The Detox Controversy | Is it Necessary To Do a Body Cleanse Detox?

Throughout the years, there’s been controversy surrounding detox or detoxification. Some say it is necessary to do a body cleanse detox and some say it’s just a myth. However, despite this controversy, we have seen a boatload of information about different types of detox ideas that people believe in and provided testimonies that they indeed work.

What is Detox?

Before we delve further into this detox discussion, let’s first define what detox means. Wikipedia has a lot of definitions on the word “detoxification”. The first definition:

smoothies_body_cleanse_detox_n3RtM6It is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is primarily carried out by the liver.”

Detoxification is also referred to as:

“The period of withdrawal during which an organism returns to homeostasis after long-term use of an addictive substance.”

Homeostasis is the tendency of organisms to go back to their original state or in a state of equilibrium.

Another definition of detoxification:

“Decontamination of poison ingestion and the use of antidotes as well as techniques such as dialysis and (in a limited number of cases) chelation therapy.”

Now, we are going to focus on the first definition in this article – that is, the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances. 

What Are Toxins That Enter Our Body?

My Science Academy described two types of toxins that are found in our body. The first set is called endogenous toxins. These are toxins that are produced inside our bodies. These may be waste products that come from the normal metabolic activities of our body, including carbon dioxide, urea, lactic acid. Usually, if we have a well-functioning liver, we won’t have a problem with these toxins because our body will churn these out by the second. 

hamburger junk food body cleanse detoxOur problem lies when our body faces what we call exogenous toxins or chemicals that are produced outside our body. These chemicals can possibly harm our cells if these toxins get ingested inhaled or absorbed into our bloodstream.

Exogenous toxins include chemicals from air pollution, recreational drugs, coffee, alcohol, sugar, food preservatives, pesticides, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, parasites, MSG and aspartame, prescription and over-the-counter medication, and most personal care products. 

And yes, our personal products and household products can be very harmful.

According to an article in Lifehack Magazine, scientists are now realizing that the chemicals found in a wide array of household goods are even more toxic than previously thought. While we think that our home is safe, we sometimes don’t know that we are, in fact, bringing the toxins into our homes by simply using normal household goods.

Lifehack listed these as perfumes, mattresses, cleaning products, air fresheners, plastic food containers, plastic drink bottles, cosmetics, antiperspirants, fabric softeners, non-stick cookware, baby care products, shower curtains, bug sprays, canned food, corn and soybeans, dry-cleaned clothes, TV and game consoles, desktop computers and laptops, cell phones. Phew, that’s a lot of toxins!

The Detox Controversy

There has been controversy surrounding the topic of detox or detoxification. Some health practitioners are advocating the need for detox, and some say it’s just a myth.

An article in The Guardian says that detoxing is a myth and that diet and exercise are the only ways to get healthy.

The article cited Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, who said:

woman belly body cleanse detox
“The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak. There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”

Furthermore, a section in WebMD says that there is no evidence that detoxifying has any health benefits. It advises instead that if you feel like you need a detox, try to make a lifestyle change instead through eliminating processed foods, eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and beginning an exercise routine.

Delta Discovery’s answer to that is … yes, that is correct. Detox is not necessary … in a perfect world.

In a perfect world, we are not bombarded by harmful chemicals or toxins. In a perfect world, we use safe and all-organic household goods. In a perfect world, we eat only organic, sustainably farmed, locally sourced whole foods instead of pizza from the freezer section of our local grocery stores. In a perfect world, we live in a clean, peaceful and healthy place and we are surrounded by beautiful souls that don’t get us stressed. 

But we don’t live in a perfect world. We don’t always eat fruits and vegetables and lean meat, right? We sometimes consume sugar and we sometimes eat processed grains. And sometimes, we do it more often than sometimes. In fact, the average American eats it regularly. And it backs up … it builds up in our system.

In the real world, we are surrounded by air pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution and are exposed to stressful environments.

And we just can’t help it.

Let’s look at eating unhealthy food, for example. 

A study cited in IdealShape says that unhealthy food is like cocaine. This study found out that eating fatty, sugary, overly salty foods created a cocaine-like addiction in the brain of lab rats and that the more they eat these sugary, salty, fatty foods, they developed a tolerance to the pleasure they got from them, and thus, they compulsively sought higher and higher amounts of fat, salt, and sugar.

So, is detoxifying our bodies from all of these toxins a good idea? Hmm, let’s look.

Why Do We Need to Detoxify?

car engine body cleanse detox

First of all, we should understand that our body is the perfect machine. We have everything we need. It’s like a new car. All of the parts function according to its purpose. And according to MindBodyGreen, our body is always striving for health, even if we do so otherwise. Our perfect body detoxifies on its own – we have organs that can transfer and eliminate toxins.

We have a healthy intestine that eliminates toxins daily as feces. And if our intestines don’t work normally, our liver would intervene.

“A healthy liver will transform the toxins into harmless water-soluble molecules and the kidney will excrete them via the urine,” says Nadia Petrova of MindBodyGreen. “If your liver is overloaded, however, it will release the toxins back into the body and your body will store them in different tissues, such as fat, brain and nervous system, thus contributing to poor health.”

An overloaded liver is like a car running on sluggish, old oil. You can keep going, but at a certain point, it’s going to get so old and so sluggish and so clogged up that something else is going to stop working.

This is where a body cleanse detox comes in. Petrova continues:

“The first step to your health will be to balance your digestive system and make sure your intestine, colon, and liver are working properly. Then (and only then) can you can take care of the stored toxins in your body and help them get out. In order to do that, you will need enough antioxidants, which will make sure the toxins are transformed into non-toxic compounds and excreted from the body.” 

We are surrounded by different elements that would often end up in our system as toxins. And sometimes, we simply cannot control the stuff that goes inside our bodies. And when these toxins build up, they would cause diseases or ailments which would slow us down. Detox is our way to clean up our digestive system so that the organs which are responsible to flush out the toxins in our bodies will be able to do their job properly.

Why Do You Need An Ionic Foot Bath?

There is a holistic detox process called ionic foot detox which basically rids the body of toxins through a foot bath. The ionic detoxifying foot bath is essentially electrolysis of water designed to break down the water molecules into thousands of ions. This creates an electromagnetic energy field that travels through the feet and permeates the body. Once inside the body, these ions start to neutralize the toxins in the body and then draws them out of the body through osmosis.

foot bath body cleanse detoxAccording to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the main point of a foot detox is to make the body’s pH more “alkaline”.

Christine Adamo, a board certified Oriental medicine physician in the state of California says that it is very important for the body to be alkaline because diseases thrive in an acidic environment.

“The less acidic your body is and the more alkaline, the less prone you are to contracting a disease, such as osteoporosis or cancer.”

An ionic foot detox will help your body avoid diseases by making your body more alkaline.

And one of the best benefits of an ionic foot detox, according to Adamo, is that it is “gentle and safe and not compromising because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system.” It also works well with acupuncture to stimulate blood flow.

Should You Do a Body Detox Cleanse?

Since doing a body detox cleanse is controversial, ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you should do it. And you can start by weighing the pros and cons. Our belief is that yes, most everyone would benefit from a detox.

At Delta Discovery Center, we have a detox program that we recommend and it is supported by supplements and an anti-inflammatory diet that you adhere to as strictly as possible for six weeks.

Why six weeks? Because six weeks seems to be the amount of time that it takes for changes to grow some roots.

If you’re interested in a body cleanse detox, we recommend that you begin your journey to wellness by getting a Biomeridian Energetic Stress Assessment to determine your current health status. Explore our website to learn more or schedule an appointment.

About the author

Dr. Gala Gorman is a licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopath, and Author who offers expert advice and programs to help people prevent disease. She uses advanced techniques that "reverse the clock" on aging. She founded the Delta Discovery Center with her partner, Charlie Frangos, to provide a place for self-discovery and healing on Hilton Head Island and beyond. Dr. Gala helps people learn to be their own health advocates.