If you’ve ever scraped your knee, you know: your amazing body has an innate capacity for self-healing. All you have to do is keep that scrape clean, and your body does the work. When you stop to think about it, that’s just amazing.
What we tend to ignore, though, is your body’s incredible ability to maintain a high level of function on a daily basis. Just the fact that you are able to turn the food you eat into energy is pretty astounding. But consider, for a moment, the clean up job the body does routinely, every day, let alone when we go into overload.
Let’s say Christmas rolls around and you overdo it with the eggnog, the Christmas cookies, the good cheer. Your body’s sanitation crew will set to work, and clean up the party debris. You might have a hangover, but it will dissipate as your body cleans up after the excess, and restores you to normal operating mode.
Your liver and kidneys are the main organs that handle this clean-up, aka detoxification. But they don’t work alone. Your skin, lungs, digestive and lymphatic systems are also playing a part. Let’s take a quick look at how they work:
Your largest organ, the skin both protects you and eliminates toxins – primarily in the form of sweat. Dry brushing, regular exercise and time in a sauna all support skin health.
Lymphatic fluid movement keeps cellular waste from stagnating, and enables the immune system to attack toxins and pathogens. Adequate hydration, dry brushing and exercise all promote healthy lymphatic drainage. Remember, stagnation always breeds disease.
The mucous lining of your respiratory system traps inhaled toxins; you also release toxins when you exhale. Breath work and exercise can enhance your ability to use your full lung capacity.
Packed with special cells called glomeruli, the kidneys filter toxins and cellular waste out of your blood. They help maintain your blood’s pH, and release hormones that help regulate your blood pressure, among other functions. Staying well hydrated is key to supporting your kidneys, as is keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
Your liver is a key player in regulating chemical levels in your blood, and produces bile to remove excess hormones, metabolic waste and toxins (including pharmaceutical drugs). It helps metabolize your food, stores vitamins, minerals and glycogen, and activates multiple enzymatic reactions that keep your body functioning. All the blood leaving the stomach and digestive system is filtered through your liver. Managing blood sugar, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy diet that includes bitter greens are essential for your liver’s healthy function.
Once your food has been processed by the stomach and small intestine, the colon collects the resulting waste for excretion. This is an essential stage in your body’s detoxification process, so healthy bowel elimination 1–2 times a day is essential for your health. Constipation or diarrhea are significant warnings that you are not cleaning toxins out of your system as nature intended. Eating a diet rich in vegetable content and ensuring your upper digestion is working well are the simplest, cheapest, most effective tools you have for ensuring your continued vitality.
Here’s one of the most amazing things about your body: it does all this (and more!) without you having to pay much attention. And it does it every day, not just when you’ve over-stressed your detox organs during a holiday or vacation. Our exposure to toxins is pretty much non-stop, so keeping these systems working well is truly your first line health insurance.
Even with a great diet and habits, our detoxification organs get over-loaded. The best way to ensure continued good health is to do a seasonal detox cleanse program, at least 1–2 times a year.
If the daily detoxification your body normally does can’t meet the demand, excess toxins are stored in your fat cells, liver, blood and bone marrow, muscles and joints, and even in your central nervous system. This puts you on the highway to what we’re now calling “inflamm-aging”, and increases your chances of developing a chronic disease. This makes a seasonal cleanse or detoxification program look not only sensible, but downright attractive.
When you’re ready to do some internal house cleaning, let us support you with one of our De-Stressing Detox programs. If you’d like to learn more, here’s useful information about Common Toxin Sources & Common Toxic Triggers.