June/July 2010 –Health: Detoxification!
We have all been hearing more and more about detoxification lately causing many questions to arise so the purpose of this article is to clarify the meaning of detoxification. There are some common misconceptions about detoxification that, if followed, can lead you away from your health and fitness goals. On the flipside, by properly supporting your body’s detoxification system, you will move toward your goals very quickly. Therefore, the first course of action is to learn the right protocol for detoxification. When you begin implementing the following ideas, you will build a better looking, feeling and functioning version of yourself.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Detoxification - 1 a : to remove a harmful substance (as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such from
Notice how the definition ends with the word “from”. This means that detoxification can occur in anything and not just within the human body. Below I will show you how detoxification is as much an external process as it is an internal process. The key to detoxification is to ensure that both internal and external processes are supported. Here are 3 external and 3 internal aspects of detoxification:
The idea behind external detoxification is proactive and preventative. The goal is to limit the amount of toxins that enter the body in the first place. Breathe, drink, and eat as clean as possible in order to reduce the amount of work the detoxification system has to do. In other words, the fewer toxins you put into your body, the less you have to remove. It really is a simple concept.
External # 1 - Air
There is no substance we intake more of each day than oxygen, therefore the first step of external detoxification is to breathe high-quality air. What are some examples of airborne toxins that you should avoid? Cigarette smoke, hazardous cleaning products, and harmful beauty products (such as hairspray) are just a few examples of airborne toxins. I recommend changing all your cleaning products to non-toxic cleaning products. This also includes any substance that you apply to your skin such as soap, deodorant, and shampoo etc. A lot of people fail to realize that your skin is an organ and it absorbs anything that you apply onto it. Plants are great for improving the air quality in your home as they have a wonderful ability to purify the air we breathe. For this reason, it would also be wise to spend some time in nature on a regular basis. You could go on nature walks, do some hiking or take part in any other outdoor activities you enjoy.
External # 2 - Water
The human body is made up of approximately 75% water, therefore the second step of external detoxification is to drink high-quality water. When we want to clean our body what do we do? We usually bathe or shower with clean water, right? Well, it is no different with the inside of your body. If you want to keep the inside of your body clean, you must drink plenty of clean water each day. Unfortunately, dehydration is a problem that is far too common and this is simply because people do not drink enough water each day. Instead of water, they consume beverages filled with sugar, caffeine and toxic substances (artificial colours/flavours, preservatives, etc.) These beverages actually augment dehydration and hinder detoxification, therefore try to avoid them as much as possible. I recommend investing in an effective water purification system because tap and plastic bottled water are also filled with many toxins. (If you have any questions about water purification systems, feel free to ask me for more information.)
External # 3 – Food
We consume food on a daily basis in order to reenergize and nourish the body, therefore the third step of external detoxification is to consume food that is healthy and clean. Clean foods are foods grown without the use of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, hormones, and preservatives, etc. Unfortunately, most of the foods in your local grocery stores are grown and raised by these conventional (toxic) methods. How do you expect to detoxify your body when you are consuming toxic foods? If you are not eating organically grown (toxin-free) foods, your efforts to detoxify your body will be severely hindered.
The idea behind internal detoxification is to remove the toxins that have already entered your body. Advantageously, the 3 aforementioned external detoxification processes all support internal detoxification as well. However, to further support detoxification, I will introduce 3 internal processes (occur within your body to aid the detoxification system). These 3 internal detoxification processes are exercise, meditation and emotional freedom. How they all assist in detoxification is described below.
Internal # 1 - Exercise
There are several ways in which exercise supports detoxification but I will only mention one. SWEAT! As previously mentioned, your skin is an organ and toxins can be absorbed through the skin. Well, it’s not a one way street. Your skin can expel toxins from your body as well. Remember, every time you work up a great sweat, you are detoxifying your body. And when you sweat, you burn fat! Why? Well, because toxins are stored in your body fat. The more toxins you have in your body, the more fat your body will produce in order to safely store them away from your vital organs. (If you wish to experience a great detoxifying and fat-burning sweat, join me in one of my outdoor boot camp classes.)
Internal # 2 - Meditation
Meditation is proven to have tremendous healing capabilities. Why is this so? Well, meditation reduces stress. You may not be aware of this but stress is toxic! When your stress levels are consistently too high, your body will have a very difficult time functioning optimally in all areas (not just detoxification). In my newly released book, One Habit At A Time, I present 3 physical, 3 mental, and 3 spiritual stress-reducing-habits that anyone can easily integrate into their life. If you find my articles useful, then I cannot express enough, how life-changing and beneficial One Habit At A Time will be for you. Get your copy today at www.habitwatch.ca.
Internal # 3 - Emotional Freedom
Emotional freedom is a term used to describe a state of being where you are free of any stored emotions. Negative emotions from past traumatic experiences can linger within your being for years if they are not resolved. These stored emotions are very stressful (toxic) to your body and for this reason, resolving them is highly recommended. To learn more about Emotional Freedom Technique, look for an E.F.T. practitioner in your area. They can help you become emotionally free and balanced which will support your detoxification system.
You may have noticed that I did not mention any specific cleansing supplements. There are both effective and ineffective supplements for detoxification on the market. However, in my opinion, we should help the body detoxify daily using the ideas I have presented in this article. The idea of detoxifying once every 6 months (year, etc.) is flawed. Remember, your detoxification system is incessantly working to keep your body clean and free of harmful toxins. Would you take the garbage out of your home once every 6 or twelve months?
By: Sal Crispo
Vaughan Personal Trainer