Detoxification: An Introduction to Body Cleansing
Before you begin a detox program, it is useful to understand how to detox and why we do it. Below I will cover everything you need to know about body detoxification and show you the correct order in which to cleanse your body.
What is Detoxification?
In the context of the human body, detoxification or detoxing is the process of eliminating poisonous or waste substances (toxins) from the body; or to neutralize their adverse effects.
An effective body detox removes waste, allowing the body to function better. This can lead to any number of improvements in health; an increase in energy levels; paying the way for healing of illness and disease.
What is a Toxin?
A toxin is any substance that causes harm when it gets into our body. There are toxic substances all around us and they can be classified into three groups depending on their origin:
- Internal toxins: the body is constantly working to keep us alive – digesting food, pumping blood, metabolizing, assimilating nutrients. Toxins are often an unwanted by-products of chemical reactions and bodily processes. In a perfectly healthy body, millions of cells die every day and also need to be removed to avoid clogging the system. Internally-generated toxins need to be removed by the body’s natural process of detoxification.
- External toxins: If we just had internal toxins to cope with, the body would most likely remain relatively illness free. However, we are constantly exposed to external toxins, such as: toxins from junk food and contaminated water; environmental pollutants such as smog; chemicals in skin cosmetics that get partially absorbed; medicines and dental procedures; heavy metals; chemicals found in household goods such as soaps and aerosols; radiation; and even insect bites.
- Toxic Lifestyle: poor lifestyle can stress the body, decrease the ability to detoxify, and cause a build up of toxins. Toxic behaviors include lack of sleep and rest, lack of exercise, stress, poor diet and even not drinking enough water (water is essential for removing toxins from the body)
Why Do We Need To Detox?
Although our body can detoxify naturally, excessive exposure to toxins through poor diet or lifestyle, can lead to toxins accumulating faster than it can eliminate them.
Eventually the body becomes overloaded with toxins, the natural detox mechanisms become sluggish, the immune system and other bodily processes become less effective. This can manifest in any number of symptoms from lethargy and skin rash through to chronic illness or death in extreme cases of prolonged intoxication.
We detoxify to help reduce the level of toxins in our body to a manageable level. This allows the body to function correctly and helps to optimize bodily processes: an essential step towards living a disease-free, naturally healthy lifestyle.
Warning Signs That You Need A Detox
Although anybody can benefit from a detox program, your body will start to send out warning signals when you really need to detox. If you show signs of any of the following symptoms, your body likely needs a detox:
- Skin (skin diseases): acne, eczema, dermatitis, hives, psoriasis, brittle nails, hair loss.
- Lungs (respiratory problems): asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, sinusitis.
- Colon: bad breath, body odor, constipation, diarrhea, excessive flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastritis, heartburn, indigestion, stomach ulcer.
- Liver: cirrhosis, jaundice, gall-bladder stones, hepatitis.
- Kidneys: kidney stones, urinary tract disorders.
- Lymphatic system: varicose veins, glandular fever, lymph nodes disease, Hodgkin’s disease, elephantiasis.
- General mental health: irritability, poor memory, insomnia, chronic fatigue, headaches, migraines, depression.
- Blood and circulatory problems: allergies, auto-immune disorders, cholesterol, diabetes, low and high blood pressure, toxemia, fibroids, endometriosis.
Do you need to detox—find out with our detox checklist.
The above problems are really just “symptoms” of toxic overload—the body cannot get rid of toxins fast enough. Your symptoms can be alleviated by a suitable detox program and targeted nutrition: it is really not that difficult, and it is my goal on this website to show you how 🙂
How Does Detoxification Work?
A toxin-overloaded organ is like a stagnant pool of water that becomes a nuisance.
I liken a toxin-overloaded organ to a stagnant pool of water that soon begins to breed bacteria and mosquitoes, causing other live organisms like fish and frogs to die.
Rubbish starts to collect; stench and toxic fumes begin to be emitted, causing the surrounding area to stink. This is a very unhealthy environment and begins to affect people living in the neighborhood.
This is how it is with our toxin-overloaded organ. Our blood cannot flow properly, cells start to die, bacteria breed, and there is bad breath and bad body odor. These are signs of toxicity of blood. Inflammation and pain will follow, and most likely at this stage you may have already been experiencing some chronic disease(s). If neglected further … cancer.
A good detox program is like flushing out the system, clearing the organs of toxins and getting the circulatory system to flow smoothly again.
After a proper detoxification program and sufficient intake of nutrition, the body will recover and function as normal, keeping disease at bay and is the path to a long life full of vitality.
Getting Started—The Different Types Of Detox
The body detoxifies naturally, and most detox programs are designed to assist this natural cleansing process. You can do a general body detox, or target a specific organ, such as the liver or kidneys.
For a thorough and complete cleanse I recommend detoxing your body step-by-step in the following order:
- It is important to start with a gastrointestinal cleanse as this will allow the body to successfully expel all the toxins from subsequent detoxes, without them being caught up/stuck to the clogged-up intestine walls.
- Liver / gallbladder detox
- Kidney detox
- Lungs detox
- Lymphatic system and skin detox – concurrently
Here is my complete detox sequence, with specific detox plans for each organ.
Is detoxing healthy?
Performed correctly, detoxing is healthy. You are simply aiding the natural detox process of the body, which will lead to a cleaner, healthier you. Before embarking on a detox, always consult your doctor.
Do people react differently to toxins?
Yes—there are many factors that affect the susceptibility of the body’s response to toxins:
- Age: the young and elderly are more susceptible to toxins.
- Health status: people with low immune defenses and with liver problem are particularly affected by toxins.
- Gender: women tend to be more sensitive to toxins than men. Women have higher levels of hormones that are particularly sensitive to certain toxins.
- Genetic make-up: our genetic make-up can effect the concentrations of detox enzymes in the body, causing some groups of people to be more susceptible.
- Enzymatic defects: although rare, people with enzymatic defects may suffer more adverse effects from toxins than others.
- Lack of nutrition: optimum nutrition allows the body to work at its best. A body will be more susceptible if lacking in the necessary vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, etc.
- Contaminated food: constant consumption of foods contaminated with additives, food flavorings, preservatives, chemicals, hormones, etc. makes the body more susceptible.
- Drugs: many prescription drugs cannot be completely eliminated and get stored in the body. People who take many prescription drugs are more sensitive to toxins.
- Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle: the skin is the largest detoxification organ. Regular exercise helps improves circulation and increases perspiration—which helps eliminate toxins through the pores in the skin.
There is a long list of chronic diseases caused by toxin build up in our bodies. The good news is that chronic diseases caused by lifestyle can be cured and respond positively to correct detoxification and nutrition.
There is no drug in this world that can heal a chronic disease. Medication can only suppress symptoms, it cannot heal you.
Your body was made to self-heal. You need to give your body a chance to heal itself through correct detoxification and a healthy, nutritious diet.