By Olivia Costanzo, NTP
We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis. From the products we use, to the air we breathe and the food we eat, toxins are everywhere. Luckily for us, the body has a natural detox system. Detoxification is the way the body heals and repairs itself. It uses several systems for its internal cleansing process which takes place continuously and naturally. Chronic stress, processed foods, unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, and lack of physical movement dampen our bodies’ natural detox mechanisms. It’s up to us to unburden our body and provide it with the nutrients it needs to eliminate toxins.
Detoxification is a parasympathetic process that takes place when the body is resting. It frees vital cellular and organ activities to function productively and efficiently. One thing that is often neglected, but is crucial to implementing any type of therapeutic detoxification, is to ensure all elimination pathways are open. We should NEVER detoxify without addressing the foundations. That means digestion, blood sugar, minerals, essential fatty acids, and hydration must all be in balance before detoxing. This is vital to ensuring your body has the nutrients it needs to carry out the detoxification and eliminate the toxins appropriately without the risk of recycling loose toxins within your body.
There are multiple systems within our bodies which carry out detox–the cardiovascular system, lymph, digestive, urinary, skin, and respiratory. The skin pushes out bacteria through sweat, the urinary system utilizes the kidneys to filter through blood and excrete toxins in urine, lungs expel carbon dioxide, lymph filters out bacteria, and digestion eliminates toxins.
Digestion is key to detox and includes more than the physical breakdown of food. The GI tract also: scans the food for invaders, detoxifies poorly digested fermented toxins, filters food and intestinal bacteria, eliminates toxins and other unusable substances from the body. The organs that are particularly important to the detoxification process include: the intestines, liver, and gallbladder. The normal detoxification processes that take place during digestion depend on 2 things: the integrity of the GI membrane and the maintenance of the precise bacterial and chemical environment. Imbalances in either of these can affect the entire body.
Whether it was sweat lodges or fasting, traditional cleansing practices have been around for decades. With the amount of toxins we encounter in today’s world, we need to cleanse and purify now more than ever. Cleansing on a regular basis frees up your body and allows it to function optimally. It’s important to make sure your digestion, hydration, essential fatty acids, minerals, and blood sugar are all in balance before and during the cleanse. Always make sure you’re supporting your body’s natural processes in allowing it to unburden its toxic load. You’ll find yourself with better digestion, with more energy, and a clear mind. It always comes back to innate intelligence–our bodies can do so much more than we give them credit for and we can feel so much better than we even realize.