It’s spring clean season. It seems to me there is an inbuilt ‘reboot’ button that we all instantly press at the first sign of a daffodil. At least half my friends seem to be intent either on cleaning out their houses, or detoxing their bodies. But how do you know if you’re detoxing properly?
Whether it’s embarking on a week long juice only fast, or opting for something longer term and more sustainable, the odds are that you are probably going about it in a topsy-turvy way.
Detox: Fighting the chemical cocktail
Of course it’s a good idea to take out wheat, scrap the sugar and leave off alcohol for a month. All these actions will do you good. But what many people miss, or fail to understand at all, is that before you start to replenish your body by putting nutrients back in, it’s important to try to try to eliminate, or at least seriously reduce the pollutants, chemicals and unhelpful bacteria that most of us live with on a daily basis. Detox means detoxify – take out the toxins and although the concept itself is a controversial one, with stories of air pollution in particular abounding, it makes more sense than ever to try to ‘clean out’ our bodies.
In the world we live in today, the environment itself is a threat to our immune system. Chemicals, air pollution and electromagnetic waves surround us. We are swimming in a toxic soup. However organic your avocadoes, and however furiously you exercise, unless you lower the amount of harmful substances that bombard your body daily, your body is under constant attack. Over time, this continued exposure to toxins takes its toll on our immune systems.
Sound like exaggeration? Ridiculous you might think? From my point of view, it certainly seems as if everyone I know is getting sicker. Perhaps it’s an age related thing, but every week, I hear of another friend or acquaintance who has been diagnosed with a chronic disease. The environment is making us ill. Detox is not a lifestyle choice any more, it’s a necessity.
Surrounded by toxins
There are more than 85,000 ‘permitted’ chemicals in our world – chemicals that do terrible things to human cells. People have been demonstrating and lobbying against Monsanto for decades. But money talks, and governments like money. Their health-destroying chemicals and pesticides dominate the markets. Your cells hardly register on their list of concerns.
Even the water that mot of us drink from the tap contains chlorine and fluoride, both toxic substances that weaken our immune system over time.
The air that we breathe is now full of particulates that cause disease (an estimated 80,000 people a year in the UK alone die from air pollution). Even for those who live in the countryside and may they are safe, pesticides and chemical sprays used by farmers travel with the wind. Studies have shown that these chemicals penetrate to your cells, leaving their residue in your tissues and your fat. It’s a process that may take years or even decades to cause the cellular change that cause disease, but there’s little doubt that they do.
How to help your body
The simple fact is that your body isn’t equipped to fully get rid of these toxins by itself. But if you don’t look after the toxicity levels of your body, no one else is going to. Where to start though?
To help you, I’m going to take you through the process step by step.
The 4 Fundamentals of Detox
Identify your health problems
Write down the health issues that bother you. When did the symptoms start? Was the onset at a time when you changed a brand of soap powder, or put that chemical plug-in thing in your bedroom? Did you start a new job involving chemicals or pesticides? What are your symptoms? Rate them out of 10 so that you register any changes over the coming months.
- Identify the toxins that you may be unknowingly coming into contact with on a daily basis
Go through your house with a fine toothcomb. Look at the products you use in the bathroom. Read the labels on your shampoos and your toothpaste. Do the same for the stuff under your kitchen sink. You may be amazed at how many gobbledygook words you find in the fine print. When you have used the bottles up, think about replacing them with organic substitutes. They often work just as well, and at least you know you are giving your body a break.
- Change your habits. Cut out as many toxins from your life as practically possible
Decide to eat organic, drink filtered water and take the backroads to shops to avoid as much air pollution as possible. Swap synthetic sheets and clothes for natural fibres. Get out and exercise more, which will oxygenate your sytem and boosts your immune system.
- Clean up your organs
Do a regular detox of the organs that help with elimination – the liver, the colon, kidneys and lymph glands, to help them help you to deal with the problem. For more on how to do this, check out our posts over the coming weeks.
- Finally, don’t forget to put the good stuff back
Commit to quality nutritional supplements that help to rebuild the damage done by toxins. Add a blue green algae or chlorella to your usual collection of pills. Zeolite is a mineral substance from volcanic ash that also helps remove chemicals and pollutants effectively. Up your intake of probiotics, which help reduce the impact of chemicals such as BPA inside the gut.
Do it properly, feel the benefit
Over the next few weeks, I will show you how to detox as simply and inexpensively as possible using complementary therapies wherever possible. It’s not a quick fix and 3-5 days definitely won’t do it, but you can incorporate new habits, and regular ‘real’ detoxification protocols, into your life very easily. In the process you may well find that all sorts of irritating symptoms and aches and pains disappear along the way.