As the first signs of spring’s arrival begin to peer through the darkness of winter, one’s thoughts often turn to spring cleaning. It’s our way of mimicking the ritual of cleansing and renewal that takes place in nature as the seasons change.

But how many of us routinely ponder the importance or necessity of a little internal spring cleaning?

Most people don’t even think about the importance of giving their bodies a break from all the toxins they’re routinely exposed to—things like air pollution, pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, petroleum, and plastic by-products—to name a few. These toxins get into our bodies and can’t easily get out, so they stack on top of the toxins that are the normal by-products of your body’s ongoing metabolic processes.

When that happens, your liver and kidneys, the body’s major organs of detoxification, become overloaded and sluggish and so do you. You may also experience symptoms like chronic headaches, acute allergies, skin problems, joint pain, and digestive issues.
While these symptoms can be associated with a variety
of different conditions, the root cause for most of them is
a toxic overload in the body that needs to be flushed out.

Should you do a cleanse or a detox? What’s the difference? It depends on who you ask.

These two terms are often used interchangeably. Both are different ways of achieving the same outcome: to support your body in clearing out toxins, parasites, and cancer-inducing free radicals.

Detoxes tend to be short in duration and more intense, anywhere from one day to a one week juice or water fast, and focus on speeding up your liver and kidneys’ ability to flush out toxins. They often use fiber, bentonite clay, and herbal detoxifying supplements that include laxatives to speed up elimination. For optimum results, these can also include enemas or colon hydrotherapy to help literally “rinse out” your colon.

Cleanses tend to be more focused on cleaning out your digestive tract while moving you toward a healthier way of eating and are typically more gradual and done over a longer period of time, anywhere from ten days to a month or longer. These typically consist of diet modifications designed to eliminate harmful foods and replace them with more beneficial foods and can also include supplements and colonics.

The benefits of a good cleanse or detox can be incredible, but it’s not something that should be taken lightly. If you’ve never done one before, it’s a good idea to consult your healthcare practitioner first.

By Donya Fahmy