Detox vs Cleanse? Do You Know The Difference?
Do the words detox or cleanse conjure up images in your head of eliminating your favorite foods or consuming bizarre concoctions like maple syrup and cayenne pepper ?
Both terms are often used interchangeably and both aim to improve overall wellness. However, there is a difference when it comes to detoxing vs cleansing when it comes to our health.
What is Detoxing?
Detoxing involves the the whole body while cleansing targets the gastrointestinal tract. Detoxification occurs in our bodies through our detoxification pathways including the liver, kidneys, and the skin. Toxins are anything that our body can not use for energy. We are exposed to toxins daily in the foods we eat, the air we breath and chemicals in our skin care and household cleaning products.
Many people ask, "Why detox, doesn't our body effectively detox on its own?" The answer is 'YES'! However there are times when we are experiencing an overload of toxins in our system and experience symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, headaches, weight gain and hair loss that it may be time to give our bodies some assistance.
I have incorporated detoxes into my wellness routine in the past by eliminating inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and sugar. Detoxes also include hydrating by drinking half your body weight in water in ounces daily. Eating fiber rich foods, including movement in your day and incorporating liver health supplements such as milk thistle are beneficial as well.
One of the easiest ways to naturally detox is to avoid toxins in skin care and beauty products. The skin is the largest organ in your body and readily absorbs products that are applied to it. Look at product labels for the following ingredients to avoid, fragrances, parabens,, phthalates, and mineral oil.
Many times, you may choose products that appear to be natural, but may notice that fragrance is listed in the ingredients. Consider fragrance carefully, as it can be a hormone disruptor and can add extra toxins and chemicals to your body.
What is a Cleanse?
A cleanse benefits the GI tract and is primarily designed to relieve your body of the stress of digesting and absorbing chemically-laden, heavily processed foods. The length of a cleanse can range from a few days to months. It can lead to fewer bloating symptoms, improved bowel function, and increased in energy. Cleanses can be labeled as juice cleanses as well as other types of cleanses. While cleansing, drinking half your body weight in fluids and eating a light diet filled with fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables is often recommended.
Water Yoga Cleanse- A Deep Colon Cleansing Technique
Shankhaprakshalana is known as "shell cleansing" with the GI tract as the shell. A fundamental yogic exercise, it helps with cleansing the internal organs and is beneficial for preventing many illnesses that accelerate the aging process.
I was invited to experience this cleanse by Ola Ka Ola ( Life Goes On) a wellness and exercise site for women. The cleanse was shared as a spring cleaning for the digestive tract and that is exactly what I felt! While participating in the cleanse I also ate more of a plant based diet with fruits, vegetables, salads and fish. The cleanse started with drinking a prescribed amount of water every morning for 5 days and then performing a series of 5 yoga poses ,eight times each for two rounds.
The poses were very easy to perform and included :
* Raising on your toes from standing
*Hip Rotation while laying or in a lunge position
While natural detoxing proponents share that you should be eliminating from your GI tract twice daily, herbalism practitioners share that elimination three times per day is the goal. The yoga poses support the GI tract and definitely help with accomplishing the above goals for GI elimination.
Constipation can be common in women due to hormonal changes, not eating enough fiber or not including enough movement in the daily routine. While I do not experience this issue, I have never felt less bloated than during the five days of the water/ yoga cleanse! I am planning on including these yoga poses into my daily routine from now on. They truly have helped with feeling less bloated after meals. My energy levels also increased as well and I feel absolutely terrific!
The sixth day of the cleanse, included drinking a prescribed amount of salt water and then performing the above exercises for 6 rounds. This cleanse is very effective and should only be performed with an experienced yoga practitioner. I performed two rounds and felt that my GI tract was responding. I felt that for me personally, the cleanse was complete. After the cleanse, it is suggested to rest and then eat a light meal of rice, lentils and ghee which is very easy to digest for the digestive tract.
In all, I am so happy that I experienced this cleanse. While I did not lose any weight ( possibly one pound), my stomach was less bloated, appeared flatter and my clothes fit better! I felt great and had an enormous amount of energy too. The cleanse is said to give your skin a beautiful glow as it clears the GI tract and I am happy with the way my skin looks as well!
Detoxes and cleanses are a great way to reset your body any time of year. Be sure to contact a medical professional if you would like to perform a detox or cleanse too.
Thank you to Sabrina Marr, Yoga Practitioner and Ola Ka Ola for gifting me with the ability to participate in this cleanse! I love all of their programs and I am also participating in their Core and Pelvic Floor program as well. Ola Ka Ola has generously provided a code of LISA49 for my followers. Check out their programs here www.olakaola.com