by Milka Gronlund, PhD, Fitness Director of Aliso Viejo Country Club

Uncluttering, cleansing, organizing, focusing, decongesting and washing can all be a form of detoxification, depending on the problem or area that needs to be detoxified. Detoxification in this article covers many areas that are good for physical, mental and spiritual health.  The foods that we eat, how we eat them, relationships, environment and thoughts that we have can all be toxic. Having an overall detoxification of the life style can be powerful way to become healthier

Areas of Detoxification

  1. Foods and eating patterns can be toxic. Learning to eat healthy foods with a clean and health promoting approach can be very nurturing, peaceful and supportive of your overall health. Portions can be difficult to control, yet smaller and appropriate portions of each type of food are important for health. How do you feel when you eat a huge portions of a unhealthy food? Do you perhaps feel energized and happy, or rather lazy and irritated?
  2. Toxic substances can create a very unhealthy situation in your life. Changing alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and other substances to a balanced and harmonious lifestyle can create an experience that is very healing and nurturing to you. Transition can be a definite challenge. Professional help can make a very positive difference.
  3. Lifestyle habits can be toxic to our health. Replacing toxic habits with positive ones can have a powerful impact on your sense of wellbeing. Some examples of positive lifestyle habits are proper sleep, laughter, relaxation, gatherings with supportive friends, proper exercise, healthy diet and healthy hobbies. How do you feel if you skip your sleep chronically and eat drink soda?
  4. Workplace can be toxic to your health not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Ideally you would feel mutual appreciation, support and respect towards your coworkers, clients, the management, your team and your subordinates.
  5. Home Sweet Home can be a source of toxicity in your life. Detoxification of the physical environment, relationships with roommates, family, significant other and relatives can improve your sense of wellbeing and harmony at your home.
  6. Your Emotions are important to your health. Being stuck with toxic emotions, negative self-talk, anger, hate, disrespect and lack of care, love and respect for oneself can be toxic for your health, especially in the long term.
  7. Spiritual wellbeing is often overlooked. Having a sense of purpose, following your calling, feeling blessed and being grateful might be beneficial for overall wellbeing. Having a lack of appreciation and lack of gratefulness along with lack of peace, harmony and calm within can be toxic to your spiritual wellbeing.

Nutritional and Exercise Related Support Factors in Detoxification Process

  1. Fasting is a popular way to help the body detoxify and become healthier. There are many ways to complete a detoxification; drinking water, drinking herbal tea, fruit juices and even eating small meals when doing a cleanse, taking herbs and eating carefully prepared foods. Many doctors consider fasting to be too extreme, unhealthy and too drastic. Many people do it for religious purposes.  It is best to listen to your body and do what is best for you. Work closely with your doctor if your have any concerns regarding your health and your diet.
  2. Clean foods, fruits & veggies & herbs can help you detox your body and also maintain your results thereafter. Their purpose is to support your body for optimal health. There are many detoxifying diets out there, including the acid-alkaline balanced approach. Fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods and most often the center of these programs (Alternative Medicine).
  3. Yoga offers detoxification of the body and mind, which allows one to be more aware of the negative effects of harmful substances. The consumption of unhealthy foods, chemicals and stimulants is hard on the internal organs. Yoga helps balance the body without hurting it. (Patel, P. 168-169)
  4. Exercise can “help your body to eliminate toxins and it is essential part of any detoxification program”.  It comes with other benefits, such as “increased stamina, flexibility and strength, which as are all beneficial for greater well being. (Rose, Sara. p. 72)
  5. Meditation  “refers to a thinking process that is a mental.” There are many types of meditation practices, with different benefits. (Pratima Raichur, p. 314) Meditation can be beneficial in lowering stress levels and it can offer a relaxation response. It has been linked to physical illnesses that are related to stress, including PMS, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Establishing new habits and new routines can be overwhelming.  Be kind to yourself and take one step at the time. We are often creatures of our own habits, therefore we often repeat our actions from one day to another, which can make change difficult. Making a goal to change one component per week might be a good strategy. As always, do listen to your body for feedback and work with appropriate health and wellness professionals for optimal results.

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