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Detox Rules of Engagement

Detox Rules of Engagement

Body Cleanse and Detox Tips for Beginners

Are you feeling tired and overweight? Have you been experiencing digestive problems and headaches?  Do your skin, hair, and nails look and feel unhealthy?  Do you want to start the weight loss process with your body? It might be time to consider detoxifying your body. 

Many reading this article have visited a naturopathic doctor and have been put on a detox regime.  There might be some of you who are beginners and want to try something at home that is gentle.  Detox programs can sometimes last 5, 7, 14, 21 or 28 days, regardless of the length when you allow your body to rest, rejuvenate, clean and nourish itself from the inside out, you will be witness to the amazing healing properties your body possesses.

 Detoxification, or purification, has been practiced by many cultures for centuries from around the World.  From the ancient Egyptians, to East Indians using Ayurvedic Medicine, to Chinese using Traditional Chinese Medicine and the North American Native Indians, they have all demonstrated one thing,  the necessity to cleanse ones body on the inside.

By removing chemical by-products and eliminating toxins followed by giving your body an array of healthy nutrients via food and natural supplements, a clean body can help protect you from disease and rejuvenate your body’s ability to maintain high level of health.

As a beginner looking to try a gentle detox plan at home, here are four of the basic rules to help get you started.

Remove the junk food, put in the healing foods.
One of the greatest sources of daily toxic load can be found in the junk food we eat. The fast food industry has done a great job including chemicals in foods that cause damage to cells and organ systems.  By simply removing junk foods like white bread, muffins, cookies, candies, chocolate and fried potato chips, this in itself will cause a detoxification effect. The body will take a rest from the junk food and begin the elimination process of other trapped chemicals in the body.   Healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes will amplify the detoxification process by increasing toxic removal.  These foods biochemically support our natural detox pathways in the body that are found in the liver and the kidneys. Fruits or vegetables for breakfast are a great source for containing detox properties.

Increase your water to flush the toxins out.
Water is an important element in the body. During detox, water helps flush out toxins from body. Patients seem to forget this fact.   I explain to my patients, that water in the body behaves like the water in a “river”, garbage and debris is flushed down the river in nature to keep the river bed tidy and the environment clean.  Water will dissolve all sorts of toxins and move them out the body via the liver and kidneys. 
Stimulate the liver, kidneys and intestines to drive toxins out.
There are all sorts of ways to stimulate organs to help clean themselves and the entire body.  Vegetable juicing and herbs can also help do this.  The liver, kidneys and intestines are key organs that move toxins out of the body, so we need to be proactive and stimulate them to complete the cleanse.  By selecting and combining vegetables in juice, we can create a cocktail that cleanse the body.  The following vegetables have great detox properties: celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, beets, and carrots.  Herbs like milk thistle, artichoke, curcumin and silybin can also be used to detox the body during a short or long detox.   

Sweat it, till you get it.
Moving toxins via the skin is another great way to detox the body.  So during a detox engage in exercise that will make you sweat, you might even want to consider doing hot yoga to allow your body to sweat. 

Be careful.
A short three or five day detox is generally safe and in fact scientific studies have shown that these short cleanses do have tremendous health benefits.  If you feel like you need guidance with a detoxification program you should consider seeing a naturopathic doctor to medically guide you through this process.  Nursing mothers, pregnant women, children and patients with cancer and constipation should not be doing any sort of detoxification.

I want you to think of the detox challenge the way you think about cleaning your house;  occasionally you need to invest a little bit more time and effort to get your house clean.  A detox program is just that, a little bit more time and attention placed on your body to get it clean and in optimum health. Consult your naturopathic doctor if you feel you need more guidance.  Please note the information presented here is for educational purposes and not medical counseling.  Good luck on your journey to a cleaner and meaner body.

Dr. Elias Markou, ND
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