Ahh the cleanse……what does this word mean to you? Is it scary? annoying? natural? Lots of natural health practitioners recommend doing a cleanse or detox in the spring and fall, when the seasons are changing. But what exactly is a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’, and why are we supposed to do one? Today I’ll share with you the cleanses I’ve tried and why!
Do I have to cleanse?
To set the record straight, every one of us is cleansing right now whether we like it or not. Yes, even as I sit here writing this, my delightful body is cleansing itself of all sorts of stuff, including the cookie I just ate. Our bodies are natural efficient machines that have many methods of eliminating all the toxic things we put into them. For instance:
– your lungs: You breath in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide (toxin).
– your colon: Every time you eat, 12-18 hours later (hopefully) you will be excreting waste.
– your skin: Sweat releases bacteria, chemicals, electrolytes, and excess heat.
– menstruating ladies: every month is a natural detox!
Eating nutritious food, drinking clean water and exercising supports your body’s natural detox processes. On top of this, cleanse programs are available if you would like an extra kick-start. Choose one that is gentle and feels right for you 🙂
Programs I’ve tried:
*disclaimer – do not do many detox programs at a time! These are meant as a once-in-a-while thing, with the focus being on food choices and body care 🙂
This is a 12-day detox kit – plant based and formulated by a master herbalist. The kit is intended to provide bile support (bile helps break down fats), laxative relief, and blood cleansing. So….this is the cleanse I am doing right now and I’m on day 8. To be honest….I don’t feel anything. At all. In fact, during the first few days the laxative pill had the opposite effect on me and I barely went to the washroom….which made me very irritable. Yesterday I was so frustrated I just threw out the laxative pills, haha! They contained Cascara Sagrada anyway (a colon-irritating laxative herb) so it’s probably for the best. Bottom line: this is not the right cleanse for my body.
2. Heel Detox Kit
RIP Heel….Heel is a homeopathic company that recently stopped making products after being sued, in a nutshell because some consumers did not understand how homeopathy works and therefore thought they were making false claims. Don’t get me started on this topic….ANYWAY. This was one of my favourite detoxes. It contained three homeopathic tinctures designed to gently stimulate the body’s natural cleansing processes (lymph, digestive, kidney and liver). It was sooooo easy, all I had to do was put 30 drops of each into a bottle of water and drink. 1) it forced me to drink more water, always good. and 2) it made me feel wonderful! It was so gentle that I felt it even worked on an emotional level. I felt great and calm, and made better food choices because I felt so great. Bottom line: this one detoxed me on a whole new level. I miss you Heel!
3. Fresh Start by Martin & Pleasance
This one was really nice and gentle too! Herbal and homeopathic remedies to cleanse liver and digestion, as well as a “Habit Relief” formula designed to address the cravings our minds have when we are changing our food habits. Includes a free water bottle! This one worked well for me, I found my cravings decreased and I again made better food choices. The first few days my skin broke out but this is normal when we are detoxing….the toxins have to come out somewhere! Bottom line: this was good for me. Extremely gentle.
4. Colon Hydrotherapy – I attended a 40 minute colon hydrotherapy session at D’avignon Digestive Heatlh Centre. What is this? Well, I lay on a table while a really cool lady cleansed my colon using passive water pressure. AKA I had water flowing into and out of my colon to help get things moving and to help break up any old fecal matter that may have been hanging around. It was weird…..but I’d do it again! For a few reasons: 1. The lady was really nice and good humoured, and made it comfortable. 2. I got to literally see what was inside my colon (apparently I need to chew my almonds more thoroughly….too much information??), and 3. It forced me to become acutely aware of the food I was putting into my body (after seeing it in reverse). Bottom line: I need to chew my food better, but now I am more familiar with my buddy – my colon!
5. Finally the one all women dream of……a day at the spa! More specifically, Body Blitz spa. This is a water-circuit spa, where you dip yourself into pools and rooms of various temperatures. First you go into a sea-salt heated pool, then into a dry sauna. Take a 1 min plunge into a cold pool, then immerse yourself in a eucalyptus steam room. Finally another plunge in the cold pool then a nice soak in the epsom salt hot tub. Changes in temperatures, especially with water involved, are great for stimulating lymphatic detox, immune health, skin health (sweating out toxins!), and general happiness. Bottom line: who knew detoxing could be so fun!