Living in an industrialized world exposes human beings to a variety of toxins on a daily basis. From smog and fumes to fluoridated water and synthetic medications, toxic buildup in the body is inevitable. Detoxification therapy aims to expel these toxins to reset your system and give the body a fighting chance against disease.
How Alternative Healing Works
Toxic substances and microorganisms can enter the body in many ways. They can be ingested through processed foods and chemically-treated water. Toxins in cleaning and cosmetic products can be absorbed by the skin, and polluted air simply through breathing.
When these toxins enter the bloodstream, they are filtered out by the liver. However, repeated exposure can overload the liver and result in toxic substances being sent back into the bloodstream, causing all sorts of health problems.
Detoxification therapy uses water and nutrients to not only boost liver function, but also to flush out toxins from the system. By eliminating poisonous particles and giving the body disease-fighting nutrients, health improves.
Types of Detoxification Therapy
There are a few effective ways to detox, some easier than others. Patients can practice most of these therapies at home but it is advisable to do it under the supervision of a professional. This is especially true for people with diabetes, eating disorders and weakened immune systems.
Fasting is commonly done for religious and spiritual reasons. However, this practice has proven health benefits. Refraining from food for lengths of time has also been shown to improve dietary habits in many patients.
Physiologically, fasting allows the body to naturally excrete existing toxins without adding new ones. Tissue oxygenation increases and energy levels are boosted. Fasting also encourages the metabolizing of blood fats. This action also prompts chemicals stored in fat to be released and eliminated.
Another huge benefit of fasting is its effect on the immune system. As the transportation of white blood cells improves, immunity is strengthened. Fasting also promotes awareness of dietary and lifestyle choices in patients.
Intermittent fasting is a diet phenomenon mostly used for weight loss. It is an eating pattern where meals are consumed in 8-hour intervals. For instance, if you eat breakfast at 8 am, your next meal will be at 4 pm. Some prefer to skip breakfast and have lunch and supper instead.
Another version of intermittent fasting is the 5:2 diet. 5 is the number of days you will eat normally, usually three meals a day. You are then required to fast 2 days out of the week, consuming only water, unsweetened drinks and a low-calorie meal for supper.
With water fasting, you are only allowed to consume water and unsweetened teas for 24-36 hours. The water fast is followed by a diet of raw foods such as fruits, nuts and steamed vegetables.
A more tolerable version of a liquid fast is juice fasting. Like water fasting, patients can drink unsweetened fluids for a day or two. Juice must be freshly squeezed. Store-bought varieties are not permitted as they contain high amounts of preservatives and refined sugars. This form of fasting is highly recommended as it produces the least symptoms and/or side effects.
The typical detox diet consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and water. It is essentially a fresh food diet and can be just as effective as fasting. The goal of detox diets is to pump nutrients into the body; food free of artificial ingredients that burden the system.
There are hundreds of detox diets available for download on the Internet. However, it is simpler and safer for patients to visit a farmer’s market and buy fresh produce and meats. Food should be boiled, grilled, baked or steamed. No fried foods. Adding sauces, salad dressing or seasoning is to be avoided, with the exception of salt and pepper.
Alternative medicine practitioners strongly encourage doing a liver flush twice a year. A common way to cleanse the liver is to drink salt water before bed. This method, however, is not for everyone.
If patients cannot stomach salt water, there is an alternative mixture that works just as well. Mix 2 cloves of garlic juice, 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil, a few drops of ginger juice and a cup of freshly-squeezed lime or lemon juice. Drink this first thing in the morning, wait an hour and have a cup of herbal tea.
Practitioners suggest light stretching and breathing exercises to patients to supplement their detox efforts. Herbal teas are also recommended to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Other complementary therapies to try include hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation, aromatherapy and manual lymphatic drainage.
Professional Detoxification Therapy
Detoxing at home can be challenging, especially with little or no guidance. Patients can always consult an alternative practitioner for professional detoxification services. Chelation therapy, hyperthermia and colon irrigation are just a few of the many therapies available. Professionals can also create personalized meal plans and fasting schedules.
Regardless of which detoxification therapy is used, patients should make sure they stay warm throughout. Hydration is paramount. Please be mindful of possible side effects of detoxification, which include changes in energy levels, concentration and mood.
Conditions Treated by Detoxification Therapy
Most of the benefits of detoxification are unseen. Patients just notice improvement in general wellness but there is a lot more that happens beneath the surface. Detoxing regularly can help relieve:
• Frequent headaches
• Digestive difficulties
• Joint and back pain
• Unstable moods
• Respiratory infections
Preparing for Detoxification Therapy
Many people make the mistake of starting detox therapies suddenly. Failing to prepare only makes detoxifying harder and increases the chances of discontinuing the program before it produces real results.
The best way to prepare for detoxification therapy is to ease into it. If a patient is about to go on a fast, he or she must practice going without food for a few hours at least 2 weeks before the actual fast begins.
If the plan includes following a fresh food detox diet, more vegetables should be added to meals. Seasoning can be reduced gradually and a fruit snack enjoyed once a day. You can also increase water intake by drinking one more glass each day.
Exercise routines must be modified when fasting or dieting. Lowering the intensity and shortening the length of training sessions is recommended. If it a liquid fast, exercise should be limited to stretching.
It is always good to filter drinking water. You can also get an air filter in the home or place plants around the living space to absorb harmful gases.