What is a detox?
Detox, detox, detox...everyone’s on one these days! Juice cleanses, green smoothie challenges, Ayurvedic retreats, raw food resets and detox holidays are on everyone’s to-do lists. It’s become the buzzword of the 21st Century but what are they and do you need to do one?
Detoxes have been around for centuries. They were traditionally performed in India and are part of the Ayurvedic medical system and now often done by yoga students when traveling there and in Sri Lanka. The practice was often done at the changing of the seasons to help eliminate toxins and purify the system. Panchakarma which is the most well known of Ayurvedic detox process uses specific herbs, oil, diet and hot oil treatments such as massage, and yoga for up to 21 days to help remove toxins and strengthen the body. It was believed that through this process toxic waste called Ama was removed and the body revitalised.
Many people still do them but now we live in a busy world, live high stress lives, eat poorly, consume junk food and have many more chemicals in our world they are becoming necessary for everyone everywhere. The worse your diet and lifestyle...the more you probably need one!
A detox in whichever format you try is basically one thing. Eliminating toxins from your diet and entering your body, so your body can drop what it’s already carrying and assisting whatever has been stored in your body to leave. If you carry on consuming toxins your body can’t do its job. So eliminating coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, prescription drugs and chemical pesticides is key. By doing this you are giving your body a chance to start afresh and clean out the junk!
When we eat, drink or breath anything it enters the bloodstream and all the organs in the body. If your body is strong or the toxins are minimal they will be excreted naturally. When the toxic load gets too much, lets say you are drinking coffee and alcohol regularly, sitting at your desk, not exercising, eating chocolate bars and getting take away in the evening your body will start getting overwhelmed. The liver is your main filter system and deals with everything you eat, drink or breath which eventually ends up in your blood. When the liver can no longer cope or it’s getting more toxins coming in that it can remove, it starts storing them elsewhere. This is usually in fat cells. Heavy metals and pesticide residue, for example will be taken away from the main organs and stored in fat tissue until the body gets a chance to deal with them. This is why most detoxes involve losing some weight and massage and heat treatments which helps mobilise the toxins in fat cells and are often part of the process. Human bodies are incredible things, we can survive a lot but like most things in life there reaches a tipping point and then we have to do something.
Gradually your energy levels start dropping, your skin breaks out, your tired, grouchy, have indigestion, dark circles under your eyes, you’re craving sweets to keep you going and these are a few of the early signs. After this things may start getting worse, Chronic Fatigue, Arthritis, IBS, heart problems, surgery or worse. The body is becoming overburdened and things start going wrong. Just like a car there’s only so long you can keep driving till you need to get the oil changed.
So...rather than let that happen people do detoxes!
Finding a good detox that’s right for you can seem overwhelming. So many to choose from these days! I’ve tried most and some suited me and some didn’t. Ayurvedic is very nourishing, great if you have a week constitution. Juice cleansing is great for most people...lots of live enzymes and gently gives your digestive system a break so your body can reset. Others include herbs, colonics, green powders, yoga, hot body treatments that help you sweat out toxins, and fresh air and rest. All detoxes require lots of fluids to flush out toxins, gentle exercise and a change in diet.
Going on a detox retreat is great if you have the time and have never done one before but you can easily do one at home. With the right supplements, guidance and a little willpower you can help your body drop the toxic load and the weight you need and give your body a spring clean. Organic juices, wheatgrass, superfoods, saunas, power walks and not calling for a pizza will be necessary! And you’ll feel much better for it.
Our team is here to help so if you want to start feeling great and lose some extra pounds maybe it is time to consider your first detox?
Wishing you health and happiness,