Eliminate Everyday Toxins from the Inside Out
We live in a toxic society. From polluted air, to pesticide-filled food, sometimes our bodies don’t have a fighting chance. These particles are retained, causing us to feel sluggish, and sometimes, down right sick. Body cleanses, whether they be herbal pills or specialty treatments, are designed to aid the body in kicking out these unwanted entities and get you back to clean living.
“Most Canadians start out with vibrant health, but by age thirty, begin to develop ‘minor’ irritations. These small problems become more serious, causing our health to fall into further decline,” says Brenda Watson, a naturopathic doctor, certified nutritional consultant, and colon therapist with Vita Health. “Many studies published in prestigious medical journals point to strong associations between chemical pesticides and serious health consequences. Ideally, it would be great to avoid all of the pesticides, and other chemical pollutants, however, this is simply not feasible. Therefore it is up to you to take responsibility for your own health and the first step towards optimal health is cleansing and detoxification.”
Cleansing can help remove and eliminate these potentially harmful toxins from the body, as well as improving overall health, decreasing risk of disease, increasing energy, improving digestion and helping to control weight. After undergoing a complete cleansing program, many people have experienced a stabilized blood pressure and/or cholesterol, clear skin, increased mental clarity, weight loss or weight stabilization, improved elimination, reduced inflammation and joint pain and increased overall vitality.
“If you breathe, you should cleanse,” states Watson. “Let’s face it; we live in a toxic world with chemicals from factories, trucks, and pesticides. Unfortunately, most people focus more on their outer appearance than their inner health and eating nutrient depleted foods, breathing in polluted air and drinking poor quality water is a deadly trio which is poisoning our bodies.”
There are many types of cleanses for many reasons, but ultimately a full body cleanse is ideal. These work on all channels of elimination: cleanses that target parasites and candida, cleanses for the liver, colon, and kidneys, and cleanses that help rid the body of heavy metals. A fully body cleanse can be done simply with a kit, usually of several pills that are taken daily.
“Ideally you’d like to look for a cleansing product that addresses all seven channels of elimination,” suggests Watson. “You also want to look for products that are convenient and ‘clean,’ meaning free from binders or fillers— fillers like silicon dioxide and carnuba wax block absorption of other ingredients.”
Just note, whenever toxins are released from the tissues in the body, it is possible to experience “cleansing reactions.” These reactions occur as the body works to move toxins out of the system. Cleansing reactions can include flu-like symptoms, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, nausea, and skin eruptions. In most cases these can be alleviated by reducing the dosage of the cleansing program in half and increasing water intake to help flush out the toxins.
You Want to Stick That Where?
If taking pills sounds like too much of a detox commitment, there are treatments, done by professionals, which can help clean out the system. Surprisingly popular is colon hydrotherapy, a treatment where a hose is inserted into the rectum and purified water flows in and out of the large intestine and helps cleanse the colon.
Why should or would one do this you may ask? The colon is like the “sewer system” of the body and if this gets blocked, then you can imagine the problems that occur if the sewer of the street is choked. The choking of colon can lead to constipation and if fecal matter stays in the body too long, the toxins can actually be reabsorbed.
“The treatment will clean out all the bacteria, yeast, and toxic waste and we then reintroduce good bacteria through supplements,” states Shannon Sarrasin, resident Naturopathic Doctor at The Centre for Natural Medicine in Winnipeg. Colon hydrotherapy also helps strengthen and increase movement through the bowel in those that have a long history of constipation. “It’s like a workout for the colon,” she jokes. “It really helps lay a foundation for good health when your digestive system is in balance.”
If all that talk of colons has you feeling a little squeamish, try a treatment that’s more like going to a spa. Ion foot bath detoxification, a relaxing soak in salt water with an additional mechanical element, is said to draw toxins out through the soles of your feet. “Our bodies are made up of positive and negative ions. When we retain excessive toxins, the balance changes and we become more positively charged. The ionic detox foot bath replaces the positive ions with negative ions and toxins are released through the thousands of pores on the soles of the feet,” says Suzanne Malinowski, reflexologist and reiki practitioner at The Pure Escape.
After your cleansing, the therapist will visually inspect the bath water for clues as to which systems of the body had released toxins. Clients can see anything from brown sludge, which means a liver detox, to white foam, a cleanse of the lymphatic system, in the water. She adds that, to induce a full body cleanse, the ionic detox should complimented by massage, reflexology treatments and plenty of water to help flush the system.
But let’s not forget some of the best detoxifiers are found in your own crisper. Juicing and eating organic food is a natural way to help cleanse the body, but a good all around lifestyle choice that helps keep the body strong and full of life. So leave your gas mask at home and explore a cleanse option that can help the body fight through the environmental haze. While the methods may be different, all professionals agree that you should always check with your doctor before starting any cleansing routine.