Most people now accept that a detox requires more than just abstaining from alcohol and chocolate or starving yourself for a week whilst drinking clay shakes. A full and effective detox should encompass appropriate dietary changes and a balanced approach to the removal of toxins in the body. Generally, the systems responsible for the removal of toxins are the lymphatic system with its network of lymph nodes, the liver, and the kidneys. One could argue that it is impossible to detox fully without addressing stress in the body.
From an osteopathic perspective, this stress could be induced by an injury or dysfunction of the muscular-skeletal system, such as tension, tightness, or postural strain, which may create pain and, or inflammation. This is extremely important as this stress has a major negative impact on the nerves of the autonomic nervous system. These nerves control amongst other things, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion and have a direct effect on liver and kidney function, all without us being conscious of it happening (the silent nervous system).
“From an osteopathic perspective this stress could be induced by an injury or dysfunction of the muscular skeletal system, such as tension, tightness or postural strain, which may create pain and/ or inflammation.”
The system is composed of the sympathetic (generally excitatory) and parasympathetic (generally calming) nerves, which when balanced help maintain healthy function throughout the body. Unfortunately stress both physical and emotional creates an imbalance and can contribute to compromised function of organs and predisposes us to poor health.
Quite simply if you can remove these physical stresses and help balance the autonomic nerves, the systems in the body responsible for filtering and cleaning will function more effectively, aiding, and accelerating the detoxification process. Interestingly the autonomic nerves enter the body from the sacrum (base of the spine) and the neck; therefore Osteopathic treatment on these areas will have a direct effect on the autonomic nerves.
In addition to effects on the autonomic nervous system, the tension in the muscles and tissues has a direct adverse effect on fluid movement throughout the body and obviously, it is more difficult to detox if toxins are trapped in the tissues.
Osteopathic treatment can help to reduce this tension, increasing blood and lymphatic flow, to promote detoxification by increasing the filtering process. So if you are considering a detox, it may help to ask yourself this question: Is my musculoskeletal system functioning well enough to promote good health? Remember the more holistic and global approach you take when attempting your detox, the faster and better the results will be!
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