When undertaking any kind of cleansing or detox program there are 5 important keys to keep in mind to achieve best results and to get out what you have put in!
Follow these simple but effective guidelines during your cleanse and you will be well on your way to creating a strong foundation for lasting and vibrant health!
1. Switch off Stress -
Stress is one of the major aggravating causes of most kinds of illness. Regular periods of rest and relaxation are essential for the body's healing processes and especially for cleansing and detoxification.
All of our body's functions are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System, which is divided into 2 separate branches called the 'Sympathetic Branch' and the 'Para-
The Sympathetic Branch is the part of the nervous system that prepares the body for 'fight or flight' responses in times of threat or emergency. When switched on it speeds up heart rate, increases blood pressure, slows down digestion and diverts blood away from the surface of the body to the internal organs.
The natural tendency of these two branches is to flow from one to the other, periods of intense physical activity are followed by periods of rest and rejuvenation. In many of us today however, stress levels are so high that there is an imbalance in the nervous system and the sympathetic branch is constantly switched on, almost as if we are responding to an invisible threat that never goes away.
For cleansing, detoxification and rejuvenation we must be in a state of rest and relaxation to switch on the healing benefits of the parasympathetic branch of our body's system. It is essential to find a time and place where you can slow down, disconnect from external stimulation and retreat from the pressures of work, family and social responsibilities.
Deep breathing and meditation are incredible tools to help move into the rest and relaxation mode of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system. By manipulating the length and depth of respiration to long, slow, deep breaths we can lower heart rate, blood pressure and quieten the mind and activate the therapeutic benefits of our autonomic nervous system.
2. Activate The Cleansing Response -
The digestion of food is one of the largest energy consuming processes that our body carries out on a daily basis. It can take upwards of 6 hours for a meal to be fully digested, assimilated and the waste products to be eliminated from the body. The typical daily diet of breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks and beverages add up to an enormous amount of work and energy expenditure for the body.
You can cleanse without fasting, however the real work, the release and elimination of deeply retained toxins only begins when we stop putting food in our mouths. When we fast, (going without food for an extended period of time) within the first 36 hours the energy that is normally used by the body for digestion becomes freed up, and is diverted to the process of cleansing and releasing the build up of toxins the body has accumulated and stored to be dealt with when the system is less burdened. This free energy activates the body's cleansing response which now unburdened by the need for digestion is able to release the excess of toxins it was unable to deal with at an earlier time.
To activate the body's cleansing response and aid in the removal of these deeply stored toxins it is essential to fee the body from its need to digest, assimilate and eliminate large qualities of food. The best way to do this is by undertaking a liquids only fast of juice or water for a period of 3 to 7 days.
3. Flush out Toxins -
Our bodies are composed of over 70% water, yet most of us are living in a state of chronic dehydration. When was the last time you drank the recommended daily quota of 8 glasses of water?
Chronic dehydration is estimated to effect more than 75% of the population and leads to a whole host of seemingly unrelated health problems. Sluggish metabolisms, daytime fatigue, poor concentration, as well as chronic aches, pains and migraines are often symptoms of not drinking sufficient amounts of water.
The 3rd key to any cleansing program is to drink 2 -
Drinking sufficient amounts of water is essential for rehydrating the cells of the body, saturating the system and providing the solution needed to flush and eliminate toxins from the blood, tissues and organs so they can be sweated off and urinated out of the body.
If you are about to embark on a cleansing program be sure to have good quality purified drinking water and drink regularly throughout the day. By doing so you will ensure that the body and cells stay hydrated and have the necessary agent to dilute toxins and assist their elimination from the body.
4. Circulate the Lymph -
While the blood is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells as well as carrying away carbon dioxide and other metabolic wastes for excretion, the lymphatic system deals with the coarsest toxins and most highly acidic wastes and its major function is that of a defense mechanism.
Often referred to as the secondary circulatory system, the Lymph unlike blood, does not have its own pump to move it around the body and instead relies on skeletal muscle contractions to move it which leaves the system vulnerable to stagnation and toxic congestion in sedentary people.
During a cleansing program it is especially important to perform light exercises to keep the lymphatic fluid circulating as inactivity can keep toxins circulating in the bloodstream and prolong the discomfort and length of the cleansing process.
Light exercise and Dry Skin Brushing are two effective techniques for assisting the lymphatic system and boosting circulation. Both stimulate the sweat glands and opens pores, increases blood circulation to underlying organs and tissues of the body and enhances proper organ function.
A daily program of gentle activity and movement such as walking, swimming, yoga, massage and skin brushing provide all the means necessary for the lymphatic system to perform its duties and ensure the essential processes of detoxification.
5. Clean the Colon -
The late Dr Norman Walker who extolled the benefits of juice fasting and colon health and who lived to 99 years of age said: "The elimination of undigested food and other waste products is equally important as the proper digestion and assimilation of food... The very best of diets can be no better than the very worst if the sewage system of the colon is clogged with a collection of waste and corruption."
And it is true! The digestive system is the hub of the entire body. Due to our busy lifestyles and poor eating habits, the colon can harbor years of putrefied waste in the form of compacted fecal matter, mucoid plaque and other toxic residues within the folds of the colon. Cleansing the colon of this toxic matter can promote better digestion, assimilation and eliminations, and may help to increase energy and vitality, boost the immune system and alleviate the symptoms of illness and disease.
The best way to cleanse the colon and remove the build up of waste matter is to use a combination of natural cleansing herbs and colonic irrigation.
The cleansing herbs, (like this naturopathic blend ) help to break down the compacted fecal matter and toxic residues stuck along the wall and the folds of the colon, and create a fibrous bulk which acts like a broom to sweep this toxic matter through the length of the colon to be eliminated.
Colonic irrigation then serves to hydrate, bathe and wash away any left over waste matter and leaves the colon fresh and clean creating a good foundation for a healthy diet which the body can properly absorb, digest and assimilate the nutrition it receives.
So there you have it! Follow these 5 important steps with any cleansing or detox program that you decide to undertake, and you can be sure that you will maximise your results safely and effectively ...