Detoxification is the practice of ridding the body of toxins. Most people believe that illnesses can be caused by the accumulation of toxic substances in the body, therefore cleansing regularly may reduce the risk of diseases, and help you get amazing results such as better health, radiant skin, improved energy levels and perhaps even weight loss.
Is detoxifying a natural process for the body?
Conventional medicine’s stance is that our body performs detoxification everyday without the need to deliberately do it or spend money to buy nutrient-dense food or detoxing kits/programmes. Some experts are also of the opinion that some detox programmes or therapies are not as healthy as they may seem.
Alternative medical practitioners believe that the body could use some assistance in this process and that frequent colon hydrotherapy, vegan diet, raw food diet, green juice fast and the likes help the process along when done every once in a while to ‘reboot’ your body’s systems.
So is there a need to detox?
Personally, I think there's no right or wrong answer. I agree that our body is capable of detoxifying itself naturally. But I also agree that the body may need extra nutrients and supplements such as enzymes, amino acids, phytonutrients and many other important co-factors to assist in the process.
However, fasting and cleansing alone are short-term remedies and will not be as effective if you don’t practise a healthy lifestyle. I once believed that all one would need to do to be free of toxins is to eat clean, take supplements, exercise and that was all there was to it. I have however come to see things differently in the past few years.
I now understand that everyone is unique and that no one diet or therapy is one-size-fits-all. Instead of just relying on the experts to tell you what you should be eating or drinking, pay closer attention to what your body is telling you. Apart from eating a balanced and nourishing diet, be mindful and aware of the food's effects on your body. Increased awareness of healthy eating is not about putting yourself limiting yourself; it is about being mindful of what you eat and what suits your body.
The mind also plays an important part in the detoxification process as negative emotions and thoughts can also have a toxic effect on the body. Those negative emotions that you swallowed? They produce chemical reactions in the body which are not doing you any good. Remember, our thoughts impact our cells directly.
The truth is whenever you discover any pain, or sickness in your body, it's a sign that your body has started to release your emotions and started its healing process. I strongly believe that our body has the innate ability to heal itself; because we are born to have strong and healthy bodies, but I also believe that sometimes it may need a little help.
You can support your detoxification without spending too much money on those expensive detox retreats. Here are some tips I personally practise:
- Fancy grocery shopping – When I say fancy, I mean not your typical junk food but healthy nutritious food or snacks. Having these easily accessible will make you less prone to reaching for the junk, which incidentally you should not buy as to make them NOT accessible. Feed well and stay well.
- Invest in some beautiful & chemical-free cosmetics – Being healthy and natural doesn't mean that you can’t look and feel amazing. If you are wary of the chemicals that may be in cosmetics, do your research and understand what those ingredients are and what they mean. Find products that don’t have those nasty chemicals, put them on and be fabulous.
- Watch what you consume - Not everyone can (or wants to) have super green powder such as spirulina or barley grass a few times a day. A well-balanced and nourishing diet consists of quality protein and freshly prepared vegetables; these are good enough to support your detoxification pathway. If this is not going to happen, a good range of quality nutritional supplements may help.
- Buy yourself some ‘Me’ time – Indulge yourself; do some reading, singing, meditating, walking, crying, shouting, sun-bathing, sweating or exercising; whatever makes you feel good is what you should be doing! It is important for you to reconnect and refresh your mind, body and soul… and to just have some fun! Give up perfectionist demands, don’t take yourself too seriously and lighten up.
- Have a great support system – Sometimes all you need to get rid of those negative emotions and thoughts is just an outlet, and these more often than not, come in the shape of really good friends and family. Your social support is where you express your feelings and are able to let go of negativity. Let it out.
- Trust your body's wisdom – Pay attention to what your body is telling you and respond to its needs. Make a conscious effort to be more mindful of what you consume and what you expose yourself to.
- Lastly, make sure that you are regular. A successful detoxification programme depends on the elimination of wastes so if you find yourself constipated, seek professional advice and support.