updated 24 Dec 2010, 14:58
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Wed, Sep 08, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer
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Ways to remove environmental and dietary toxins from the body
by Emmarose Policarpio

AS WE GO ABOUT our day-to-day activities, our bodies are exposed to various toxic chemicals and pollutants. Certain body organs, specifically the liver and lymph systems, are under constant attack and may have difficulty eliminating accumulated toxins.

To help get rid of these harmful body contaminants, spas now offer detoxification programs and treatments to effectively and thoroughly remove environmental and dietary toxins from the body. Among its benefits, according to health gurus, are having strong immune system, more energy and more efficient digestive system. There are also claims that detox can help in reducing weight.

Spas with detox programs target four kinds of toxicity. These are the body's own metabolic waste products; dietary toxins such as alcohol, caffeine and white sugar; psychological toxins like stress and worry; and environmental pollutants.

There are two basic types of detox choices available at spas-one treats the body from within, while the other works from the outside.

Cleansing from within is usually administered over a few days and is best enjoyed in destination spas that offer relaxing accommodation and tranquillity to rejuvenate not just the body but the spirit as well. The program might include dietary detox treatments such as juice fast or diet high in fruits and vegetables. Colon hydrotherapy or herbal enema is also likely to be included in the cleansing regimen.

The other type of detoxification treats the body from the outside to assist in eliminating waste. One way to do this is through a lymphatic drainage massage or with a detoxifying body wrap. Lymphatic drainage massage uses a gentle pumping technique to stimulate lymphatic circulation to reduce water retention and remove toxins. It can be done through manual massage or hydromassage and may be performed on the face and neck or body.

Body wraps, on the other hand, have gained tremendous popularity because it is also believed to help remove excess inches and pounds. The body is first exfoliated using a mixture of clay and salt to draw toxins out through the skin. Then the body is wrapped using bandages soaked in a solution containing clay and mineral salt, and covered in thermal blanket to let the body sweat as the wrap does its work. Aside from getting rid of toxins, body wraps also leave the skin silky smooth and refreshed.

Cancer education

Aside from these popular treatments, detoxification has also been linked in preventing the development of cancer cells and other diseases. Dr. Tam Mateo, the first Filipino naturopathic doctor and a staunch health crusader, specializes on cancer education the natural way. As a neuropath, Dr. Mateo recognizes the healing ability within the system.

In tracing the root of the disease, Dr. Mateo underscores the importance of eliminating harmful elements within the body through detoxificaton. He has his own line of herbal drinks aptly called Dr. Tam's Miracle Tea and Live Green, which fortifies the body's organs and cleanses the digestive track. It's a healthy combination of herbs such as cinnamon bark, peppermint, Jamaican sarsaparilla, ginger-rhizome and other organic ingredients. Dr. Tam holds clinic in Metrowalk in Pasig City.

With the health benefits one can derive from detoxification, it is equally important to bear in mind some precautions before undergoing a detox program. One major consideration is making sure the program is administered under medical supervision particularly when undergoing a dietary regimen. Juice fasting, for instance, is not easy and not for everyone. It is best to consult the spa first and find out as much about every treatment before deciding on the appropriate detox program to take.

Detoxification has indeed become a staple in the spa industry. However, it should not be treated as a short-term program. Always remember that detox is all about maintaining a healthier lifestyle through better food choices, reducing exposure to chemicals, and minimizing stress.

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