"The short-term ‘slap bang' approach is not what it's all about. Detoxing is about improving the effectiveness of your elimination organs; what you do afterwards is just as important as what you did while you were on the detox. Structured detox programs can instil long-term change in your eating habits," says Pam.
Based on the idea of lightening the toxic load, detox programs aim to help the digestive and waste systems enjoy an easier ride. Give your body a toxin break and your energy levels will benefit, say those in favour of the practice.
But don't be fooled into thinking your system would crash without assistance. "Our bodies are programmed to naturally detox anyway, and we couldn't survive if this didn't happen – we'd very soon turn into toxic waste dumps and get sick," she observes.
You can however assist natural detoxification processes by easing their workload. As Stone points out, "If we support the detox organs and cut back on foods that overload the system, we give our bodies a better opportunity to get rid of these waste products."
Signs of overload can include blotchy skin, coated tongue, bad breath, feeling bloated, constipation, fatigue, poor immune function and recurring allergies. "These point to the fact that our elimination organs are not functioning as well as they can," she says.
When you embark on a detox program, you may experience a drop in your energy levels to begin with, warns Stone: "For the first few days, your energy levels may drop a bit because you're denying the body its short term stimulants." And if coffee is your daily indulgence, withdrawal may bring on a slight headache and mild fogginess. "When the body moves beyond this stage, this side effect gives way to a feeling of more energy, clearer thinking and wellbeing," she says.
Also bear in mind that your skin may encounter a minor breakout - as it's a crucial organ for elimination, detoxification through the skin can initially lead to a few pimples. "But by the end of the detox, people say others are commenting their skin is clearer and their eyes brighter," says Stone.
For further information on detoxing, please contact Blackmores Advisory Service on 1800 806 760 or head to our Detox page