Detox has become a buzzword lately. Everyone wants to cleanse or detoxify their body in order to have more energy and boost their immune system. But does it really work? And is it really necessary?
Detoxing is not the same as fasting. In order to detox your body, you don’t necessarily have to forego solid food. However, what these two methods have in common is the elimination of stimulants.
During a detox, the body should be rid of harmful substances (toxins and free radicals). These originate from medications and environmental pollution or can be caused by malnutrition and stress. The body’s own detoxification system, in which the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin and lymphatic system work in unison, already cleanses the body quite effectively. However, doing a detox every now and then is still recommended.
The aim of a detox is to cleanse the body from the inside out in order to prevent illnesses and complaints. It usually lasts three to five months. A doctor or naturopath should always be consulted when doing a detox. You can also choose to do a detox as an inpatient at a convalescent facility. In this case, the duration is approximately one week.
A specialist will take a stool sample to determine the toxins, bacteria, viruses and intolerances present in your body. Based on the findings, they will then devise a course of therapy consisting of various herbal medicines, enzymes and probiotics. To support the detoxification process, treatment methods such as cupping, colonic irrigation, Baunscheidtism or wraps are also used.
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Oil pulling involves rinsing your mouth on an empty stomach in the morning with a high-quality, cold-pressed oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. It draws bacteria and pathogens out of the body. This not only improves oral health, but also strengthens the entire body.
How to oil pull: take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth. The oily feeling may be strange at first. Start off with three to five minutes. Slowly increase the duration over time until you are able to rinse for 10 to 20 minutes. During oil pulling, the oil changes to a milky colour and becomes more runny. When you’re finished, spit the oil into a tissue and rinse your mouth with water. You can then brush your teeth as normal.
Water is naturally detoxifying. Drinking enough water on a daily basis means you are constantly flushing toxins out of your body. It’s best to drink water from a glass bottle. Water from plastic bottles may contain microplastics. A good-quality filter system may also be worthwhile, as tap water sometimes contains contaminants from the pipes.
Alkaline baths have a healing effect. They deacidify the body through the skin. Those wanting to detox can take an alkaline foot bath every day for two weeks. Add an alkaline bath additive to the water and soak your feet for at least 30 minutes.
Eliane Wyss (medical assistant, nutrition coach) works as a Health Consultation Advisor at Helsana. She is committed to providing health advice to our customers. Eliane provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article.
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