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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

The Differences Between a Cleanse & a Detox

It is more than semantics. The differences between a cleanse and detox may seem like the same thing but in health they present a drastic difference in what they do and the results the produce. In our flurry to feel better can overlook important aspects of the tools available for our support. In some respects there certainly are similarities between a cleanse and detox but their focus, intent and result are completely different.

I believe it is important to know what your body is asking for so you can provide the right solution. In doing so, we not only support the body’s need but we build health and provide ourselves with the right tools in the process. When it comes to working in the natural health space listening to our body as a complete being, in mind-body-spirit, is center for all the decisions and approaches we take to supporting our health. If we don’t take this vital step then natural health becomes just like Western medicine, in that, we apply one-sized-fits-all prescriptive answers and hope for the best.

That is not healing or building health.

How to know if you need a cleanse or a detox?

Often when we seek a cleanse or detox we are looking for support to eliminate something that is blocking, preventing, or impairing our body’s ability to function properly. We are seeking enhancement to performance by clearing pathways, meridians and channels used throughout the body to carry nutrients, messages and vital functions from head to toe.

Before embarking on either a cleanse or detox, it is important first to understand what each is and why and when you should use one. Your body naturally cleanses and detoxes on its own so before you introduce additional tools and products to self-induce a cleanse or detox it is also important to understand what you are doing, know the expected results and what tools are appropriate.

Working with a natural health holistic practitioner is the best way to find a cleanse or detox that is right for your needs, if it is necessary at all.

A cleanse is the elimination or clearing of something in the digestive, bowel or urinary system. It is literally a cleansing so you can then support improvements of building appropriate digestive flora (bacteria) and enhancing how these systems work when you eat, digest and eliminate foods.

Again, your body does this naturally each time you use the restroom. However, at time we may need to support these processes by assisting in the removal of waste that builds up and is impacting our overall health.

Most commonly cleanses are believed necessary for those times when we feel discomfort in our digestion or are experiencing regular bouts of symptoms in these areas. Mainstream dieting trends will have you believe a cleanse helps you reduce water weight, bloat, and things “held up” in your body that are not being eliminated properly. These can be true but the best way to use a cleanse is for digestive support improvements in the journey of overall lifestyle changes you are making to improve digestion and elimination functions.

A detox on the other hands also works to eliminate but has a different focus. Our liver, being the largest organ in the body, is specifically designed for detoxification. This organ boasts enzymes that pathways that bind to toxins found in the body and breaks them down for elimination. Your liver also supports over 200 functions of the body ensuring it has what it needs in terms of clear pathways to optimally run.

Detoxification can become bogged down due to toxins. Whereas a cleanse can also be toxin related it is more focused on food we consume. Detoxes are centered in toxins from all environmental, mental, food, stress and situational circumstances our body, mind and heart/spirit are exposed. When you detox it is much more intense with the result being a functional reset of the performance of your liver.

For both cleanses and detoxes it is important to also note that undergoing these processes is not a free ticket to revert back to the situations and circumstances that led you to this need. The best mindset to have is using it for a launch into self-improvement for body-mind-heart/spirit. Whether those changes address lifestyle stress, eating habits, routines or general health it is vital to have alignment in your whole being that this is a move forward and not just something to rinse and repeat. You cannot continually cleanse or detox without appropriate healing before your body further sees these as just further abuses and exposures to things it cannot process.

One of the things I found helpful before I took on an 8 week detox program was to make sure my basics were in a good place. For a couple months leading up to the detox, I focused on being consistent with hydration, cleaning up my diet and improving stress levels in my life. These steps made the detox I did much easier to see progress and build on the success from that point.

Types of Cleanses

From juice cleanses, hydration cleanses, vitamin and herbals and all in between, there are many types of cleanses available and all come with their own experiences and results. The more drastic cleanses can leave you in the restroom quite frequently while others can introduce flatulence and stomach discomforts. There are some things to look for when considering what type of cleanse may be best for you. Working with a natural health holistic practitioner is fantastic for helping your sort through the benefits and value of cleanses and find products that work best with your body without the added discomforts.

Consider these factors in your cleanses:

  • Products based on whole natural foods work the best as they can be more easily digested by your body

  • Always properly hydrate during a cleanse to ensure appropriate cellular function. 50% of your body weight in water is recommended daily and more perhaps during a cleanse

  • If you feel discomfort, pain, dizziness or experience vomiting, nausea, vertigo or other please discontinue your cleanse and contact your natural health holistic practitioner for support

  • Follow reliable, trustworthy instructions and bottle dosages. This is not the time to experiment with a social media hoax recipe to cleanse your colon

  • Eat a nutritious diet leading up to and through your cleanse. This may include supplementing with high bioavailable vitamins and supplements

I like the doTERRA 30 day cleanse protocol that consists of probiotics, digestive enzymes and good quality supplements that make cleansing comfortable and without the side effects or elongated bathroom needs. This system provides nutritional support while rebuilding the gut’s flora and reducing any buildup in the body from digestive waste. For information, please contact me.

Types of Detoxes

This is where detoxes are significantly different than cleanses. Not only are there different types but forms and formats to which to achieve a successful detox. From eliminating social media to rebuilding our liver’s enzymatic processes, detoxes offer a lot to helping us build health physically, mentally and spiritually.

All detoxes are work and require preparation to assure you are ready physically, mentally and spiritually. The resulting outcome of a detox is the launch of good habits, changes in lifestyle that are supported by a clean slate foundation laid by the detox procedure. Detox preparations include assessing your health needs across your being, understanding your longer term goals and having a plan that not only includes the detox but what happens afterwards. If you are not ready to make serious changes, then perhaps a cleanse or waiting until a future time is better.

The best detoxes challenge us to be better than where we started. -Amy Kramer

A detox should leave us feeling refreshed, stronger, healthier, lighter feeling and even excited for journey we have started. It can feel liberating to many people to rid their life of stress, bad relationships, jerk bosses, crappy jobs, poor diets, unhealthy habits and more. I like to describe it as an un-shedding of the layers to get at who we truly are and who we want to be. The real us.

Social Media Detoxing

Let’s start with a basic detox of reducing time spend on social media. This can be an addictive habit for many people that is difficult to break. It may require we completely break from social media for a time period in order to build healthy boundaries for when and how we use social media in our life. Understanding what we want to achieve with this type of detox can help build a plan that doesn’t result in torture during detox but also helps us achieve a healthy use and relationship with social media afterwards.

To begin a detox of this nature, we would first assess how much time we spend on social media, what we do or are looking for when we’re on there and what it means to us. From there we want to outline what we want to achieve by changing what we are doing now. Are we seeking more time in our day, healthier relationships, structure and focus even? Or are we using this detox as a way to set boundaries with certain relationships because of pain? Being deeply honest about our feelings and purpose as well as our desired outcome sets the mindset for how the detox will proceed.

We then define a plan based on that information to outline what the detox will look like, how it will occur and for how long. Being realistic and intentional even in a social media or mental detox is important because it helps us have a healthy positive experience in the detox process. If we see it only as punishment we are not likely to continue it and we will more than likely revert to old patterns and behaviors afterwards.

If we see it only as punishment we are not likely to continue it and we will more than likely revert to old patterns and behaviors afterwards. -Amy Kramer

I think it is important to set a start and end date to any detox. Just like a physical body detox we do not want it to go on without end or conclusion.

Liver Detoxes

Any form of body detox should include or entirely focus on liver function. Being the largest body organ, the liver supports over 200 functions in the body. The liver is where the primary functions of detoxification occur so it only makes sense if you’re going to detox to focus on liver function.

Any form of body detox is best done using organic high quality raw vegetables, hydration, dietary improvements, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. There are also high quality homeopathic detoxes that work with a good diet and supplementation structure to help the liver unblock pathways and better support the body’s natural detoxifications processes.

Understanding what products to use, dosages, duration and more is encouraged to be done with the support of a natural health holistic practitioner. They can provide you with high quality products, work with you on the type of detox you need and help you throughout the process.

I personally like the natural homeopathic products from DesBio. They are a fantastic supplier I use regularly for myself, my family and clients for natural health support needs, including detoxification.

For information and access to their products, please schedule a consultation with me.

In the same way of the social media detox example, we want to be intentional in our preparation, goal setting and next steps following the detox. When I personally did the DesBio Comprehensive Detox for Brain, Spine and Liver detox I worked through an exercise of what I wanted to achieve by doing this process. In my case, I wanted to use it as way to expand the work I had already been doing to improve my diet and building a healthy lifestyle. I was also experiencing some physical symptoms that indicated my liver was struggling in properly detoxifying. As a natural health holistic practitioner I knew pain, inflammation and other symptoms we experience are messages from our body, in this case my liver.

The outcome of a physical detox is the ability to further enrich our lives with good organic foods, healthy movement and better sleep that builds health. It also supports our mind’s well-being to seek out positive healthy relationships, and happiness while supporting our spiritual connectiveness.

A detox, whether physical, mental or spiritual is about intentional rich changes in our life that allow us to move forward in a healthy and positive manner in mind, body and spirit.

So to Cleanse or Detox?

Both cleanses and detoxes promote the idea we need to break, eliminate, or just reduce something in order to add more good in. It is important we use these tools as ways to promote health building and not as a band-aid for recovery only.

Understanding your body’s messages is the best way to know if you need a cleanse, detox or something else to deliver best results. In most cases, we can think of a cleanse or detox as only the first step in a long process of living better, treating ourselves better and building health.

For help with your questions on cleanses and detoxes or other natural health questions, please schedule a consultation with me at


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