The Best Approach to Cleansing for Health, Mental Clarity, and Longevity


We’ve talked about the myths, several different approaches to cleansing, and what you should expect during your first cleanse. Now we’d like to dive into the TCNM approach to safe, natural, holistic detoxification.

Your TCNM Cleanse

At TCNM, we believe that cleansing needs to be balanced so you can achieve the greatest health benefits with the least discomfort or inconvenience. That means taking things one step at a time, following your body’s cues, and planning ahead.

The first step in a good cleanse is to ensure regular bowel movements. Flushing toxins from the liver and other body tissues won’t do you any good unless these poisons can exit the body smoothly and easily. In fact, if you’re constipated, cleansing can actually make matters worse, so we begin by ensuring any issues around constipation are resolved, and by increasing your water intake.

At the same time, it’s important to lessen your everyday toxin load. The fewer toxins you’re exposed to, the easier it will be for your body to flush out the ones it’s already stored. That means eliminating processed foods and avoiding things like fresh paint, cleaning chemicals, synthetic perfumes and beauty products. We believe that eating a diet that is organic, allergen-free and intolerance-free is a much better option than fasting, because it supports your body through your cleanse with high quality nutrition.

Once you’re eliminating regularly and your toxin load has come down, the next step is to mobilize stored toxins using herbal medicines that support the liver. The liver is one of the major detoxification organs of the human body, and it’s where the bulk of built-up toxins are metabolized. Enzymatic liver detox needs to be done gradually, to ensure that toxins leave the body safely.

We also recommend aerobic exercise to release toxins stored in fat cells (as your body “burns” fat cells for energy) and increase the movement of blood and lymph. These benefits combine to speed toxins from your body stores to your elimination organs and move them out of your body.

Who Should Do a Cleanse?

Even if you do everything else right for your health, it’s a good idea to do a cleanse once a year to flush toxins that you may have picked up from air pollution, city water, personal care products or the occasional takeout meal. Cleansing is an especially good idea if you suffer from:

  • Headaches
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Depression
  • Poor mental clarity
  • Constipation
  • Eczema or other skin problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndome
  • Candidasis
  • Parasites

Who Should Never Cleanse?

Although we are big proponents of cleansing at TCNM, there are some cases where detoxification is not a good idea. These include:

  • During pregnancy
  • While fighting off a cold or flu
  • If you have an eating disorder, or a health history of having had an eating disorder
  • Very young children or elderly patients
  • If you take pharmaceutical drugs that could be life-threatening to discontinue, or have a narrow therapeutic index (i.e., have a very small difference between the effective dose, and an ineffective dose or a dose potentially having side effects)

Even if none of these situations describe you, it’s always best to consult a naturopathic doctor before beginning a cleanse to ensure that it’s safe for you.

What Makes the TCNM Approach to Cleansing Unique?

Cleansing is something that can change your life by improving your health, vitality, mental fitness, and more, but it doesn’t have to take over your entire life. We believe cleansing can be as simple and as powerful as you make it. With the guidance of a naturopathic doctor and a little bit of smart planning at home, it’s possible to continue all of your usual activities, including work, social life, fitness, and anything else on your plate, all while you do your body a big favour in the long run.

Interested in learning more about the TCNM approach to cleansing, or in doing a cleanse? Visit or Metabolic Detoxification page, or contact us in Toronto at or by telephone to schedule an appointment.



Posted: 2013 May 9