The terms “detox” or “cleanse” have entered the health lexicon, and they tend to have a trendy buzz about them. The truth is that the body naturally detoxifies itself. The human body is an amazing organism, but it is playing catch-up to the pace at which we have developed new substances such as BPAs and other synthetic materials in our daily environments. These have existed for a much shorter time than our digestive systems, and we are struggling to process these substances that have become commonplace in many of our lives.
Our digestive systems are often the target of a detoxifying regimen, and rightly so. Digestion is the process by which our bodies break down food to make nutrients available for cellular energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we consider this process essential to good health and have developed remedies to restore digestion and support detoxification. When digestion is disrupted, we are weak, fatigued, and susceptible to illness.
Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxicity. Setting the intention for a detox can have enormous impact: much perspective can be gained when we attune ourselves to health. A detox regimen with particular attention to improve overall digestion can take many forms. Simply put — It can aim to eliminate undigested food that remaining in the intestinal tract, or it can focus on not introducing new toxins through thoughtful consumption and avoiding certain foods and drinks.
To eliminate impurities from the body, one can adopt a diet that is restricts certain inflammatory foods or potential allergens. Many find it helpful to focus on foods, or groups of foods, that are healthful, rather than restricting foods that are not healthful. Instead of abstaining from alcohol, sugar and flour-based foods, one could choose to eat a diet of raw and steamed vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins as a regimen. The specific goal of a detox will determine how to tailor the dietary regimen.
Setting the intention for a detox can have enormous impact:
much perspective can be gained when we attune ourselves to health.
Beyond diet, herbs can be incorporated as support, including supporting digestion, expelling excess water, and cleansing the intestinal tract. As with diet, it is important to incorporate herbs that align with your goal and body type. Honoring the differences between individuals is a cornerstone of holistic healing, as no two bodies are completely alike and each person will have different needs and experiences to consider in a detox plan.
We can also tune in to the needs of our bodies in many ways. Listening, meditating and being attentive in our daily lives can support us in our path to better health. By focusing on the goal of holistic wellness, we can eliminate many contributing factors to toxicity from our homes as well as improve our families’ wellbeing!
Enjoy your journey to health!