Detox ControversyAs you know if you’ve been following along, Huff and I have been decluttering our homes, our offices, our thoughts, and our bodies.  It makes sense that as we Shed That Which No Longer Serves Us, we would eventually bump up against the idea of cleansing the physical body from the inside out.

I’m sure that this will piss off a few people, alienate a few more, and give inspiration and (dare I say it) hope to a few others.  So be it.  If you don’t like the detox idea, you don’t have to try it, that’s all!  It’s sort of like lima beans.  Some love them, some don’t, neither are wrong.

So what’s the controversy?  Well, there are those of the Natural Hygiene  movement and other natural health types who believe that our bodies are delicate yet durable ecosystems which have the ability to heal themselves of most things given half a chance, a clean environment, and a little rest.  And then there’s everyone else, who believe that our bodies are naturally cleaned out by our own processes and no other assistance is necessary or even desirable.  In fact, some in Camp Two believe that a detox or cleanse of any sort is downright evil and unhealthy.  Oh, and I should mention that there is also a segment of society for whom any sort of tinkering with or abstinence from food will trigger all out mental health breakdowns so if you are one of those battling an eating disorder, please shut this down right now and call your support group.  Yes, I mean it.

Let’s talk for a moment about what a detox is and is not.  I’m not referring to 30 days with Betty Ford, either.  This is about ridding the body and particularly the gastrointestinal system of toxins that will have accumulated within, on account of poor quality or chemically-contaminated food (which describes almost everything in a typical grocery store), poor food choices (such as caffeine, sugar, trans fats, etc.), environmental toxins (hairspray, chlorine, fluoride, car exhaust, etc.), medications, allergens, and so on.  A detox is NOT a weight loss regimen, quick fix to fit into your skinny jeans, a cult indoctrination requirement, or Hollywood superstar secret diet.  It’s about sweeping out the unhealthy things so that your dear body can do its job effectively.

“Oh, Puff,” you might say, “is all this really necessary?  Can’t we just go on about our business?”  Aboslutely you can and no one will be the wiser.  However, I humbly submit that the ritual of the detoxifying cleanse may be the pause you need to eliminate a bad habit or create a good habit.  Having performed many cleanses in the past, ranging from three to ten days, I can tell you without a doubt that it has changed my life for the better.  The first set of cleanses that I embarked upon were done so as a desperate measure to combat some serious health issues and out of whack auto-immune responses.  It was a last-ditch effort, if you will, to try to regain some semblance of health.  And it worked.  Not sort-of-worked-a-little- bit — no, this simple process literally eliminated at least two long-term chronic disease conditions and (I believe) saved my life.  Hence, I am understandably grateful and a bit of a proselytizer on the topic.  That doesn’t mean it is for everyone or that you will have the same results.  Like everything, your mileage may vary.

Think about whether you have the interest, time, and energy to create a cleansing ritual in your life.  My next post is about the mechanics of it, with resources for more reading, so stay tuned!

Detoxifying for health ~ Puff

3 Responses to “The Detox Controversy (1 of 3)”

  • Jana:

    I think detox is akin to the ancient custom of fasting, practiced by most of the world’s major religions. I believe it’s especially useful in today’s culture of excess. A little self denial can bring some surprising spiritual and physical rewards. (I guess this means I need to schedule my next detox/fast).

  • Brooke:

    I agree with Jana that detoxing has both spirtual and physical rewards. I’ve found that detoxing helps eliminate (or at least hold at bay) unhealthy cravings (like for high sugar and high carb foods). It also creates a space so to speak to reflect on what we put into our body and what we think we “can’t live without.” I was a die hard Diet soda fan, consuming about 4-5 cans of diet soda a day. For my first detox, which began on October 1, 2009, I had gone a week with no soda so I kept on going. At this point, I have not had a soda since September 30, 2009 and I would have never believed that possible. I definitely couldn’t have done that without the detox.

  • Puff:

    Jana and Brooke — I agree that there is a spiritual space that opens with cleansing / fasting and it’s often accompanied by surprising insights into why we do the things we do. For example, during my first cleanse, I realized that chewing and grinding one’s teeth are similar activities and — lo and behold — they are both stress relievers, although not healthy ones!

    Brooke — I’m so proud of you for kicking the diet soda habit! It’s a major toxin and can really stall weight loss.

    Jana — time to schedule your cleanse!

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