Detox From the Detox Mindset
Exposure to toxins in our air, water, food, medications and alcohol are commonplace these days. Naturally the occasional cleanse seems important, yet paradoxically the greater our need to detoxify ourselves, the more carefully we should proceed. Without educated support it is not uncommon to overshoot and perhaps overlook something as essential as good nourishment. The human body detoxifies itself as a matter of course and its ability to do so is determined by the health of the individual.
A common mistake is to fluctuate from indulgence to abstinence in order to find the middle path. Take for instance someone who lives off of convenience food and develops high cholesterol but then goes on a two week-long juice fast to ‘detox’. While this provides some benefit, a juice fast isn’t the ideal way to reduce cholesterol. It takes healthy fats to replace trans fats and ideally fiber from whole foods to assist in healthy elimination. Another example is the weekend warrior who maintains a 1,500 calorie diet during the week only to rebound back to binge drinking and eating on weekends. Food restriction alone isn’t the road to achieving optimal nutrition levels, and is likely to contribute to unhealthy addiction cycles because of the cravings it causes. After all, with the way that alcohol spikes blood sugar, one way of understanding alcohol addiction is through the aspect of the glycemic spike.
Beyond the juice fasts, (another source of unhealthy glycemic spiking) and restrictive diets, many purchase herbal cleanse products, adhere to exercise boot camps, or opt for a ‘master cleanse’ or do colonics to name a few. While these approaches may have some merit (with proper guidelines followed), generally, slow and steady wins the race. This is especially true where there is real work to be done. A good first step involves taking a realistic look at what you need to detoxify from and assessing the ability of your system to reverse the damage done. This is how I support you to return to balance. Since balance is a lifelong pursuit, making lasting changes should involve being realistic and enhancing health. Otherwise we risk making chronic patterns worse as we yo-yo from one imbalance to another.
There are many ways that humans stand in the way of their own progression towards optimal health. Already, your body strives to help keep you healthy. It’s important that you learn more about how your body works in order to support it. We can trust that if we make a habit of giving our bodies what they need, that our bodies will in turn perform optimally to support us.
By providing a calm and relaxed mind and a balanced hormonal system, encouraging correct function of elimination pathways and boosting your immune system, Chinese Medicine can be a powerful support for your detoxification and metabolic goals. Rarely is temporary self-restriction a cornerstone to reclaiming health. Creating good habits like enjoying delicious whole foods, going to see your acupuncturist, and being physically active are crucial to longevity. After all, if we ruin our bodies, where will we live?