Spring, when the energy is rising and expanding, is the perfect time to detox. Our energy is stronger and quicker now, and this promotes movement through the body. We need this movement to detoxify.
There are many ways we can detox; from adding in detoxifying foods to taking out toxic foods. For example, adding in lots of green vegetables, rice, garlic, ginger, turmeric, or eliminating (or reducing) sugars, alcohol, caffeine, junk foods. Most people like to do a combination of adding in, whilst taking out.
Some people like to fast; water fasting, or juice fasting is popular. This is a strong way to detox, yielding strong results. I’ve heard stories of ailments completely leaving the body, fantastic weight loss, a rebooting of the digestive system, clarity of mind and an uplift in energy.
Our bodies are doing a fabulous job of detoxifying for us all the time. However due to our stressful lifestyles, food choices, illness, and environmental factors, sometimes we can’t keep up with the demand and our bodies have no choice but to store the toxins for us. Over time we may lose energy or develop symptoms such as headaches, body pain, inflammation, dizziness etc.
Our cells are continually dying and renewing. They exchange nutrients, oxygen and water for carbon-dioxide and waste products. The health of our cell membrane and being adequately hydrated, allows this exchange to flow well. Our cells in health allow energy to be produced and utilised by our body, if there’s a lack of cellular regeneration, we may feel it as fatigue (1) or inflammation.
The Lymphatic System
Our lymph, a lovely straw-coloured fluid, carries the waste products of cells, back into the blood stream where it is filtered by the liver and kidneys; some waste is then excreted through urine and the rest goes through the colon.
As the colon is “the end of the line” of our natural detox process, its ability to evacuate our waste is essential. If this doesn’t happen it’s a bit like a drainage system, the waste products back up. This means your bowel has no choice but to reabsorb the toxins into the blood stream. A sluggish bowel can make us feel polluted; and in time can result in SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) when the faces back up into the small intestine.
In health it’s worth noting that our bowel also does a good job of supplying the body with Vitamin K and the B vitamins and plays a role in the balance of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Some signs that your body might benefit from a detox.(3)
· Brain fog
· Hair loss
· Weight gain
· Bad breath
· Brittle nails
· Itchy skin or dehydrated skin.
· Poor circulation
· Headaches and migraines
· Stress and anxiety
· low immunity; catching cold / stomach bugs
· over-thinking / negative thinking
Where to Begin?
As the colon is the end of our elimination system, it’s advisable to begin here when we detox. If we start to detox further into the system, we can cause more pollution, if the colon is not excreting properly. Most of the current commercial detox retreats focus on juice or water fasting with colonic irrigation or enemas.
There are many ways we can detoxify; we don’t need to fast to detoxify, and in fact, this might not be the best method to begin with if you have a health condition. To detox, all we need to do is reduce our toxic input whilst increasing elimination. Here are some ways you can detox.
Increase your water intake; clean water that is filtered or Springwater.
Remove the chemicals in your diet, e.g., processed foods, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Remove the chemicals in your home and environment. Choose instead non-chemical-based cleaners, body, and hair products etc.
Add into your diet lots of green vegetables. Green veg. is our natural detox friend, having an alkalising effect on the body, which has a releasing effect.
Add into your diet lots of roughage such as grains, cereals, fruit and vegetables, seeds, and pulses such as peas, lentils, and beans.
Add in juices or smoothies high in vegetables. An easy one is carrot and apple with a little ginger.
Take a simple diet for a few days; for example, organic vegetables and organic brown rice with carrot and apple juice.
Fasting deserves its own section as it’s an intensive way to detox and I would suggest if you are new to fasting, to get some professional advice first. Fasting is a great way to support your digestive system by giving it a break. This means drinking plenty of water to flush toxins out whilst taking in no solid foods. Some people like to add juices or clear broths for energy, and this is particularly useful if fasting over days or weeks.
Colonics and Enemas
Colonics and enemas make all the difference in fasting and can be enlisted during any detox. By filling the bowel with fluid, we can give it a good clean. Colonics stimulate peristalsis; the motility of the bowel and signal the liver to let go of toxins.
Enemas are easy to do and have been a way of cleansing for millennia. This practice runs through many traditions including Yoga. You can do enemas yourself by simply hanging up a bag of water, inserting a tube into your rectum and allowing the bowel to fill up, then you get up, sit on the loo, and let it all flush out.
Colonics are administered by an expert as you lie down on a table which allows the waste to continually flow as the water is being administered. These are stronger and I recommend having a friend to drive you home.
Both require rest as this moving of deep impacted material through the bowel release a lot of toxins for your body to evacuate.
In my experience detoxing and enemas are a deep way of letting go and making changes both to your digestive system and your whole body: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Through fasting it's possible to re-set your whole system and create positive change on all levels.
Lymph moves when we do; it moves with the muscular movements of the body. All body movement supports our lymphatic system to detox. During a specific diet or fasting, exercise may need to be softer and for shorter periods of time than your usual routine, but it’s important to move a little, a couple of times a day. Moving the gut is especially helpful as much of our lymphatic system is centred here along with our bowel.
Increasing your resting time makes a huge difference to your detox. We detox when we “let go” and retox when we are stressed. When we undergo dietary detox or fasting, we need to rest more. When fasting it is usual to do nothing; to take the time off from work and the everyday world and look after yourself in the safety of your home.
Shiatsu and Massage
These are both great friends whilst you are detoxing, promoting more movement through the body. Ask you therapist to massage your gut, further helping with elimination.