Mind-Body Detoxification

Free your body of the toxins to experience vitality and reach your full health potential. Also, identify the cobwebs infesting your emotions and sweep them away. And experience the positive effects it has on your mind and body

Man resting on nature with calm mind

Sanitise your body, from within

Amanda Hamilton

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to cope with a whole host of threats; yet, our recent history has changed the landscape of our lives completely. Billions of kilos of man-made chemicals make their way into the eco-system of the planet 24 hours a day, which means that the average man and woman are absorbing a multitude of chemicals, every day.

Until 150 years ago, these chemicals did not exist, but now they are found in food, drugs [both social and medical], water, air, cosmetics, the soil, and household goods.

If you are like the majority of people I see in my clinics or on my detox retreats, your body could be struggling with a range of basic functions such as digestion, immunity and weight control that can be traced back to a lifestyle that is continually putting your body under toxic stress. Your skin, too, is a reflection of your internal health, so if it is not glowing, then it's time to take action.

» People and problems

The majority of people will fall into one of the following two categories:

Type 1

You eat according to healthy guidelines most of the time, you go to the gym or take regular exercise. Basically, you do most things 'right' according to what you have read and watched on television, and yet you don't look or feel amazing.

It could be an irritating problem that just won't go away: perhaps a few pounds that just won't shift, or skin that suffers from outbreaks of spots or rashes every now and then. It could be any niggling issue—it does not mean that you are ill, but that you have not yet reached your full, healthy potential.

Type 2

You are suffering from a 21st-century condition that, no matter what medication you have taken or advice you have followed, just won't go away. By 21st-century condition, I mean that the symptoms you are experiencing, are lifestyle related.

Here's a short list of the most common problems: Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] or other digestive complaints; weight gain; Candida [thrush]; fungal infections; cystitis; headaches; mood swings; fatigue; allergies; hormone imbalances; infertility or recurring miscarriages; chronic fatigue; high blood pressure; Type II diabetes or hypoglycaemia [low blood sugar]; skin problems; high cholesterol; emotional eating; stress; addictions [to sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol]; insomnia; and painful joints.

» Detox, not diet is the answer

Woman having orange juiceA toxic body will be sluggish, prone to cellulite and often seems to retain excess weight no matter how little you eat. The chemicals in processed foods are now known to interfere with hormones that are vital for weight control, the link between ‘diet’ sodas and long term weight gain is a good example of this.

If you consume a lot of processed foods, chances are your body is also too acidic. This doesn’t mean you are suffering from heartburn [although that is also possible], but rather that the delicate pH balance of the blood is out of sync, leaving you more prone to developing disease. This toxic state is well-known within the wisdom of ayurveda. Of course, ayurveda has always preached a balanced approach to eating. When I lived in India, I devoured local cuisine across many regions—the flavours, density and texture ‘hits’ of a typical freshly cooked Indian meal so far beyond the bland or over-sweet nature of processed foods. However, even with the wisdom of Indian cuisine, the body can become toxic due to environmental exposure.

Detox need not mean going without some of your familiar or favourite foods

» The inside-out solution

The real solution is to help our body from inside-out. Your main fat burning organ is the liver. If you have a diet high in chemicals, or indeed are exposed to excess chemicals in other ways [for example medication, drugs, pollution] then you need to detox your liver for long-term weight loss and increased energy. Detox need not mean going without some of your familiar or favourite foods. In fact, many people find detox to be the easiest ‘diet’ they have ever been on. My approach is to combine a nutritional plan with a specialist supplement programme. However, there is much that can be done within the home.

This is a two-week home detox plan that helps to make improvements in the body’s internal biochemistry so that your body works better and you feel and look better too.

» Rejuvenate detox, week 1

Fruits and vegetablesThe body needs to cleanse first before it can absorb the benefits of good nutrition. There are two steps needed to guide you body through a successful detox—hydration and diet. To ensure that you get the most out of the programme, stock up on healthy foods before the fortnight begins, or identify restaurants where it is easy to eat out healthy, rather than falling into the trap of half-hearted attempts at shopping for fast food when you are tired or hungry.

In the first week, you are focusing on the break down of fat and toxins and for this process, you need to hydrate the body. Dehydration is not just a hangover problem, a huge number of us suffer from chronic low energy, constipation and fluid retention that can be directly related to a dehydrated body. Is it any wonder we don’t feel like getting out of bed sometimes? There are two stages to re-hydrating the body. The first, and most obvious, is to drink a minimum of 1.5 – 2.0 litres of water every day, You will need more, if you exercise. Secondly, you should cut out diuretic drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, and alcohol.

Your detox day starts with a glass of warm or hot water with a slice of lemon. This is an ideal way to help your body cleanse before you even start eating. For the rest of the day, it’s all about ingredients. This is not a calorie-counting diet. A detox works by sorting the body out on the inside although the effects show remarkably well on the outside. Weight loss, improvement in skin, better digestion, improved sleeps patterns and energy levels are just a few of the benefits you will see.

The Rejuvenate detox

WEEK 1 AND WEEK 2*

Dos Don'ts
CARBOHYDRATES Brown rice, porridge oats, millet [Bajra/raagi] and quinoa. Sweet potatoes and potatoes. Rye bread, rice cakes and oatcakes. Wheat—especially white breads, pasta, biscuits and cakes. Processed cereals.
PROTEINS AND PULSES Lentils, chickpeas [Chana], kidney beans [Rajma], pinto beans [freckled Rajma], butter beans, hummus, tofu, unsalted nuts and seeds, almond milk, nut butters. 'Heavy’ proteins such as any kind of meat or dairy products. Oily fish and eggs only in moderation – up to 3 times weekly.
VEGETABLES All vegetables and juices, especially salad greens.
FRUITS All fruits, including dried fruits
CONDIMENTS AND SWEETENERS Apple cider vinegar, molasses [Jaggery], fresh or dried herbs, organic honey and organic maple syrup. Sugar, bottled salad dressings and distilled vinegar
OILS Organic olive oil and organic flax seed oil. Animal oils and other vegetable based cooking oils.
OTHER Any processed or canned food, coffee, tea, alcohol and fizzy drinks.

*WEEK 2: Add good quality fish and eggs to the proteins and pulses recommended for WEEK 1. Avoid proteins like red meat and dairy products.

Look at the Table. For the first week, 70 – 80 per cent of your diet should be in the Dos column, rather than those listed in the Don’ts column. The diet suits a saatvik vegetarian India diet very well. Remember, you are trying to change the pH of your body from too acidic to alkaline. This is not about obsessively weighing portion sizes, eat more slowly and enjoy savouring the food. Getting in tune with your natural appetite is essential for long term healthy eating.

Note: This is not a long-term diet, but a temporary measure for detox purposes only.

A word of warning about a detox. During the early stages of the seven day plan, you may well feel the ‘cold turkey’ effects of coming off the food and drinks that have propped up the festive period. Caffeine, alcohol and sugar are the worst offenders and cravings or feelings of fatigue are common—it is simply a sign that the body is losing its dependence on the artificial high and is getting back to being well again. Stick with it and by the end of the first week, you will begin to feel like a different person.

» Rejuvenate detox, week 2

Woman having saladThis second stage of detox is focusing on boosting and re-balancing the body by continuing with a nutrition plan and introducing exercise at a rate suitable to your level of fitness—aim for a minimum of three half hour workouts in the week. In addition to the well-known mental and physical benefits of exercise, working out boosts the functioning of the lymphatic system, one of the ways the body removes toxic waste.

By now you should have tried out new foods, re-hydrated the body and you should be starting to feel more energetic. Sleep patterns should be normalising and your overall wellbeing should be improving. Weight loss on a detox plan can be dramatic because of the improvement in the body’s underlying biochemistry. Health problems such as water retention can really start to shift. You need to keep up the hydration of the body by drinking 1.5 – 2 litres of water every day. Coffee, tea, cola and alcohol should still be cut out of the diet.

Rebuilding the body with good nutrition requires quality proteins. Proteins are made of amino acids, the building blocks of the body. Most people associate protein with meat, and yes, good quality meat is good for you. Cheap, mass-produced meat can contain alarming quantities of fat, not to mention the chemicals in the meat itself so it is better to spend a bit more on the type of meat and eat it less often. You should alternate your meat intake with more vegetable proteins. Aim to include a serving of protein at lunchtime and dinnertime, but no more than one portion of meat per day. This will force you to be more creative with food and can open up a whole new set of tastes to be enjoyed!

Look at the Table. For the second week of the detox, your diet should still be 70 – 80 per cent in the Dos column, rather than in the Don’ts column. However, you should now consume more protein, a fist sized serving at two meals per day.

By the end of the two-week period, you should have achieved real change in the body. A detox works on all levels, physical, mental and emotional and it can be a real time of personal change, if you put your heart into it. Writing a diary to keep a track of your progress is often a good way to make the most of the process.

Detox has never been just a marketing slogan; it is a way to nourish your body so you can live life to the fullest. Give it a try and your body will thank you!

Vacuum-clean your mind

Sandy Newbigging

Do you get stressed easily? Do you have low self-confidence? Do you feel that you just have to look at a bar of chocolate to wear it on your hips? These are all examples of toxic conclusions that can prevent you creating and enjoying the body and life you want.

Although your mind, like your body, is incredible, it can, nevertheless, become toxic. The average person has as many as 100,000 thoughts every day. Some of these thoughts pass through your mind with little or no impact upon your body or life. The rest fall into two categories: thoughts that help you and thoughts that hinder you.

The ratio between these positive and negative [toxic] thoughts depends largely upon the beliefs you've come to during your life. These are beliefs you've made about who you are and what you can and cannot be, do and have, and also conclusions about other people and the world you live in.

» Freely flowing emotions

Emotions can become toxic, too. Emotions are in effect, ‘energy in motion’ within your body. They are designed to flow around your body without obstruction. However, it is possible for them to become stuck in your system. Negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, guilt, hurt and grief, are the most common emotions to become stuck, because most people resist feeling them. These stuck emotions are energy that has become stagnant in your system. If emotions remain stagnant, over time they may become toxic. By clearing them, you can reduce the toxic load on your mind and body.

» Mind detox benefits

If you’re carrying around a truckload of toxic thoughts about who you are, what you can’t be, or what you can’t do or have, you will severely limit your enjoyment in life and your success. Also, if you’re holding onto a lifetime [or more!] of unresolved negative emotions, you can experience dis-ease within your body and mind.

By detoxifying your mind, you can:

  • Let go of negative emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, guilt and grief.
  • Stop bad habits and change conclusions that corrode your life enjoyment and success.
  • Reduce stress and feel calm, confident and content in any situation.
  • Resolve conflict with your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Enhance mental clarity and creativity for massively improved results.
  • Easily create the results you want in your personal and business life.

» The conscious and unconscious mind

Did you know?

Mind detox helps people from all around the world to heal headaches, migraines, arthritis, acne, eczema, psoriasis, back problems, chronic pain, allergies, asthma, irritable bowl syndrome, food intolerances, thyroid problems, chronic nausea, excessive sweating, panic attacks, phobias, depression, anxiety, addictions, fatigue and insomnia.

Tune into your mind for a moment by noticing your thoughts. The ones you can ‘hear’ have made their way up to your conscious awareness. They exist in what’s called your conscious mind. However, there is also a level of your mind that operates below the surface of consciousness, and you are unconscious of this during your day-to-day life. Your unconscious mind performs many remarkable tasks without you having to be aware of them. It helps you make sense of life events, stores your memories, heals your body, creates your emotions and drives your habits and behaviours.

Knowing how your unconscious mind works is the equivalent of getting your hands on the user manual for your body and life! You are able to clear your ‘emotional baggage’, improve your mental alertness, live without stress and anxiety more easily, become like a magnet to your goals and more.

Case Study: Alex from ‘Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses’ TV programme [As seen in 30 countries around the world]

When I met Alex, he worked as a Royal Marine. His body was the example of the perfect male specimen. He could run for miles, ate only the best foods and looked after his body extremely well. However, he had an embarrassing illness that was ruining his life. He suffered from hyperhydrosis, a condition that meant he sweated profusely, drenching the clothes he wore and the sheets he slept upon. He had always to take a change of clothes everywhere he went and even had to sleep on a towel. Despite him being successful at anything he turned his hand to, the condition was making him feel like a failure. It had an impact on all areas of his life. His time out with his friends was constantly overshadowed by his condition. He was even planning to leave his job because he was up for promotion but felt he couldn’t attend the formal events due to his excessive sweating.

He had tried everything, including an operation, which had only made the condition worse. Then he did a Mind Detox. During our time together, he became aware that for many years, he had been carrying around a massive amount of anxiety about what people thought of him. He would worry all the time and feel nervous anytime the spotlight was on him. The mind detox exercises helped him to stop worrying about what other people thought of him. As a result, he became more comfortable in his own skin. On day five of the retreat, after suffering from hyperhydrosis for many years, he finally stopped sweating heavily—and to this date, has successfully been able to control it.

Alex is not an isolated case. We have repeatedly found through our work at our clinics and international retreats that people’s physical conditions often improve when they deal with their unresolved emotional issues. These blocked emotions can become toxic and play a role in creating dis-ease within the person’s body, and illustrate that if you want to change your body or your life, cleansing your mind is as important as any physical clearout.

Your mind has the power to influence the size, shape, look, feel and overall health of your body and life

» Our mind affects our body

The mind-body connection has been known for centuries, but it is only in recent years that scientists have been able to prove that our thoughts and feelings affect our body. When we speak to ourselves, the 50-70 trillion cells that make up our body hear and respond accordingly. Our body has an influence on our mind and, equally, our mind affects our body. And it does so seamlessly and subtly, every moment of every day. Mind detox works because it takes into account that our mind, body and lifestyle all influence each other.

Your mind has the power to influence the size, shape, look, feel and overall health of your body and life. When you think and feel positive, your body responds by creating positive physical conditions. However, the opposite also happens when you think and feel negatively. It is for this reason that taking account of your mental and emotional wellness is vital when making changes to any physical conditions.

» Mental problems, physical manifestations

Man with free mindOur unconscious mind is linked with our Autonomic Nervous System [ANS], which regulates our heartbeat, blood pressure, digestion, metabolism, along with many more bodily functions. Due to this connection, whatever our mind believes, perceives and experiences has the potential of getting sent to the rest of our body causing physical responses.

Another way our mind impacts our body is through our emotions. Neuropeptides [often referred to as “molecules of emotion”] are released into the bloodstream, which in turn affects the functions of our entire body by communicating with our individual cells.

Immediate mind-body connection responses include getting a red face when embarrassed, your mouth watering when you think of a food you love or experiencing butterflies in your stomach when you’re anxious about something. But the impacts of the mind-body connection don’t stop there.

» Beliefs become biology

Your beliefs are the conclusions you’ve come to about yourself [including your body], other people and world you live in. Your beliefs exist in your unconscious mind, automatically guiding you through your day-to-day life. They help you to make sense of and respond to the events and environments you encounter. Most of your beliefs are formed in your mind by age 6, which is incredible, considering how much they can impact your body for the rest of your life!

The mind directs the body

Your beliefs determine what messages are sent between your brain and your body. Amazingly, it has been found that your beliefs have the power to influence every aspect of your physical functioning, including digestion, immune system, blood pressure and even your DNA. In a very real way, your beliefs become your biology.

How beliefs affect our system

One study found that after just five minutes of ‘caring and compassionate’ thoughts, volunteers’ immune systems had risen significantly, taking five hours to return to the levels they were before the experiment. Furthermore, the same study found that thoughts of ‘anger and frustration’ reduced the levels of the volunteers’ immune systems for the same period. Again, the impact of your mind doesn’t stop there!

In another scientific study, patients were given morphine for serious pain for three days and on the fourth day, the morphine was secretly swapped for a simple saltwater solution. However, despite not receiving any morphine whatsoever, the patients experienced the same levels of pain relief as they had during the previous three days. The patient’s belief alone had stopped the pain.

There have also been well-documented cases of multiple-personality individuals whereby one of the occupying personalities believed s/he had perfect eye sight and required no glasses and the other believed that s/he could not see properly and was nearly blind without artificial correction. In such cases, the personality in dominance at any given time determined how well the person’s physical eyes work. The same has also been true in other cases where one personality is seriously allergic to oranges, whereby the other personality can drink orange juice without any adverse physical affects.

Without a memory you would never recognise anything and you would have to re-learn everything from scratch all the time

How beliefs shape our body

Apparent miracles like these are possible because our body is designed to follow the orders given to it by our brain. In fact, the individual cells that make up our body [all 50 - 70 trillion of them] are highly intelligent and are able to adjust themselves to the environment in which they exist. Our brain interprets the external environment based upon our beliefs, and then tells our individual cells what adjustments they need to make in order to best survive in the environment.

The implications of this are massive when it comes to you taking charge of the shape and weight of your body. If you want to change your body, you need to discover and change the beliefs that are causing your body to be its current size. For instance, if you believe you cannot lose weight easily, then your brain will order your body to store weight. Or if you believe thin people get ill easier, then your mind, which is designed to preserve your body, will do everything in its power to keep you healthier by carrying extra weight.

How beliefs impact stress

One of the key ways that your beliefs impact your body is through stress. It has been suggested that 90 per cent of all diseases are caused by stress and 100 per cent of all stress is caused by ‘bad’ beliefs. This is because our beliefs impact the way we perceive and respond physically and emotionally to everything that happens in our life.

Have you ever noticed how when the exact same event happens to two different people—giving a presentation or missing a flight—one person gets very stressed over it, whilst the other takes it in his stride? The fundamental difference between the two people is simply their beliefs.

» Body and stress

Miss Quote

"The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts".
-Bertrand Russell,
English logician and philosopher

As human beings we have an internal safety response mechanism often referred to as the ‘fight/flight’ response to help us survive threatening [i.e. stressful] situations. The flight/flight response [also known as ‘survival mode’] is taken care of in the body by the HPA axis, which works like this: The amygdale [in the brain] stores emotional memory and when triggered, sends a signal to the hypothalamus [located just above the brain step]. Through a series of hormonal messages between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenals, there is a release of adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream.

» The unconscious manager

What if you could let go of a lifetime of negative beliefs and stress in only a few minutes? Such a claim is possible due to the way the unconscious mind works. Without a memory, we would never recognise anything and we would have to re-learn everything from scratch all the time. Thank goodness that our unconscious mind is in charge of our memory and works tirelessly behind the scenes to help us recognise people, places, events and things we encounter during our day-to-day life. Our unconscious mind helps us do this by constantly asking, “Where have I seen this before?” and then searching our entire mind for similar memories. It stores our memories by linking similar memories together. One of the ways it does this is by linking memories with similar emotions together [using the law of association]. Angry memories are linked with other angry memories or sad memories are linked with other sad memories and so on.

If you have negative emotions associated with past events, then you will access these old unresolved emotions when faced with similar events today. This is why when you hear a particular song it might remind you of a particular person, place or event and before you know it you can be taking a jaunt down memory lane. This is also why it can be so emotionally difficult after a break-up if you’ve been many places and done many things with that special someone. Everywhere you look can end up reminding you of the very person you’re trying to forget!

Emotionally connected memories can lead to you experiencing inappropriately high levels of emotional response to the events happening in your life today and, as a natural consequence, cause unnecessary stress and suffering for your body-mind.

» The emotional domino effect

The great news is that because your memories are tied together with emotions, you can benefit from what I call the ‘emotional domino effect’. By clearing the emotion associated with the earliest memory, you can clear the emotions from all associated memories in your mind too. This way you can clear a huge amount of emotional baggage, in a very short amount of time!


A version of this was first published in the September 2009 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Previous articleWe create through attention
Next articleMyths and misconceptions about Alzheimer’s Disease
Amanda Hamilton
Amanda Hamilton is a clinical nutritionist, well-known BBC TV presenter and UK’s leading detox and weight loss guru. She has also lived and studied in India.
Sandy Newbigging
Sandy Newbigging is the author of 4 books including New Beginnings, Life Detox and Life-Changing Weight Loss and his Mind Detox method has been featured on television in over 30 countries. He is highly-respected for his ability to quickly and elegantly help people enjoy long-lasting health and happiness.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here