The leaves are changing colours and dropping; squirrels are hoarding their stores for the winter months; and we’re adding layers of clothing.  Change is in the air!  But change isn’t only on the outside.

The external changes required to adapt well to the new season are easy to understand and do. But have you ever thought about how your body adapts – aside from packing on a couple of unwanted pounds?  The bottom line is it doesn’t fare so well. When seasons change, it can be difficult for our bodies to adapt and, as a result, they can be weakened and more susceptible to infection. This is why so many people get sick and catch colds when the seasons change.  Fortunately, there is a way to help our bodies prepare.

Detoxification, or detox, in holistic or naturopathic terms, is the process of clearing, transforming or neutralizing toxins from the body.  It’s one of the most important things you can do for your body every year.  In terms of preventative medicine, a bi-annual detox can help reset the body (getting your diet back on track) and is perfect for ensuring you’re taking care of your mind, body and spirit.

So, how does detox work? 

There are several organs that support the body’s natural ability to detoxify, such as the liver, skin, lungs, kidneys and bowels.  Functionally, poor digestion, a sluggish or dysfunctional colon, reduced liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract, and skin all increase toxicity.  Detoxification does occur naturally in our bodies, but due to the number of toxins and chemicals in our food, water and air, the build-up over time is a bit more than they can handle naturally.  So we need to give them a helping hand with dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce the intake of toxins and improve elimination.

A successful detox includes four main components:

  1. Dietary modifications: Typically consists of a whole foods based diet and are wheat/ dairy/ other common food allergens free.
  2. Supplementation: vitamins and botanicals that support and activate the liver, cleanse the bowel and build a strong immune system.
  3. Lifestyle: activities that support “clean living” without adding stress (e.g. walking, yoga).  Getting plenty of fresh air and natural sunlight.
  4. Mental / Emotional / Spiritual: positive thinking and attitude that contribute to your overall well- being (e.g. meditation or spending time with yourself).  Get creative and journal you thoughts during this time or tidy up your living space so that you can find an inner calm.

The best times to do detox programs are in the spring and fall before the extreme temperature and climate changes occur.

  Most programs are two weeks long.  Keep in mind that they can be challenging to complete if you’re easily tempted.  I like to rally the troops and get a good support system behind me by doing a program with colleagues and friends.  You can share tips and help each other with stumbling blocks – and recipes!

There are many detox programs out there, so it’s best to seek the advice of a professional such as a Naturopathic Doctor to help you determine the best type for you.  There are so many benefits to seasonal detoxification besides supporting the immune system and preparing for climate changes.  Typically, at the end of two weeks you will experience an increase in energy, mental clarity, improved digestion and perhaps you may even lose a few unwanted pounds.

Want to learn more? I am offering a Detox Program Special at Oakville Massage & Wellness Clinic.  It’s a 30-minute detox consultation package that includes supplements, dietary guidelines and recipes.  Please call 905-842-0287 or book your appointment right from this website today and start the new season in a healthful way.