Cleansing & Detoxification
Body cleansing has become essential in today’s modern society. An increase in environmental toxicity coupled with unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles has resulted in a drastic increase in illness and physical complaints such as headaches, fatigue and general feelings of “unwellness”. Long-term use of medications or overuse of alcohol and various other substances also contributes to the build-up of toxic metabolites in our system that affect the efficiency of various pathways including that of metabolism and energy production
Cleansing the body means ridding the body of unwanted or unhealthy biotoxins which accumulate within us. This cleansing or detox process may be done in several different ways and often it is a combination that will give the best results in the end. Preferable cleansing methods will be natural and not add to the toxic burden we already have but there are some instances where prescription medication may be justified.
We expose our bodies to a tremendous amount of toxins via the food we eat, the water we drink, and the polluted environment that we live in and eventually our bodies reach a point where they can no longer cope without a little help.
A body cleanse or body detox is also a great way to give your body a boost after a night of over-indulgence, eating all the wrong foods and consuming more alcohol than is healthy. Similarly a detox after giving up alcohol, drugs or cigarettes is a good way to cleanse the system of harmful poisons that remain in the fatty tissue years after you have given up the habit. Detoxing the body is not necessarily something that only “unhealthy” people should do regularly. Even people that lead relatively healthy life-styles should cleanse their bodies as they are exposed on a daily basis to a multitude of chemicals and toxins. We offer several different options for detoxification, including IV therapy and others and can guide you through the process, depending on your needs.
When cleansing your body of harmful toxins you can always turn to nature for a little help and inspiration. Whichever routine you choose, it is always a good idea to pave the body’s road to wellness with physical activity. There are plenty of ways to help naturally relieve the body of toxins, including increasing water intake. Another simple way to help naturally detox the body is to include exercise into your daily life; this can be as easy as taking a walk around the block, or another approach is taking a yoga class.
In addition to exercise; there are specific foods, herbs, and nutrients that can help to rid the body of toxins naturally as well. At Sarasota Wellness, Dr. Weinstein focuses on identifying specific micronutrient deficiencies that can impair your body’s ability to function optimally. Her individualized nutritional and detox regimen will leave you feeling energized, revitalized and better able to handle daily stresses.
How Does Detoxification Work?
Basically, detoxification means cleansing the body and liver. It does this mainly by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities are not properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:
- Resting the organs through fasting
- Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body
- Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin
- Improving circulation of the blood
- Refueling the body with healthy nutrients
How Do You Know if You Need to Detoxify?
Everyone should detox at least once a year. A short detoxifying program or whole body cleanse is generally safe; in fact, scientific studies show that a detox is beneficial for health. Caution against detoxifying for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your health care practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.
Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, “it’s critical to detox,” says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author of Detoxification (Healthy Healing Publications). Page recommends detoxing for symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, sluggish elimination, irritated skin, allergies or low-grade infections; bags under the eyes; a distended stomach even if the rest of your body is thin; menstrual difficulties; or mental confusion.
Where Do You Begin?
First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes) and substitute natural alternatives.
Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. So it’s a good idea to detox stressful life situations along with detoxifying your body. Yoga and meditation are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring.
Which Detox Program is Best for You?
There are many detoxification programs and detox recipes, depending on your individual needs. Many programs follow a 7-day schedule because it takes time to clean the blood. One program involves fasting on liquids for two days, followed by a carefully-planned five-day detox diet to allow the digestive system to rest. Supplements, herbs, exercise and practices such as dry-skin brushing and hydrotherapy can enhance circulation.
Page recommends a 3-7 day juice fast (drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water) as an effective way to release toxins.
Other popular detoxing programs and natural body cleanses include:
- Cleansing supplement packages, which generally contain fiber, vitamins, herbs and minerals. There are several safe products on the market, with easy-to-follow instructions.
- A routine of drinking only water one day each week — an ancient practice of many cultures.
10 Ways to Help Your Body Detoxify
After a detoxification program, you can cleanse your body daily through diet, supplements and lifestyle practices.
- Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
- Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle and drinking green tea.
- Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
- Drink at least 2 quarts of water daily.
- Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
- Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.
- Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
- Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.
- Dry-brush your skin or try detoxifying patches or detox foot spas / foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.
- What is the most important way to detoxify? Exercise, one hour daily. Consider martial arts or yoga, or any other cardiovascular exercise, which increases your heart rate.