Atma: How your body’s detox process works

Detoxing is a crucial and specific biological sequence that helps our human gut work properly. It refers to the act of resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. Every now and then, it’s important that we remove and eliminate negative toxins from the body to feed it with the good stuff – including healthy nutrients to renew your wellbeing. In Ayurverdic and Chinese medicine, yoga, meditation and tai chi are also used as ways to recover the body.

Detoxification essentially means cleansing the blood, through removal of impurities from the blood in the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system and skin. There are different ways of approaching an effective detox and it all depends on the individual but some of the main programs include fasting, stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body, improving blood circulation and refilling the body with essential nutrients. Ideally, you can try to incorporate each of these methods on rotation to achieve an optimum state of health. But don’t think of detox as a negative thing – we all need to do it, especially since we’re constantly exposed to bad chemicals, some of which we can’t even see. It can be in the air, on our skin and even in our water, which can make it difficult to control all the time. So don’t think of it as a bad thing. Promoting detoxification has been around for generations, often used in traditional healing therapies around the world.

Why do we need to detox?

Every day, our bodies intake different levels of toxins, though it’s only equipped to deal with lower levels, ideally. Since we are constantly exposed to different levels of toxins, our natural cleansing systems can become overworked. Our bodies also produce internal toxins that can build up over time and cause harm if left for too long.

So how can we detox the body and get it back into that tip-top shape it needs to support your natural system?

Understanding the two-phase detox process is a good starting point. Most of the detox work is performed by the liver, as well as the lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system and skin. You can begin phase one of the detox process which is referred to ask the activation phase. Here, the specialized enzymes in the body will alter toxins to prepare them for the second phase. These can turn into free radicals and become harmful if they stay here for too long. During phase two, the body will neutralize any activated substances from before and eliminate them from the system. In order to do so, they need specific nutrients like amino acids to complete the process properly. Any final products are then flushed out of the body by urine or bile. These two phases must work together efficiently though to ensure an effective result. If one phase doesn’t work properly, you may experience symptoms like headaches and fatigue that hinder your body from healthy recovery. It’s important that you take the essential vitamins and nutrients when needed to support your liver function.

When to detox

There are ways to tell when you need a detox. Some obvious examples include bloating, constipation, weight gain, unexplained fatigue and puffiness which can stem from an imbalance in your routine. It’s recommended to detox at least once a year, unless you have a history of disordered eating, have low nutrition, are pregnant or undergoing an intensive health program.

Some quick steps to begin the body detox include lightening up the toxin load, by eliminating coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, saturated fats and anything else that is bad for the body, even chemical-based cleaning substances. Find a stress-free movement activity like yoga, tai chi or meditation (or all of them) as simple and effective easy to relieve any mental burdens. There are different types of detox of course, like going on a fruit and veggie detox to a juice cleanse, each with its own benefits. Saunas are also a great way to sweat out negative toxins, while hydrotherapy can be a soothing natural detoxification for fully unwinding. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any concerns before you begin your detox process.

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