Detoxification - the Why and How

by Martina McNeill April 06, 2020 3 min read

Detox - do you need it? Detoxification getting the nasties out

detox: abstaining from or ridding the body of toxic or unhealthy substances

Your body is great at looking after itself - it knows when to breathe, when to signal a variety of hormonal changes, when to get rid of toxins, and it even lets you know when you need to slow down and get some rest! Sometimes, however, we tend to take our marvelous bodies for granted - we get too little sleep, we drink too little water, we have too much stress, and we don't always eat the right foods.

Why do we need to detox?

We are all exposed on a daily basis to pesticides, food additives, inhaled or ingested chemicals, heavy metals or any of the thousands of toxicants in our environment. Toxicants can come from the most unexpected places, like research on Breast milk indicates. Your body needs to work hard to get them out of your system before they can cause harm.

We're also learning about epigenetic changes that have been passed down to us by prior generations, which we are in turn passing onto future generations. 

Doesn't everyone detox naturally?

Some people will be able to detox fine, without any additional help. Others can't detox properly due to underlying health issues, genetic mutations, or just a huge overload of artificial toxicants, or naturally occurring toxins (which include stress-induced toxins). There is no one magic pill, potion or device that will solve all of your problems, whether it's for detox or anything else.

You will find many internet articles on diets, magic pills or other treatment regimes to help your body detox. Some of these can be downright dangerous, and what works for one may make another worse, or make no difference at all. Some will tell you that you don't need to do anything special to detox and that your body will do it all for you.

How can I detox my body?

We're big believers in making dietary changes. No, we're not talking about diets! Our individual bodies react differently to individual foods, so you need to start paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Maybe the reason it's asking for chocolate is because good quality chocolate can give you that magnesium boost you need. Your partner might tolerate coffee fine, but you might not. Some things are cumulative as well - I always knew I'd be in for a migraine if I ate bananas, chocolate and cheese all within 24 hours. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

You can also start looking into different genetic mutations and what they might mean for your body in terms of the supplements it needs or has too much of. If you're not sure how to start on that, you can find a practitioner to work with through ACNEMBioBalance or MINDD.

If you're working with a naturopath or homeopath, they can guide you as to what remedies you can take to better help your body detox. The internet will give you lots of ideas, but make sure you research them thoroughly first, and preferably check with others who have tried them. 

Keen to reduce chemicals and toxic exposure in your home? You can get a lot of DIY tips from Nicole Bijlsma's "Healthy Home, Healthy Families" book or find a practitioner who can check your home for mould, EMFs or Geopathic Stress. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of this, start with these simple steps to detox: 

Wellbeing Choices' Quick Guide to Detox
  1. Drink more (clean) water.
  2. Get good quality sleep - and enough of it!
  3. The more packaging a food has, the less natural it is, so cut back on packaged foods.
  4. Avoid products that don't list all their ingredients on the label, or those with a lot of numbers.
  5. Make some notes in your calendar, diary or app about what you're eating and how you feel. You might notice some patterns.
  6. Relax. Stress can create toxins, so build in some downtime on a regular basis. Go for a walk, breathe in some fresh air, play with the kids and count your blessings.

My personal detox strategies

I cut down on toxicants where I can. Instead of reaching for medicinal products for headaches or snuffly noses, I use homeopathic or naturopathic remedies and essential oils first. I also use low tox products when it comes to cleaning or personal care products, to help minimise my toxic burden. 

My favourite way to detox is by having my footbath, because not only does it work for me personally, but it's relaxing to sit with my feet in warm water while enjoying a cup of dandelion tea and perhaps munching on some dark chocolate!

 

Updated October 2020


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