I recently completed a six week detoxification program prescribed by my doctor and it got me thinking “What is this for and what are the benefits from it”. I then coincidentally stumbled across a detoxification section in the Diploma of Naturopathy course that I am currently studying which also sparked my interest and got me researching.
So what is detoxification and why is it so important? With today’s diet and hectic lifestyle, its no surprise that our bodies are full of unwanted toxins, pollutants and waste. This can cause us to feel sluggish or fatigued, feel out of sync, have aches and pains, bags under the eyes, suffer from digestive issues and bloating and the list goes on.
Detoxification is about giving the body a rest, nourishing it from the inside out, helping the body get rid of the build up of toxins, pollutants and waste products and letting the body’s own healing process take over. In simple terms, detoxification is cleaning the blood, which will help it circulate better.
There are many ways to detox. You can use a program prescribed by your doctor, which will involve the use of supplements specifically designed to flush out the toxins. You can also do a diet based detox (juicing, bowel-liver-kidney cleanses, fasting etc) as well as enemas, colonic irrigation, exercise and saunas. It’s these last two options got that got my attention.
It’s no surprise that exercise plays an important part in any detoxification program. It increases circulation, strengthens the heart, increases lung capacity, improves brain function, expels carbon dioxide and sweat cleanses out the sweat glands. The lymphatic and circulatory systems also play an important role in detoxification. Not only does exercise help the lymph move throughout the body, it also improves oxygen delivery.
So what exercise helps with the detoxification process? Well there are the obvious ones; low impact aerobic exercise to get the blood pumping and hot yoga to increase expulsion of toxins. What I found interesting though is that rebounding has been shown to be the best exercise to detox and improve the immune function.
So what is rebounding exactly? Well it’s simply jumping on a small trampoline! Who would have thought huh? Apparently, when you are at the top of the jump, the weightlessness experienced actually helps pump lymph through your body, which helps flush out toxins from the rest of the body. Not only that, rebounding can help initiate healing, improve the digestive system and speed of waste through the colon so that regularity is improved. The good news is that this exercise is low impact, simple and can be done by anyone, regardless of their fitness capabilities.
Did you know that using a Sauna is also a good way to detox as it flushes out toxins through perspiration? The intense sweating in a sauna can help your kidneys detox 1/3 of the toxins that they remove from your blood stream.
Through the use of a sauna, your white blood cell count can also increase up to 58%, which will help boost your immune system. Sauna’s can help lower blood pressure, strengthen heart muscles, improve cardiovascular system, improve the lining of the arteries and improve fat metabolism.
The benefits as a whole from a detoxification program include gaining more energy, glowing skin, balancing your hormones, stronger immune system, improved digestion and concentration as well as assisting with weight loss. However, it is important to also know that it can be coupled with symptoms such as fatigue, feeling unwell and clouded thinking while your body works hard and getting rid of the toxins from your body.
From a personal experience, I can say that I definitely noticed a positive difference in my skin, energy levels and concentration levels. Experts recommend that you complete a detoxification program once or twice a year to give your body a much-needed reboot.