The word Detoxification brings to mind images of sweating, using the bathroom frequently, and other generally unpleasant physical sensations and processes. However, detoxification is a very important part of our lives here on earth. Our bodies are equipped with organs that keep our internal workings clean, and if these organs become diseased, we can die.
The liver is probably the most important organ we have for detoxifying the body. Everything we put in our mouths gets processed through the liver as it gets digested. Anything that enters our bloodstream through our skin, mucus membranes, lungs, or is directly injected also ultimately goes through the liver for processing. Those affected with alcoholism often suffer from cirrhosis, which can be thought of as “dying liver”. Alcoholics with cirrhosis ultimately die because the liver is unable to process anything, and toxic substances build up in the blood.
The intestines are an initial point of entry for processed food and drugs that we put into our mouths. As we age, many of us develop small outpouchings, or diverticuli in our intestines. Undigested food can get trapped in these diverticuli and sit there for years. Picture not emptying your food waste garbage for years at a time and you will get some idea of the toxic waste that could be sitting in your intestines. Just having diverticuli is called Diverticulosis. Diverticuli that become infected can lead to the painful and possibly life threatening condition of diverticulitis.
I mentioned sweating above, because the skin is our largest organ, and through sweating provides us with detoxification. It is important to keep the skin clean, hydrated, and exfoliated for best functioning.
Most people are not aware how important it is to pay special attention to our feet. We have smelly feet because of all the toxic substances that are put out through that sweat.
Those that see a mental health professional do because they are concerned about either their mental or emotional health. Although those with depression or anxiety are considered as having a mental dysfunction, they really suffer from difficulty with their emotions. It is important to make this distinction, because those with true “mental illness” have a problem with their thinking, while those with emotional disorders have difficulties with their feelings.
Many of us who are considered to be empathic actually feel the feelings of others when we are around them; in other words, many of the feelings and emotions we think we have don’t even belong to us. If you have ever walked into a room full of people and suddenly felt nervous, sad, or angry when you were fine before entering the room, you were picking up on the emotions of others in the room. You naturally assumed that it was YOU who was feeling nervous, sad or angry. The emotion then gets registered by the mind, who then searches its database for reasons for that emotion in yourself. As a result, you may say something you don’t mean, or leave the meeting in a bad mood which affects the rest of your day.
Our emotions have a direct connection to our mind and spirit. If you’ve ever tried meditating when you were “in a tizzy”, you know how difficult it is to get your mind off of your problems and how you feel about them. Detoxification of the mind, emotions, and body leads to greater spiritual connections and health.
One very important tool we have for spiritual “detoxification” is through sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to all sorts of seemingly bizarre behaviors and even death. Many spiritually enlightened people feel that our sleep time is when we connect to the spiritual realm, to the collective unconscious, or even to God.
Other spiritual tools useful for detoxification and emotional clearing include using crystals, essential oils, smudging, and meditation.
Detoxification of the Body
Although the body is very good at getting rid of toxins, our 20th and 21st century lifestyle has created such a burden of waste in our systems that the body must work extra hard to get rid of all the muck, leaving less energy to live full and productive lives. It is suggested that one undergo an initial detoxification process, and then follow maintenance for best benefit. The initial detoxification can include water or juice fasting, internal intestinal cleansing with detoxification products, steam or sauna treatments, colonics, skin brushing, and foot baths, among others.
Keep in mind that doing anything “cold turkey” can lead to discomfort, and detoxification is no different. Realize that all the toxins that have been collecting for your entire life are being liberated, and “if it is toxic going in, it is toxic coming out”. However, the body is a miraculous adapter, and will attempt to make things as easy on you as possible. Certain products can make the process easier, especially if they are organically and lovingly prepared and administered.
Detoxification of the Mind, Emotions, and Spirit
You will find that making an effort to detoxify your mind from negative thoughts and removing yourself from negatively charged emotional situations will lead to spiritual detoxification. Removing negative thoughts from your mind involves intense introspection and getting to know and understand “the real you”. This can be quite complex as it involves examining your beliefs about everything and everyone in your life, especially your beliefs about yourself. Many of us have difficulty with this because we are filled with false information and dogma that was instilled in us as children. Letting go of false beliefs requires conviction, and often the help of a professional or a support group.
As with physical detoxification, “if it is toxic going in, it is toxic coming out”. Release of negative beliefs and emotions is often accompanied by sadness and crying, anger, depression, and other negative emotional responses, and can take years. However, once you have gone through the process you will find that you can live a more authentic life, free from fear, anxiety and judgment.
Follow These Tips for Detoxification and Maintenance:
- Schedule your initial detoxification for a time in your life when you can afford to disrupt your “normal” routine. Expect to experience headaches, digestive problems, skin blemishes, and possible change in your normal body odor. Give the initial process 1-3 months, depending on your baseline. Many people do a yearly detox in January to get them ready for the rest of the year.
- Try to include some type of detoxification for each system, such as a fiber cleansing product for your liver and intestines, plenty of pure water for your kidneys, skin brushing and foot baths for your skin, and meditation for your mind and spirit.
- See a therapist or join a support group, or find an online resource where you can share your feelings with others going through similar situations. Try to surround yourself with positive people, and get out in nature as much as you can. Increase your natural levels of Oxytocin (see previous blog post “Get All the Love Drug You Want for Free”).
- Learn how to breathe properly (see previous blog post “Change Your Life in 3 Breaths”).
- Once you have completed your initial detoxification, institute a daily maintenance schedule. You can step down your use of products and begin bathing and meditating on a less intense schedule. Most people bathe/brush once per day, and meditate for 20 minutes in the morning and evening.
- It is important to switch over to foods that are not toxic to your system. This will be the topic of another blog. Concentrate on organic, raw (uncooked) foods, vegetables and fruits over meats. Especially avoid grain fed meats (the animals eat grains infused with chemicals and pesticides, which then enter our bodies when we eat them). Genetically Modified Foods are those that have been derived from genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), and are especially dangerous.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs. My policy is, if it doesn’t look like it came from nature, (especially if it looks like a pill) don’t put it in your body without extensive research on the risks, benefits, and side effects. Try to transition from conventional prescription pills to more natural healing methods.
- Detoxify your environment. Limit your exposure to electronics, especially TV. Recent studies show that the electromagnetic energy put out by all electronic devices can be detrimental to health.
Instituting a detoxification program is definitely something that should be taken seriously, with an understanding for how it may affect you and those around you. But the results are often amazing and can lead you to a life free from disease, addictions and cravings, produce weight loss, and enhance your relationships with yourself and others.
- A Closer Look at Ayurvedic Body Therapies for Your Spring Detox (ambikahealing.wordpress.com)
- 3 Steps for Emotional Spring Cleaning (lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com)