To live long, adopt a holistic approach to detox the body, the mind, and the spirit. Holistic detox is essential for longevity living.
Toxins are poisonous substances from plants or animals that our bodies ingest in our daily lives. The regular accumulation of toxins may damage the normal functioning of our body organs, leading to diseases. Some of the most common toxins originate from alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, pesticides, pollutants, saturated fats, sugar, and stress. Their accumulation may result from direct ingestion or exposure.
Our bodies have built-in mechanisms to remove the toxins from our bodies through the skin, the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, the bowel, and the lymphatic system (made up of tiny vessels to transport nutrients and wastes to and from different parts of the body).
As we continue to age, the self-made energy (the Chinese call it qi) from the food we have consumed over the years begins to decline, and this is evidenced by our inability or difficulty to cope with the stressors in our lives, as well as by our vulnerability to disease. These life stressors may have come in many different forms, such as over-exposure to sunlight, polluted air, contaminated water, pharmaceutical drugs, and a host of other lifestyle factors of modern life. After decades of abuse to our bodies-through bad lifestyle choices, such as over-consumption of alcohol, drugs, nicotine, among others-many of us begin to develop chronic conditions and degenerative diseases. To add insult to injury, our metabolic slowdown that comes with the natural process of aging makes it even more difficult to maintain our health and energy. The result is that our bodies are less capable of removing the toxins we continue to ingest and accumulate.
Some of the more obvious symptoms of a toxic body are anxiety, lethargy, lack of concentration, sleeplessness, aches and pains, constipation, indigestion, and a general decline in health and wellness.
To remove the toxicity in the body, some of us may resort to traditional detox, such as living on fruit and vegetables for a few days or even a juice fast. However, these detox measures may even do more harm than good. The explanation is that a temporary reduction in the ingestion of toxins may be offset by a reduction in calories, which also decreases the metabolic rate of the body, and thus making elimination of toxins less effective. In addition, a juice fast may also reduce the intake of fiber, and hence compromising the efficiency of the bowel system.
For detox to be effective, a holistic approach is required. The body, the mind, and the spirit of an individual are all inter-connected. For this reason, holistic detox is the only way to optimum detox for longevity living.
Holistic detox begins with the mind first, not the body. In other words, we must have the intent to detox the body. In life, we are given too many choices; as a result, we sometimes make some bad ones. In particular, many of us make many wrong choices when it comes to our eating: we eat what we are not supposed to eat, and do not eat what we are supposed to eat. Our minds affect our diets–specifically, the kinds of food and their amount.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said: “Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.” Let food be the “only” medicine. If you have developed a degenerative disease, start thinking of food as your medicine, in fact, the best medicine, if not the “only” medicine. Your body is designed to digest and utilize food to get its nutrients and energy. But only wholesome food can do that-not even supplements, because supplements are just what they are called. Go organic, whenever possible to avoid the unnecessary chemicals and pesticides in their inorganic counterparts. Always choose top detox foods for the body.
In addition to the intake of food, exercise your body on a regular basis to strengthen your detox system and boost the immune system, which plays a pivotal part in toxin removal. Aerobic exercise, for example, increases removal of waste from the skin through sweating, accelerates faster breathing to eliminate more carbon dioxide, stimulates the bowel movements, and promotes muscle expansion and contraction to enhance the functioning of the lymphatic system. Yoga, for example, shows you how to breathe right, which not only optimizes detox through the lungs but also enhances its primary defense mechanism against environmental toxins; by stretching and toning the muscles, yoga is instrumental in releasing toxins into the bloodstream; yoga is a de-stress exercise, and therefore effective in removing everyday stress, which promotes the formation of free radicals in the body.
Your emotional and mental health also plays a pivotal role in life choices, such as addiction problems, food cravings, and modern-day stress. Fasting, for example, which plays a critical role in detox, is more than a matter of willpower: it involves a deepening of faith and the capacity to let go. The spirit affects how you react to anxiety, anger, frustration, and other everyday emotions may adversely increase the toxicity in your body because toxic thoughts are stored in your subconscious mind, which in turn controls your conscious mind. You are what you think: you become your toxic thoughts. Therefore, the role of the spirit in holistic detox cannot be overstressed. To be more spiritual, you must learn to let go not only your negative thoughts and emotions but also your attachments to material things.