When you hear or read the word detox or detoxification, what image does this conjour up for you? If you're like most people that have NOT yet tried detoxing, you might think of someone in yoga pants, starving, feeling feint, drinking juices and making themselves sick?

However, if you are not new to detoxifying your body, then you will know that the detox process is usually NOTHING like the mainstream media portrays. In addition, detox means something different for everyone, and, there are many ways to detox. From zero food and just water, all the way through to the gentler types of detox where you can still eat and never feel hungry.

Regardless of which detox method you use, the main aim is the same; to guide your body (and mind) through a cleansing process. It can be a long and difficult process, or it can be short and sweet. It's up to you. I highly recommend starting slowly and working your way up to a more comprehensive detox.

If you are considering your first detox, I'd like to suggest to you that you start with a short and gentle detox that includes fresh fruit.

Why Detox At All?
The human body has got fantastic cleansing systems in place already. From the liver to the kidneys and from the lymphatic system to the skin, the body knows what it's doing. However, sometimes you might like to kick it in the guts, so to speak, to help those bodily systems to do their job more effectively.

Over time, our bodies just do accumulate a vast array of toxins. Why the body holds onto these is because it needs a little helping hand sometimes to rid itself of these poisons. If you don't move much, then you will certainly have a build up of toxins because your lymphatic system isn't moving.

This modern world is chock full of toxins, poisons, car fumes, smoke, chemicals and GMO's. That's right; we ALL need to learn how to detox our bodies at some point.

The only way you don't need to detox is if you live in a remote area (away from the city), eat only fresh organic food, give yourself regular exercise and don't use any perfumes, deodorants or non organic cleaning products. Unless you live like that, you need to detox.

What Is Detoxification?
Detoxification refers to the cleansing of the blood. The aim is to remove impurities from the blood, in the liver. This is where toxins go for processing, prior to elimination. The body will eliminate toxins in many ways, for instance through the kidneys (wee it out), intestines (poo it out), lungs (cough it up), the pores of your skin (sweat it out) and the lymph nodes.

Detox programs can help resolve chronic health conditions such as yeast overgrowths, food intolerance, skin problems, behavioral and/or neurological disorders and conditions like depression and ADHD as well as many digestive complaints. Additionally, detoxification, when you do it safely and correctly, can help improve your quality of sleep, reduce chronic pain and help remove unwanted weight.

The Huge Role Of Lymph Nodes In Detox
Your lymphatic system reaches pretty much every part of your body. We can't really see the lymphatic system at work, but it deserves much more attention than it currently receives. This is one of the most important features of the human body when it comes to detoxing.

Your blood has a pump in the form of the heart, but, the lymphatic system does not. Relying on your body's relaxation and contraction of the muscles and joints to move those toxins in and around the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system can easily become stagnant, especially when you don't move enough.

The lymphatic system carries our body’s waste into the bloodstream. Often the lymph nodes become overwhelmed because they are responsible for removing toxins that are introduced to the body from both external means (food, air, personal care products, water) as well as internal ones (damaged proteins and cellular/metabolic waste), making it a key detoxification pathway.

It's through the lymph nodes and lymphatic network, that your immune cells can travel around fighting pathogens, such as mold, bacteria and other nasties, preventing disease and infection.

This is why keeping your lymphatic system functioning correctly is directly related to the overall health of your body. The stronger your lymphatic system, the more resilient and reactive your immune system and defense responses will be.

Wonderfully so, keeping the lymphatic system active and doing it's job, is easy. All you need are a few simple, daily exercises, clean water, and clean foods and the occasional detox.

If you wear a bra and use deodorants, then you are especially at risk of clogged lymph nodes. The toxins from these products are in direct contact with those abundant lymph node areas nearby your armpits and breasts, just beneath the skin.

If you still use deodorant, then please, please, get onto an organic one today!

Types Of Detoxification
No, detox is NOT all sickly, pale people, swooning with a light head, trying to remain conscious while starving! Lol, not at all. When I first tried detox, that was me. I was stupid about it and didn't investigate as much as I should have, and yes, made myself feel quite unwell. Now I know better. Now I know that yes, detox can include eating and that this is the best way to start detoxing ie with a gentle detox that does include food.

- Ayurvedic detox - includes both aspects of Pancha karma and palliation. This is an ancient method, dating back to the Ayurvedic medical texts of some 5000+ years ago (ayur = life and veda = knowledge. This method is the oldest known to Man and is born of the idea that, all causes of disease start at toxins in the body. Therefore, elimination is vital.

- Juice fast - is a fasting method and provides a detox diet in the form of only consuming fruit and veg juices, thus obtaining nutrition while otherwise abstaining from eating. This can be done safely if only done for a few days. If you want to do this detox program any longer, please get yourself a watcher/helper to ensure your safety while doing so. I recommend this because while fasting you can get light headed and disoriented.

- Dry brushing - The skin is sometimes referred to as the 'third kidney' due to it's intense detoxifying ability. The detox method of dry brushing invigorates the skin and moves your lymphatic system, with the added health benefits of increasing circulation, improving digestion and kidney function, stress relief and improving the appearance of cellulite.

Because dry brushing kind of wakes up the skin in a very invigorating way, it's easy to get a bit addicted to this practice. Thank goodness it's a good addiction!

- Colonic cleanses - Yep, there was always going to be the enema talk in a detox article! Bear with me, it's great! There are a lot of myths surrounding colonic cleanses/enemas, and they usually arise from those that haven't tried it successfully. An enema is one of the very best ways of kick starting a sluggish colon. Like everything else, start slow and small and build up to the level you desire. Yes, it's simply THE weirdest sensation when you first do an enema, but it's just so effective that it's worth doing a few times to get it right ie the first few times you will just run to the toilet to eliminate because it feels weird. After a while, you will be able to hold it for a while to allow the liquid to do a proper job.

There are other ways of doing a colonic cleanse that don't involve an enema. For instance, you can use a combination of 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and the juice of half a lemon into 2 cups of distilled or purified water for a quick over night colon cleanse.

- Candida detox - This type of detox removes candida within the body. By removing all foods containing yeast or fermented foods, this diet also requires avoiding all forms of sugar (including fruit juices), all refined wheat and flour products, any yeast containing products, as well as all natural sweeteners, including honey and agave nectar. While performing the candida cleanse alcoholic drinks, pickled veggies, dried fruits, cheese, soy sauce and mushrooms are also to be avoided. A protocol of organic oregano oil can also be extremely effective in the fight against candida.

- Exercise - Simple, easy, gentle and only takes a few minutes per day. Why wouldn't you? Even just a few yoga stretches every day will keep your lymph system humming along happily doing it's job. Not to mention, it will keep the rest of your body systems in tip top shape. Exercise is also a great way to detox your mind. While exercising you can allow your mind to wander, or not. If you can achieve a state of mindlessness while exercising, you're doing it right. Exercise can also help you cross over into a meditative state.

- Meditation - Sounds like sitting still and doing nothing, huh? It's not like that at all. How do you think of nothing? It takes a little practice, but the benefits from meditation just keep coming. Eventually you can train yourself to drop into a meditative state at will. Meditation is one of the few ways to detox the mind.

Mind detoxing via meditation is so important because research shows us that it can improve your mental faculties, ease depression and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

- Sauna - Sweating toxins out in a sauna helps rid the body of things like sodium, lactic acid and uric acid, that keep accumulating in the body. Toxins stored in fatty deposits are released through the intense sweating that happens in the sauna.

- Detox diet - During this type of detoxing, a period of food fasting is usually followed by a strict diet of only water, raw fruit and vegetables and sometimes, fruit juices. There are many different types of detox diets including the lemon detox diet, liver cleanses and colon cleanses.

- Hot water detox - For 7-14 days drink a mug of heated water (plain – no lemon or flavors) every hour or so. The hot water will open up the drainage in your gut and allow toxins to flow out. This is one of the more harsh types of detoxing, only to be used if you know what you are doing, have detoxed before AND have a support person with you.

- Heavy metal detox - If you have those old dental amalgam fillings (an mix of tin, silver and copper, combined with an equal amount of mercury) then you need to have those removed by a holistic dentist and then do the heavy metal detox. These old silver colored fillings are about 50% mercury!

If you don't have them removed, you will continue to be slowly poisoned by them. If you don't have them removed correctly, they can poison your entire body on the way out.

"Contrary to previous belief, numerous scientific studies have shown that amalgam fillings can release significant amounts of mercury over the lifetime of the filling. There is current concern in the wider community, particularly the World Health Organization in regards to safe levels, if any, to mercury exposure. Several European countries including Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have ceased using amalgam as a filling material in recent years" (REF1: http://bcd.com.au/amalgam-removal/)

Which Detox To Choose?
There are so many ways to go about detoxing, and which way you choose, at any given time, will depend on exactly what you want to detox from, how much toxin build up you've got and how long it's been since your last detox. I like to alternate between a gentle detox and a fasting type detox.

Whichever one you like the idea of, read up on it extensively, get what you need, grab your support person (if fasting) and off you go!

How Can You Detox Safely?
First, you need to make sure you are digesting well. It is poor digestion that makes removing these toxins nearly impossible. Start by consuming organic coconut oil to help the digestive tract work like it should. Organic coconut oil will help the body to naturally burn it's fat away and promote a strong immune system and a healthier digestive tract.

KNOW your body. 'Listen' to your body, especially when detoxing. If you've never detoxed before, choose a gentle detox method first. If you like it and want to move up the scale of detox methods, do it, slowly. I recommend that if you are doing any sort of fasting that you have a support person with you at all times.

Your support person should be a close friend or family member, that you don't mind sharing some gory body stuff with. By that I mean, someone that is not only of a strong stomach but also a reliable and trustworty someone that will stay with you the whole way.

If you do end up feeling faint or dizzy, I would recommend you stop what you are doing, or at least lie down and see how you feel in a few minutes. During the process of detox yes you will probably feel a little unwell. After all, you are getting rid of toxins that your body has been hanging onto and it's likely to be a little gross upon elimination.

The good news is that, once you've done a detox, you will gain more energy, less body fat and be cleansed of all the accumulated rubbish in your body. Enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

Hi, My name is Pixie
...and I'm a woman on a mission! On a mission to improve both mine and my family's health, one natural remedy at a time.

I have 3 grown up kids and 1 little one left at home. And then there's Sweetpea the wonder dog. She likes to eat organic too, shh! :)

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