Contributor: Cloe Matheson
Every day, our bodies are subjected to a wide variety of toxins from many different sources in our environment. Some toxins are found in the food we eat, such as pesticides and additives – while others are in substances we use, such as drugs and alcohol. Some are present in the air, such as industrial chemicals, heavy metals, secondary smoke and pollutants. A detox involves getting rid of as many as possible of these toxins so that our bodies and minds can work more efficiently. There are many different ways to achieve this, and here are five things you should know about detoxing.
Types of Detox Programs
- Short-term detox programs are the most popular, though not as effective as longer detox programs. They include 24-hour juice fasting, colon cleansing, chelation therapy (to remove heavy metals), skin cleansing, and intravenous injections.
- Long-term detox programs often include dietary changes, increased fluid intake, regular exercise programs and stress management routines that last longer than a few days. Long-term programs are more effective and provide long-lasting health benefits.
- Alternative therapies such as Acupuncture, Homeopathy and Hydrotherapy are sometimes useful to supplement detox programs.
Changes You Will Observe After Detox
You will feel relief from unexplained back pain and headaches, and your memory and mental acuity will improve. Hair and nails become stronger and less brittle. Rashes and other allergic reactions abate. You will also likely lose some weight. Additionally, the cleaning of the liver and kidneys purifies the blood and boosts the hormonal system. This means that you will have less cravings for dependant substances such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine.
Detoxing at Home
Basic, short-term detox programs can be done at home. Try adding lemon juice to the water you drink throughout the day. This stimulates a cleansing process, breaks down fat and increases your body’s alkalinity. Or try the apple detox program – eat six raw, early-ripening apples for three days to clean your colon. Or try drinking only freshly extracted vegetable juices for 24 hours.
You can have a detox bath at home. Mix a few tablespoons of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulphate) with baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and either sea or Himalayan pink salt and pour into a bath of hot water. Relax in the water and use a soft brush to exfoliate and stimulate the skin. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
It is okay to feel somewhat strange when detoxing. However, if you experiment real discomfort during these programs you should stop and seek medical advice.
Supplements as Detox Aids
Different detox teas and pills on the market can be used for both short and long-term detoxification. These should be used alongside other lifestyle changes, as mentioned above, to obtain lasting benefits. One of the most effective detox supplements is blackcurrant oil, which contains large quantities of essential fatty acids and is an effective antioxidant agent. The diuretic effects of blackcurrant oil can help to restore proper digestive function, removing toxins from the system more effectively. Blackcurrant oil can also be used topically, where its antioxidants hydrate and nourish the skin and reverse the damage caused by free radicals.
Medically Supervised Detox Programs
For an intensive detox program, you should visit a professional health clinic, where a qualified doctor can prescribe a combination of therapies and treatments. An expert can choose the most effective detox program after evaluating your condition. Holistic detoxification cleanses the entire body by minimising toxin intake and promoting toxin elimination through therapies, herbs and supplements. Treatments should be administered in the correct order to avoid overworking organs during the cleansing process.
Bio: Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from New Zealand who loves to write about travel, fitness and health.If she’s not writing, you would find her lifting small kettle bells in her local gym. To read more of her work, go here.