Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Regular cleansing and detoxing is an extremely important self-care practice simply because of the amount of toxins present in our home and our environment that make their way into our bodies. They exist in our water, soil, air, cosmetics, household cleaners and our food supply, but the worst part of it is that they are used by most in excess every single day.
Here’s an example of how they may be making you sick or how they may may be blocking your detox pathways:
You wake up, take a shower with your plastic shower curtain, use shampoo, body wash, soap, etc. full of parabens and other chemicals, brush your teeth with toothpaste made from chemicals, put on an aluminium based anti-perspirant deodorant and all this when you have only been awake for 10 minutes – the toxic load you are exposed to is overbearing.
Pat Thomas shares some pretty sobering facts and figures in his book ‘Cleaning Yourself to Death’ with the most telling of all being;
‘Women who work from home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work outside of the house’ because a typical home contains an average of 63 hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals.
He also states in his book that 'When scientists from the US Environmental Protection Agency tested a random selection of 7000 people, they found toxic chemicals in the urine of 71% of them!
So what happens when these chemicals enter the body?
Well first of all, they enter the bloodstream and move throughout the body, a process called distribution.
· In a lot of cases, they are rapidly converted and removed through urine, feces.
· However, some are stored in fat or bone for several years leading to toxicity.
Length of exposure, age, sex, genetic background, and diet also determine how the body will interact with the chemical so some people fare better than others but that’s a guessing game. There is no real way to know for sure so it is best to minimise as much as possible with eco certified products for example.
Another good reason to cleanse (which will always involve a certain level of fasting/reduced calorie intake) is to do with a process called autophagy.
In 2016 Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Peace Prize In Physiology and Medicine for his groundbreaking breakthrough research in this field.
His discoveries over a 20 year period, (after setting up his own lab in 1988 and conducting experiments on cells with bakers yeast) led to a whole new understanding of how our cells recycle or repair themselves in response to fasting/starvation.
Thus the name autophagy – originating from the latin words auto meaning self & phage meaning to eat – self eating cells.
This process is only activated when the body restricts calories during a fast so it is the bodies way to clean up the house, like bringing in the cleaners so to speak!
Additional to this, a level of fasting brings discipline and control back into your life so can address comfort eating and snacking by re-training yourself to abstain which in effect, allows you to create new health promoting habits.
1. Resting and repairing of the cells and organs through fasting
2. Liver stimulation to drive toxins from the body
3. Improved blood and lymphatic circulation: and
4. Refueling of the body with healthy nutrients.
If you have any of the following symptoms, then considering a cleanse would be wise but if you have any medical conditions, please consult a health professional first.
· Unexplained fatigue
· Sluggish elimination
· Irritated skin/acne/eczema/bruise easily
· Low-grade infection
· Puffy eyes or bags under the eyes/sinus congestion
· Bloating, belching, nausea, acid reflux, candida, parasites, bad breath
· Menstrual problems
· Mental confusion/depression/brain fog