• 05 Aug, 2016
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We often hear a lot about detoxing, but exactly what are toxins? Just the word alone sounds frightening and instantly strikes up worry. According to the dictionary definition, a toxin is a poisonous substance that is the result of metabolic activities. Simply put, a toxin is something harmful to our bodies.  The definition of a toxin tends to be vague because of the different types of toxins. Toxins are generally classified as either an internal toxin or an external toxin. It’s important to understand what toxins are so that you know how to identify and get rid of them in your body.

What are Internal Toxins?

Internal toxins are naturally produced by our bodies as part of our daily functions. Our bodies are constantly using energy to rebuild body tissue and replace worn out cells. Throughout this process, they’re also producing waste or internal toxins. These toxins need to be broken down, recycled, and eliminated.  While our bodies have automatic processes to carry out these tasks, they can’t always address built-up toxins. Without proper detoxification, these toxins can clog your system and cause damage to surrounding tissue, organs, and cells.

What are External Toxins?

External toxins are the toxins outside of our bodies that can be ingested or absorbed. Whether chemical or microbial, external toxins enter the body through food, water, air, or physical contact with skin. These toxins can affect your overall health and wellness.

What are the most common external toxins?

• Bisphenol A and Phthalates, commonly referred to as BPA, are toxic substances that exist in cheap plastic drinking bottles. While most bottles with BPA have been phased out, some still use them and should be avoided. A 2015 study confirmed that about 44% of canned food producers still use BPA-lined cans.

• Environmental toxins like smog, airborne particulates, and smoke can wreak havoc on our eyes, lungs, and sinuses. They can remain in our bodies for an extended time after exposure.

• Environmental toxins can be transferred to common indoor spaces like homes, offices, or commercial buildings.

• Household chemicals are also guilty of introducing toxins into indoor living spaces. Common surface cleaners can emit dangerous fumes that may concentrate in small, enclosed areas. Even pet products may contain toxic elements that can harm both you and your pet.

Common Signs of Toxins in Your Body

You may want to consider a detoxification routine if you see any of the following indicators:

• You have trouble losing weight especially inches in a particular area. Many toxins naturally gravitate toward the fatty areas of the body. These toxins are called lipophilic and can include PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides.

• You’re tired all the time even though you’re getting enough sleep. Toxin overload can cause problems with the adrenal glands and that often manifests as unexplained exhaustion. A long-term effect of toxin build up is chronic stress, which can trigger feelings of sleepiness and overall fatigue.

• Frequent headaches can also be a sign of toxicity, especially those that are unexplained or don’t stem from a normal source. MSG, artificial sweeteners, and various food preservatives may trigger headaches due to their inherently toxic properties.


• Moodiness can indicate that your body hormones are out of balance. A proven contributor to hormone disruption is toxic chemicals like BPA, PCBs, and phthalates. Minimizing exposure to plastics can help reduce harmful toxic loads.

• Aches and pains can indicate a high toxic load in some individuals. Various toxins act to stimulate pain receptors in the muscles. This can lead to spasms, aches and pains, muscle knots, and general discomfort.

Detoxification – How Does it Work?

In its simplest terms, detoxification is a process that removes poisonous or harmful substances from your body. Impurities are removed from the liver, which is where the body’s toxins are stored and processed prior to elimination. A good detoxification will also cleanse the intestines, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes, and skin.  Detoxification is important because it effectively removes or greatly eliminates the harmful toxins that can accumulate inside our bodies. Whether these toxins are internal, external, or acquired from toxic behavior, better health is often just a few weeks away when an appropriate detox method is used.
Here are several ways to cleanse the body and minimize toxins in your system:
One of the most important ways to minimize harmful elements in the body is to stay hydrated. You should drink at least two quarts of water per day. This amount should increase if you’re exercising a lot or using a sauna on a regular basis.
Eat fiber
Your diet should include plenty of fiber in it. Fiber enables your body to process and move waste products through your system as efficiently as possible. Organically grown fruits and vegetables both introduce fiber into your diet and limit the amount of pesticides in your system.


Exercise regularly
An hour of cardio exercise every day can help detoxify the body. Any physical activity that gets your heart pumping is a great detoxification option. Exercising regularly will help detox and cleanse your system from the inside out.
Using a sauna can remove toxins from your body quicker than any other method available. A good sauna session will promote profuse sweating. That sweat acts as a transport vehicle for getting harmful toxins out of the body.

Using a Sauna for Detoxification

Sweating is a natural process for the elimination of toxins in the body. While we can’t avoid all harmful toxins out there, we can encourage the removal of toxins from our systems through our skin – and sweating is a great way to do it!  Using an infrared sauna on a regular basis can help to remove heavy metals and toxins quite quickly. To do so, begin by using a sauna at least twice a week for 15-20 minutes. Gradually increase the amount of time you’re able to remain in the sauna until you can comfortably complete five 30-minute sessions each week.


Woman using an infrared sauna for detoxification

Research shows that far-infrared saunas work better than traditional saunas because they deliver deep infrared energy into the body. Infrared sauna detoxification helps remove toxins more effectively than traditional steam saunas. IR units are also generally more comfortable to use than steam-based saunas, so you may be more likely to actually detox your system as often as possible.
Just remember, don’t stay in the sauna more than 30 minutes. Take it easy f\or at least 10 minutes after exiting the sauna. And, be sure to drink lots of water after the sauna session.
With everything our bodies go through each day, detoxing should be a top priority for everyone. Using a sauna can make the detoxification process enjoyable and, it offers a variety of other health benefits.