In the West, detoxing has gained a huge amount of attention over recent years and hasn’t really declined in its popularity. Most people have come across the idea at some stage as it is advertised in chemists and health food shops all the time. Sandra Cabot’s liver cleansing diet springs to mind as an example.
In Chinese Medicine, detoxification doesn’t really rate a mention. Why?
Chinese Medicine looks at the idea of eating in a very different way and the need for “detoxing” doesn’t really get a mention. Diet is an important part of the Chinese culture but it’s more about when, what, and the way we eat that is more important. Supporting the digestive system ALL the time is the key to its success.
Eating at regular times, in a relaxed manner and eating foods which are easy to digest are the ways in which the Chinese maintained healthy digestive function including Stomach and Liver health. For five hundred years the Chinese based most of their treatments and ideas around health of the “Earth” (Stomach and Spleen health) or, in Naturopathic terms, digestive health. Their ideas seem simple but are a powerful observational medicine which is very sophisticated and very effective.
To put it simply, the Chinese believe that if we nurture the digestive function there is less need to detoxify the body. If our digestion is weak, herbs and acupuncture can be used to strengthen the break-down of food, the absorption of nutrients and the clearing of wastes. In addition, if our system does become over-burdened by excessive or inappropriate eating, it can be corrected by simply reducing the food intake and eating foods which are beneficial to us rather than a hindrance.
Rice Congee (rice porridge) is an example of how they would nourish the digestion in someone who was sick, weak or elderly. Rice cooked until it is very soft, almost liquid is a wonderful medium, with added ingredients such as Chicken, rebuild the digestion and reduce the stress on the liver and in its own way become a detox treatment by default.
We are aware though in these modern times that the need for detoxification is very apparent, especially since most people’s dietary choices and digestive strength are less than desirable and the amount of modern environmental chemicals are polluting our bodies with more waste than we can eliminate.
This is why it’s always a good idea to undergo a detox program to kick-start your digestive system and your body’s ability to clear the toxic build up, and then continue to keep your digestive system strong with correct nutrition, and herbs and acupuncture as needed to strengthen digestion and prevent the need for regular detoxes.