People have always been exposed to toxic substances, but today’s exposure to contaminants far exceeds that of previous times. To rid the body of these harmful toxins, one must determine whether a cleansing program or a detoxification treatment would be the most beneficial.
Cleansing focuses on taking the load off the body for a few days, while detoxifying is about restoring the body to a natural, nontoxic state, which may take months. The body and skin naturally cleanses twice a year, during the spring and fall seasons. This is evident through shedding of dead skin cells, increased perspirations, hair loss, and oil secretion. Cleanses come in various forms, such as fasting from solid food and drinking only juices or water, but the point is that they are temporary. A cleanse, usually from three days up to a month, allows the body to purge what is not useful or potentially harmful within the system and allows the body to heal itself. Performing a personal cleanse does not necessarily mean that the body is comprehensively detoxified; it is just the start. During a cleansing program, your body more rapidly recycles materials to build new cells, take apart aged cells, and repair damaged cells.
There is new strain of toxins, which cause irritation and inflammation throughout our bodies and is reflected in our skin. Our body normally produces toxins as a by-product of metabolism. We call these endotoxins, which means they come from within us. If not eliminated, these endotoxins can irritate and inflame our tissues, blocking normal functions. Antibodies formed to protect us against the harmful effects of these endotoxins often trigger a systemic effect, causing an autoimmune reaction, so our body begins fighting itself. By assisting the body in removal of stored toxins through detoxification programs, the body can more easily heal itself. Removal of waste material through detoxification is essential to the healthy function of our body and skin.
The key to the detoxification process is perspiration, oxygenation, circulation, and digestion and enhanced by movement. Lymphatic waste removal, perhaps the body’s number one method of detoxification, cannot function without internal and external motion. While exercise is sometimes contraindicated during cleansing, especially fasting, daily exercise is an essential component in long-term detoxification.
Spa services that focus on detoxification should first consider an individual’s index for toxicity in the body. Overworking the body with stimulating products or manipulation techniques can release toxins too rapidly, leaving the individual feeling week and sickly. Steam, salts, herbs, wraps and skin manipulations are key components to any skin detoxification program. Being able to determine if a body can respond favorably to any one of these modalities is essential and where you want to start.