Josef Tyls III, MSc, PhD
It's springtime and we all have the urge to greet the new season with the best of healt.
It's springtime and we all have the urge to greet the new season with the best of health.
If you've just stormed through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's with more than your share of festive cheer, you're probably ready to cast off the ghosts of feasting and begin programs to clean out your body. Your first question may be "what kind of detox will work best?"
Let's back up one step and understand why we would want to cleanse the insides of our bodies. Ovens have built-in self-cleaning modes. Why doesn't the body just clean itself?
Will your oven allow you to cook turkey for Christmas and self-clean at the same time? Of course not. If we stay in "cook" mode, we are not allowing our bodies the opportunity to switch to self-clean. We are all responsible for our physical bodies, and they do require a good cleaning at least once a year.
So, how best to proceed? Follow these four steps in your detox program.
1. Flush with water
Water is the cornerstone of your detox experience. Simply put, if you want to flush, you must drink. Water removes toxins from the body, and this is what you want. While I encourage everyone to begin with a gentle detox, some of us simply cannot help but trigger a significant release of toxins in the body. Water facilitates a gentler ride through this potentially uncomfortable phase in a cleanse.
Explore your water options. Health food stores and supermarkets carry a variety of sparkling (carbonated) waters, natural mineral waters, and filtered water products. Whatever you choose, clean and natural is best. I have developed my own systems of filtering, oxygenating, and re-mineralizing water to suit my needs. You can do the same as all the information and materials are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
An insider's tip to the most effective use of water for detoxing is to drink it warm. Avoid cold water; the body must heat it up before it can be absorbed, a needless waste of energy. Heat your water to body temperature or keep it at room temperature. Warm water first thing in the morning sweeps through the bowels. Start your day with at least two cups of warm water and feel the results.
When you're ready to detox, keep these four points in mind as you proceed, and your experience will be positive and productive.
2. Keep food light and simple
Paramount to a successful detox is a reduction of the energetic cost of digestion so the body can focus exclusively on self-cleaning. If you include food in your detox, which is advisable for beginners and those with health issues, keep it light, alive, and easily digestible. Avoid all processed and deep-fried foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol.
There are many detoxification kits available on the market today which will complement your cleanse. Talk to your local health food store about which product would best suit your detoxing needs.
3. Clean the colon
Do you realize that between your small and large intestines, you have a passageway that in the average adult is about 25 feet long? It is through this passageway that your body absorbs and discharges the matter you consume.
As you can imagine, your cleanse will involve extra trips to the washroom and potentially more matter coming out than usual; this is a good sign that your body is eliminating waste. Most of us have undigested food or mucus lining the intestines that will begin to move out of the body. Especially if you are constipated, you will need to get the bowels moving. Consider consulting your local colonic hydrotherapist.
Dr. Bernard Jensen, in Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management (Bernard Jensen, 1981), stresses the importance of healthy bowels for clearing disease from the body. I highly recommend that you read his book.
4. Reduce the Load on the Body
Our internal organs and various systems (digestive, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory, etc.) need a break from the load we place upon on them daily. Both Eastern and Western approaches to health agree that the body requires periods of rest to rejuvenate and maximize its life potential. This begins by reducing stress.