by Larry Burke
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)
How Do I Know If I Need to Detox?
Unless you came from a family that practiced natural health remedies, you may find the idea of a detox totally strange.
Isn’t detox what alcoholics do when they’re put in jail for public drunkenness!
Yes, but it’s not exactly the same kind of detox that you would use to promote wellness. So don’t be put off by the word and focus on the health value.
Just like the alcoholic’s body is thrown out of balance by alcohol, your consumption of sugar, fat and caffeine has thrown your body out of balance, too.
Even if you try to eat right, the nutrients in most of our foods is poor compared to the quality of food that our great grandparents ate. We may be more advanced in technology, but we seem to have lost something when it comes to food quality.
The water you drink, the air you breathe and the unseen toxins in the environment contribute to a buildup of free radicals in your body that cause permanent damage. Your overworked immune system just can’t keep up without some help.
To make it simple, you need to detox your body if you have any of these symptoms:
• Arthritis or joint pain
• Bad breath
• Chronic respiratory or sinus problems
• Food allergies
• Constipation, diarrhea or gas
• Insomnia and fatigue
• Frequent headaches
• Depression or anxiety
• Poor digestion or excess acid
• Sudden memory lapses
• Sensitivity to odors
These are symptoms that a messages from your body as it seeks relief from pollutants, maltreatment and poor nutrition. You can choose a detox plan that addresses certain symptoms or areas of the body.
Explain your symptoms to a consultant at the health food store or to a naturopath. If you have several types of symptoms, you may need to do two or three detox programs separately so that each body system is flushed of toxins and built up for maximum efficiency.
The detox program involving several body systems may take 4 to 8 weeks to complete. But when you consider that it took years to get your body in this poor condition, it’s certainly worth a month or two to get it right.
Full Body Detox
With all of the pollutants in the environment, it’s no wonder that your body doesn’t perform at maximum efficiency. While you can control the environment inside your home, you spend many hours a day in places where you have no control over the environmental conditions.
That’s where much of the damage is done. And it’s often cellular damage – impairing the cells in your skin that are aging prematurely.
Because your whole body is exposed to toxins, you need a full body detox regularly to remove accumulated toxins from water, food and air pollution.
Even in our cities with sophisticated water systems, parasites defy detection and get passed along to unsuspecting hosts. Metal, chemical and smoke toxins linger in the body and damage your immune system. If you do nothing, you begin to feel the effects.
Detox is a natural way to renew your body that’s been used since ancient civilizations. It’s not something new. You can purchase a detox kit from a reputable health food store and follow the directions.
Or, you can set up your own detox process by eating only raw foods or drinking only fresh juices from raw vegetables for a week – then gradually adding back other fruits, vegetables, grains and rice.
The purpose of a detox is to cleanse your body by expelling all of the toxic build up. It takes two to three weeks to flush out the toxins from your kidneys, liver and other organs. You may need to arrange your schedule to complete the detox process.
During detox, you need adequate sleep and relaxation to support your body in the cleansing process. Stress is the enemy of a detox and will short circuit the process, making all of this effort ineffective.
If you’re new to detox, you may want to work with a qualified naturopath to help you monitor the process. The naturopath can design a detox plan that meets your individual needs.
This is the ideal time to seek help from the naturopath or a nutritionist to design a diet that will be more supportive of your body.
Once you’ve cleansed away the donuts, double cheeseburgers and French fries, don’t go back to that way of eating again. Your body will be primed for change, so make the most of it with new healthier food choices.
After the detox, you can return to your regular vitamin and mineral supplements. If you’re taking any prescription medication, consult your physician before beginning the detox.
Whatever you do, don’t take it on yourself to stop taking the medication. Sudden change like that can create new complications. Detox done right is a new beginning, setting your body on a course for good health and longevity.
One-Day Detox for Busy People
You want to detox your body, but your work or travel schedule just doesn’t give you 7 or 10 uninterrupted days to follow the usual process.
Well some effort at detox is better than nothing, so you can try a one-day detox plan. The overall effect of a one-day detox isn’t as great as that of longer detox programs, so you want to repeat the one-day detox at least every three months.
During the one-day detox, you’re basically on a juice only fast. You have to use fresh vegetables in the juicer to get the highest quality nutrients. If the juice comes in a can, don’t bother.
There’s not enough nutrient value left to matter. If you don’t have a juicer, go to a health food store or natural food restaurant and purchase fresh juice the evening before the juice detox.
Dedicate a weekend day when you can relax and reduce stress during the detox. Start the day with gentle stretches and a glass of juice. Take a relaxing bath or shower and dress in loose, comfortable clothes.
If you want to, spend the day in your pajamas. But if you decide to get dressed, you might also schedule a massage during the mid-day.
You can drive directly to the massage therapist and directly home. Don’t make any stops, run errands or shop. This is your day to detox and relax. The to-do list can wait.
At home, surround yourself with calming music, not loud television shows. And don’t even log on the computer to check your email.
Tell everyone who regularly calls on your cell that you’ll be unavailable on the detox day. Leave a phone message saying you won’t return calls until the next day. Make this your day – isn’t your health worth 24 hours?
Set out some candles or place an aromatic scent that you enjoy in the room near you. Chamomile or lavender are scents known to promote relaxation. But if you enjoy vanilla or rose or some other scent, then choose that one.
This all sounds great if you have a quiet home – but what if your house is filled with children, pets and neighbors all weekend? Here’s where additional planning is in order.
You can take a day off of work and do the detox at home while the children are at school and your spouse is at work. You may have to send the pets to a willing neighbor for the day if they’re going to interrupt your plans.
Or check into a spa that offers detox treatments and call it your well deserved vacation day. If that’s too expensive for your budget, find a bargain priced but comfortable hotel in town and check in.
Bring all of your detox supplies, including juices and water. Make sure your hotel room has a mini refrigerator and you’re all set. You can even go for a swim in the hotel pool or sit outside on the lounge chairs.