Detox Part Two: Living in Toxic World
In the first part of my Detox blog series, I explained the basic principles of detox, its importance and how our magnificent bodies are actually designed to purify itself from all kinds of toxins and unnecessary substances. But what are these substances and where they come from?
Many times people think that toxins are just a burden of the modern world. However, toxins has always been there – even at the stone age! However, what has radically changed since then, is the amount of different kinds of toxins and there is no place in our lives where we would not encounter toxins. Worldwide, exposure to chemical pollutants continues to increase, resulting in increased contamination of air, water and food supply. In addition, we are exposed to toxins when using cosmetics, cooking food, or even when receiving medical care. Unless we are aware of where and what the toxins in our lives might be, we cannot avoid them.
Even if you would live in the cleanliest place at the Himalayas and breathed the pure air, ate pure food and would not use cosmetics, your body would still be exposed to toxins. Why? Because toxins are produced internally in the body all the time. These are natural byproducts of normal physiological processes like metabolism, which the body’s natural detoxification system is designed to handle. However, these cleansing processes are fragile, and can be overwhelmed by the excess of internal toxins. This can happen when antibiotics kills the friendly bacteria in the gut and therefore allow unfriendly microbes to profilirate.
Other toxins produced in the body include:
• metabolic waste
• uric acid
• hormones (too low or high secretion; including thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, insulin etc)
• neurotransmitter imbalances
• acid/ alcaline balance in respiratory (lungs) and metabolic systems as well as connective tissues
• lactic acid
• free radicals
• toxins produced by mind and spirit (unresolved trauma, abuse, unhappy relationships, stress)
Even though your body produces toxins all the time, you can also somewhat control of the amount it does so through your lifestyle habits. Selecting foods that your hormones love and which does not produce much metabolic waste, excercising intensively but also remembering to rest, and paying attention to the consmetic you use and materials you use at home, can have a great impact on your wellbeing and body’s capability to cleanse itself.
External toxins are toxins to which we are exposed in our everyday living. Indoor and outdoor pollution, toxic metals, xenobiotics (chemicals foreign to the body) and poisons produced by plants and microorganisms are all toxins. Normally we all try to minimize our exposure to these toxins; nobody deliberately drinks contaminated water. However, many times in the modern society the toxins are hidden so cleverly that we unknowingly consume them.
Maybe the greatest amount of control you can have over external toxins are related to food. You decide what goes into your mouth. So skipping packaged foods and beverages, tobacco (and alcohol except when used in moderation), pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs can already reduce your body’s toxic load extensively. Also, one of the easiest ways to love your body is to choose organic cosmetics and hygiene products as many toxic substances in commercial non-organic cosmetics, such as phatalates can be absobed through the skin and cause harm for the hormonal balances, intestines and add burden to liver and kidneys.
Sources of external toxins include:
• Food (chemical contamination, pesicides, fertilizers, hormones and drugs in livestock, industrial chemicals eg in the fish, toxic metals eg in flax seeds, microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mycotoxins produced by molds, food spoilage, additives, food colors, excitotoxins which can cause severe neurological disorders etc, preservatives, food packacing materials,genetically modified foods and food allergies)
• Air (outdoor pollution, indoor pollution cause by building materials, inhalans and human activities such as usage of deodorizes, fabric softners, photocopiers, electronics etc)
• Plants and microorganisms such as fungi and molds
• Chemicals and metals
• Noise, wheather and altitude (because high altitude can adversily affect the body, it can be considered as toxin; think about mountain sickness. Likewise Seasonal Affecitve Disorder Syndrome, SADS, is believed to be a symptom of some imbalance in bodily functions that grey and short days can cause in some people)
• Radiation, electromagnetic fields and geopathic stress
Where does the toxins lurk around?
As I mentioned, toxics are produced by the body but we are also living in the sea of toxins. Here are some things to be considered, through which you can reduce the toxic load of your body. The list might be scary, however, remember that your body is like a boat in this sea of toxins. If the boat is trustworthy, it can carry a specified load without problem and it can process a certain amount of toxins without any apparent problem. But no boat can keep afloat if it is simply overloaded. So be aware of these sources of toxins and minimise your exposure to the level your body can handle. Your body will thank you and at the same time you can join other people to build a healthier living environment. Life can become very rewarding when your concern for personal health starts to extend towards positive action for the health of our communities and planet. It’s certainly more fulfilling than junk food!
Home: Building materials (asbestos in walls, formaldehyde in wooden building materials such as paneling and plywood, newspapers, paper grocery bags and personal care products, heaters especially kerosene space heaters, carpeting, cleaning and laundry supplies, candles, cooking, pets, molds, household dust, yard chemicals and fertilizers…)
Workplace and school: occupational exposure different chemicals (think about barbers, hairdressers, medical care specialists, firefighters, automotive industry, construction workers, mining industry, dry-cleaners etc), exposure at the school and office to eg same things as at home but also to larger extend to electromagnetic fields
Hobbies and activities: indoor air pollution in gyms, tennis halls etc, and in hobbies such as boating, skiing, racing, cycling and camping you might get exposed to outdoor pollution (in larger extend when doing sports in the rush hour and when breathing through the mouth), chemicals, fumes, noise pollution, campfire smoke, insect repellents etc.
Air travel: air quality in the craft, bacteria, viruses, radiation, illness and jet lag
Medical treatment: hospital exposures, surgery, deficient diets, radiation treatments, medications, vaccinations, dental restorations
In the next blog:
Blog 3: Detox in practise
• Different detox diets
• Diet or a lifestyle?
• Ways of detoxification: saunas, baths and hydrotherapy, nutrients, diet, fasting and juicing, excersise, breathing and oxygen, homeopathy, chelation, bach flower essences, herbs and armoatherapy, topical detoxification, organ cleansing, energy balancing, detox for mind and spirit
• Where to begin?
• 10 easy ways to detox your body
• Sample day (activities and food)
Cover image: Jiang Long