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What is a Cleanse?

It is crucial to drink plenty of fluids when doing a cleanse.
Some people like to do a juice cleanse.
A sauna can be used to help with a cleanse.
Colonic irrigation involves inserting a tube into a person's rectum and sending water through the tube to flush out waste.
Psyllium is often used for cleanses.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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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.

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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.

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giddion
Post 5

@StarJo – I know what you mean. Sometimes, you can get at least a partial cleanse by drinking apple juice and eating asparagus, without having to give up solid food.

Apple juice in moderate amounts can cause a bowel movement. If you drink too much, you can get diarrhea, though.

Asparagus is a natural diuretic, and it helps the kidneys get rid of toxins. So, if you eat it in addition to drinking apple juice, you can cleanse both your kidneys and intestines.

This won't be as dramatic as getting an enema, but it will make you feel cleaner and healthier inside. I do this a couple of times a week.

StarJo
Post 4

Wow, I can't imagine drinking only juice and water for days in a row while your appetite is still good. I had to do this when I had the stomach virus, but believe me, I didn't want to eat any food during this time. I wouldn't be able to do it if my appetite were healthy, though.

healthy4life
Post 3

I think that many celebrities rely too heavily on the colon cleanse. They think it keeps them from gaining weight and storing toxins that will add to the bulk of their bellies, but they are actually robbing their own bodies of the chance to do what they were designed to do.

It seems to me that intestinal muscles would become weak from lack of use if you got colon cleanses regularly. How horrible would it be to wind up really having to have a cleanse in order to eliminate any feces?

I will steer far away from this type of cleanse. I've had issues with constipation in the past, and I don't want to wind up in a state of intestinal disability, because it is so uncomfortable.

KaBoom
Post 2

@Pharoah - The body does clear out some toxins on its own, that's for sure. But these days, so many people eat unhealthy diets and don't exercise that a lot of people could use some help in the form of a natural cleanse.

A cleanse can also be really great if you're constipated to help get things moving again! It's way better than getting dependent on laxatives.

I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with doing a cleanse, as long as you're responsible about it and don't starve yourself.

Pharoah
Post 1

I think the whole idea of an internal cleanse is pretty ridiculous. The body has its own way of ridding itself of toxins! For instance, the kidneys filter out toxins, which are later gotten rid of in the urine. The human body is amazing and doesn't really need extra help to be "clean."

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