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The Healthiest Place on Earth

My Week of Healing at Hippocrates Health Institute

Even though Hippocrates Health Institute has been helping people heal everything from obesity to cancer for more than 40 years, it’s still a well-kept secret in many ways. The Florida-based retreat center is a place that you hear about from a vegan friend, a cousin who experienced a miraculous healing, or a naturopath who did a training program there.

Their advertising has been mostly word of mouth for decades, and the word on the street is, “When you want radical results for your health, and you want them fast, come here.”

“When you want radical results for your health, and you want them fast, come here.”

Taking the Time to Heal

And so it was that I found myself suffering from a terrible back injury and going through one of the most stressful times in my life. On the recommendation of a friend, I’d been following an alkaline diet at home (Studies show that a highly-oxygenated, alkaline diet and lifestyle can ward off disease and inflammation). I was also doing chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, and anything else I could think of to heal my back. But it wasn’t enough.

Even though I’d massively cut back on my work schedule to focus on healing, standing to cook, bending to clean, and driving my kids to and from school was enough to keep my back in a constant state of pain. At night, between the back pain and the stress, I was barely sleeping. I really needed to get away and focus 100% on healing. I decided to make my health my top priority and I got on a plane to Florida.

My week of healing at Hippocrates Health Institute.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

I arrived at the lush, tropical 50-acre retreat center in West Palm Beach on a balmy February day. Guests from all over the world arrive each Sunday to begin their healing journey, staying for one to three weeks for the institute’s Life Transformation Program. I would be staying for a week and I intended to make the most out of it.

On the schedule: health and nutritional counseling, youth-enhancing natural therapies, state-of-the-art spa services, inspiring talks, fitness classes, yoga and meditation, weekly colonics and massage, psychotherapy sessions and support group, green juices, an open wheatgrass juice bar, and the main attraction: a twice daily buffet of raw, vegan, delicious organic meals.

The Hippocrates buffet with chef Ken Blue.


The institute is named after a simple concept first voiced by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, nearly 2,500 years ago: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The Hippocrates website states the center’s mission: “Our goal is to assist people in taking responsibility for their lives and to help them internalize and actualize an existence free from premature aging, disease and needless pain.”

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

– Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”
Letting food be thy medicine is yummy at Hippocrates Health Institute.

Where Health Comes First

They take a whole-body approach to accomplish this goal at Hippocrates – nourishing the mind, body, and spirit. When it comes to health, no proverbial stone is left unturned. Taking in my surroundings, I couldn’t help feeling like I had arrived at the Disney World of health resorts.

The “open bar” of wheatgrass juice at Hippocrates Health Institute.

Dotted around the Garden of Eden-like campus are detoxifying infrared saunas, which guests are encouraged to use daily. There’s also a gym, two full size swimming pools, wet sauna, salt water pool, two jacuzzies, cold plunge pool, and an organic salon. In between health treatments and lectures, guests can visit the therapy center for treatments like acupuncture, deep tissue massage, medically-supervised hyperbaric oxygen chamber immersion, and vitamin infusions. I did my best to do it all while I was there.

Hippocrates takes a whole-body approach to health.

Hippocrates Health Institute is more than a retreat center; it’s a lifestyle. A big part of the program revolves around teaching guests how to keep it up at home. There are classes on how to grow sprouts, personalized supplement regimens, and lifelong written support for graduates.

So, Does it Work?

The wall in the Hippocrates store is lined with star-studded autographed photos of the multitude of celebrities who have visited over the years. Many guests return for a once a year tune-up. Losing weight, having more energy, and experiencing a renewed verve for life are common outcomes.

The institute also offers a cancer wellness program for those facing cancer, with an extremely high success rate. There’s a weight loss academy for people who want to shed pounds (10 pounds a week is pretty average) and more in-depth programs for those who want to educate and coach others in the Hippocrates lifestyle. It’s obvious from the glowing smiles on people’s faces and the number of people I spoke to that return again and again, that guests are thrilled with their experience.

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber at Hippocrates Health Institute.

For me, the results were astounding after only one week. I was fortunate to work with Dr. Chip, the resident acupuncturist who specializes in sports medicine. He knew just the right treatment for my back injury and reduced my pain and inflammation dramatically in just a few sessions. The raw food, juices, and nurturing vibes from all of the incredible staff definitely gave my body, mind, and spirit a boost, and I returned home feeling healthier than I’ve felt in many years.

Back at home, I’m now inspired to keep letting food be my medicine by incorporating juices and salads into my diet as often as possible. I also predict that I’ll be back again the next time I need a turbo-boost of rejuvenation.

Organic veggies in the Hippocrates garden.

What About the Cost?

I’ll be honest, it’s not cheap. But, they do offer scholarships on a case-by-case basis and you may be surprised what’s possible once you look into it. If your body is in need of some deep detox, deep relaxation, and deep healing, there’s no doubt about it: get yourself to Hippocrates Health Institute. This is definitely the healthiest place on Earth.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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