Four Approaches to Cleansing


We’ve mentioned already that there’s more than one way to cleanse. In fact, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways to pull toxins out of your body to restore good health. Want to know more?

We’ve broken cleansing down into four general approaches. If you’ve ever wondered how different types of detox diets work, or which type of cleansing might be right for you, here’s a quick and dirty guide to the essentials!


Fasting usually means no food at all, but the term is sometimes also used on juice cleanses and programs that involve a liquid detox diet.

Fasting is as tried-and-true as the world’s oldest religions, but tradition doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for modern lives. The idea behind a fasting diet is to have your body burn fat for fuel, releasing toxins stored in body-fat, and in general, let your digestive system rest from all the work it normally does, and focus your body’s energies on eliminating toxins instead. If you fast for more than a few days, though, it can be very stressful for your body and starving your body of nutrients it uses to detoxify may actually slow down the detoxification process as your metabolism grinds to a halt.

Fasting can also bring on serious “cleansing crisis” symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, nausea, exhaustion, rashes, and disorientation, or it can worsen these problems if you’re already experiencing them.

So although fasting has some upsides, we don’t recommend it unless you really like doing things the hard way.

Dietary Cleanses

Dietary cleanses are usually based on three steps: eliminating processed foods and other sources of toxins; increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and clean water to increase excretion of wastes from the body; and at the same time building up your body with nutrient-dense whole foods. A Candida cleanse, which eliminates refined sugars and carbs, is a good example in this category.

Like fasting, you’ll find that most dietary cleanses involve restrictions on the amount of fat and protein you’re eating, which can cause more stress on your organs and contribute to “crisis” symptoms like headaches, fatigue and skin breakouts. While dietary cleanses can be very effective, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough calories and a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Supplement Cleanses

The easiest type of cleanse uses herbal medicines, homeopathic medicines and other natural remedies to support the liver and pull toxins out of your organs. Supplement cleanses are easy to find in any health food store, but they aren’t all created equal. Some are very effective, while others are a complete waste of money. Some include ingredients that may be dangerous.

If you choose to use supplements, make sure that your cleanse includes something to support and cleanse the liver, as well as ingredients to keep your bowels moving and prevent constipation.

It’s important to see that both of these areas are addressed to prevent problems.

Combination Cleanses

As you might imagine, dietary cleanses (if done safely) are slower than supplement cleanses and will be less effective at purging deep toxicity like heavy metals. On the other hand, supplement cleanses are often hindered by what people are eating while they cleanse – processed food, sugar and caffeine will only get in the way of a cleanse. Naturally, then, the best solution is going to be a combination of these two approaches.

The cleanses that we recommend to clients usually involve small changes to their diet to include more whole grains, fruits, and veggies; while avoiding processed foods. We also recommend regular exercise, as well as supplements that support the liver and help clear toxins out of the colon as you cleanse. And we monitor your progress to ensure that you’re cleansing at a safe, moderate rate that’s good for your body.

If you’re interested in learning more or doing a cleanse, visit our Metabolic Detoxification page, or contact us at or by telephone to schedule an appointment. Stay tuned for next week’s blog about what to expect during your first cleanse.



Posted: 2013 May 9