When I was 20 years old, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
I had a stomach ache every day; I was bloated, gassy, constipated and in pain every single day for 20 years.
Here’s what that taught me: a bloated belly, zits, fluctuating moods (downright b*tchy), joint pain and trouble sleeping were toxic clues—in particular, my liver was reaching a critical mass. So, I began cleaning up my liver and lifestyle and discovered that by doing a detox every day, I saved my life.
I’ve come to understand the body as a finely tuned communication system constantly seeking balance by detoxing itself. In the early stages of my IBS, I’d been prescribed different medications. Meds for pain. Meds to stop the spasms. Meds to stop the nausea. Meds for acid reflux. Meds to help me sleep.
Are you kidding me?
Our bodies aren’t designed to take loads of synthetic crap without paying for it later. I realized that to manage my IBS I was going to have to learn daily detox protocols so my body was never in overwhelm trying to eliminate—I was going to work with my body; not against it.
Every day we’re exposed to chemicals in our food, water, air, what we clean our house with, even the clothes we wear, not to mention any medications we’re taking. Imagine over a month how many toxins you’re exposed to? How about over a year, or 10, or 20.
So what actually happens during a detox?
In simplest terms, a detox allows enzymes to carry waste products from your cells to your liver and then to your colon and out of your body. Our bodies are constantly detoxing every day. But our liver has a lot of work to do, so it needs additional support. I discovered a yearly detox or even seasonal wasn’t cutting it for me. I decided instead I’d make detoxing a daily habit.
Here’s how I detox every day:
>>> I begin every day with hot water (not boiling) with lemon (either fresh or certified pure essential oil) to help my body’s potential of cleansing itself and to alleviate constipation.
>>> I snack more than eating big meals. Snacking is easier for the body to digest by breaking down smaller amounts of food at one time.
>>> I eat raw or lightly steamed vegetables. The raw vegetables literally scrape your intestinal wall and help flush your colon. Sticking to raw or lightly steamed vegetables provides your body with more enzymes which will aid in digestion.
>>> I let my body rest. Even if it’s 10 minutes laying on my office floor, I rest with intention to r-e-l-a-x. I ask (beg!) my mind to settle. While running a business, my mind races and while raising a family, my mind worries, so I take a time out with moments of doing nothing. This calming resets my body by giving it space to do its job of detoxing.
>>> I get outside. The more I’m exposed to natural elements, the better I feel. It’s probably because our lungs detox by breathing in fresh air and studies show an actual elevation in mood when we connect with dirt.
>>> I use natural products because our body absorbs all those chemical via skin and even our hair. I also use all-natural house cleaners to avoid using chemicals that wreak havoc on our liver and hormones.
I’ll be honest with you. Results don’t happen if you don’t work at making health a habit and try new things.
Sometimes our changes are small, yet even the simplest change can have a profound effect and even save our life. Have you overcome a major illness by detoxing, or are you thinking of trying a detox for the first time? I’d love to hear about what you’re doing!
Ayurveda expert Dr. Douillard on Detoxing our Bodies:
Author: Hayley Hobson
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Used with permission via Holly Sharpe