Detoxification, also referred to as cleansing, is the body’s natural process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins via the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and the skin. Detoxification therapies frequently serve as a foundation upon which alternative medicine is built. The concepts of internal cleansing and detoxifying have been fundamental to naturopathic philosophy for over a century, and have been practiced in various forms since Roman times.
Each year people are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals and pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere, water, food and soil. Building materials used in the home and workplace are often made from chemicals that are very toxic to humans. Everyday products such as gasoline, paint, household cleaners, cosmetics, pesticides, inks, over the counter and prescription drugs, and dry cleaning fluid also pose a serious threat because the body cannot easily break down these chemicals. As we are continually exposed to these toxins, our body’s detoxification system becomes overwhelmed and toxic substances accumulate. This accumulation of toxins can wreak havoc on the body’s normal processes and is often expressed through the symptoms of disease including decreased immune function, neurotoxicity, hormonal dysfunction, psychological disturbances, auto-immune diseases, and even cancer. A substantial and growing body of research now supports the significant impact that environmental toxin exposure has on health.
The following common symptoms indicate that a cleanse may be beneficial for you!
- Frequent Illness (colds, flus)
- Joint pain and Stiffness
- Constipation and Digestive Problems
- Increased mucus production and “allergy” symptoms
- Sensitivity to substances such as chemicals, perfumes and synthetics.
A cleansing program led by a knowledgeable naturopathic doctor may employ the use of vitamins, minerals, foods and herbs that aid the body in eliminating accumulated toxins. Cleansing aims to reduce or remove disease symptoms as well as promote overall health and wellness on many levels. The goals of detoxification might include increased energy, improved mental clarity, better immune function and digestion, and improved mood and sense of well-being. As with all naturopathic treatments, cleansing can be tailored to the individual’s own specific health concerns and wellness goals.
The need to tackle toxic burdens before they manifest themselves as disease has never been greater. It is clear that the future of health care will have at its very core an absolute requirement for safe and effective detoxification procedures, hopefully instituted before the individual’s immune system and vital organs have ceased to operate adequately. For more information on a cleansing program contact your naturopathic doctor.