The New Year is a natural time to think about giving the body a much-needed vacation. Find out what to expect and avoid on a whole body cleanse, and the simple ways to make the most of your efforts to reduce the “body burden.”
Dr. Gaetano Morello is a licensed naturopathic physician practicing in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
While cleansing is an everyday function of the body, beginning a detox cleanse offers many benefits:
The body signals when it needs a break and how the cleanse is working:
- There are tens of thousands of toxic chemicals wiggling their way into our lives on a daily basis through the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.
- Although our body is naturally designed to process and eliminate these toxins, the sheer number creates an overload and accumulation within various body tissues.
- The concept behind cleansing is to reduce the amount of toxins in these tissues by first, reducing exposure and second, improving our body’s ability to get rid of them.
- The end result will lead to overall improvement and well-being.
Reducing the body burden is critical to the cleanse:
- Chemical toxins can impact many aspects of physiology that range from disrupting the endocrine system to negatively affecting the nervous system and digestive tract.
- The general signs to look for may include digestive problems, fatigue, skin issues or weight gain.
- One should feel more energetic and the digestive system should feel lighter.
- One may also experience better skin tone and a general feeling of alertness.
Dr. Morello’s tips and recommended supplements to make the most of a cleanse:
- By definition, body burden is equal to the total amount of chemicals you’re exposed to minus your body’s ability to get rid of those chemicals.
- An effective cleanse reduces the overall body burden by minimizing exposure to toxins and then supporting the body’s ability in eliminating them.
- Reduce/avoid pesticide laden foods, caffeine and carbonated beverages, refined sugar and alcohol, tap water, synthetic chemicals in household cleaners and bodycare products, and air pollution.
- Make sure the digestive tract is in good health, the liver is supported and antioxidant reserves are sufficient.
- Specific supplements like digestive enzymes, fiber and milk thistle may be needed.
- Plenty of rest, deep breathing, good sleep and purified water are also key.