Doctor Doni

Detoxification: How To Do It Right (Episode 147)

What is detoxification? What does it mean for you and your health? What does it include or what might you want to include in your detoxification? And what should you consider when thinking about doing a detox for your body, your mind, and spirit?

Detoxification is the topic of this week’s episode. This includes whether you are considering a physical detoxification and/or a spiritual and emotional detoxification.

Why Consider Detoxification?

Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s clear that as human beings we are affected by the stress that we are exposed to, including trauma (even from earlier times in our lives) and those stresses and traumas affect us on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level. Also, toxins from our environment, whether from air, food, water or other toxins like mold, affect us as well on all of those levels.

Often times we find ourselves overconsuming substances like alcohol, food, sugar or other substances and medications. This is a sign that our body is in need of a detoxification.

We might have been under a lot of stress or exposed to toxins and we end up seeking out something to help us feel better or to numb the discomfort and the emotional/physical pain. So we end up choosing substances that are even more toxic to our bodies.

Another sign that our body gives us when we are in need of a detoxification is when we start developing health issues. Whether it’s fatigue, anxiety, sleep or digestive issues, infections, HPV, weight gain that you can’t lose or skin rashes, autoimmunity issues, etc. All this tells us there is unresolved stress, trauma and toxins underlying. 

What I do as a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in this area is help people get to the bottom of that. Sometimes people do not want to become dependent on medications and substances to deal with what they’ve been through; they want to really get to the root cause and resolve it so they can get back to feeling good without having to be depending on medications and other substances. So, if you’re listening and you really want to change things and effectively address the underlying cause of your illness then you are in the right place.

What Does Detoxification Entail?

Detoxification can mean literally getting the toxins out of your body, so a lot of times when you hear about a detox or a cleanse it will involve avoiding substances that we often overconsume like alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, refined sugar, fats, etc. that we often choose to feel better and cope with stress. But we can help our bodies recover from stress, so we are not feeling the need to overconsume these substances.

Other times it will involve avoiding getting exposed to toxins in air or water. 

So, a detoxification can involve avoiding foods, substances, or toxins in our environment for a period of time in order to help our bodies get these out and recover because a lot of these toxins stay and build up in our bodies once they get in. So think about what can you do to stop putting in that’s toxic, and what can you do to help your body move the toxins out. This is how we generally think of a detox on a physical level.

Also, there is so much you can do to support your body’s natural detoxifying processes. Toxins in our body are processed and eliminated through the liver by utilizing enzymes that metabolize toxins, from there, toxins go into our bile and then our intestines to get out of our bodies. So we want to support effective liver and digestive tract function. We also release toxins through breath, sweat and urine, so breathwork, exercise and drinking enough water are key to help our bodies with detoxification. 

How to Help Our Bodies Through the Detoxification Process

We can help our bodies with its natural detoxifying process through nutrients. Nutrients help our liver detoxify our system. B Vitamins and Methyl Folate for example are essential for helping our liver with its detoxifying process.

Antioxidants are also necessary for our detoxification process. Oxidative stress is how stress looks inside our cells. When stress throws off the balance in our cells we have a rise in oxidative stress which causes damage to our cells and DNA if we don’t have antioxidants in our bodies. By raising the antioxidants levels in our bodies, we can help improve maintain oxidative stress low in our cells.

Also, for our bodies to be able to function properly and detoxify we need to make sure we are eating healthy and by healthy I mean giving your body the three macronutrients that it can’t produce by itself: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. These are found in the foods you eat every day and they are necessary for our bodies to produce energy and have all systems work efficiently. 

Of course, if you are under stress your body will not be able to absorb these nutrients efficiently. If you notice digestive issues, you could be suffering from leaky gut which is exactly our bodies inability to absorb nutrients correctly. 

It’s important to consider also that detoxification is not a one-size-fits-all process. It must be based on your unique body, your genetics, your nutrient status, your stress exposure, and the toxins that are affecting you as an individual. So, if you do not have the help of a practitioner, you can get yourself into a tight spot. If we make big changes too quickly, if we don’t take into account everything we need to and if we don’t individualize it we can cause more harm than good to our bodies. I can help you individualize your detoxification, so we make sure you are doing exactly what your body needs.

Detoxification: How to Start

eating well, eating healthy, sleep, sleep well, stress, stress reduction, exercise, diet and exercise

It’s important to start detoxification in a gentle way. So, what should you include in your detox as a starting point? First of all, I am going to use my C.A.R.E. acronym as it helps us to think about what we should be including in our lives every day. C is for Clean Eating, A is for Adequate Sleep, R stands for Recovery Activities and E for Exercise. 

When you are going to do a detox or reset the main thing is to think about your diet, how can you shift to what would be considered clean eating. It might mean decrease your alcohol intake for a period of time, decrease or avoid caffeine, sugar, gluten and dairy (which are two of the most inflammatory foods), it could also mean avoiding eggs, nuts and soy depending on your food sensitivity. You can find your foods sensitivity by doing a food panel home test. Also choosing organic foods and complementing them with good supplements, vitamins and herbs, drinking mostly water and tea, and thinking about the fasting part of it too. 

This is what I have put together in my 14-day detox kit which includes a protein powder (animal or plant based), antioxidants, and an amino acid formula to help your liver to detoxify.

Emotional & Spiritual Detoxification

This is where we can bring it all around. Instead of just focusing on the physical we can also focus on the emotional and spiritual. There are different ways in which you can do this and I am happy to guide you more on this.

I have been working on this for many years in different forms, travelling around the world and especially in Peru working with a Shaman and also working with spiritual healing and so I integrate all of that into my 14-day detox program to guide you on how you can start to address some of the emotional stresses and how this is affecting your whole body as well as your mind. 

It is so important to learn how we can connect with ourselves in a spiritual way. We just covered this last week in Episode 146 of How Humans Heal: Getting to Your Best Mental, Emotional and Spiritual State with Matt Belair.

If you feel like you could use a chance to reconnect with yourself, with your purpose, what you value about yourself and your sense of self love then that’s where spirituality can really make a difference.

Sometimes the stresses that we are exposed to in our lives have to do with the emotional and spiritual level, but it is possible to address this in combination with the stresses on the physical level, without it being overwhelming and that’s the key to me, I want to help you recover from stress without adding more stress in the way.

An emotional/spiritual detox will also involve the other 3 letters in the acronym C.A.R.E. If you are following an emotional detox it is very important to focus on getting enough quality sleep, doing recovery activities (like having some time to yourself in silence, spending time in nature or with your loved ones or your pets even) and doing some kind of physical activity to help you feel better on an emotional level.

Incorporating Detoxification into Your Daily Routine

My 14-day detox program is designed for you to follow while still doing your day-to-day life, while still working and taking care of children or taking care of other tasks. You do not have to completely separate from your everyday life in order to do this 14-day detox.

You can also set aside some time in your schedule to just focus on detox activities if you want to. This can be 3 days, two weeks, a month, etc. Whatever fits your personal schedule. The key thing here is to set that time aside and be able to communicate this to the people in your life so that everyone knows that you are taking this time to focus on detoxification. This is even more powerful and transformative.

The important thing is that you begin in a gentle way and incorporate new things at a pace that works for you so you can build your specific detox strategy as something that you feel comfortable following and that makes you feel better in the end.

If you want to learn even more about this, I have a FREE Online Detox Masterclass: Detox Yourself! How To Do It Right, where we cover everything you need to know about how to do an effective detox.

If you want to learn more about my approach on how you can overcome trauma and stress and apply my SelfC.A.R.E. approach so you get back to feeling your best, you may want to start by reading my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health

In the book, I share the quiz I developed to help you identify how stress has affected you specifically by knowing your Stress Type. You can also take the Stress Type Quiz online.

For the most comprehensive support, even with the most difficult health issues (physical or mental), it is best to meet with me one-on-one, which is available to you no matter where you are in the world (via phone or zoom). You can set up a one-on-one appointment with me here.

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