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To Detox or to Cleanse is the Question?
Your internal spring cleaning can be in the form of either a general body detox, an alcohol detox, a colon cleanse or a detox diet cleanse. Just as we clear out our homes, sheds, wardrobes and work places, so to do our bodies appreciate a clearing out of “rubbish”!
People have a lot of curiosity and many questions regarding detoxes and cleansing.
How do you do a cleanse?
Why would you do one?
And when not and when to do them but…
If you are beginning this cleansing journey and would like some basic questions answered, then these frequently asked 12 questions and answers will provide you with a great start!
This provides your body with a welcome holistic body detox, enabling you to regain your energy and vitality
Q: What’s the difference between a cleanse and a detox?
A : The quick answer is, there is no hard and fast definition of each term. Consequently they are interchangeable and will be for this discussion.
For a more in-depth answer, some health care practitioners will differentiate between detox and cleanse. Detox is more targeted to eliminating a specific or unwanted waste product / or substance from within the body. An example of this may be after a long exposure to certain medications, herbicides, pesticides or an addiction to alcohol.
Generally a cleanse provides more of an overall holistic support for your detoxification organs which include the liver, kidneys,colon.
Q: What is involved ?
A: You can choose from many different types of cleanses / detoxes.Generally they will involve a combination of approaches, ranging from specific dietary intake and recommendations, herbal supplements and also quite importantly, lifestyle changes.
Most importantly when undergoing a detox diet, it is important to focus on removing foods that you feel challenge your body by eliminating them.
You may suspect you have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods, processed foods and products, artificial flavourings, colourings and or other additives that are so prevalent in our food.For some people a detox diet may include a period of fasting where you consume liquids only.By doing this you are allowing your body to regain its own innate ability to self heal.
Herbal supplements are a wonderful way to help support your body with its waste removal by using probiotics and fibre for your digestive system and a variety of herbs and nutrients to stimulate your body’s metabolism to increase the elimination of unwanted waste products.
During your chosen period of detox, rest and relaxation are highly recommended as your body is working hard to bring itself back into balance, so by supporting it, you will be aiding the elimination process.Other ways to speed up the process include colonics, skin brushing, massage, saunas and resting.
Q: What is the best detox for me?
A: When you are new to cleansing, this is a really great question to ask! If you are going to put the time and effort into your period of self care, you want to be sure you choose the right one for you.
If you visit the local health food store you will find that there are many”off the shelf”cleanses available. Some of these work by gently elimiting waste product from the colon by using herbs with a mild laxative effect or by stimulating the kidneys fire a mild diuretic effect. Many herbal supplements contain herbs, nutrients and bitters which stimulate the diverse innate detox functions.
Before beginning a detox the good idea to meet with an appropriate health care practitioner to determine both which is the best detox for you and whether it is a suitable step.
If you have health issues, taking medications or unusual symptoms, then it is especially important to see your health care provider to have these discussed, as sometimes specific herbal combinations may react with your medication.
By taking note of your individual health history, current medications if any, health goals and timeframe, there will be able to tailor the techniques and products best suited for you.
With practice you will be able to determine which methods a suit your system and there are many wonderful books available on this subject. I highly recommend that you spend some time reading them as they will give you lots of great ideas.
Q: When is the best time for me to begin a detox diet?
A: This is another great question! The most popular times are over the holidays, after periods of food indulgence or even alcohol and drug overuse. Any time of the year is a great time and if your system feels in need of a detox diet, then now is the right time!
Many people like to have a juice cleanse when spring is on the way or even a new years resolution and I have to say, what better way to bring in a new season!
If you are going through a period of high stress or hard physical demand, or severe illness, and the body is more vulnerable to nutrient depletion, injury or illness.Also if someone is feeling particularly unwell, I would advise that these symptoms are appropriate investigated before beginning a cleansing diet.
Q: Can I lose weight with a cleanse?
A: Yes, people generally do lose weight during a detox / cleanse. Often this occurs once food intolerances, sugar and excess carbohydrates are removed from the diet and there is a decrease in water retention.
This weight loss is especially noticeable around the tummy, thighs and face as there is a reduction in bloating as your digestive system clears itself. You will find your clothes may be looser around your waist and more comfortable to wear generally.
Q: Will my face or body breakout during a detoxification diet?
A: As the body begins to eliminate waste, the skin which is the largest organ and is one of the ways the body uses to live waste products may show outbreaks of rashs, pimples or irritations. This may occur if your bowel movements are a irregular or you have constipation as the waste products are unable to let your body quickly enough.
The best way to reduce this is by making sure you drink plenty of water and having regular bowel movements, this may include herbal support for both your bowels and liver to stimulate them.
Outbreaks can it be a good sign as this is direct evidence that your body is ridding itself of toxins, so please don’t be alarmed. Sometimes your system may flareup before the increase in body and skin health.
Q: Juice cleanses, are they healthy?
A: These types of cleanses are generally safe for a shorter period of time. If you plan on doing a juice detox cleanse for an extended period of say, 30 days, then it is a good idea to work alongside your health practitioner.
Other considerations to think about are if you are diabetic, have chronic or serious health concerns and are taking prescription medications.
The majority of people handle juice cleanses extremely well, but some may find them more difficult if they are trying to maintain a busy work schedule and keep the energy levels up. If this is the case, then I suggest that you alternate a juice cleanse fluid only day with a solid food day which involves eating fresh natural foods only for that day. This is a practical option for busy people in our very busy lives these days and is just as effective, they cleanse just takes a little bit longer.
Q: How does a cleanse affect my digestion?
A: The short answer is your digestive will always be affected and always for the better. This may take the form of mild diarrhea, degrees of tummy rumbling, dizziness, headaches or mild nausea. These are all good signs your body is healing and coming back into its natural state of balance balance.
Some of the symptoms that generally improve during a detox /cleanse our constipation, bloating, fatigue, allergies, food intolerances and energy levels.
If you find that there is a dramatic improvement in your general well-being and or digestive symptoms during a cleanse, please follow this up by investigating the possibility of food intolerances or allergies and look at an elimination diet. You may well find that an allergy or intolerance is the underlying cause of you not feeling well.
Q: Can I continue using my usual “natural “supplements such as herbs or multi-vitamins during a cleanse?
A: In the majority of cases, yes, depending on what you are taking.
Q: What about exercise during cleansing?
A: Yes of course you can and it’s a great idea, but please do it in moderation! Sweating is an excellent way to help the body rapid detox, but as your body is working hard, you will also need adequate rest so please don’t overdo it.
Stretching, walking, yoga, Pilate’s, swimming, cycling are all gentle exercises but do avoid strenuous long runs, or intense marathons, weightlifting or Iron Man events!
I will say if your detoxification cleanse includes a kilojoule restriction or fasting your ability to exercise and push yourself can decrease. During this period it is best look after yourself and be kind, without pushing yourself.
Q: How will I feel while detoxing, energetic or lethargic?
A: This very much depends on your individual circumstances and your chosen program. generally I find in most cases there will be periods of fatigue as the body is ridding itself of unwanted toxins and bring itself back into balance.I find I usually go through periods of low energy is my body is ridding itself of toxins and having higher energy levels as I’m coming back into balance, however, each person will be different depending on their metabolism.
if you treat your detox program as a complete period of you time, which means taking a break if you can from everyday life, electronics, busy schedules et cetera which gives your mind time to slow down, and gives your body a chance to focus on waste removal. I always find my energy levels are enormously increased by the end of my detox program and I feel lighter in every way and able to think more clearly, so from me I welcome the periods of fatigue or not feeling well because I know that my body is working hard to come back into balance again!
Q: is it safe for me to detox during pregnancy?
A: No, I would not recommend detoxing during pregnancy or breastfeeding. To be really safe you need to check very carefully about the herbal supplements you take and a course that goes for prescriptive medicines as well.
The best way to support your body and baby during pregnancy is to eat lots of fresh healthy foods and support your body with fresh juices along with your normal diet. It is really important to eat a wide range of foods when your are pregnant