Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cleansing = Detoxing

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, it is natural to want to clean our homes and bodies at the start of spring.  In nature, the weather becomes warmer and plants start to grow-both suggesting us to eat lighter. It is also written in our biology.  Our bodies tend to store fats in winter due to the cold weather and instinct that food is more scarce.  As spring approaches, we become more active and start using some of that stored fat.  And we want to eat less due to the increased level of activity.  A cleanse is a great tool to use to naturally shift our bodies and mindset from one of eating heavier goods to lighter foods.  It resets our diets and oftentimes, lifestyles.  
Sometimes a cleanse is called a detox.  Detoxing is defined as “cleansing the body of poisons or toxins that may have accumulated through addictive habits.”  Let me tell you, detox is the new black.  The buzz word has made its way into every new diet product and Oprah episode. The act of detoxing has been around since the dawn of man, but it is entering our everyday vernacular now that people are becoming more aware of their bodies and concerned about their health.  That’s not to say that it isn’t also hyped up by the media and those who want to gain commercially through generating fear and awareness.  Detoxing can be marketed to be very attractive-“This pill will not only rid you of those nasty toxins but will also help you lose weight!”  Who wouldn’t want both?!
However, detoxing is not to be something to be taken lightly.  As stated in its name and the definition above, detoxing is cleansing the body of toxins that result from additive habits.  You may have first heard of the word when a newscaster described a celebrity to have gone into detox due to a heavy drug addiction. In those facilities, patients are monitored carefully to make sure that they release their toxins safely and successfully.  Detoxing is extremely difficult and painful if your body is overwhelmed with toxins. “Painful?” you ask. Yes, painful.  Your body stores toxins in your body because its natural cleansing mechanisms can only get rid of so much at one time.  We introduce toxins into our bodies at a quicker rate than we can release them because we consistently eat foods laden with pesticides and processed with chemicals as well as expose ourselves to toxins in our environments like pollution and stress.  
When you detox, you limit your exposure to these toxins and thus, your body can concentrate on getting rid of the toxins you are holding onto.  When your body lets go of those toxins, they re-enter your bloodstream and can overwhelm your system causing headaches, nausea, muscle aches, general discomfort, and cravings. A hangover can be considered an adverse reaction to a detox. And think about it, depending on how much you’ve drank the night before and how much you’ve tried to remedy it with water, it can range from your being fine and dandy the next morning to being keeled over in your bed or the toilet.
Many people, including doctors, believe that our bodies detox naturally.  And that is true, but our modern day bodies need assistance in detoxing for various reasons.  I will cover that topic as well as how to cleanse safely next week.  And don't forget, I will be hosting a cleanse in June so be on the look out for that information soon!
What are your thoughts so far on cleansing and detoxing?  Have you ever participated in a cleanse?  Do you feel like you need one?

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