A Two-day Detox

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Set aside a couple of days every month to detox your body and you can significantly increase your energy, help clear blemishes from your skin, give your body time to repair and lessen the strains on your digestive system. While doing a single-day cleanse is good, it usually takes at least two days for a detox program to release large amounts of toxins, according to Dr. Jill Rosemary Davies.

Health Factors to Consider

Take an inventory of current health factors that will be accommodated by your detox plan. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, diabetic or hypoglycemic, are taking prescription medications or have allergies, account for the needs of those conditions while forming your detox program. The goal of detoxing is to lessen the strain on your body--not to put it through any form of trauma or ignore its needs. Check with your medical practitioner before you start a detox if you have any concerns about the potential health risks.

Diet and Drink

There are several ways to detox your body through the food you eat and what you drink. Every basic detox program should include purified or distilled water, organic juices, superfoods (such as algae and wheat grass), herbs, organic fruits and organic vegetables. It is ideal to eat both raw and cooked meals while doing a cleanse and to choose a wide variety of fruits and veggies.

You can isolate your detox plan for a specific organ or system of the body based entirely on what you ingest. For example, a kidney-specific detox would include the following: organic lemon or lime, cayenne pepper, dandelion leaf, parsley leaf, Siberian ginseng root and a variety of organic fruits and vegetables of your choice. Better results with a kidney cleanse will occur if you remove those fruits and vegetables with oxalic acid (such as rhubarb, Swiss chard, spinach and tomatoes). There are many available resources to find diets for organ or body system-specific detox programs if you are a beginner. The books I've mentioned as reference material are an excellent place to start.

Many people also try fasting as part of their detox program. Wait until you've done a few detox cleanses before trying either of these options (full day fasting or organ/body system-specific cleanses). Monitor how your body is reacting after the first day of the cleanse before continuing.

Exercise

A healthy exercise plan is an important aspect of a detox program for those individuals capable of physical activity. Exercise will alleviate symptoms created from detoxing such as headaches and body aches. It will also speed up the release of toxins through the sweat glands. Jogging, dancing or bicycling are good options for the physical aspect of your detox program. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and other low-impact exercise options are preferable over high-impact workouts such as racquetball or team sports. This is due to the amount of stress high-impact workouts create within the body.

Hydrotherapy, Aromatherapy and Meditation

Releasing toxins from your body happens several ways. To make your detox program as successful as possible, a variety of tactics need to be used to facilitate each of the ways our body releases these toxins. Hydrotherapy (showering, soaking or steaming) helps blood circulation and allows the body to fight congestion and release toxins. Aromatherapy (essential oils, flowers and herbs) can be used to relax the body or invigorate it. Meditation also helps relax the body and mind while allowing the body systems to release toxins. Combining elements of these therapies with exercise and a well-planned diet will allow the toxins to leave your system at a faster rate.

Effects

Common side effects during a detox program can include headaches, body aches, emotional instability/mood swings, higher blood pressure, frequent urination and bowel movements and fever. Side effects change depending on what type of detox is occurring (specific body systems and organs tend to have certain side effects) and the amount of toxins being released.

Common beneficial effects that occur after finishing a detox program include an increase in energy and vitality, a boost to your immune system, better sleep, improved hair and skin, stress reduction and potential weight loss.

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References

  • The Complete Home Guide to Herbs, Natural Healing, and Nutrition; Jill Rosemary Davies; 2000
  • 10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
  • The Detox Health Plan Cookbook; Maggie Pannell; 2006
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