Do we need to detox?
In the western world we think of having a “detox” as very new phenomena. This is not the case. Ancient cultures such as the Chinese and Indian (Ayuvedic medicine) have been using these principles to heal many ailments for centuries.
When consulting one of these more traditionally trained practitioners they look for symptoms indicating whether the cleansing organs of the body are functioning adequately. These cleansing organs are the intestines, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and the skin.
If these organs are not working efficiently the day to day acidic metabolic waste products that we produce when we create energy and keep our bodies maintained and also produced from bad organisms in our gut are left in our cells, joints, lymphatics and blood stream. Some of the many symptoms and signs of “toxicity” are lethargy, headaches, skin problems, intestinal symptoms such as bloating and cramps, difficulty losing weight, puffiness in areas of our face and body and joint or muscle stiffness just to mention a few.
Unfortunately we live in a toxic world and we are poisoning ourselves. Not only from the air pollution and obvious poor food choices such as coffee, alcohol, sugar and many refined foods, but also even when we make better food choices there are pesticide residues in non organic fruit and vegetables and hormones and antibiotics in our non organic meat and eggs.
Stress reduces the functioning of the enzymes that would normally perform these cleaning functions for us and when health symptoms start to appear often the best place to begin is to help the body perform in a more efficient manner which it does in a cleaner cellular environment.
One of the best tools to assess whether your cells need a clean is with a live blood analysis performed by a naturopath or doctor. This will assess the functionality and nutritional status of the blood cells, the inflammation level in the blood stream and review oxidative stress markers. If these levels are out side the healthy range then a detox would dramatically help the functioning of the entire body.
A detox program involves reducing the toxic burden of bad organisms in the gut. Gives the liver and kidney much needed nutrients and antioxidants to perform its filtering function more efficiently and enhances the flow of the blood and lymphatic system. The best results are achieved when clean life style options are also undertaken. Dietary changes include increasing fruit and vegetables, especially the green ones. Incorporating fresh juices and restricting the intake of grains. The body needs lean protein and fish and vegetarian options are much less acidic. Increasing gentle exercise is often recommended. These programs often last between two and eight weeks depending on the results desired and when followed properly can result in weight loss, clean skin and increased mental and physical energy. Now who doesn’t want that!
Author: Cassi Cowlan, Naturopath, The Medical Sanctuary.