The Dirt on Detoxification

| by
Dr. Lynda Torrey
, under Wellness

Are you aware that chemicals and toxins are the primary cause of disease, allergic sensitivity and obesity?  Various agencies and organizations, including “National Geographic”, have discovered that our environment and our bodies are affected by toxic levels of chemicals produced by everyday items such as household cleaners to synthetic body washes using harsh surfactants to cosmetics and hair dyes.  We contribute more than 700,000 tons of pollutants into the air and water everyday!

Toxicity primarily occurs on two levels.  The external level suggested by air, land and water pollution that we breathe, absorb through the skin and ingest.  We also have the internal level that consists of waste products that our bodies produce as a natural, everyday course of cellular activity and body function.  Our consumption of sugars, refined foods, various stimulants and sedatives further compromise our function and immune system.  The average consumption of sugar in the United States is 3.5 pounds per week for adults and slightly more for children.  Our bodies are miraculous from the standpoint that we have the ability to naturally eliminate many toxins, however, living in an environment of high toxicity, these chemicals begin having a cumulative affect on the body. 

What happens to our body with accumulation of toxic levels of chemicals?  First, it can cause the liver and kidneys to become overworked and weakened.  Second, toxins and chemicals accumulate in the fat tissue of the body.  The more we introduce these substances into the body, the more fat the body manufactures. Stress is also a factor, due to the production by the adrenal glands of the hormone cortisol, which triggers cravings for simple carbohydrates like candy, sodas, chocolate and ice cream.  High toxicity can cause a multitude of symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, digestive disorders, high levels of mucous and increased sensitivity to perfumes, synthetic fabrics and chemicals.

As you can see, detoxification in today’s global community is essential.  Interestingly, approximately 65% of the global population detoxifies on a regular basis as part of their cultures, except in America and statistics show that 75% of Americans are overweight.  Obesity is linked to over 60 illnesses including diabetes, heart disease/hypertension and cancer.

Detoxification is a transformational process that affects us physically, as well as emotionally.  It involves lifestyle and dietary changes, which will reduce toxin uptake.  Drinking water is a crucial part of any detoxification program.  It enables us to enhance our elimination and provides a platform to improve energy and rejuvenate which, in turn, assists our longevity and overall health and well-being.  There are many common acute and/or chronic illnesses that may be improved or alleviated solely through the cleansing process. From an emotional perspective, cleansing our minds of negative thought patterns is also essential to our health.  The physical detoxification helps this process by clearing the “cloudiness” that is exhibited by those shown to have high levels of toxicity.  This may also enhance us on a spiritual level by clarifying our purpose of life during the mental cleansing process.  We can see this by the many purification and cleansing rituals performed by most cultures.  Our stress levels are also positively enhanced by detoxification due to the body’s new, healthy reinforcement of all systems, including the nervous system and endocrine system that control and support our levels of stress.

In the spa environment, there are two primary ways to detoxify.  One way is working with a program geared more towards a digestive detoxification. This can be achieved by addressing situations such as cellulite and dense fat, which as discussed previously, can be caused not only by high fat intake and stress levels, but also by high levels of toxins stored in the fat cells.  Introducing spa treatments that specifically target these areas can be extremely beneficial not only because of the physical effect, but because of the emotional and stress relieving effect as well.  Detoxifying seaweed wraps, Seaweed Cellulite Treatments, Sea Salt Body Polishes, Purification Wraps and baths, and Vichy Shower treatments are all indicated in this type of detoxification program.

Another level of detoxification occurs within the lymph system, which is one of our major systems of elimination of waste products and fluids.  When our lymph system becomes stagnant through lack of movement or from a genetic pre-disposition, we may have a tendency to retain fluid in the tissue.  This may also occur if our endocrine system is imbalanced due to causes such as stress levels compromising the adrenal glands, which in turn will compromise the thyroid gland and pituitary gland.  Simply put, one of the functions of this system is to assist the body in regulating fluid levels.  In spa, we are able to address the physical level and minimize fluid retention in the body by stimulating movement of our lymph system through the use of products and treatments that have the ability to vaso-constrict the blood and lymph vessels or “flush” the system.  This enables the lymph system to carry the waste matter and fluid to the organs of elimination and therefore detoxifying the body.  Relaxing in a nurturing and ambient environment is also key to providing relief from the stressors that may cause an imbalance in the finely tuned and all-important endocrine and nervous system.  Detoxifying seaweed wraps, spirit restoring baths, pedicures and facials will all contribute in stress relief.

This “cleansing of the palette” will allow us to then begin the nutritive and nourishing phase to rebuild our cleansed cells.   Eating organic foods whenever possible; drinking filtered water; avoiding or minimizing cured meats, red meat, refined foods, canned foods, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and saturated fats; are all ways to continue a healthy lifestyle.  In this day and age, it is also essential to supplement in a concentrated whole food form such as the seaweeds, due to the lack of nutrient found in most of our foods.  This will also continue the detoxification process and provide nutrient that our bodies have been deprived of for so long.  It is said that disease and disorder are solely forms of malnutrition. 

As we provide nourishment to the cells of the body after cleansing, our body will respond with a state of balance, creativity and productiveness that radiates health and well-being.