Detoxification is an ancient cornerstone of natural healing. A commonly used treatment and concept in alternative medicine, it is based on the principle that illnesses can be caused by the accumulation of toxic substances in the body.

We are exposed to a variety of pollutants, chemicals, and other toxins every day. They enter our body through the skin, the digestive system, and the lungs. When toxins accumulate faster than your body can excrete them, they eventually interfere with your body’s ability to function properly.

Detoxification is something your body naturally does, but sometimes it can use an extra boost to help eliminate existing toxins, avoid new toxins, and prevent future accumulation in order to restore proper body function and overall health.  It’s like pushing the “reset” button and giving your body a fresh start.

There are few more powerful ways to beat fatigue, pain, skin and digestive concerns, and chronic illnesses. That’s why many naturopathic doctors recommend that we detox once or twice a year in order to maintain a healthy body and fight disease.

Some steps you can immediately take to support your body’s natural detoxing process:

  1. Sleep. Give yourself a 10-hour window to rest and sleep. Keep the room dark and cool.
  2. Drink a big glass of water right after you wake up, right before you go to sleep, and throughout the day to keep your cells functioning optimally. Herbal teas and mineral broths are also good ways to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day.
  3. Take stretch breaks once an hour to get your blood circulating.
  4. Cut out the alcohol. Unfortunately, our body sees alcohol as a toxin and has to work twice as hard to cleanse it out of our system (meaning that any other calories we ingest will get stored as fat). This tip is one of the most effective ways to detox.
  5. But don’t deprive yourself. Going cold turkey on all your favourite unhealthy foods is harder than finding that healthy balance between nutrition that is beneficial to you and that which isn’t. You can enjoy that cookie or handful of potato chips without derailing things – just eat sparingly and stay mindful of your long-term health goals.

Dr. Sarah Sjovold is a Naturopathic Doctor practising at Livstil Wellness Clinic. She regularly sees patients in the Langley and Surrey area looking for help with digestion, detoxing. and immune support.

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