Why and How to Detox Your Body
Before discussing how to detox and details on doing a detox cleanse or juice fast let's talk about why to detox. I will use the words detoxing and cleansing somewhat interchangeably here as detoxing your body and cleansing your body, while doing a cleansing fast, are the same thing, to a degree.
Why do Any of Us Need to Cleanse our Bodies?
In today's world, especially in urban areas, our bodies are continually bombarded with toxins. There is pollution in the air we breathe - indoors and outdoors, there are chemicals in the clothes we buy, the food we eat, the cleaning products we use and in the cosmetics, body and hair care products that we use.
And then there is EMF (electromagnetic field) pollution from all the modern technology like cell phones and computers. Combine all of that with sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits, poor attitudes, high stress and poor quality of sleep and the result is a body that can easily become overwhelmed by an ever increasing toxic load.
Not all of the above factors may relate to your situation of course. But even a person with lots of healthy habits can benefit from learning how to detox or how to give their body a rest now and again.
An Amazing Tool for Healing
Aside from doing a detox cleanse as part of your yearly routine, cleansing is an amazing tool to use when you are healing.
Doing a cleansing fast is a very natural and instinctive protocol to implement when we aren't feeling well. All animals in Nature will cease the intake of food and increase rest when they are healing. Us humans, too, have these same instincts to not eat when we are healing.
If a person really tunes in to their body when they are sick or hurt they will notice that they do not have much of an appetite. This is your body's way of signaling that it is time for a cleansing fast. If a cleansing fast is undertaken during this time healing, repair and recovery will be able to happen efficiently and quickly.
Unfortunately nowadays, so many of us are so far removed from our instincts that we do not notice, let alone heed, the many subtle messages that our bodies give us.
Implement a cleansing fast any time you are not well and also throughout the year as a preventative and health promoting protocol.
Don't Our Bodies Cleanse Naturally?
Our bodies are equipped with amazing elimination systems that are designed to be able to handle some toxic debris here and there. Our main elimination systems are our skin, lungs, colon, liver and kidneys.
The problem arises when there are so many toxins coming in that our elimination systems become overloaded and they can't keep up with eliminating toxins as fast as they are coming in. When this happens, toxins start to accumulate which can cause many imbalances and health issues. Knowing how to detox can help your body to maintain its healthy balance.
This build up of toxins happens gradually over time to a point where people forget what being healthy and clean really feels like.
The Origins of Cleansing
Cleansing is something that humans have been doing for ages. Cleansing and fasting are talked about in many different religious texts and fasts have been carried out by many of our great historical figures.
Cleansing is not something new to us. It has been around for a long time and its beneficial effects have been known and experienced by many of our ancestors.
Cleansing or fasting has a spiritual component that is evident. When your body is clean, it is lighter and more able to connect on many levels.
Our Natural State is Health - It's Your Birthright
Learning how to detox will greatly improve your overall health and it is an amazing routine to add to your life. A body that is clear of built up toxins is one that is vibrant, glowing and full of energy.
This is actually our natural state and it is everyone's birthright to feel this way, it is how we are meant to feel.
When people learn how to detox they often remark that they feel better and younger than they have in years, or that they never knew they could feel this good. After cleansing, people feel a glimpse of what it feels like to be in their natural state of vibrant and energized health and, naturally, they want to continue to feel this way.
I think this is a very important point so I want to stress it again. It is not our natural state to feel tired all the time, to experience digestive distress each day or to be riddled with aches and pains. It is our natural state to feel happy, vibrant, energized and positive. It is our natural state to feel motivated and full of creative ideas. It is our natural state to want to jump, dance, laugh and play all day long.
Rest the Digestive System and Detox will Happen and Holistic Health will Return
Basically, the idea of learning how to detox means to give our digestive system a much needed rest. I say ‘much needed’ because, for so many of us, we continually have food (or food waste) either in our mouths, our stomachs or in our intestinal tract.
Because of this our digestive system is continually at work and rarely gets a complete rest. Even when sleeping or abstaining from food for several hours our digestive system is usually still hard at work breaking down the food we ate yesterday. (For tips on better digestion click here.)
Digestion takes up huge amounts of energy and when a big meal is eaten, many other body processes, such as healing, repair or simply staying alert must take a back seat. This is why many people feel tired or have a hard time concentrating after a large meal.
A cleanse and learning how to detox will allow a time when your digestive system can have a complete rest, thereby freeing up precious energy that your body can then use to heal and clean up any old toxic matter that has been built up.
What Does it Feel Like while Cleansing?
It may not always feel good while this is happening but if you are patient you can experience a higher level of health after wards. While learning how to detox your body you may feel certain cleansing reactions, also called healing reactions or healing crises.
Everyone experiences these differently and even the same person can feel different things from one cleanse to another. Some of the more common cleansing reactions are headaches, nausea, fatigue, gas, bloating, cramping, congestion, flu-like symptoms, aches and pains.
Remember that your body is working hard right now to release built up waste and while that waste is working its way out of your body it may not feel comfortable. Give your body a chance to do its job and you will be rewarded.
Not everyone feels the above symptoms and some people feel quite elated, energized and very focused while fasting. Many people will complete entire creative projects during a fast. The point is to listen to your body, if you do feel some uncomfortable effects of the fast, rest and slow the fast down if necessary.
How is a Cleanse Done?
I go into more detail on the steps of doing a detox cleanse, here.
You can also read about our recent 10 day juice fast.
And while detoxifying your body it is very helpful to incorporate some of these useful practices (most of these are useful on a daily basis as well, not just when learning how to detox);
Cleansing is Such a Gift to Give Yourself!
Through learning how to detox, I have experienced many wonderful things and have seen many others have life changing experiences during a time of retreat. It is an amazing process and such a gift to give yourself.
I have done many different types of detox cleanses, including juice fasting (or juice feasting) in my life and although I have experienced some of the ‘not so nice’ symptoms I mentioned above I have also enjoyed immense clarity, boosts in energy, focus and concentration during cleanses.
The truth is, we aren’t designed to consume the many things we do in this modern world of ours. Our bodies are amazing and always trying to keep us healthy but when we overload our systems with toxic foods, pesticides and pollution daily our bodies can’t keep up. A cleanse is a time when we allow our bodies to catch up a little. It is a time where not only toxins are removed but where recovery, repair and deep healing can take place on many levels.
I hope that you can combine the wisdom of learning why and how to detox with many of the other healthy lifestyle choices discussed on this site to help you on your journey of ever-increasing health. You are worth it!
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