I titled this series “What is detoxification anyway” because I have many people coming into my practice asking to do a detox program because they think it will teach them how to eat better or to lose weight. I have many people who are feeling sluggish or don’t have any energy and want to feel better and they have heard that detoxing will give them energy back.
I want people to understand that we all have detoxification processes that are at work every day to help us rid our body of toxins. There are times in our life where we might need a specific treatment plan for detoxification to improve our detoxification processes.
When patients come in or call my office to get help creating a detoxification plan I always ask if they have any diagnosis or health imbalances. The reason this is important is because they are some more drastic forms of detoxification like juice fasting, extended sauna or other hot temperature treatments, or colonics that might not be appropriate for certain health conditions. Examples of health conditions that might fall into this category are diabetes, severe depression or other severe mental health conditions, recovery from heart conditions or surgery, severe high blood pressure, or some autoimmune conditions. Once we have established a level of health for a detoxification program, I then set objectives around how many days they want to continue the program and which organ systems we are going to target.
Remember we have several systems that support detoxification: the liver and digestive system, the kidneys and the excretory system, the lungs, the skin and the brain and the nervous system. When we talk about detoxification we can be talking about targeting one or all of these systems. This is why this is such a ambiguous phrase when I hear “I really need to detox”. This is also why people can be so confused about the detox process.
What I can say for sure is that the foundation of any successful detoxification program is food and water. The diet can consist of removing a single food or it can be more specific to removing all animal products or as drastic as just fresh juice and water for a period of time.