Body cleansing protocols are no longer a little-known holistic approach for disease prevention. All too often when you go to relax in front of the TV to watch one of your favorite shows you browse through the channels and up pops an infomercial for the hottest new body cleansing or anti-aging products. Before you rush off and purchase an expensive detox package to rid your body of “accumulated toxic substances” in your tissues and organs, heed Dr. Leia’s advice and do these beginning steps first.
Is there a Right Time to Detox?
Question for Dr. Leia: I feel worn out, mentally and physically. I work a job that keeps me on the road a lot and my healthy eating habits are near to non-existent nowadays. I’ve never done a body system cleansing, and I would like to know where to start. I was also wondering if when you do a full-body cleanse if that helps with nicotine, too. I know I am a total mess, but I would really like to take a holistic approach to cleaning out all the toxins in my body. I just don’t remember the last time I actually felt good.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: I think it is wonderful that you want to take charge of your health, but I feel that it is imperative that you begin with your diet and lifestyle, rather than do a drastic whole body cleansing, and then revert back to an unhealthy diet again. It just doesn’t make sense to do it backwards!
A healthy diet is essential to your well-being and even to your state of mind. It may be that you are lacking vitamins and essential nutrients, deficiencies which are making you feel physically and mentally worn out. You can begin by adding some nutritious detox foods which will support your body in healing naturally over time.
And you will want to consider adding a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that doesn’t contain a lot of added food colorants and tableting agents.
Multi-Vitamins and Mineral Supplements
A good place to find a high-quality supplement is at your local health food store, or a reputable online source rather than a supermarket or drug store. Most stores that do not specialize in nutrition may not carry the best natural brands of vitamins and supplements. Some supplement ingredients are not the freshest nor the purest.
Also, it is important to know that the better quality nutritional supplements are not determined by the weight of nutrition in the products, which is the amount of milligrams. You can have a high-quality vitamin with a low milligram dosage that is much more effective than a poor-quality supplement with a high milligram dosage. So talk to your health store provider to locate the most reliable and affordable high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement. This is where I would start.
Short Term Relief with Stimulant Herbs
Also, if your energy is low be sure to stay away from stimulant herbs or nutraceuticals which promise instant energy and well-being.
Usually these complicated kitchen-sink substances will further aggravate the endocrine glands and cause even more depletion and imbalances in your body . . . short term relief at the expense of long term health. If you find you are over-stressed, make time to relax. You may want to take up meditation, or a learn a relaxing and energy supporting practice like QiGong Exercises or Tai Chi.
I don’t usually advise my patients to begin a cleansing or doing a fast unless they are in good physical shape, have plenty of energy, and are not “worn out.”
A cleansing can take its toll on the physical body. Here is a series of detailed articles on what to expect when doing a cleanse.
A Naturopathic Doctor’s Approach
If you live or travel to a town which has naturopathic doctors, then I would advise you to make an appointment with one and have a complete evaluation to see if there are any nutrient deficiencies or more serious problems with your health, including a check for your thyroid and adrenal glands.
Naturopathic doctors have access to variable ways of testing you with saliva, blood, urine, and hair analysis. Also, they have access to professional products which can correct the imbalances in your body.
Life is way too short to live it feeling worn out, so you might want to see if there is another type of work situation which will allow you to still feel a passion for your livelihood instead of creating disharmony in your life.
If you insist upon doing a body detox cleanse, then please go through the detailed series of articles above so you know what to expect. Please note that there is a phenomena called a Healing Crisis, which may make you feel worse during a cleanse. This is why I highly recommend that you visit a natural health practitioner for guidance and assistance in this matter.
Good luck in seeking optimum health.