Detoxification: cleaning out your inner body

Detoxification includes the ways our bodies identify, neutralize, and eliminate things that are unhealthy for us. These include physical substances such as toxins and pollutants from our environment, by-products from the chemical processes that keep us alive and emotions, mental states and behaviors that are unhealthy like repressed emotions or substance abuse. We live in a polluted and stressful world. A person’s body and being can become overburdened and strained by the environments we live in. This strain and overwhelm can lead to health problems that may benefit from improved detoxification. 

 There are many types of toxins and waste products our bodies need to deal with, such as:

  • Anti-nutrients such as high fructose corn syrup, trans-fats, artificial flavors and colors, alcohol, and highly processed foods.
  • By-products from the chemical processes that keep us alive such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, bile, urea, and stool.
  • Medications used improperly, inappropriately, or too often.
  • Heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium, tin, and aluminum.
  • Chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, cleaning products, solvents, and glues.
  • Allergens such as food, mold, dust, pollen, and chemicals.

Further, there are social, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges that affect health and well-being:

  • Stress such as lack of personal time, too much work, excessive worry, too little rest, and financial strain.
  • Unhealthy mental states such as addiction and destructive mental patterns.
  • Distractions that surround us such as constant noises, smells, lights, and images.
  • Over-stimulation from advertisements, radio, computers, TV, and phones.
  • Lack of spiritual connection, a loss of meaning and purpose.
  • Isolation, the lack of social support and community.
  • Nature deprivation, being disconnected from natural environments.
  • Negative emotions and persistent self-defeating thoughts such as anger, fear, guilt, hopelessness.

We already have systems in place to deal with these things.
The major systems we have in place are the:

  • Liver- the main detoxification center for the body.
  • Kidneys- work to filter out waste products and toxins from the blood.
  • The Gut- eliminates waste products through bowel movements.
  • Skin- protects the body and eliminates some waste products through sweat.
  • Lungs- removes gaseous waste products.
  • Immune/Lymph system- transports waste products from various body tissues to the blood stream for processing and removal.
  • The Mind- we can learn new habits and we can choose to seek help when it is needed.

A question that gets asked quite often is: ‘how do I know if I need help with detoxification?’ While there are no exact symptoms that are going to tell you that you need to detox there are some indications that when taken together may indicate that your detoxification systems need a little help.

Things like:

  • Bad breath and bad body odor
  • Fatigue with sleep disruption and brain fog
  • Mood disturbance, especially depression, anxiety, fear, and anger
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Sinus congestion, dark circles under the eyes, and post-nasal drip
  • Headaches with neck and shoulder pain
  • Bloating and gas
  • Irritable bowel, foul-smelling stools
  • Weight changes and loss of muscle tone
  • Heartburn, recurrent colds, and persistent infections
  • Infertility and low interest in sex
  • Premature aging and weakness
  • Fluid retention 
  • Rashes and canker sores

All of these things may be symptoms of a disease as well indicating an issue with your detox systems. It is very important that you get evaluated by a licensed healthcare practitioner if have any of the issues listed. 

There are five basic components to improving the function of our detox systems.
They include:

  1. Daily Movement and Exercise
  2. A Proper Diet full of nutrient dense foods
  3. Rest, Self reflection and Stress Management 
  4. Sweating in a sauna, steam room or perhaps in a hot yoga class
  5. Bodywork like massage or acupuncture

If you do choose to do a detoxification program you want to get answers to the following questions.

  • Is this treatment safe and what are the risks?
  • Is there evidence to support this therapy?
  • Does this therapy appropriately address my condition, concerns, and expectations?
  • What are the qualifications and intentions of the practitioner offering the therapy?
  • Am I open and receptive to this approach, and do I believe in it?
  • How expensive is the treatment? Is the cost in line with the possible benefits and risks?

If you get reassuring answers, then you will most likely benefit from treatment. It is always recommended that you find a licensed healthcare practitioner who has experience with detoxification therapies to help you. If you have any questions about detoxification or would like to learn more please contact us at Emerge Natural Health Care to have a free, 10 minute consultation with one of our experts.