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Detox 101: What is ‘Detoxing’?

lemon water

Over the last few years, it’s clear that ‘detox’ has become a buzzword in the health and wellness space, but few people actually understand its meaning. There are many people who try to sell the idea that ‘detoxing’ is some kind of multi-step program that you have to follow, and that doing so will leave you in pristine condition with no ailments to speak of. Sadly, this is a false narrative.

So what exactly is ‘detoxing’ then? It’s simply supporting the body’s natural ability to eliminate foreign substances. Many people don’t realize that the body was designed to expel toxins on its own, and that it’s constantly at work doing just that. However, with the overwhelming amount of pollutants, chemicals, and pathogens we come into contact with on a daily basis, this built-in detoxification system is usually compromised. 

This is where the suggestion of a ‘detox’ comes into play. Detoxes are something that should be viewed as a lifestyle change, rather than a one-time thing. Luckily, there are several ways that we can alleviate this toxic load and bring balance back to our internal ecosystem.

Our Built-In Detoxification System

Under ideal circumstances, the body is able to handle and eliminate toxins on its own. However, due to the industrialized nature of our current society and the lack of nutrients in the standard American diet, our bodies can become overwhelmed, and this system is often compromised.

Our detoxification system includes the lungs, kidneys, liver, and skin. Each of these organs have a unique part in expelling toxins from the body. The lungs filter carbon dioxide from the air we breathe, and they also assist in expelling toxins in the form of phlegm. The kidneys filter the blood by separating the toxic stuff and turning into urine. The liver takes on most of the responsibility of detoxification. It extracts toxins from things like food, medicines, and drugs, and breaks it down. The skin does its part by sweating out any unnecessary substances.

woman sweating

An important component of detoxification is that it’s categorized as a parasympathetic process, making it a part of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is in charge of conserving and storing energy, regulating basic body functions, and controlling the ability to relax. This means that our natural detoxification process cannot occur unless our parasympathetic system is in charge. 

This is important to understand because most people live high-stress, fast-paced lifestyles. The body can’t reach a sympathetic state if it doesn’t have support, and this impacts its ability to let go of toxins and foreign materials.  

How to Support Detoxification

There are different approaches you can take in order to help your body eliminate toxins. Each one is beneficial to the process in a different way, but they are all vital components. Let’s break down some of the detox terms you may have seen before.

Mobilization & Chelation

Although these are not exactly detox processes per se, they can be categorized as necessary prerequisites to the body’s detoxification process. In order for toxins to be eliminated, they first have to be mobilized, and then chelated.

When our natural detoxification process becomes hindered, it can hold onto toxins and store them in body fat, bones, nerve tissues, and cell membranes. These must be forced out by flooding the body with electrons and then rapidly oxidizing them when released. This mobilizes the toxins, and makes them available for chelation.

Chelation is when a substance binds to the toxin in order to dispel it. Substances like clays, charcoal, shilajit, and zeolites are perfect for this. Once this is done, the body can then detox and eliminate these substances. 

Cleanse

having lunch

The term ‘cleanse’ is generally used to refer to a process you can use to clean out the “bowels,” or gastrointestinal tract. This can be great for those who are experiencing gut issues, such as poor digestion, constipation, inflammation, or leaky gut. 

These work by first using a laxative to flush all of the build-up out of the intestinal tract. The focus then goes to the gut flora, where the healthy microbes are fed and the bad microbes are starved. The last step is to heal the cells lining the intestines that, when damaged, can leak toxins into the bloodstream.  

Flush

‘Flush’ is generally used when referring to liver and kidney cleanses. These organs are in charge of filtering toxins and waste from blood, and sometimes need extra help breaking them down and eliminating them. Doing a flush can restore them to optimal health and allow them to function properly.

Sweating

Sweating is another form of detoxification. This type will draw out waste transdermally (or through the skin) by raising the body temperature. Sweating can be initiated using a sauna, taking a hot epsom salt bath, sunbathing, or by vigorous exercise. 

Raising the body temperature encourages better circulation of blood and lymph, which carry and dump wastes throughout the body. It can then be eliminated through the skin when sweating occurs. 

Following any of these processes with a dip in cold water is a great way to release stagnant fluids that may also be holding onto toxins. The sudden shift in temperature induces a temporary shock that puts the body systems into overdrive, and significantly increases blood and lymph flow. 

sauna

Benefits of Detoxification

As you may have guessed, having toxins trapped in the body can lead to a myriad of illnesses. They can have negative effects on digestion, nutrient absorption, skin health, mental clarity, mood, the immune system, and much more. Supporting our natural detox process can have amazing benefits for your overall health and seriously improve your quality of life!

Increased Energy

Getting rid of the toxic load can do wonders for energy and revitalization. If you constantly feel fatigued, this could be due to your body’s inability to properly absorb nutrients. This can inhibit energy production for cells, leaving them unable to perform their cellular duties. 

Effectively cleansing the GI tract can not only improve your digestion but also improve your body’s ability to take in and properly utilize nutrients from your food. This can greatly increase your energy levels, making you feel vibrant and full of life. 

Improved Mental Clarity

working on computer

When toxins make themselves at home in the body, this can have a huge effect on brain function and cognitive ability. Excess toxins that can’t be expelled can get stored in fat and nerve tissue, leading to brain fog and an inability to focus. This can make simple, everyday tasks draining and extremely frustrating. 

Detoxing can release the damaging waste from fat and nerve tissue, allowing the brain and its cells to quickly process information. The boost in mental clarity can be felt almost immediately with a well-planned approach.

Better Immunity

The lymphatic system is a crucial part of our immune system, defending the body against infections and eliminating harmful substances. When the toxic load in the body increases, the lymphatic system can be overwhelmed and overworked, decreasing its ability to fight off pathogens. This can leave the body susceptible to illness, and making you more likely to catch whatever might be in the air. 

Decreasing toxic load in the body frees up the lymphatic system to protect the body against intruders. This will strengthen your immune system, making it easier to stay well all year long. 

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation can be found at the root of just about any disease. It’s one of the body’s natural reactions to infection, but can become damaging when it stays for long periods of time. Toxins present in the body can cause oxidative stress, an imbalance between oxygen and antioxidants. This can lead to tissue and cell damage, which initiates the process of inflammation. 

When the toxins are removed, this creates an environment where the damaged cells and tissues can heal. Properly detoxing can reduce oxidative stress, therefore, reducing inflammation. 

Clearer Skin

The skin is one of the body’s primary detoxification organs, and its health can be affected by just about every other organ. Poor gut, liver, and kidney health have been proven to cause rashes, discoloration, acne, and other similar issues. You can bet that when there’s any kind of toxin accumulation in the body, it shows on your skin. 

When the kidneys, liver, and lungs become overwhelmed by toxic load, the burden of elimination falls on the skin. However, the skin can have a hard time handling this load, as well, which can cause problems. Detoxing the body and lightening the load on the internal organs can help the skin to expel any waste that’s trapped there. 

Afterwards, the liver, kidneys, and lungs are much better equipped to handle the detoxification process themselves, leaving the skin clearer, brighter, and healthier. 

eye and skin

To Sum It All Up

Living in the industrialized society we do today requires us to be vigilant about our health. Toxins can be found everywhere and it’s easy for the body to quickly become overwhelmed. It’s important to ensure that our bodies have the support they need to detoxify efficiently. 

The list of benefits to decreasing the toxic load in our bodies is long, and includes everything from better mental health to clearer skin. Helping the natural detoxification process is crucial to your health, and a necessary step in your wellness journey. 

If you’d like to know the next steps that would be best for you, you can set up a consultation with Bill Yeary for a more personalized approach!

*Disclaimer: our content and blogs are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or replace medical advice from a physician. If you are experiencing health issues, please see your healthcare provider.

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