Your body knows exactly what it needs to do to keep things running smoothly. Detoxification is something it does all day, everyday. The main organs involved in the detoxification process are: your lungs, liver, kidneys and skin.
‘Going on a Detox’ is something that is recommended by traditional medicine practitioners during the spring and autumn as a way of releasing toxins the body has stored out of harms way during the winter (usually it’s sandwiched within our fat or adipose tissue) or whenever there is a suggestion that the body is dealing with a lot of toxins at that point in time. This is referred to as a heavy toxic load. If, for example, you are dieting or trying to lose weight, a gentle detox is a good thing to do because as you reduce your fat, you free up store toxins.
A detox doesn’t need to be heroic. I believe in supporting your body in doing what it does best – healing itself. If your detox is triggering blinding headaches or sore kidneys, ease off your regime, be gentle with yourself and get some professional advice.
Who Should Not Detox
Detoxing reduces the time it takes your body to eliminate things and this includes your medication. Do not undertake a detox if you are on time-sensitive medication such as antiretrovirals or transplant medication. Detoxing increases the amount of work undertaken by your liver and kidneys so detoxing should only be done under the supervision of a qualified medical professional if you have a liver or kidney-related condition. The same applies if you are pregnant, or have a serious medical condition, seek professional advice first.
How To Detox
A detox is the result of a combination of practices:
- foods that are cleansing, alkalising and full of nutrients.
There are 2 schools of thought on the food front. Some practitioners prefer a diet that favours raw, whole foods on the basis that you are increasing your intake of foods that are rich in nutrients, electrolytes and are generally alkalising. Other practitioners, recommend taking foods that are gently cooked (for example, steamed or grilled) as it reduces the effort required to digest your food.
My thoughts on this are that it depends on the person. Some people thrive on raw foods. Some, just don’t have the stomach for it. If raw food is difficult for you to digest, combine it with gently cooked foods.
- herbs that support your detoxification pathways.
Nettles and Cleavers growing happily together
These tend to be herbs that support your liver or encourage elimination (either through the urinary system or by getting your lymph going). *more about that in later posts* A herbalist will always prescribe a herbal prescription based on you, rather than the detox. So a professionally prescribed herbal medicine will include other herbs as well.
- gentle exercise to get your lymphatic system moving. You need to move your body in order to move your lymph. Make it something you enjoy doing.
- mindfulness practices and formal relaxation. How we feel affects the balance of chemicals circulating in our body. This in turn affects our physiology. Practices designed to encourage calmness and relaxation do make a big difference to your detox.
We’re going to be providing a lot of information and resources during March which are designed to help you detox safely and gently so do check back in or subscribe to our RSS feed.
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