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Detoxification in the Spring

What is a Detox/Cleanse?

Alternative Medicine

Detoxification helps us to cleanse toxins and habits from our daily lives.  Taking a break from certain things helps us to re-evaluate our relationship with these things. It allows us to get closer to a state of health and wellness.

Detoxification is the elimination of accumulated toxins from tissues.  It is needed for optimal health and healing.  Normally our body has the ability to detox individual toxins.  If the total toxic load is greater than the body’s ability to detoxify then; a) we get toxins building up in our body b) ultimately end up with illness.

Relying on our own body’s machinery is the most powerful method of routine detoxification and cleansing. We have 5 organs and 2 fluids that are involved in detoxification and cleansing. They are as follows:

Lungs – The lungs get rid of toxins with every exhalation.  Carbon Dioxide is a by-product of respiration and a toxin. Muscular contractions that are involved in breathing also help to transport lymph and blood, which also move toxins. The lungs have a lining of mucous and cilia (small hairs that trap airborne particles) that help prevent toxins from entering the body. (Lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses and nose are from the respiratory system)

Liver – The liver is a major organ of elimination.  It handles the entire detoxification process in the body.  In today’s polluted world there is added toxic burden on the liver and this contributes greatly to chronic fatigue, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, cognitive difficulties and high blood pressure. (Liver, gallbladder, and whole GI tract are part of the Gastrointestinal system)

Colon – The colon is the final place in the body where waste (food residue) travels before being eliminated.  It is critical that bowel elimination happens daily. (Colon is part of the Gastrointestinal system)

Kidneys – The kidneys filter out water-soluble wastes from the blood that flows to them from the liver.  These wastes are then stored in the bladder before elimination through the urine. (Kidney, bladder, urethra are part of the urinary system)

Skin – As a protective covering, skin keeps toxins from entering the body.  Because of its size and area, skin actually eliminates more cellular waste than the colon and kidneys combined. (skin and dermal system includes sweat, tears, sebaceous glands)

Blood – The blood that moves through the cardiovascular system is a key transportation system in the body, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells and flushing away waste products and toxins.

Lymph– Lymph is a clear fluid filled with immune cells called lymphocytes. Lymph moves around the body in a series of vessels that parallel the paths of the veins. Lymph delivers nutrients, collects cellular waste, and helps destroy pathogens. (Lymphatic system includes lymph channels and lymph nodes)

Look for part 2 next week for signs and symptoms that detoxification is required as well as some suggested steps.