Have you made any resolutions this year? And if so, have you broken them yet? Many of us like to start the year full of hope, certain that this year will be bigger and better than every previous year.  Unfortunately we can’t help you get a payrise, move to a bigger house, go on more holidays or increase your savings – but we can help you feel fitter, healthier and happier.

Leave the excesses of the festive season behind you.

Leave the excesses of the festive season behind you.

It is common practice these days to start our new, healthy regime with a detox.  The food and alcohol excesses of Christmas and the new year can make you feel bloated and sluggish. Other common signs to indicate the need of detoxification are constipation, recurrent headaches, muscle aching and weakness, food allergies and sensitivity to chemicals, skin issues, asthma, poor memory and concentration.

 

Photo Credit: madlyinlovewithlife via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: madlyinlovewithlife via Compfight cc

But are they really worth the effort? What makes a good detox?

Our bodies have several detoxification systems built in which are running all day, every day to keep us fit and healthy.  Our skin, liver, kidneys, lungs and colon work to remove waste products, often without us even being aware of their efforts.  If you are ill you may need to give your body a bit of extra support to carry out these tasks.  For those of us in good general health our bodies take care of pretty much all the work for us – but there are lots of things we can do to stay in tip top condition.  Regular exercise, plenty of water, a balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg and sufficient sleep are all beneficial.

 

Juicing is a common detox method.

Juicing is a common detox method.

Detoxifying the body can be done over a very long or short period of time.  Many detoxes are quite short and extreme, but a longer, gentler detoxification process can be more manageable and beneficial.

There are many methods of detoxification which include cleansing diets such as juicing and soups, herbal supplements, vitamins and other nutrients alongside techniques such as body brushing, colonic hydrotherapy and massage.

Whatever you decide to do, a detox will cannot un-do months and years of neglecting your body, nor will it prevent damage caused by returning to your old habits.  They are best viewed as a transition period from a less balanced to a more balanced lifestyle.

avocado

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables such as avocados

So if you want to get 2014 off to a great, healthy start we recommend:

Get professional advice. Your body is a complicated machine.  Get advice from a qualified person to get the best out of it.

Don’t rush, be patient.  It can take a while to see and feel changes to your health.  Be patient and stick with it – your efforts ARE making a difference.

Set clear goals.  Vague efforts to ‘be healthier’ or ‘lose weight’ are impossible to achieve.  Break it down in to an achievable action such as ‘drink a mug of green tea instead of coffee with breakfast’, ‘follow the couch to 5k program for 9 weeks’  or ‘get a monthly deep tissue massage’.

– Clean up your diet.  A good starting point is reducing your intake of wheat, dairy, red meat, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.  Increase your intake of lean white meat, fruit and vegetables (6-8 portions a day) and water (2 litres a day).   Some vegetables to include are asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, avocados, garlic and onions.  Always get professional guidance before making dietary changes.

– Consider natural therapies.  Therapies such as colonics and massage can help your body feel relaxed and refreshed.

Move your body. Regular gentle exercise such as walking or swimming will help you feel fitter and more energetic.

We have several therapists here at Ashlins who can offer advice and treatment:

Lisa, Nutritionist, can advise you on improving your diet.

Claire, Colonic Hydrotherapist, offers 10 day and 7 day detox programs which combine colonics with herbal supplements and teas.

Jane and Susan, Abdominal massage therapist, can help relieve abdominal tension and bloating.

If you’d like to make an appointment with our therapists, call us on  020 852 05268.

 

You should not detox if you have a compromised or weakened immune system, are taking prescribed medications or you already suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, kidney or heart disease.  Other restrictions would be children, the elderly, pregnant women and nursing mothers.  In any instance it is always best to seek professional guidance before undertaking a detox.  You should always consult your GP before making major lifestyle changes, particularly if you have existing health problems.