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Copyright: Dr. Erika Schimek 2013

SPRING DETOXES: PART 1 - What are they for?

April 15, 2016

 

Spring is *technically* in the air, and now is the time we start opening the windows to let the breeze in, sweeping under the rugs and in the back of the closet, and begin feeling fresh and clean. 

This is also the time when people are most curious about doing a Detox and lots of people as me about them. I'd like to share my opinion on different types of detoxes and who they may be indicated for!

The craziest thing is that this topic is HUGE! I'd love to make a blog post that covered everything, but I'm not looking to land on the next best seller list with the novel that would become. I've decided to break this up into a series. First, I'd like to talk about the principle behind detoxes, then i'll break into categories discusses different actual detoxes. 

Part 1: Principle
Part 2: Food & Diet Detoxes
Part 3: Herbs & Supplements Detoxes

So let's get started with Part 1: The Principle behind Detoxes

Principle: detoxify your body from all the junk you've built up in your system since your last detox, or at least those holidays a couple of months ago. But how do we actually do this? We just need to support the ways that your body pushes toxins out of your body!

Eliminating Toxins : your body has 5 ways of getting rid of waste and they're called "emunctories". These are: lymphatic system, urinary system, digestion & colon, sweat, and breath. The lymphatic system collects waste from tissues and determines whether an immune response needs to be mounted and eventually, with the help of surround muscles, pushes and returns the neutralized invaders to the blood stream. Sweat is another way we release accumulated stuff, especially those which built up in our skin. This is why it's important to sweat at least once a weak to help push and move stuff out. Our lungs exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide and pushes this as well as other broken down by products out through our breath. Ever wonder why you smell like booze the day after a bender? Our breath and sweat are working away, as well as the insides of our bodies!
This leaves our last heavy hitters: urination and bowel movements. Both of these systems get their waste from our main detoxifying organ: the LIVER. The liver has 2 phases of breaking stuff down, and then sorts the resulting garbage into water soluble (sending to the kidneys) or fat soluble (sending to the colon). From there, a little more breaking down happens and then our bodies push out what we don't need.  

Who needs to Detox?
With the level of pollution in the environment and also in our food, the amount of pressure on our detoxification processes has significantly risen. As a result, I believe that everyone can benefit from some form of detox (different types will be discussed in future posts). When our body is working overtime it can start to get a bit backed up and then I see a lot of conditions rear their ugly heads, such as: headaches, fatigue, PMS, constipation, fibromyalgia, skin conditions such as eczema or acne, depression, to name a few. Individuals on chronic medications, or who have chronic conditions also greatly benefit from detoxes due to the long-term strain their body is under. 

...let the body catch up, and let yourself break the vicious cycle...

Supporting These Process & Getting 'Detoxed'
So now that we know what detoxing is, how and why do we do it? Technically, your body is already doing it! It does this every day, all day long cause that's it's job. What's the point in doing a detox then? This is actually a really good question!! We live in a very toxic world with high levels of pollution and high levels and crap in our food.  When I think about prescribing a detox to someone, my goals are: let the body catch up, and breaking any vicious cycles that may be present in your diet or lifestyle. I use a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, food, and lifestyle to support those emunctories listed above. 

We have discussed the what and the who.. in the next post let's discuss the HOW!

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