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Spring Cleaning Your Body

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What is Detoxification?

Maximizing the stimulation of your body's natural methods of detoxification. This includes supporting your main organs of detoxification which include your liver, kidneys, lungs, bowels and lymphatic system.

What does your body eliminate when it detoxifies?

Your body eliminates junk that you are surrounded by in your environment like smoking and pollution, the food and beverages we injest like alcohol and transfats, and toxins from our own body's normal functioning like hormones and metabolic waste (which is produced when we move/exercise).

How does your body eliminate toxins?

Your naturopath will develop a plan for you to detoxify, which will support certain organs, usually the liver or the kidneys. The plan will include a special diet, vitamins, supplements and herbs which will stimulate your organs to detoxify toxins that have been buidling up over time. Your body eliminates toxins through exhaling, sweating, skin, urine and bowel movements. Your liver dumps into your bile, your bile dumps into you stool, and you eliminate the waste through your colon. Your kidneys detoxify into your urine, which you e liminate. Your skin perspires which comes out through your pores and your lung detoxifies with each breath.

Who should detoxify?

Almost everyone can detoxify except if you are lactating, pregnant or have a weekened immune system. People who are constipated should be very careful when detoxifying. This is because the liver is trying to elminate through the bowels, but the toxins end up getting stuck and being reabsorbed into your body. You should be producing 2-3 bowel movements per day before detoxifying. You should be supervised by a naturopath when you detoxify. The naturopath will develop a plan that is specific for your body.

When should you do a Detox?

The best times to detox are srping and fall. These are natural times of change and an easy time to get people to change their habits.

Should you be supervised when you do a detox?

Ideally you should be supervised by a naturopathic doctor when you detoxify, because you do not know how your body is going to react. Some people may be sluggish the first few days; if you are cutting out caffeine you will get headaches; you may be irritable, you may get skin rashes. The first few days are usually the worst. It is good to have someone coach you through at least your first detox.

Is the first detox the worst?

Usually the first detox is the worst, especially if you are eliminating smoking and drinking 10 cups of coffee a day. However, some people may have some heavy toxins built up, and it may take a few detoxes to get through that.

Jennifer shared the experience of her first detox. It was difficult, although it was just and elimination diet (no dairy, no red meat, no suguar, no wheat, no processed foods). Jennifer felt like she couldn't eat anything that she would normally eat. She had to get different types of bread and rice cheese. She felt horrible, and got h eadaches (she rarely gets headaches), but she felt a lot better afterwards and lost 10lbs over 2 weeks. This was exciting, as it was a year after having her first child, and she was eager to lose weight. This was her first experience that started her on her journey to good health.

What are the benefits of doing a detox?

The benefits of doing a detox are weight loss, more energy, most patients find it helps with their allergies, less fatigue, less pain. You tend to eat better after a detox, because your body has adjusted to taking in less junk. So, instead of needing 5 cups of coffee to get you throug the day, you may only need 1 cup of coffee.

Jennifer noticed that she became more aware of what she was eating. She started reading the labels more, and after each detox, she started eliminating more processed foods from her cupboard. It helped create great diet discipline.

How long should someone do a detox for? How often should you detox?

You should detox once or twice per year. The first detox is typically for a gentle elimination diet for a week. Some patients get excited and want to do a Juice Fast or Master Clense or a Salt Water Cleanse, but an elimination diet is a good beginning for the first detox. After you have experienced a few detoxes, you can go for a longer period of up to 4 weeks.

Jennifer shared that she did an elimination diet with her husband and children. Everyone survived! So this is a good indication that ANYONE can do the elimination diet.

How do you detoxify?

You can incorporate an elimination diet, which eliminates the most common allergens out of t he diet (including sugar, dairy, wheat, caffeine, shellfish, alcohol, soy, preservatives, food colouring , red meat and processed foods). You go on a bland diet and then reintroduce each food in stages afterwards. Drinking more water helps your kidneys to elminate better. you sould drink 1 1/2 litres/day (a rule of thumb: 1/2 f your body weight in ounces, so if you weigh 160 lbs, you sould drink 80 oz of water or 10 glasses of water) Bitter food is good to help your liver detoxify. Examples include: endive, radicchio, rapini, dandelion. Dry skin brushing is very good for helping your skin detoxify. Exercise is the most important thing you can do for your body. It gets your circulation going, it gets you breathing better. By improving your blood flow, it helps your organs to eliminate toxins better. There are lots of herb combintions to detox different organs. For instance to help detox the liver a combination would include dandelion greens, milk thistle, artichoke, B vitamins and tumeric. Colonic Therapy, although invasive, is very effective for cleaning out your bowels, and works well for aggressive detox, like people who are pulling out heavy metals. Far Infared Therapy through a Bio Mat like Jennifer is sitting on, or a Far Infared Sauna, is good for detoxification. The light penetrates 1-1 1/2" in a sauna or 6-8inches with the Bio Mat. Since many of the toxins in our body is stored in the fat cells just below the skin, the far infared rays can penetrate the skin to help eliminate the toxins from the fat cells. Acupuncture is also good for detoxification. There are some points for the liver on the top of your feet.

If you are planning to do a detox it is best to work with a naturopath, so they can develop a detox program that is right for you. Your MD should also be aware of your detoxific ation program if you are taking medication.

Vitamin of the day: Gingko Biloba

Gingko Biloba is one of the oldest trees in the world. This is one of the only trees to survive the bombing of Hiroshima. Gingko Biloba is very good for memory.

Go to the Find a Practitioner link on Vitamin Junkeys website. This is where you will find links to associations that you can contact to help you find a practitioner in your community.

Watch the video by visiting www.vitaminjunkeys.com

Add a Comment1 Comments

Thank you so much for this great information! I just started detoxing *sort of*. I took out all foods except lean protein, veggies, fruits and Kombucha tea.

I am still in the I-really-want-a-cookie phase but I hope that goes away soon!


March 26, 2009 - 9:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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