Why I Don’t Detox

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Here’s the deal. I don’t detox as a general rule, either personally or professionally. This may come as quite a shock, given that I work in the integrative nutrition/health world. But I’m a firm believer in physiology–our bodies detox on a daily basis courtesy of our skin, liver, and kidneys. Do we really need a special program to somehow support the liver in its quest for detoxification? Not really. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, especially in cases of heavy metal or chemical exposure. But for the vast majority of the population, we need a reset or a retreat, not a detox.

Reset Not Detox

There’s another, arguably more important reason that I don’t detox. When you use the word detox, you imply that you are fundamentally toxic, and this is not a great way to think about your physical body.  Research from the world of positive psychology (Kelly McGonigal and Alia Crum) and integrative health (Bruce Lipton among others) has shown that what we say and think about our bodies affects us physically. So by implying toxicity, you risk the health ramifications of that belief.

I much prefer to think about using regular resets or retreats to restore health and wellness.  Resets or retreats are a traditional way used for millenia to get back to the basics.  Rather than focusing on stripping the body of toxicity, resets/retreats focus on nourishing the body, relaxing the mind and supporting the spirit.

Resets don’t have to cost a ton of money, or involve going to an exotic spa. Instead, go back to the basics. Pick a day or two that you don’t have anything on the calendar. Plan a menu of real, unprocessed foods including plenty of vegetables and fruit.  Get out into nature, at least a few hours every day. Make a list of what really nourishes you (no screens, please), and do those things. Make an appointment to visit with a good friend. Do something good for someone else. Create a playlist that feeds your positive emotions. Sleep well and often.

After your reset/retreat, I bet you’ll feel even better than if you had gone through a deprivation-based detox program. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to face the world.

If you need help planning your reset/retreat, let us know!


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