, he was a lecturing professor at Bridgeport University, Connecticut, before he started his own practice in California.

In 2012, he made the leap to move abroad and became the Research and Development Director for Chiva-Som Health Resort, Thailand. He shares with CompareRetreats.com his philosophies, passions and advice on taking the first steps on a journey to wellness.

Could you describe your personal wellness journey? Medicine has always been a strong interest of mine. Even at a young age, I couldn’t understand why conventional doctors would wait until someone’s health was failing before intervening with treatments. I started my own personal wellness journey to reclaim the fate of my own health and sought to do the same for others. 

Chiva-Som pool | Image courtesy of Chiva Som
Chiva-Som pool | Image courtesy of Chiva Som

Could you share some of your personal detox tips? Detoxification is a process that happens all the time. Our body works tirelessly to protect us from the onslaught of toxins, so the most useful tip for detox is to follow a lifestyle that supports this process all of the time. This means eating a clean, wholesome diet that’s rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients, staying well hydrated, maintaining regular physical activity, getting adequate sleep, and practising mindful living.

What advice would you share with first-time detoxers? For the first-time detoxer, I would recommend starting gently. If a person is used to living a toxin-laden lifestyle, normal detoxification pathways may not be working optimally. Deficiencies in antioxidants can cause organ dysfunction or other chronic ailments that may get in the way of optimal detoxification. These people may need to replenish their reserves of antioxidants and nutrients before attempting to detox.

Promote natural detox with regular physical activity | Image courtesy of Chiva Som
Promote natural detox with regular physical activity | Image courtesy of Chiva Som

What practices ensure a healthy sleeping pattern? Our bodies are programmed to follow patterns. If you do an action enough, your body will begin to follow automatically. Our body forms habits and patterns, which in some cases can be problematic (i.e. late night snacking on crisps), but also advantageous, such as the early morning runner. Settle down for sleep at the same time each night. Remove digital distractions. Perform a relaxing bedtime ritual: take a warm bath, use lavender essential oils, read a book by lamp. These relaxing activities will signal to your brain that it’s time to shut down and rest, reinforcing the habit of sleep. 

One of the core tenets of Chiva-Som’s principles is a focus on rejuvenation. What does ‘rejuvenation’ mean to you? To rejuvenate wellbeing implies that, at some point, this vitality was lost—either through controllable life choices, or unfortunate and uncontrollable life circumstances. At Chiva-Som, we gain insight into the causative factors that drive this loss of wellbeing so that we can not only not only to rejuvenate but also promote sustainable wellness and vitality through a new way of healthy living. 

Tai Chi | Image courtesy of Chiva Som
Start the day with healing Tai Chi | Image courtesy of Chiva Som

And how do you ‘rejuvenate’? True rejuvenation is taking a break from those aspects of life that detract from your vitality. Oftentimes, we seek refuge for rejuvenation but unfortunately the computers, phones, and other elements that are responsible for our need to rejuvenate, end up travelling with us. Give yourself a break from those aspects that detract from health, and more importantly, give yourself permission to replenish, rebuild, and restore your wellbeing, in order to experience authentic rejuvenation.

What makes Chiva-Som a holistic wellness experience? At Chiva-Som, we consider the wellness of mind, body, and spirit to be of equal and utmost importance in achieving optimal health and wellbeing. Chiva-Som takes great care in learning about the individual needs and wellness goals of each client. Our wellness retreats are specially-designed to address all levels of health, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, so that whatever the unique needs of our clients, we can adapt and provide an all-encompassing wellness experience.

What should guests come to expect from a retreat experience here? Guests should expect the retreat experience to be the start of their wellness journey. Our goal for each guest is to establish lasting changes in their lives that will enhance overall health and wellbeing. In this way, the retreat experience isn’t just a one-time event, but an experience that the guest carries with them throughout their life. 

An Ocean Room is worth waking up to | Image courtesy of Chiva Som
An Ocean Room is worth waking up to | Image courtesy of Chiva Som

What are some of the signature retreats at Chiva-Som? Chiva-Som recently released five new retreats that focus on supporting clients affected by specific health conditions or wish to benefit from the restoration of health. These include: 

  • Sustainable Slimming—for those individuals that require a gentle start to a sustainable health and weight management. 
  • Cranial Relief—for those who suffer from headaches that disrupt daily life.
  • Tension Release—for those who suffer from stress-induced ailments.
  • Emotional Wellbeing—to promote positive moods and balance of mind, body, and spirit. 
  • Cellular Vitality—for those who have recovered from cancer, are currently in remission state, but need guidance on how to rebuild health.

How does Chiva-Som’s wellness programmes promote emotional as well as physical wellbeing? The healing spaces of Chiva-Som, with its serene environment, promote emotional wellbeing on their own. Oftentimes, our guests will describe a return to Chiva-Som as “returning home”. The therapies offered to our guests evoke a sense of healing, in which they experience physical relaxation, mental rest, and emotional release. It is not uncommon for a client to cry during a massage or private yoga session, due to the feeling of safety created by our therapists. These moments of vulnerability and “letting go” are profoundly helpful for mental and emotional health, as well as physical wellbeing. 

Book your retreat today at chivasom.com.


Amanda Sheppard

The former Art & Culture editor at Time Out Hong Kong magazine, Amanda is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Asia's world city. Amanda grew up in Asia, loves hiking, stand up paddle boarding, and a day well spent outdoors. Her last holiday sunrise trekking along Indonesian volcanic landscapes gave her a taste of the healthy holiday bug, and she’s been on the lookout for her next great adventure ever since.

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