appleMenopause is the ideal time to detox your body. In particular it can help pre and post menopausal women by helping to cleanse the body as it adjusts to changes in hormone levels and nutritional needs – a sort of mid life spring clean.

If you can’t be bothered with the whole detox process, the next best thing is to drink lots of water. Water plays an important part in food digestion and organ function, so try for a fortnight of “heavy drinking” – 8 glasses of water a day, and you will be a convert to water. You will be amazed at how your skin plumps up, your eyes brighten, and lines soften!

In the meantime read on.

Why detox?
We take in toxins through the air we breathe and the food we eat – pesticides, antibiotics, preservatives etc. Our natural detox system is our skin, liver and kidneys. If they are congested and not able to function properly toxins build up and trigger weight gain, stressed skin, exhaustion and digestive disorders.

A thorough detox should only be undertaken under the supervision of a trained expert. It can help you lose weight, reduce stress, resolve digestive problems and clear your skin. It can also hugely boost your energy levels, which tend to flag with the onset of the menopause. It will involve your body releasing its built up toxins, and you should expect a real energy and mental low before you start to feel the benefits. In fact it can make you feel quite grumpy and moody!

To do it properly you need to allocate a minimum of a week, and to maximize the benefits you should get into healthy diet mode the week beforehand- giving up alcohol, caffeine, wheat and red meat. And obviously to maintain the benefits you need to try to keep to a healthier diet afterwards too.

If you are feeling wealthy, one of the most well known detox retreats in Europe is Viva Mayr in Austria, which combines traditional and naturopathic therapies, cleansing of the digestive system and a strict dietary regime to achieve your peak of health. You will lose weight, but it is not the main aim of its holoistic programme. A minimum stay is 1 week, and despite it being anything but a cushy option it has a lot of devotes and regularly ranks amongst the most effective detox retreats. The web site makes for interesting reading.

For the rather cheaper option “The Viva Mayr Diet” book is available from Amazon and offers a 14 day plan to a new approach to eating. It is a really interesting read as its main thrust is more a change to how and what you eat – and weight loss then follows. Even if you don’t need to diet, but just want to explore how a new approach to eating can revamp your health and energy levels it is definitely worth a go at under £10 and a fortnight’s trial to see if it works for you.

For a kick start you could try the Lemon Detox Diet. People swear by this for a quick 3-4 day detox and weight loss. But it Fresh Lemon cut in halfis quite drastic, especially if you are an unhealthy eater, and it can make you feel weak and a little nauseous. You should do it under supervision of a nutritionalist and you must also keep your water intake high. The web site will give you information on the diet, and is a source of the key ingredient Madal Bal Syrup which you can order by phone from 0845 370 1012, though maple syrup works just as well. You mix the syrup with lemon juice, lots of water and a pinch of cayenne ( it does not taste great) and sip it for your “meals” either warm or cold, drinking water if you are hungry in between times. Around for some years now, it was recently given a boost by Naomi Campbell saying she does it occasionally. Some would say you could achieve the same result just by simply not eating, drinking a more palatable lemon juice and honey mix, and munching the odd bit of fruit when near collapse with hunger – you would lose weight but if the emetic detox is what you are after it wouldn’t be so effective.

Colon hydrotherapy

Most professional detox programmes involve colonic irrigation to cleanse the colon and liver. The colon is the body’s dumping ground for waste – its sewage system. Over the years toxins and waste build up along the colon’s walls, which then prevent it from effectively doing its job of absorption and excretion of waste from your body. The waste materials intended for a healthy exit become reabsorbed into the blood stream and re-distributed around the body.

Colonic hydrotherapy clears away all that gunk and residue, leaving a cleansed colon that can then do a much more effective job of excreting the body’s waste.

It may sound very unappealing, but compared to other things that women go through the embarrassment factor is right down the scale, though the paper knickers are admittedly not very attractive. And the benefits are numerous – improved digestion, balancing of mood swings, improved sleep patterns, and a general lifting of spirits are a few.

Basically warm water is gently fed into your colon through a pipe inserted into your bottom ( it isn’t at all uncomfortable), and your abdomen is massaged to loosen and soften everything up and allow the water to permeate up through the colon. Then the water and waste is allowed to flow out. The therapist will normally give you 3 to 4 “refills” depending on how much is coming away. Your guts might rumble a bit whilst it is going on and the old waste comes away, but there are no smells, no leaks and no noises and you don’t see anything. It all disappears down a closed tube.

You would be amazed how energized you feel the next day. Two pieces of advice would be to eat a light diet the day before, and to stay near a toilet for an hour afterwards – you will have been flushed out with a lot of water and will probably need to go to the loo a few times at short notice.

For some helpful question and answers click HERE. It is an extract from a more detailed information pamphlet which has been created by Fiona Corliss, who is a nutritionist and colonics expert based in the south east, whose website is very useful.

Go to ARCH to find a registered therapist near you.