For many of us, the idea of detoxing has turned into something of a seductive notion, luring us in with lofty promises of rapid weight loss, energy spikes, and a whole new bright, shiny outlook on life—even if it means subsisting on nothing but juice for an excruciating amount of days. We’ve come to believe (or at least very much want to believe) that after beating up our bodies for years—even decades—a simple detox will neatly and quickly mend all that damage. Of course, it isn’t that easy.
Also, detoxing oesn’t need to be so difficult, or painful. In fact, you can prime your body to naturally detox without depriving yourself one bit.
Is A Detox Really Necessary?
While the body is wired to detox on its own, it was never prepared to handle the amount of toxins many of us are currently exposed to. There are now over 100,000 man-made chemicals on this planet, only a small percentage of which have actually been tested. This includes industrial toxins, additives, and preservatives, many of which can be found hidden on nearly every grocer’s shelf.
But it’s not just the physical and environmental toxins we need to endure. We’re also social beings who are more isolated from one another and who experience entire different levels and types of stress than ever before.
How Do Toxins Affect Our Bodies?
In Ayurveda, the word “ama” represents toxins, but in a broader sense. Integrative neurologist and author of The Prime: Prepare and Repair your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary describes ama as “substances inside the body and mind that are insufficiently digested and/or are located in their current form in places they should not be—such as undigested proteins seeping through the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or waste backing up and getting stuck in the lymphatic system or colon.”
Ama can also be mental or emotional; it can be an unresolved issue or “undigested” emotion that lurks inside you, taking up space and energy, like any physical toxin.
How Do Toxins Impact Weight Loss?
The body will naturally eliminate toxins through the digestive system (the liver, colon, kidneys, and bladder) as well as the sweat glands and lungs. But when toxins overload these systems, our good old fat cells come in to save the day by storing these toxins to protect you from them. This is a major reason why many people struggle with losing weight—a toxic body holds on to such fat as tightly as it can.
These fat-loving toxins are especially hard to remove, and any superficial cleanse or detox won’t ever be able to dig that deep. And as toxins continue to accumulate, the organs will eventually start storing them, which can lead to inflammation and autoimmune responses.
What’s Wrong With Most Mainstream Detoxes?
Simply said, a quick cleanse or detox may give you a little “pick-me-up,” but later, you’re bound to go back to your old habits. These types of detoxes are not a sophisticated way of looking at what the body needs to change in the long-term; they most likely won’t fix any underlying problems, and they can even be harmful, especially for anyone with thyroid or adrenal issues.
Often, these detoxes offer little nutritional support and release toxins far too quickly. This can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, intense energy drops, a loss of lean muscle mass, and extreme cravings.
How Can You Effectively Detox?
Dr. Chaudhary recommends taking a much gentler approach to detoxing, one that involves a slow, steady, and subtle rebalancing of the body to reduce inflammation, purge toxins, restore a healthier mix of gut bacteria, and repair digestion to bring the body back to its healthy, disease-free equilibrium.
This means you’ll need patience, but you won’t need an infinite supply of willpower. Instead, you can gradually incorporate science-backed, traditional Ayurvedic techniques—including the use of herbs like triphala and ashwagandha as well as daily routines of dry-brushing and meditation—to activate a biochemical shift in your body that will eventually crush your cravings, boost your energy, and spontaneously burn fat.
To know more about Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary and her Ayurvedic treatments, visit her web site.