Don’t start your detox without this essential information on how it really works.
Your body has everything it needs to detox itself. It is already in detoxification as you are reading this. But just how well is it doing that?
That depends on your overall health. Improving your health will involve improving your body’s detoxification processes. Likewise, look after your detox organs and you will see an improvement in your overall health. Win-win!
FIRST THINGS FIRST…
THERE IS NO MAGIC SMOOTHIE
We are being bombarded with adverts trying to sell ‘detox’ as a neatly pre-packaged product or a 7-day crash diet plan. The truth is, you have internal organs whose job is to detox your body around the clock. It is a continuous process without which you simply would not be able to survive for long. It is no coincidence the detox organs are often referred to as ‘the vitals’.
Much like your immune system, your detox organs are constantly fighting a battle for you to protect your body, unnoticed and often unappreciated.
THERE IS NO ‘DETOX PLAN’
Nor is there a recipe that you can copy. Each individual person has unique requirements when it comes to optimising the detoxification processes in their bodies These requirements depend on your state of health and your medical history and will largely determine the selection of the recommended Chinese herbs and acupuncture points.
Some people require Chinese herbal attention targeted at specific detox organs, others have their detox system working at optimal level and so need to focus on maintaining the balance through regular top up treatments.
DETOX IS A WAY OF LIFE – LITERALLY
Like your heart’s constant beating, your body’s ongoing detoxification processes are the expression of its vitality which itself manifests as good health. Your detox organs have to be functioning well at all times or your health will quickly suffer.
Therefore, your ‘detox plan’, in so far as a general one can be sketched out, should be to get to know your detox organs inside out, understand how the detox processes work and find out which organs require attention to optimise these processes.
This is your detox strategy and it will serve you well for the rest of your life. This is not a plan but simply the healthy way of living, based as it should be, on self-knowledge and individualised medicine.
The tactics you need to use to implement this strategy will vary from time to time. Generally, they will consist of providing some gentle, natural assistance to particular organs in order to help the subtle process of detoxification run as nature intended, and smoothly.
If you want to make the right, sustainable health choices that can help to optimise your body’s detox, here is where you should start looking:
NOW, THE INSIDE WORKINGS OF YOUR DETOX – EXPLAINED
Your Liver, Kidneys, Lungs and skin are designed to constantly detox you. These organs are truly multi-functional in purpose, but ultimately, their job is to work non-stop every single day to keep you alive and healthy.
Every single decision and consideration about your detox should be made around these vital organs and how they are intended to work in detoxifying your body.
Bear in mind that all these organs are interrelated and each is part of the wider complex system that makes up your body. A health problem which seems unrelated to detox processes might actually be affecting one of these organs and compromising their ability to detoxify your body. Also, health issues which might seem simply superficial and remote from the main internal organs (such as skin problems) might actually be a sign that your body’s detox systems are in need of help.
Going from the first to the last line of detox in your body, here is a quick overview of how you are meant to be detoxing, already:
THE LUNGS – DETOXING 25 TIMES PER MINUTE
As you breathe you are detoxing your body. While you might be used to hearing about the Liver as your body’s detox superhero, the amount of times you breathe in and out during a given day (which should be between 15-25 times per minute) is a stark reminder of the important role your Lungs are meant to play in your vitality.
Indeed, the Lungs – including the respiratory tract and its bronchi – have their own filtration system and are meant to perform a crucial role in your body’s ongoing detox processes.
While the Liver and Kidneys are meant to be busy filtering your blood and keeping toxins out of the system, your Lungs are meant to be constantly filtering out carbon dioxide waste (in the form of toxic gas) and keeping every single cell of your body supplied with enough oxygen to survive.
This is the basic process behind your breathing which is essentially a detox mechanism – i.e. toxins are eliminated from the body while the beneficial chemicals are kept inside. But as a detox procedure, it is so vital to your survival that it not only takes place constantly, but has been designed to do so in just a fraction of a second.
If the Liver, Kidneys and the intestinal tract (part of the Stomach and the digestive system) are not able to eliminate a toxin or break down a substance so that it can be fully digested and excreted, then, your Lungs are meant to step in and help out in the detoxification process.
The offending toxins or difficult substances are picked up by the bloodstream and moved upwards where they enter the alveolar sacs that make up the bottom of your Lungs. There, the Lungs are meant to pick up the difficult toxins and eventually get them coughed out as phlegm.
One of the reasons why smoking tobacco is condemned is because cigarette smoke can overburden the Lungs’ filtration system (the cilium) which can ultimately lead to a decrease in their detox functioning.
THE SKIN – SWEATS IT OUT
While the skin is your body’s first line of defence against germs, and is responsible for activating your immune system when harmful bacteria do pass through, it is also meant to play an important role in expelling toxins from your body from the inside out, in addition to retaining the beneficial chemicals in.
The skin’s main contribution in the detox process is to expel, through sweat, the waste by-products of digested foods which are rich in protein, refined sugar or acidic in nature, as well as to remove uric acid and urea.
Your skin is meant to convert a variety of unwanted chemicals into a water-soluble form by using a special enzyme (cytochrome P450) . If this is done properly, then the chemicals – now converted into groups of toxins – are squeezed out of the body through the skin’s sebaceous glands and, in the form of sweat, through skin pores.
When the Liver, Kidney and Lungs are overwhelmed by the amount of toxins that must be eliminated, the skin, then, is meant to absorb the toxic burdens and expel them through sweat.
But remember that this particular part of detox comes at a cost – skin problems. If the Liver, Kidney and Lungs cannot deal with the toxins then this toxic load will be shifted by the skin as it attempts to remove them out of your body. However, coming into contact with a toxic burden of such size will cause blockages in the skin which will manifest on its surface as acne, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, rashes and boils.
This is the reason Chinese Medicine treats skin conditions such as acne by targeting internal organs and working to optimise their detoxification abilities rather than concentrating all the treatment on the skin’s surface.
Nevertheless, sweating toxins out of your body is still a normal part of the ongoing natural detox process, so much so that we encourage you make this process happen on a daily basis through physical exercise. Getting yourself at least slightly out of breath and sweaty can galvanise your blood circulation and improve the process through which the toxins are pushed to the surface of the skin where they are then expelled out.
THE LIVER – DETOXES, OBVIOUSLY
Your Liver has been designed to take up much of the responsibility for detoxifying your entire body’s system. This is one of its most important functions. The Liver is meant to keep you safe from toxins which come from food additives, unnatural medicines, alcohol and other addictive substances, while ensuring the good stuff is retained to nourish your body.
This detox process should involve the Liver receiving the things you put into your body and breaking them down into their chemical components. Your Liver is meant to retain the beneficial chemicals and distribute them throughout the body via bloodstream which passes through the Liver itself first.
The harmful, toxic chemicals are meant to be kept away from the bloodstream and broken further down by your Liver, thus making them ready for the next stage of processing which should eventually end in excretion.
While the Liver is not responsible for excretion of the waste it was meant to process, remember that constipation can negatively affect the organ’s ability to detox your body. This is because when the bowels are constipated, toxins which should have been excreted are left in the colon, are eventually reabsorbed and trigger the Liver to detoxify them all over again which uses up the Liver’s essential energy.
THE KIDNEYS – ‘THE DETOX SIEVE’
Your Kidneys are meant to carry on the Liver’s detoxification work by filtering your blood and separating the unnecessary stuff (toxic substances, drugs, ammonia, urea) into what eventually becomes the urine that should be made ready for excretion.
The task of keeping your blood stream free from waste and excess fluids is one of the most important stages in your body’s detox process and is meant to be performed by your Kidneys.
To do this properly, your Kidneys are especially reliant on your intake of water. If you are drinking the correct amount of water in your individual case then your Kidneys should have enough through which to clear out the waste and harmful chemicals from your bloodstream, thus purifying your blood in the process.
The act of filtering your entire blood supply is meant to be carried out by your Kidneys between 20 and 25 times each day. It is a constant process that involves pressurising the blood as it is moved through the Kidneys’ complex sieve-like internal structure.
Dehydration can seriously undermine your Kidney’s designated detox functions. This is because a certain amount of water is necessary to thin your blood so that it can pass through the Kidney’s structure as part of the filtration process.
Just as crucial, however, are the levels of your blood pressure. High blood pressure (Hypertension) can lead to Kidney failure and cause permanent damage to the organ. High blood pressure is now a global health issue and is one of the major contributors to Kidney failure around the world. In England alone, thousands of people have high blood pressure but many don’t know it.
While your Kidneys are meant to carry out a major part of the daily detoxification process, their vital role in controlling blood pressure makes this detox organ particularly vulnerable to hypertension. In addition, the Kidney’s own sieve-like membrane structure is itself vulnerable to becoming clogged up and damaged with hard to digest substances.
THE NEXT STEP
This article is just a brief outline of how your Liver, Kidney, Lungs and the skin are meant to detox your body as part of their natural design. There are other parts of the body which are constantly playing a vital role in the detoxification process, such as the intestines and the lymph system, all of which deserve their own articles. And don’t forget stress – a highly prevalent but overlooked toxin.
We hope that this information helps you to understand that detox is an ongoing process that is naturally, constantly preformed by your body and is an essential part of your survival.
It has become fashionable to use a ‘a detox month’ as a way of compensating overeating and drinking. However, what the information in this article means, basically, is that you should think about how your body is detoxing continuously.
By all means seek out a ‘detox plan’ that meets your individual needs, but just don’t expect to find it in a juice recipe or in a diet. Rather, speak to a doctor about any health issues you might be having (no matter how irrelevant or vague they may sound) and they should be able to explain if using Chinese Medicine tailored to helping your detox organs can help you look and feel better, naturally.
Your body has everything it needs to detox itself, but sometimes it requires a helping hand and a bit of assistance. Chinese Medicine can provide the gentle push necessary to naturally optimise your body’s everyday detox and cleansing processes.
ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE HERBS FOR DETOX
Acupuncture can point the body’s essential energy in the direction that supports its detoxing functions. Chinese herbs can work to replenish the Liver, Kidneys and Lungs with the essential energy they require to perform daily detoxification. Some Chinese herbs are diuretic or diaphoretic in nature, meaning that they can naturally promote urination or perspiration in order to help the body get rid of toxins. A combination of syndrome acupuncture and bespoke Chinese herbal prescription can help you to ensure that your body is detoxing to the best of its ability.
Our doctors use a combination of natural treatments (Chinese herbs, acupuncture and massage) tailored to your individual health needs to ensure that your detox organs are doing their best, providing you with natural detoxification 24/7, without crash diets or sudden upheavals to your lifestyle. Find out more.