People are increasingly talking about detoxification (detox) as a way to get rid of effects of excessiveness during the festive period. Others people do it to manage weight and a large number practice it to reverse symptoms of diseases. However, some think that to regain health by detox is baseless. Nevertheless, advocates swear by it and vouch for its efficacy in attaining mental clarity, releasing addictions, getting rid of chronic symptoms such as skin rash, respiratory difficulties to name a few.
Detox is based on the fact that the body is under constant assault from toxins such as air pollution, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and alcohol. These poisons accumulate in the body and cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, mind fog, pain and a variety of chronic diseases. Periodic cleanses through therapeutic fasting or semi- fasting can helps the body eliminate the toxins and therefore prevent the onset of diseases.
Fasting is a natural way of healing the body. During detox, the digestive system can rest allowing the body to use its energy and enzymes to focus on the elimination of toxic debris and wastes. Fasting also stimulates the endocrine system to repair and regenerate damaged cells throughout the body. It takes at least three full days of fasting for the body to start detoxifying the blood and tissues and allow the removal of toxic residues from the body. It takes up to seven days to completely purify the bloodstream and cleanse the lymphatic system of all residual wastes.
When I did my first detox, I was amazed how clear my mind became and by the energy that I experienced. After the third day, my skin cleared up and the persistent rash I had had for years disappeared. Thereafter I became a convert to this natural way of rejuvenating my body. Other people report the reversal of health challenging symptoms, such as disappearance of mind fog, pain and discomfort. Most importantly, one feels the sense of well-being and being able to connect with the self. One becomes calmer and less affected by external stresses.
There are different types of detox:
- Therapeutic fasting, where no food is consumed for five to seven days (minimum) and only clear vegetable broth, cleansing shakes of hydrated bentonite clay and psyllium husk are mixed with water or juice, green vegetable juices are consumed. Herbal supplements are also used to support the body
- Semi-fast, which is to reduce intake of food for seven to 30 days like one meal per day with vegetable juice for two other meals. A green detox eating only green foods based on Ayurvedicphilosophy for 40 days is a very easy
- Organic protein powderplus superfoods and liquid such as juice or lactose-free milk for meal replacement
- Water fastingfrom seven to 30 days
The type of detox to choose from depends on the person’s readiness and toxic levels. One needs to know or seek professional advice on what’s the best choice for them based on toxicity assessment. If a person has a heavy metal load, then a detox may be uncomfortable. The person may consider a pre-cleansing by eating light meals and focus on raw and living vegan food. People who include raw and living food experience improvements in physical and mental form and develop a stronger immune system and manage their weight.
What are some of the popular myths about detox?
Myth #1: I get so hungry during a detox that I give up after the first day.
Response: If one is embarking on a detox for the first time it is preferable to prepare the body by eating lightly mainly vegetables and fruits and refraining from meat protein. One can begin with a semi-fast which means eating a light salad mid-day and cleansing with two to three shakes per day, mixing diluted fresh apple juice with hydrated bentonite clay (prepared from highly activated volcanic powder) and psyllium husk. One does not feel hungry with this cleansing shake. The hydrated clay sweeps through the digestive tract especially through the crevices of the internal folds of the stomach and intestinal canal. When mixed with water, psyllium husk becomes gel like and removes toxic build-up in the colon.
Myth # 2: Cleansing detox is worthless or even dangerous.
Response: Weight loss is one of the many benefits of detox. However, the real reason the body looses weight is because the body begins to loosen up toxic build-up and shed the unnecessary load. If a person’s objective of a detox is only to lose weight and the person may revert to old eating habits after the detox, and it is likely that he/she will regain the weight. A cleansing detox should embrace the mental and emotional aspects in order for the effects to be sustainable.
Some doctors think that detoxification diets can be dangerous as it gives people a false sense of security of being healthy. I am of the opinion that disease and chronic conditions are caused by blockages to the body’s self-healing mechanism and detox can be effective in reversing many health challenges.
The body accumulates toxins as by-products of metabolism, food additives, air pollution and negative thoughts. A detox or two a year will help the body rejuvenate itself. If one jumps back to old eating habits the issue associated to the weight may return. Once a person experiences clarity of mind and purpose, he/she is prepared to make shifts in order to enjoy enhanced quality of life. Ridding the body of toxins will ease the toxic overload on the eliminative organs such as colon, liver, kidneys, lungs and the skin.
Myth # 3: “I felt ill, had headaches and pain when I detoxed. Never again!”
Response: A person who is highly toxic and dives into a real-deal detox may be stirring up the toxins too quickly and may experience the symptoms usually in the reverse order he/she went through. The secret to a smooth detox experience is to adequately prepare physically, mentally and emotionally two to three days before the start date. One should also increase water intake to dilute the toxins being released and safely released from the body, exercise or move the body to stimulate lymphatic movement.
Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” for detox:
- Prepare for the detox by cutting out alcohol and meats three to seven days before starting
- Determine the desired goal and objective of detox, i.e. weight loss, health reasons
- Avoid going to places where you may be tempted to break your fast
- Choose the opportunity to get rid of addictions such as smoking, food addictions
- Exercise to enhance the effects of detox
- Have adequate rest and sleep especially during the first three days
- Engage in reflective or contemplative practices such as meditation and Yoga
- Expect emotional and mental shifts when the body is releasing the toxins
- Allow stress to ruin your cleansing experience
- Go for negative thoughts
- Eat any meat protein nor drink alcohol or coffee as they are acidic and defeat the purpose of detoxification which alkalizes the body towards health
- Eat too quickly or too much when one breaks the fast. It is advisable to transition slowly with soups and predigested food such as smoothies. Introduce solid food slowly.
- Go back to same eating habits as before
Detox has been practiced by many with serious health conditions and they have reported good results especially when carried out at the onset of the condition. However, it must be pointed out that most had to adjust their lifestyle to embrace more reasonable ways of nourishing their bodies after detoxification.
What is Mucoid Plaque?
Mucoid plaque can accumulate and coat the intestinal tract. It is formed by gel-like secretions from the intestinal glands. As it is highly adhesive it can trap partially digested and putrefying matter. Over years the coating prevents the absorption of nutrients from ingested food. Overeating, eating poor food combinations, processed foods, coffee, alcohol, pollutants, toxic chemicals and heavy metals all contribute to the formation of mucoid plaque.
About the Author
Chan Cudennec, former banker turned holistic healer is the founding CEO of SOL Wellness, that offers the way to a renewed sense of life through nutrition and detox. SOL’s customized signature detox includes therapeutic treatments such as homeopathy, kinesiology, bowen therapy, energy healing, do’s and don’ts of pre/post detox and raw and living food preparation. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org