When I think about the things that I’m grateful for (as per my last blog post), one that comes to mind quite regularly is my work at Hippocrates Health Centre.
I know, I know, everyone is supposed to hate their jobs (!), but that’s certainly not true in my world! If I need to work, then I want to be doing something I enjoy, that is fulfilling and inspiring – which is what I have every day!
You wouldn’t believe the changes that I am privileged to see every week at the health centre. People come in looking weary, fatigued, stressed, and unhappy – but by the end of five days they have turned that right around, and it is amazing to see.
The benefits of taking a week out and doing a detoxification program are enormous. Especially for those that have never done anything like that in their life, it is something that you have to actually experience, to understand how good you do feel by the end of it.
Aches and pains are gone, kilo’s of excess fluid are lost, skin is clearer and brighter, energy is up, digestive systems are working again, and many people gain a new perspective on their life and a new found confidence from successfully participating in the program.
It is an absolute delight to see people who come in with very little knowledge on health and how to get well; leave a week later feeling empowered to be able to turn their lives around, through both the experience of spending a week on raw vegan food, and through the health education they receive there.
A good detox often involves fasting on raw juices of either fruits or vegetables or a combination of both – I prefer mainly green vegetable juices for fasting. Just drinking those with plenty of water during the day can give the digestive system and the liver a break, and the body can start to dump some of its stored toxins for excretion. Because the body is not busy dealing with the digestion of food, it gets to start “cleaning up”.
Fasts such as these can be done from anywhere from three days to several weeks – many alternative cancer programs rely on juice fasting as part of the healing process for extended periods of time. It is not advised to do a fast of more than three days without the supervision of a practitioner who is experienced in this regime.
It can be a little daunting for people who have never missed a meal in their lives, to tackle a juice fast – many people think that they will starve to death in a matter of days, or that they will be so ravenously hungry that they will go crazy. Neither are true, and I have sustained a two week juice fast without any problem at all. The body goes into a different mode, and most of the time a mild hunger pang is about as hungry as you get.
Alongside the fasting, there are many other natural remedies that you can do to enhance the fast. Spending time in a sauna can help to sweat out many toxins, bowel cleansing in the way of enema’s or colonic irrigation helps to rid the bowel of toxic residues, skin brushing is one of my favourites, gentle exercise and massage such as lymph drainage, can all lower any detox reactions and speed up the process.
There are also many cleanses that use herbs to promote the function of, and support different organs in the body.
It is probably best to either go to a retreat such as Hippocrates to participate in a guided detoxification program – or have a program designed specifically for you by an experienced Naturopath. You probably won’t want to go to work through your detox, so you would need to put a few days aside to rest and relax during it.
I hope this encourages a few more people to experience the benefits that periodical juice fasting or a specific detoxification program can bring. It re-affirms for me every single week, how important it is to include this as a part of a healthy lifestyle, when I see the results that people get, and how sensational they feel.