Feeling sluggish or out of sync? Having skin problems, aches and pains, or digestive problems? Straying from your healthier habits lately? It might be time for a detox.

Practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world ? including ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems ? detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. Protect from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health by elminating toxins.

How Does Detoxification Work?

Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. It does this mainly by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.

A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:

1) Resting the organs through fasting;

2) Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;

3) Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin;

4) Improving circulation of the blood; and

5) Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.

Do you need to detox?

Bennett suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. A short detoxifying program is generally safe; in fact, scientific studies show that a detox is beneficial for health. Caution must be taken for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, caner or others. Consult your health care practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.

Where Do You Begin?

First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.

Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. So it’s a good idea to detox stressful life situations along with detoxifying your body.

Do you know which Detox program is best for you?

There are many detoxification programs, depending on your individual needs. Many programs follow a 7-day schedule.

Some even recommend two or more weeks. Be aware that you may have some withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. So drink plenty of water and that if you want to you can lie down until the headache subsides. Rest is the best remedy.

Other popular detoxing programs include:

Cleansing supplement packages, which generally contain fiber, vitamins, herbs and minerals. There are several safe products on the market, with easy-to-follow instructions.

A routine of drinking only water one day each week ? an ancient practice of many cultures
10 Ways to Help Your Body Detoxify

After a detoxification program, you can cleanse your body daily through diet, supplements and lifestyle practices.

1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Great detoxifying foods are cabbage,broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, beets, radishes and seweed.

2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.

3. Vitamin C helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.

4. Drink at least 2 quarts of water daily.

5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.

6. Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.

7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.

8. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.

9. Dry-brush your skin or try detoxifying patches or foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.

10. Exercise, walking, yoga, qigong or similar for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.
Are there any side effects?

There are some possible side effects when detoxing. Some dont suffer at all. I remember my first detox where I suffered with headaches for two days. I was extremely tired and suffered severe body aches and pains. But once I got through those days I was fine. The first three or four days are the worst. But hang in as it does get better and you will be so proud of yourself. As I was suffering severely with Candida and also had two small children to take care of, I can say it was not easy but I was determined to go through it.

Detoxing symptoms commonly include headaches, lower back pain, dry mouth, bad breath, skin rashes, nausea, body odor, fatigue, abdominal gas and rumblings, mucous discharge, anxiety, boredom, joint and muscular aches and pains, cold feet and hands, sleeplessness and more. But remember not everyone suffers like this.

After Detox

My first detox I did for approximately 6 weeks. In a perfect world I would have continued to live the same lifestyle I did for the 6 weeks. But I live in the real world and found it was just not possible. I do eat a very healthy diet and detox at least twice a year. Make sure you exercise regularly.