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A cleanse is a health regimen designed to remove toxins from the body. Some target the entire body, while others focus on specific organs such as the liver, kidneys, or skin. In most cases, this regimen requires a temporary radical change of diet, although some are designed to help people transition to a healthier diet. Many proponents of natural health engage in regular body cleanses to improve their health and treat underlying medical issues. They are also used as a weight loss tool in some communities, while others engage in them as a spiritual activity.
Some caution should be used when undertaking a cleanse, especially a radical one. A medical professional should always be consulted before making radical dietary changes, as some health conditions may be aggravated by the regimen. Individuals should talk to a healthcare provider about the specific plan they are interested in, and if the professional thinks that the regimen is not a good idea for a particular patient, he or she should talk about alternative choices that could still leave the person feeling healthier. Anyone on a cleanse who starts to experience extreme symptoms, you should stop immediately and seek medical attention.
A cleanse can be accomplished in a number of ways. The most common is a dietary change: most involve fasting and the ingestion of a lot of fluids to flush toxins from the body. In some cases, only specific foods are allowed. In most cases, these foods are raw and high in fiber: many specify that followers can only consume fruit, juice, and water, for example. In addition to permitted foods and fluids, some plans also integrate tinctures and special teas that are also supposed to help express toxins, while others add supplements such as psyllium husk in pill form.
Other types of body therapy are often part of a cleanse as well. Detoxifying massage such as lymphatic drainage massage may be a part of the regimen, along with heat or cold therapy. In some instances, it also involves the use of colonic irrigation, which is supposed to flush toxins from the digestive tract. Many naturopathic doctors believe that certain foods such as meats and refined sugars clog the digestive system, and that colonic irrigation will remove built up toxins, especially when combined with high fiber foods to further flush the intestines.
In the early stages, the practitioner often feels very unpleasant due to the release of toxins held in the organs of the body. Drinking large amounts of water will help to flush the toxins out, and it is crucial to drink fluids while in the early stages so that released toxins can be expressed through the urine. Taking a sauna will also help to release toxins by opening the pores and sweating them out. The early stages of a cleanse can be frustrating, but should not be used as a cause to stop; pushing through the first few days will result in a feeling of better health which many feel is worth the early discomfort.