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:
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.
The body signals when it needs a break and how the cleanse is working:
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.
Reducing the body burden is critical to the 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.
Dr. Morello’s tips and recommended supplements to make the most of a cleanse:
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.