Detoxification is an important process that all living organisms go through in one form or another annually. Detoxification allows our bodies to feel unloaded, refreshed and re-energized. The optimal time to perform this process is in the spring. Just as spring rains cleanse our air of debris and dust, we should clear our skin, digestive tract, and cleansing organs such as the liver and kidneys.
Many cultures recognize the essential nature of detoxification. Traditional detox rituals include fasting, sweat lodges and ritual cleansing. Our increased knowledge of the body and how it works allows modern people to support and nourish our bodies as we detox, no sweat lodges required!
There is no better time than the present to begin planning your jump-start into spring. A cleansing program can help you shed a few pounds and energize you for an exercise plan to get you in shape before Memorial Day.
If you Google “detox” you will come up with a list of solutions ranging from expensive spas to juice fasts to crazy one food diets . Medical advice is conflicting as to the importance of detoxification and its necessity. Part of this confusion is the wide range of modern-day detoxification rituals. Detoxification needs to be reasonable and safe, using common sense. Any detox program that involves restricting dietary intake to a few ingredients or calorically depriving the body can be dangerous. Be wary of any program that says that their detox system is the only way to go.
There are many high quality, safe detox programs. Key factors to look for in detoxification programs are two-fold. Programs should stress the reduction of exposure to toxins. This generally includes the elimination of the following from your diet:
- processed foods
- artificial coloring
- natural and artificial flavorings
- artificial sweeteners
- excessive caffeine
- conventionally grown produce and meats
In addition to the elimination of toxic items, high quality programs include the addition of the following to your diet to support the kidneys and liver:
- milk thistle
- B vitamins
- lots of clean fresh water
- increased consumption of organic fruits and veggies
- limited consumption of organic, grass fed meats
It is always recommended that any detoxification program be completed under medical supervision.
In my office, I prefer detox programs that allow patients flexibility to incorporate the plan into their current lifestyle. Many programs have the flexibility to choose one to four week plans, dependent upon how often you detox and your individual toxic load. For a first time detox, my general recommendation is to go for the full 28 days program. This allows a patient’s body time to heal as well as making some of their new healthy eating programs habits. I also tend to prefer programs that combine homeopathic detox with herbal and vitamin supplementation.
Detoxification can be a healthy routine to be completed annually or semi-annually to help maintain optimum health!