"How Do I Detox?"
During a health event I was hosting yesterday, the ever-popular question was asked:
“How do I detox my body?”
This question quickly grew to: “How do I detox my body quickly and without having to give up foods I love?” This question seems to be more and more popular lately due to the fact anything labelled “detox” or “detoxifying” is very trendy (from packaged foods and drinks, to body and facial products), as well, many people are becoming more health-conscious and are realizing that their sluggish moods, extra weight, and skin issues may be their body telling them something. This awareness may be due to the constant assault of toxins that our bodies face every single day - which are steadily increasing, from perfumes and scented household products and body care products, to processed foods and artificial ingredients in packaged foods and beauty products, to GMO foods, environmental toxins and pollution, medications and prescriptions, and stress or anger - that many people are facing from their daily highly stressful and demanding lives. The more overloaded their bodies become with toxins, the more their body needs a detox, which is possibly why detoxes are increasing in not only need, but popularity.
So what is my simple answer? A detox or a body cleanse is beneficial to our liver, digestive system, and even our emotional well-being. However, doing a cleanse as a quick-fix, without careful planning, or just as a weight loss tool is not at all a benefit to our body and can actually cause a toxic overload on the body which may do more harm than good!
In general, signs that indicate you may need a detox are:
- brain fog
- chronic joint or muscle pain
- digestion issues including: gas, heartburn, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain
- autoimmune diseases
- hormonal imbalances, like PMS or menopausal symptoms
- acne or skin rashes
- anxiety or depression
- chemical or scent sensitivities
- chronic bad breath
- weight gain
Some basic best practices when considering completing a detox protocol are:
Start with the liver: the ability to cleanse our liver of stubborn toxins and heavy metals will allow an overburdened liver to become a better functioning detox organ machine. If you don’t start with the liver, the side effects of a detox will be more uncomfortable and intense, due to the toxins not being processed/eliminated efficiently in a sluggish liver, which means toxins will be entering into other areas of the body which will overwhelm the entire body. This can lead to detox-flu symptoms, weight gain, and inflammation pain such as migraines, joint pain, and body aches. I have seen many people who jump in too quickly to complete a detox - without properly prepping their liver function - who end up sick and in bed by day three to five, who then are forced to end their detox plan as they cannot cope with the side effects. It is also vital that you consult with a health expert for a proper, individualized protocol versus any “detox” supplement found in stores, as some products being sold can be too harsh on the liver, possibly leading to damage. Using liver supporting foods in a meal plan, such as lemon, garlic, beets, green tea, cabbage, and turmeric may be all some need to successfully get through this stage.
- Digestive Clearing: After working to strengthen the liver’s functionality, the next step can be working on digestive health and eliminating toxins stored in the stomach and intestines. If a health professional has indicated Candida and/or Parasites in your system, working with an individualized protocol will increase the success rate of detox. These are stubborn organisms that can take months to fully eliminate – but once it is achieved, successful patients always notice a dramatic difference in achieving a healthy weight, increased energy levels, and decreases in allergies and food sensitivities. In the meantime, taking a daily probiotic as well as eliminating yeast, sugar, and processed foods are a great start to a digestive detox!
- Lymphatic Drainage: One of the most ignored body systems to detox is the lymph. The lymph is a complicated system of fluid-filled nodes, vessels, glands, and organs that are responsible for regular detox and fight invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and infections. Similar to the liver and digestive system, this system can get bogged down with not only internal assaults, but also from external assaults from chemical-laden personal and household cleaners, deodorizers, processed foods, and pollutants. This is the one system that is the most important to regularly detox, but also is the easiest! Jumping on a rebounder (aka: trampoline), yoga practice with inversion poses, and dry brushing are just a few things people can do daily to get their lymph moving. Also, drinking a minimum of 1L of water a day, using lemon daily (or lemon water) can help mineralize the lymph and increase its movement, as well as taking Ayurvedic or Chinese herbs, such as manjistha, bupleurum, and rehmannia are just a few that promote lymphatic movement. Finally a nice lymphatic drainage massage or an Epsom salt bath can also benefit your lymphatic detox – which are also just lovely self-care rituals as well!
Timing is Everything:
In response to how long one should commit to doing each protocol; it is dependent on the specific health history and current symptoms a person is showing. Some people can do well on a 7-day Liver Cleanse, while others may need up to 3 months. With stubborn issues such as Candida, Parasites, and Heavy Metals, they can be 21 days to 6 months or longer and should always be completed under the direction and care of a health practitioner.
As for timing during the year, many holistic practitioners only recommend specific system protocols during specific times of the year or seasons to helps support the body and it’s natural rhythms.
In the end, a quick and easy approach doesn’t truly exist in a detox, but with the right guidance and support, many people are able to get back to a healthy equilibrium by working with an experienced practitioner versus following a fad juicing cleanse or supplement!
Need help figuring out where to start?
Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute discovery call to help guide your detox decisions!