Saturday, October 22, 2011

Enhancing your Detox

You might be wondering how to get the best out of your detoxification program.  There are many different ways to do this that involve supporting the three biggest organs in the body that are associated with detoxification.  These three organs are the skin, intestines, and kidneys. 
Our skin is the biggest system in the body.  When the intestines and the kidneys can’t handle how quickly the body is detoxing then you may see toxins coming out through the skin. This may manifest in something like more sweating, foul sweating or with outbreaks such as acne.  Two of the best ways to support the skin is through dry brushing and by doing a sauna.  Dry brushing involves using a natural bristle stiff brush to gently brush the skin in a circular motion always towards the heart.  Dry brushing not only helps to remove any dead skin cells but it also moves toxins into the lymphatic system to be eliminated.  A sauna can of course induce sweating which also helps to remove toxins from the body. 
The intestines are also one of the largest organs used to detoxify and eliminate toxins.  Everything gets dumped in to the intestines to be eliminated.  When the intestines can not eliminate the toxins fast, they maybe re-absorbed back into the body.  You want to make sure before you embark on any detoxification program that your intestines are working fully.  Many people don’t realize that it is normal to have three bowel movements per day, usually one after each meal. 

If you find that you are constipated there are many teas such as Senna tea, Smooth Move tea and others that can help to move the colon.  You can also do a colonic (also called colon hydrotherapy) or an enema.  Both of these are excellent ways to ensure that you are clearing the intestines and any built up mucoid plaque that has accumulated on the walls of the intestine. 

Other things that you can do to enhance your detox are; light gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, bicycle riding, or swimming.  You might also consider massage.  All of these activities help to move toxins into the lymphatic system and out of the body.  In addition, acupuncture is a great modality to support the body physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Finally there are several detox teas that contain herbs such as dandelion that can help to detoxify the liver and enhance the cleansing process.  Other herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile, or ginger are nice to enjoy if you are having any tummy discomfort. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Detox Symptoms Will Pass

So you've made your choice on what type of program you're doing and you're ready to start.  Or you're thinking this is something you're interested in but wondering how you're going to feel.  Can I still go to work?  Do I need to hang close to a bathroom?  All of these are excellent questions and I am going to answer them to the best of my ability without going into a lot of detail. 
Your detoxification symptoms are going to be unique to you.  This is based on not only what type of program that you have chosen but also on what your lifestyle has been, your past food choices, and any preparatory work that you did leading up to the detoxification such as eliminating caffeine. 

Your symptoms may start immediately or once you're in the program for a few days - or even a few weeks into it. You may have various symptoms at different points during your detox.  If is also entirely possible not to have any symptoms at all.

The duration of symptoms you experience will depend on your medical history, lifestyle, and what type of detox you are doing.  Many common symptoms of a detox include fatigue, headaches and unfamiliar tastes in the mouth.  Some also see skin outbreaks and old injuries that hurt or ache as the body releases the toxins.  I had someone in one of my programs tell me she had broken her wrist as a child and during the first week of the detox her wrist hurt. 

You may also notice some strange smells from your body.  I had a lady that had undergone chemotherapy treatment several years before the detox program.  During the program she stated she could smell the chemotherapy coming out of her.  She also had symptoms from when she underwent chemotherapy such as fatigue.  These symptoms lasted over 2/3rd’s of the time she was on her detox but felt fantastic once the symptoms had gone away. 

Other physical symptoms may include constipation, diarrhea, or gastric discomfort.  Sinus congestion, sinus discomfort, sore throats, hoarseness or flu like symptoms may also be experienced during a detox.  In addition to physical symptoms there may also be emotional symptoms.  This is due in part because our body stores everything at a cellular level.  The cells remember whether we want to or not.  If we have undergone some sort of a trauma (whether that be physical or emotional), even if we have resolved and found peace with that trauma, it is still stored in our cellular memory.  Sometimes doing a detoxification program may bring up some emotions.  These emotions may be sadness, anger, joy, or intense grief.  Whatever that emotion is it can often be surprising when someone has this happen.  It is important to recognize it for what it is, accept it, and know that it will pass. 

Remember, all of these symptoms are simply part of your body's way of "letting go".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

With so many detox programs, how do you choose what's right for you?

There are many different types and ways of doing a detoxification program. I don’t really want to spend a lot of time going into a lot of detail about each of these. Instead I’m going to briefly describe them. If anyone has questions about any of these or any other type of cleanse, please comment and I will be sure to get back to you.

Many of you have heard of various types of programs for detoxification. There are colon cleanses, liver cleanses, gallbladder cleanse, Candida cleanses, and parasite cleanses. Many of these involve tablets, pills, and/or herbs. There are usually no dietary suggestions to go along with most of these types of programs.

Another type of detoxification is to use liquids only such as a juice feast, fasting with water or some other type of liquid, and using meal replacement shakes. All of these involve no food for a certain period of time. Then gradually adding food back in when you have completed the fast or feast.

The final and most gentle way to detoxify is by using your food choices to detoxify. This may involve eliminating animal products, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, certain grains, or other food categories that could be creating inflammation in the body. In can also include transitioning into a raw food lifestyle which is eating mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Most people when doing a detox also start to incorporate more local, organic, chemical and hormone free products into the diet. Using foods that are either organic, or locally grown without chemicals and that are not processed (come in a box or a can) can greatly enhance the benefits and help to detoxify the body.

As I’ve already discussed my personal favorite and the way I cleanse is to do a juicefeast. This is different than a fast as I’m drinking 1 gallon of freshly juiced vegetables and fruits daily. Most of them are green vegetable juices.

The 21 day program, mentioned before, is in my experience the most successful in restarting the body with out any deprivation of food. It is a gentle program that does not create a lot of side effects and it sets you up for creating a healthy lifestyle around food and the choices you make. I use this program for those wishing to jumpstart into a healthy more whole food based lifestyle in my SAD2FAB program.

All of these types of cleanses may create results; however, they are generally not long lasting. If you’ve eliminated food all together and weight loss was your goal you will more than likely gain back at least 5 lbs. The key to doing a successful detoxification program is to develop and maintain a lifestyle that will support the work you jut completed. This can be hard in a society that bases social activity on food and I will discuss this more in-depth later.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How often should you detox?

So I’m often asked the question how often should I do a detoxification program. The answer to this question is as varied as the many different types of detoxification programs and cleanses that are available. I believe that in deciding how often you should do a detox should be based on your individual choice and lifestyle. It should also be based on what your health goals are and whether or not you do a “mini detox” at other times. Many people choose to detox once or twice a year for a lengthy period of time, others may choose to do a short detox such as one to three days of juicing, water fasting, or the very popular master cleanse either once a week, once a month, or once every couple of months. Some also choose some sort of program if they’ve recently undergone a major change to their body.
My personal belief is that it is good to do a detoxification program at least twice per year. However, it doesn’t matter what length of time or how often you decide to do a detoxification program; you are still reaping great benefits from doing so.  The bottom line is to simply listen to your body and remember  - I'll be here to answer any questions that come your way! 

Next week I'll talk about the different types of detox programs available...stay tuned!