Should I go on a detox?
That is the question I get asked very frequently!
I loved fasting! There was a kind of spiritual high and rush of energy when I fasted that was very addictive.
It started when I was about 19 years old when I read a book by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely about the Essenes, a mystical Jewish sect.
After that, I fasted 3 to 4 times a year for 7 to 10 days. Sometimes I water fasted, other times I juice fasted.
I remember one time, I was living in New York and my roommate Linda and I repainted the whole kitchen in one night during one of our fasts.
I continued to fast during my twenties and thirties.
It was also a way for me to get down to a size 4 during my modeling career.
I stopped after seeing an Ayurvedic doctor who warned me that fasting this long and that often would completely derail my digestion.
He was right, it did!
So, should you detox or not?
I understand why detoxing is very appealing. It’s a quick solution to feeling sluggish, foggy and erratic, or so it seems…
3 reasons why going on a detox is NOT a good idea
Reason # 1: Where do the toxins go?
Many people when they’re on a detox of some kind, experience “detox symptoms”. They have skin issues, excess mucus, coughing, headaches, excessive fatigue, and the list goes on.
Well, these are good, right? It means that the cleanse is working. Yes, the cleanse is working. But when the body releases toxins where do they go? How do we eliminate them properly? Elimination is a key word here.
We must support the elimination of waste, toxins and impurities. During most modern fasts I’ve observed that this part is not emphasized enough.
Therefore, our bodies are releasing this waste with no means to properly eliminate it.
Which brings me to…
Reason # 2: What happens after the detox?
So let’s be honest here! The main reason why we detox it’s because like dieting, it’s a quick fix that gives us instant gratification: We may feel good and even look good, we lose a few extra pounds, we have more energy!
But what happens after the cleanse?
Do we go back to our food habits and choices?
The truth is, nothing really changed. The results are momentary.
At some point we’ll have to do it all over again. In this sense we could speak of yoyo-detoxing!
And just like yoyo-dieting, yoyo-detoxing wreaks havoc in our bodies.
Reason # 3: A short-term solution that ruins our metabolism and health
Contrary to popular belief, short-term detox cleanses ruin our digestive ability. I speak from experience.
Years later, when I transitioned into menopause I paid the price for my fasting days. I had debilitating digestive issues.
And it’s not just the digestive metabolism that detox ruins, it’s all of our metabolic functions! The metabolic function of our hormones, our immune system, our cardio-vascular system!
What’s the solution then?
A gentle cleanse can be very beneficial… when it’s done in harmony with our biological rhythms.
Noticed, I used the word “cleanse” and not detox because there’s a difference!
A cleanse focuses on the digestive system which in Ayurvedic Medicine is the seat of disease and symptoms.
When we support the gentle elimination of waste, toxins and impurities via the digestive system, we support whole body health.
In Ayurveda, such an approach is called Pancha Karma.
During the cleansing process called Pancha Karma, which is done at very specific times of the year to ensure success, we implement a series of specific practices:
The 3 phases of an Ayurvedic cleanse
Phase 1- The Pre-Cleanse Phase, we implement practices before the “cleanse” which bring the waste build-up back into the digestive system.
Phase 2- The Cleansing Phase, we apply strategies that help metabolize and eliminate these toxins. These practices differ whether you are doing a home PK or a clinic PK
Phase 3- The Post-Cleanse Phase, we carefully and gradually re-introduce different types of foods all the while practicing healthy eating habits and lifestyle.
The whole thing takes anywhere between 2 weeks to 10 weeks depending on the seriousness of the state of imbalance.
Join me live on Monday April 10 at 7pm EST, I’ll be discussing my upcoming guided home cleansing (PK) program.
In the end we all want good health, sound sleep and a peaceful mind. These are not obtained with quick fixes.
“Modern man is conditioned to expect instant gratification, but any success or triumph realized quickly, with only marginal effort, is necessarily shallow. Meaningful achievement takes time, hard work, persistence, patience, proper intent and self-awareness. The path to success is punctuated by failure, consolidated, and renewed effort.” Mark Twight
The common sense solution
Our bodies are infinitely intelligent.
When we experience symptoms it is not because our bodies failed us, more often than not it is because we failed our bodies.
And rather than putting our bodies through the grueling experience that is a detox, we can support its natural ability to cleanse with an Ayurvedic gentle cleanse.
Please let me know if this article was valuable in the comments below!