Dec 3, 2020
Firstly, let's begin with the difference between detoxing and fasting because contrary to popular belief they are different.
Fasting means we are abstaining from eating and drinking all together for a set period of time. A water fast is the most common type of fast, where only filtered water is consumed.
While fasting will lead to a detoxification of body systems it is not necessary to fast in order to detox
To detox means to cleanse something. To do this we need to stop bringing in rubbish (ie toxins) into the body.
Imagine your body is a pool and you have been neglecting it for a while. The pool is dirty and the filtration system is clogged. You need to clean the pool but if you continue filling the pool with dirty water the pool will never be cleansed.
This is the same for detoxing. In order to detox properly we need to support the body to cleanse itself of the toxic load AND reduce the toxins coming into the body from food and drinks. It is also important to consider what toxins we may apply to our skin (in the form of creams, perfumes, antiperspirants etc) and what we breathe in (environmental pollution, smoking etc). What we put into our bodies during a cleanse plays a BIG role in the effectiveness.
How are our detoxification systems impacted by increased toxic load?
There are many types of detoxing including gut, liver, lymphatic, kidney, matrix and then finally intracellular.
All of the detoxes mentioned (except intracellular) relate to different parts of the body which act as filters for toxins within our bodies.
The liver is our major detoxification organ and so this is often (but not always) where we begin the detoxification process.
You can imagine the liver like a sponge mopping up the body’s mess (the toxins). You can also imagine that the sponge can out ring out (release the toxins) a certain amount of times per hour. It does a good job but if there is more mess to clean up than what it can ring out each hour, then it is going to become full and the toxins will leak out into the bloodstream.
From here the toxins are pushed out of the blood (where it is dangerous for the body to hold toxins), into the extracellular space called the matrix. The lymphatic system then pulls the toxins from the matrix and attempts to drain them from the body.
What we need to understand is that if the liver is full of toxins, the matrix will eventually get really full. This then puts added burden on the lymphatic system which eventually will not be able to drain any further. At this point the skin and lungs become an organ of detoxing (rashes, itching, bad breath can all indicate the need to detox).
While this is happening you can imagine how the matrix (the space outside the cells) is becoming increasingly full of toxins. and this pressure is going to push toxins into the cell and so we are also going to have to detox the cell (intracellular space).
How do we know where to start?
Most of the time we are deciding what body system to focus on first with a detox we divide it into outside the cell detox and inside the cell detox.
The majority of detoxing in the body happens through three phases through your liver & gut and liver & kidneys.
Phase 1 (of detoxification) begins when there are toxins present in the body. The liver breaks these toxins down (through oxidisation) and sends for further processing (stage 2) and excretion either via the kidneys (urine) or gut (stools).
Nutritionally, we need to consume anti-oxidants and other Vitamins (A, C & E) and minerals (zinc, manganese, selenium) to support the oxidisation process in phase 1.
The most common problem of detoxing is in phase 2 when the gut is sluggish, usually due to lack of the required nutrients for this part of the process to occur ( Eg Sulfur, amino acids, Vit B12, Glutathione). If the gut cannot complete phase2 of the detox, the toxins are reabsorbed into the blood and the liver will have to process them again.
Phase 3 is the transportation of the processed toxins out of the body (elimination) via the urine or stool.
How much water do we need for detoxing?
This depends on where you live (temperature/humidity), exercise, diet, size etc but on average around 1.2 to 1.5 lt per day is good. Some people however, need 4 to 4.5 litres per day so you really need to look at your individual circumstances.
We need to note here that while water is an important partof effective detoxing, there are other factors that are just as important. For example, for effective flushing we also require good bowel movements.
And if we are looking at improving the bowels then we need to look at the liver and which plays an important role in getting the bowels to move. The liver also helps with digestive processes (eg breaking down fats) and thus supporting the liver means you are supporting the gut.
How often should we move bowels?
Again everyone is different depending on metabolism. Someone with a fast metabolism will move their bowels about 30 to 40 minutes after every meal. Vegetarians also tend to move their bowels more because of the fibre in plants.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who, genetically speaking, do not have the ability to produce mucous and thus cannot hold good bacteria in gut. As a consequence they have difficulty moving their bowels. These people need probiotics, magnesium, extra fibre and a very healthy diet to maintain their gut health.
With all that being said, one movement per day is the minimum expected and it is normal for some people to have 2 or 3 movements per day.
Detoxing the liver is very important and we can assume that if the liver is not working well then the matrix will also be congested. The matrix has a semi-fluid consistency which, when it thickens (usually from body acidity), makes it difficult for the body to detox. This is why alkalising the body is important during a detox. With this process occuring the kidneys then also require support.
Signs we need detoxing
If your body is producing an excess of anything it is often a good sign you need detoxing. For example, diarrhoea, rashes, acne, weepy eyes, ear wax or inflammation.
If we don’t have these signs should I still detox?
There are other signs of a need to detox, including fatigue, hay fever, allergies and parasites.
Where do I start?
In our clinic we ask you questions about your diet, lifestyle, symptoms etc and then we look through the microscope at your blood. Here we can see if the lymphatic system is congested or not.
We can also see if the liver requires detoxing, depending on how the red blood cells appear.
From here we know that if the liver and lymphatic system require support, then the kidneys will definitely need support too, especially if pH is very low (acidic).
By detoxing the liver, lymphatic system and kidneys we are automatically supporting the bowel as well.
When detoxing can we still eat a normal diet?
Not unless your normal diet is in alignment with the guidelines we provide for you. As we said earlier, we need to make sure we aren't pouring in toxins into the body while detoxing. For example, if you drink two glasses of wine per day while detoxing it is going to defeat the purpose because alcohol is full of toxins (preservatives, nitrates etc) and makes the body acidic.
What we want to do is to focus the diet onto alkaline or neutral pH foods and avoid food and drinks which cause body acidity and/or contain toxins. We give diet recommendations to our patients based on their individual needs.
How long should a detox take?
Each person will have a limit as to how quickly they can detox. You cannot detox too much at once because you will end up with headaches, nausea, gut issues etc because too many toxins are trying to get out of the body at once.
Again, we look at each person individually. Sometimes we might do 2 weeks on liver and kidneys and then add the lymphatics after and then intracellular. The process can take up to 2 months.
Intermittent fasting is not just about weight loss. It is about allowing the body resting periods in which it can detox and heal so when you bring things back in, it is ready to deal with the load.
This works for many people but if you have a high stress life, do a lot of sports or have a lot of energetic output generally, then intermittent fasting may not be for you. This is because your adrenals need the support of small frequent meals.
Is keto a detox?
No. Keto tends to be high fat. This helps to lose weight but too much animal fat creates stagnation in the liver leading to fatty liver. This eventually means the liver cannot detox and weight gain follows.
Tools we use in the clinic
We observe you (skin condition, tongue, nails etc)
We ask questions
We look at your blood under the microscope
We monitor how you respond to certain treatments and lifestyle habits and make changes as required
We use a range of supportive treatments including essential oils, homeopathics, herbs and supplements.
We reassess after 6 weeks.
How often should we detox?
Once to twice per year is usually enough. Note that lymphatic detox can be done other ways too and not just through diets and nutritional support. For example jumping on a trampoline, skin brushing, walking and temperature changes all stimulate a lymphatic flush.
How do I book an appointment?
Appointments are available both online and in person (Applecross Western Australia).
To book an appointment head to https://www.aurorahealingcodes.com/ for more information.
Music: Wholesome by Kevin MacLeod