It seems like everywhere I look these days people are on a juice cleanse or doing a detox diet. Spring is an optimal time to perform a detox, as we shift in the Northern Hemisphere from the heavy, sluggish, damp winter and move into a lighter season of renewal and rejuvenation. But it is important to know how to do a proper detox so that your system is actually cleansed of toxins rather than mobilizing toxins from fat storage to your bloodstream where they can cause significant problems.
A patient I saw several years ago is a common example of good intentions gone wrong. Marta was in her late thirties and had been overweight for much of her life. She had tried numerous diets in the past, temporarily losing weight only to gain it all back and then some. Inspired by a colleague who quickly lost ten pounds on an all-liquid “fat burning” diet, she enthusiastically dove into this latest weight-loss trend. Did Marta lose weight by eliminating all of her regular foods and drastically reducing her calories? Yes. But by week two she was also starting to have other problems—headaches and body pains that were not going away and an itchy rash over her entire body that was making her miserable. What she didn’t realize was that her rapid weight loss released stored toxins into her body. To make matters worse, since the diet she was following didn’t have enough nutrients to help support her body’s detoxification system, she became more toxic rather than less.
So what should you be looking for in an optimal detox plan? Here are the elements that will make your detox revitalizing and healthy:
Things to Avoid on Your Detox
Patients who have taken these healthy detox steps have reported weight loss, reduced cravings, decreased inflammation and pain, and improved energy. Including these tips as part of your lifestyle and taking steps to reduce the accumulation of toxicity in all areas of your life will move you in the direction of wellness and increased vitality.
Experience a Week of Detoxification and Renewal
Each week, guests at the Chopra Center Perfect Health program are guided through a gentle detoxification process based on Ayurvedic principles. With the support of Dr. Valencia Porter or one of our other staff physicians, those looking for a deeper cleanse can utilize herbal and nutritional supplements, receive body treatments, and learn Ayurvedic lifestyle tools, including meditation and yoga.
Dr. Valencia Porter is the Chopra Center's Integrative Medicine Director and a Vedic Master. Board-certified in both General Preventive Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine, she has an integrative approach that incorporates many areas of health and healing, including Ayurveda, medical acupuncture, biofield (energy) therapies, and functional medicine.