Detox is short for detoxification i.e. the process of removing toxic substances from the body. More specifically, detoxification refers to a number of different approaches by which the body is cleansed of harmful substances. These include treatments for drug addiction and alcoholism, adopting certain diet plans that are thought to be innocuous to the body in general, alternate treatment methods (herbal, electromagnetic, acupuncture etc.), and other processes that focus on making the toxic substances less toxic to preclude their harmful effects.
Detoxification can be both natural and artificial. Natural detox is mostly performed by the kidneys and liver; both organs playing special roles in removing toxic compounds (mostly those rich in nitrogen) from the body. Artificial detox is mostly carried out by techniques such as dialysis and chelation therapy. Dialysis is needed in patients whose kidneys fail to perform their function. Dialysis follows the principle of diffusion and separates toxic compounds from the patient’s blood by difference in concentration of various substances present in the blood.
Chelation therapy is a process by which toxic heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic are removed from the body by means of special chemical substances called chelating agents.
The Human Need for Detox
In his acclaimed book Peer Prejudice and Discrimination, the late Dr. Harold Fishbein explained how our attitudes are shaped by the fact that as humans, our bodies have not changed significantly for the last 10,000 years. On the contrary, our societies and cultures have undergone extreme dynamism.
The discovery of innumerable chemicals and their use in synthetic food has caused several toxic substances to enter our bodies where no defensive system is developed enough to rid of them. Hence we need detoxification for our survival. Scientists agree that if we had been living the old lifestyle and eating the same food, we would be more adapted to the environmental conditions.
The Detox Scheme
The essential philosophy underlying the whole of detoxification process can be wrapped up in three words: identify, remove, and restore. Identifying involves the marking of toxic substances. It is followed by removal of these toxins to cleanse the body. Finally, you need to restore the nutrients that are lost with toxins.
Steps in Detoxification
Several steps are followed in the complete detoxification process. It is recommended to start from removing chemicals from the diet, then undergoing a hair analysis, restoration of depleted nutrients and getting control over your health.