A detox can be a great way to give yourself a health boost; cleansing toxins and built up waste and spending a few days or a week practicing a rigorously healthy diet can be rejuvenating. Sometimes, it can be helpful to cleanse after a long illness, or to detox a specific organ. Some of the things people claim a detox may do is whiten eyes, clear out disease toxins, and give them more energy.

Keeping the body in good shape on a regular basis is always going to be more beneficial than occasional extreme cleanses (think studying all year versus cramming the night before a test). So these tips are geared toward ways to include detox in a regular health routine, small things that can make a difference against the onslaught of chemicals in our diet (preservatives, pesticides), as well as keeping the body feeling rejuvenated.

If you have any severe health issues, generally bad habits (junk food, smoking, drinking, not exercising) it’s imperative that you consult a doctor before beginning a diet cleansing or detox in general–for heavy drinkers, for example, it can be dangerous to quit cold turkey, and so you should seek professional help. If you are generally healthy, it is still recommended that you consult a doctor and make sure that you are fit enough. Never do an extreme detox–you need to eat 1500-2500 Calories a day–any detox program that requires eating very little should be highly scrutinized.

Here are some of the basic ways to do a natural cleanse of the body, some of which can be incorporated into a regular routine:

  • Massage. If you’ve ever had a massage, you know that it is recommended that for the rest of the day you drink plenty of water; that’s because getting a massage is a natural cleanse that releases toxins that then need to be flushed from the body. Whether as part of a body cleanse or on a regular basis, massage has other benefits, too:
    • Your lymphatic system is a major part of your immune system, circulating white blood cells, but there is no pump for lymph fluid the way the heart pumps blood or the lungs air–it relies on your natural movements (another reason exercise is so important). Massage can also help to circulate your lymph fluid, giving your immune system a boost. This is especially helpful in situations where a sick person is confined to bed-rest.
    • Touch is another important benefit of massage–not only is it mentally relaxing for most people, contact with other people (and their different array of germs) stimulates the immune system.
  • Sweating. Your sweat is one way that your body expels toxins. Ideally, you’ll sweat when you exercise, but if you need more, try a sauna or steam room. Make sure that you don’t stay in too long, and that you aren’t on any medications that may make you light-headed in heat. Also, consider using a natural deodorant without antiperspirant–antiperspirant works by blocking your sweat glands. At the least, take some time having exfoliated your arm pits and not wearing antiperspirant to sweat.
  • Diet. Diet cleansing is one of the most popular ways to detox; however, most of the diet detoxes out there are dangerous to your health as they recommend extreme fasting. Rather than not eat, there are a couple of different ways to detox your diet:
    • Do an elimination diet. An elimination diet starts by eliminating all but the most basic foods, and then reintroducing one food at a time every couple of days or week. This is a great way to figure out what foods you might not be digesting well (enzymes and probiotics may help), and which foods you might be allergic to (acupuncture may help). When you’re done with your diet cleansing you’ll know how to keep your metabolism and energy up as part of your regular diet.
    • If you want to do a diet cleansing as part of an overall detox, try eliminating just drugs (alcohol and tobacco), junk food (sugar and processed foods) and any meals you know don’t sit well in your G.I. tract (for many people this means meat heavy meals like a giant steak, or carb heavy meals like pasta–can’t live without them? Try really small portions and fill the rest of the meal with fruits and vegetables).
  • Cleansing a specific organ is generally for people with specific health concerns. Many people who are health conscious, but drink, for example, are interested in a liver cleanse. Also helpful may be a kidney cleanse (especially if you have chronic kidney stones). Finally, many people consider a colon cleanse an essential part of any detox as their general aim is to clear out their gastrointestinal tract.
    • There are lots of liver cleanse products available; make sure to check ingredients (that they’re natural, that they’re focusing on antioxidants and the building blocks of enzymes that the liver needs, rather than a chemical flush). Further, focus on a diet geared toward the liver while doing the cleanse–avoid toxins like alcohol, and things that make the liver do heavy lifting, like heavily processed foods.
    • Similarly, there are lots of colon cleanse products available. Again, check that the ingredients are geared toward supporting health and function rather than putting on a show. Focus on eating a truly balanced diet when doing a colon cleanse.
    • A kidney cleanse generally revolves around drinking plenty of water so that the waste that passes through the kidneys is heavily diluted and won’t clog up (and form kidney stones, or cause a kidney infection). If you want to go one step further, look for supplements aiming to balance out the minerals that cause kidney stones. This works best if you know what sort of kidney stones you get.

Whichever ways you mix and match the various ways to do a body detox, make sure you drink plenty of water so the toxins get flushed out rather than build up. Remember, if you have any concerns talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.

What are your best detox tips for a natural cleanse?


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