To Detox or Not To Detox...

Nearly everyone I have ever talked to about it will admit to their body feeling toxic at one point or another. Sometimes, it's simply that feeling you get after overstuffing yourself at a big a holiday meal, and sometimes it is much more serious. Perhaps you have heard people, especially recently, using the term "contact allergy". Children and adults are being diagnosed with this, with the solution being medication. What most of these folks are not being told is how this contact allergy was developed in the first place.

WHY DETOX?

Our body has really powerful natural detoxification systems. They are able to get rid of multiple toxic substances accumulated from a variety of sources like the environment, the water we drink and the foods we eat. These 4 main systems, along with other auxiliary systems work hard to eliminate these toxins. Unfortunately, the amount of chemicals we absorb and ingest in our everyday life is so extremely high that the majority of people find their bodies at a level of toxicity that is way past the point of coping. It stands to reason that when you completely fill a cup, that last little added drop will cause it to overflow.

Your liver works diligently, NONSTOP, to cleanse your blood of all of these toxins and chemicals, including anything you have inhaled, digested or absorbed through the skin. Other systems, your kidneys, lungs, bowel and skin help toxins find their way out, but none of them candle handle the heavy workload of the liver.

Over toxification has many different faces, depending on what toxic substance has been introduced to your body. Coughing can indicate toxins in the lungs. Diarrhea or constipation are both sure signs of too many toxins in the bowel. Toxins in the kidney can result in water retention or even kidney failure. Sweating can be evidence of the body trying to remove toxins through the skin, often resulting in a fever. Sometimes, if it cannot get out another way, or the aforementioned systems are overloaded, you may get a skin reaction, such as rush, acne, inflammation or a "contact allergy".

Your liver alone cannot do it all. It is a powerful filter, but its ability to detox is not endless. Once it gets overloaded, the toxins, with nowhere else to go, begin circulating in your blood making you feel tired and sluggish, and doing other more serious damage to organs and glands. It can also cause increased inflammation in the body, headaches, and weight gain. Some warning signs that your liver is being overworked are listed below:

- Acne

- Chronic headaches - Chronic fatigue

- Poor complexion

- Lack-luster hair

- A build up of fat around the midsection

Pay attention. When you start getting these symptoms, it means your body is trying to send you a message that something is wrong. It's important you get the message and respond accordingly, instead of just ignoring it.

HOW SHOULD I DETOX?

Detoxing is as personal as choosing a bathing suit. The key to choosing the right one is in knowing yourself.

If you go too long without a meal do you get a bad headache? Then perhaps a detox routine that includes a lot of fasting is not for you.

Are you diabetic? It is likely that a juicing detox would not work for you since juicing removes the fiber from fruits and vegetables, which helps your body process the high amount carbohydrates and sugars that all fruits and vegetables contain.

The best way to detox includes a few key elements:

1. Consult an expert. If it is your first time detoxing, consult someone like a health coach who has experience with the process and discuss what method would be best for you.

2. Be gentle with yourself. The first detox you try may not be the right one for you. Clinging tenaciously to it may end up being frustrating and ineffective in the long-run. If you eat something outside the guidelines, simply recommit and adjust. Don't be afraid to change the overall plan of the detox either. Nothing is etched in stone.

3. Continue to eat fat. Remember that fat is not water soluable. Water does not remove fat from the body, fat does. Healthier fats, like coconut oil, ghee, avocado oil and the like attach themselves molecularly to body fat and carry it out through the digestive process. One example is Omega 3 fatty acids, which are strong natural antioxidants and are used to eliminate petrochemicals, pesticides and heavy metals.

4. Detoxing is NOT a weight-loss plan. You may lose weight as you detox, but it should never be used as a weight-loss plan. Serious detoxing should be done a maximum of twice a year. Periodic cleanses are fine as an additonal way to remove toxins.

5. Detoxing should not make you tired or sick. If it does, back off a bit from your plan and work yourself into it. Weakness is common, but you should never feel completely run down or ill.

CAN MASSAGE HELP ME WITH MY DETOX?

In a word...ABSOLUTELY! Massage is very beneficial in the treatment of toxicity. It helps to relieve the symptoms such as headaches, myalgia and fatigue and improves the function of the organ or system affected. It improves circulation, supplying good nutrition to the tissues. Compression massage is extremely good for increasing movement in the liver and for the kidneys.

Toxins can also lodge around joints, forming harmful crystals. For instance, in the case of Gout there is a toxic build up in the ligaments and tendons. Gout is generally too painful to massage but effleurage can be used to increase the circulation to and around joints.

Massage can also provide fantastic benefits to the lymphatic system. It can reduce edema and can increase the actual flow of lymph in the interstitial spaces. Stagnation in the interstitial spaces can impair the lymph flow through the lymph vessels. The flow of lymph transports building materials to the tissues to aid in restoration. It also helps bring lymphocytes to the site to combat and neutralize toxins and bacteria.

Elimination of toxins through the skin, is another way that massage can be helpful. Acne and other skin conditions are often an indication of toxicity and the body's attempt to eliminate them. This process can be accelerated using massage to increase circulation to the skin which, in turn, de-congests the pores.

At the end of the day, knowing your body, when it feels toxic and how to handle that comes down to one simple thing...FEELING GOOD. Wellness is about aligning your mind, body and spirit so they all meet in a place of feeling good. Keep this in mind, and you can't go wrong.

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