Delving into Detoxification…

Any regular coffee drinker will have experienced the wicked headaches associated with the withdrawal of caffeine.  Once the headache sets in, there are two options.  The first is to feed the addiction and the second is to wait it out, flush it out and eventually pass through it.

Any detox program requires a lot of patience.  The first few weeks and even months can be grueling.  Withdrawals from substances that you can’t even identify can be very uncomfortable.  While “going on a detox” is always a good idea, the critical part is what you do afterwards.  Many people go on detox programs or give up certain “evils” for a month or so and are amazed at how great they feel. Yet there’s still a mental X  on the calendar marking the last day of detox deprivation and the return to “normal life”.  I see detox a little differently.

When I first educated myself on the alarming amount of toxins that I would have been exposed to throughout my life as a result of my living patterns, I realized that there was a lot of work to be done.  For one, I needed to work on repairing and supporting the organ that based on my intakes, would have suffered the most damage.  In my case, this was the liver.

Most arguments against detoxing from the traditional medical field are based on the fact that the liver and kidneys work efficiently and effectively to eliminate toxins.  The point for me was that the liver had become inefficient and it was clear that this was affecting my overall health and leading to specific issues.

My dad is one of those medical doctors that would absolutely argue that detoxing is silly.  Traditional medicine has bred a lot of cynicism – I guess diagnosing 1,000’s of patients over a career with cancers and other fatal illnesses will do that.  Traditionally medical doctors have been trained to say things like “don’t smoke, get exercise, here’s a prescription for the symptoms”.  That’s the go-to speech on preventing and managing illness (guilty of generalizing here).  It feels like there is no acknowledgement towards how critical our lifestyles choices are.  How we fill our days, our home shelves and our bodies should be the first line of action on how we prevent and cure ourselves.

Detox for me, meant focusing on the liver for at least forty days through yoga, following a fairly strict organic vegan diet, no refined sugars, no stimulants or alcohol, vitamin and mineral supplements and herbal teas that would help flush out toxins.

On top of this program was the push to eliminate other toxins that had most likely bio-accumulated over the years (dormant in the fat cells).  For this I increased my cardiovascular program at the gym to an almost daily 45-minute routine plus a sauna for at least 30 minutes each day.

To eliminate most of the heavy metals and pesticide toxins in our systems through sauna, the best approach is through an infrared sauna.  It takes about 200 hours of sauna to eliminate the toxins from the body.  It’s a good idea to tie in the sauna with an active workout so that your getting as much out of your system as possible.  Internal heat stimulates the release of toxins and they evaporate from our skin or through our sweat.

This along with the great ditching of all the chemicals in my house and life in general was my new program.

I felt so horrible for the first few months that I knew it must have been working.  This and the encouragement of my peers and teachers kept me moving through the process.  Detoxing at a cellular level literally changes EVERYthing.

If you’ve been thinking about a detox or cleanse program, try to identify your habits, the types of foods you ingest and the toxins you may have come into contact with the most.  Then, determine what area you most likely need to work on – where’s the problem, the biggest blockage?   Target this area as a part of the bigger picture and see if how your body reacts.  Of course I have to tell you to consult with your N.D. or physician before going on any cleanse, detox or exercise program.  Do it, it can dramatically change your quality of life.

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