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Doing a Detox is Imperative: Are You Doing it Right?
Detox, most people have a very definite opinion on what that word means. To some, they think of drug rehab, to others it’s just another buzzword, still others think it’s some sort of starvation diet. None of these are correct, however. Detox should be thought of as a purge. We want to purge our bodies of all the chemicals we are exposed to, and consume, daily.
Think about it. We live in a world today that is simply overflowing with all sorts of chemicals. It’s almost impossible to escape them. Chemicals and pollutants are in our water, the air, our food, and almost everything we touch on a daily basis. We shower with products that are filled with chemicals, use more chemicals so we either won’t smell bad or so we will smell good.
We can get parasites and pesticides from our food. Our bodies store more and more mercury, lead, and other types of heavy metals that we are exposed to. We drive cars that are made with toxins and emit toxic gasses. Even our furniture is full of toxic chemicals and materials.
With all these foreign pollutants in our bodies, is it any wonder that our body’s natural detoxification system is overworked?
According to government funded public health reviews:
- Air pollution kills 60,000 Americans every year
- Pesticides that cause cancer kill 21,000
- Contaminated water kills another 53 million
Detox helps our bodies to cleanse themselves of these foreign substances, along with excess waste, in order for the body to return to optimal healthy body functions, as well as healing.
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This is not some “New Age” nonsense. Detox has been going on for centuries. Native Americans used sweat lodges and frequently took vision quests where they embarked on periods of fasting. Christians fast, Russians and people from Finland use saunas, there are also Turkish saunas, and Japanese baths and steam rooms which are all perfect examples of healthy detox rituals most of us are familiar with. Most cultures did these detox processes at regular intervals, whether it be once a week or on sacred days of their calendar, they were done regularly and with passion. Why? Because they felt so good afterwards!
Many of us think of our heads, or our brains, as the center of our personal universe. Although this appears to make sense, since the brain does all the thinking, but perhaps in this case we should think of our entire digestive system, our guts, as the center of our existence. If our gut is not working properly, we cannot absorb protein, minerals, vitamins, fats, or carbs from the food we eat. Without nutrition, the brain will die. So the focus of a detox is to clean out our digestive track first, then clean out the toxins stored in our fat, our organs, the blood, and the lymph system.
Detoxing our digestive system requires moving out a lot of waste while still giving the body optimum nutrition that doesn’t demand a great deal of work at the same time. This is why we want to fill ourselves with prebiotics, probiotics, green juice, and foods that are easy to digest. This is the main reason detox programs remove meat from your diet as meat is very hard for your body to digest.
Smoothies, made with veggies and high quality nutritional powders, such as whey powder, are a great means of filling our digestive tract with nutrients while allowing our gut to ‘kick back” and take a much needed break. You can buy supplement formulas that will clean out your entire digestive tract, moving the accumulated waste along while killing off parasites and other accumulated substances that we don’t want our body to be burdened with.
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We store a great deal of toxins in our body fat. As we fast, they are released into the blood, and our bodies will now be faced with the additional burden of getting rid of these toxins. This is why it’s vital to drink lots and lots of fluids, to help the body remove these toxins. Drink plenty of water with lemon juice, or water with cayenne powder, cranberry juice, and herbal teas throughout the day.
Also, hot then cold hydrotherapy will help stimulate circulation. This is a very old therapy that will be tremendously helpful. This means that you should run hot water in the shower, as hot as you can stand it for about 2 minutes, and then blast yourself with cold water for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat this cycle three or four times, ending with lukewarm water.
Don’t forget to get plenty of rest during this time, as that is what you are trying to accomplish; allowing your organs to rest a bit. When we are sleeping is when our bodies do most of their repair work, so especially during this time, be sure you get enough shut eye. If you can, take short naps in the afternoon.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to move. Since you are trying to rest your body, you don’t want to overdo it, but you do need to keep your lymph system moving so it does its job of cleaning out your body. Restrict your movements during detox to simple walking and easy stretching exercises. If you can get a lymphatic massage, that would be the cherry on top of your detox routine.
How often should you detox? That would depend on your situation. Someone who eats only organic foods and lives on a farm in the country doesn’t need to detox as often as say someone who lives in a big city and works in a factory. Twice a year is probably sufficient for some, while others might want to think about doing it every three months.
Whether you choose to do a 3 day, 7 day, 10 day, or 2 week cleanse is entirely up to you, no matter what you choose, your body is going to be very grateful, you can count on that.