Many people have asked me if it is really necessary for them to do a detox or whether it is all hype. There are many articles out there both for and against detoxing but here are my thoughts on detoxing:

Firstly, it depends on what your interpretation of detoxing is. When most people think of detoxing, they think about an extreme change of diet, doing rigourous excercise, buying loads of supplements, pills and special drinks all at once. Or perhaps they even fast for several days. That seems a lot of hard work to me, plus a drastic change to any routine could perhaps put a lot more stress on an already overworked, overwhelmed body. And how many of us can really stick to this type of regime – seriously?. And after all that effort, people then revert to the unhealthy habits as they have found it too hard to keep up. So, this is not the type of detoxing I mean.

On the other hand, the people who are against detoxing are against it because they say your body is detoxing every minute of every day – all by itself without any help from our intervention. This is absolutely true. The food we eat, the air we breath and the chemicals we are exposed to all need to be processed by the body. The lungs, kidneys, liver, skin and lymphatic system all work hard to filter out the toxins and of course all these toxins are transported through the complex network of the blood supply to be removed. To me, that’s quite a lot of work for the body to carry out. Now – if all this detoxification that is going on in the body constantly worked perfectly without any intervention, then why are we not a nation of very fit and healthy people that are never ill. Do you have any of the “symptoms” below:

Do you feel stressed out , overwhelmed and irritable?
Do you feel tired and lack energy all the time?
Is your digestive system a bit sluggish?
Do you need a coffee, chocolate or sugar fix just to get you through the day?
Do you have aches and pains in your muscles or joints?
Do you get a lot of colds or cold/flu like symptoms?
Do you have trouble losing and keeping off weight?
Does your skin seem pale, dull and dry?
If any of these sound like you, this could potentially be a sign that your body is working too hard to detox by itself (always check out any health concerns with your GP first).

In my opinion, the problem seems to lie in the fact that we are just bombared with so many toxins in the form of unhealthy foods or synthetic food additives, pollution in the air and in the home, the damaging products we put on our skin and of course – STRESS is a major factor these days. We eat far too much than our bodies were designed to cope with and live a fast-paced lifestyle. No wonder we tend to feel under the weather these days. Our “detox” systems are just on overload.

When I talk about detoxing – I’m not taking about a sudden, extreme change in diet, or something that is a fad for a week, or fasting, or taking the latest detox pills or drinks. For the majority of people who have the symptoms I’ve listed above, I firmly believe your health would improve by taking steps to detox. But you can do this with good results by simply making small changes at a time. Think of a detox as creating your new lifestyle. The new steps should become your new habits. And it does mean that once you are healthier, if you do want to indulge in having a strong coffee and a chocolate cake whilst you are out with friends once in a while, your body will be able to cope with that.

Tomorrow, change one thing about your lifestyle for the better. And continue with this every day thereafter. Once this becomes a habit or you are at least remembering to do it, move on to change something else. You will find that is much easier to stick to, less overwhelming and less stressful.

Watch out for my post on some simple, yet highly effective, inexpensive steps that you can take to help your body do its detoxing job in a more efficient way.

Recommended reading from my library:
Jane Scrivner, Detox Yourself
Leslie Kenton, Ten Steps to a New You
Jack Challem, The Food-Mood Solution

PLEASE NOTE: this is not intended to replace any medical advice, this post is purely based on my opinion, from my own research, of what actions we can take to improve our health and cope with how we live our lives today. If you are experiencing any health problems, visit your GP in the first instance.