Annual Detox woo

by endlesspsych

So it’s New Years day and if you were one of those who were celebrating last night it’s likely your thoughts are turning to that piece of perenial “woo” the January detox.

Last year the press did seem to want to go against the grain and criticise detox treatments but this year… Well it could well be business as usual and “lifestyle” sections and “commentary” will be telling us to clean our colons, purify our diet and get rid of those dastardley toxins.

Detoxification (or body cleansing) is the name given to the process of ridding ones body of accumulated toxins. Despite a lack of scientific evidence of any medical benefits it is popular every year as our thoughts turn away from turkeys and drams, family and friends to waistbands and hangovers…

The roots of detox hark back to the classical world and ancient Greek and Egyptian theories of “medicine” and the idea that health depends on a balance of four humours affected by what we eat.
Detox was initially well thought of in the medical establishment of the 19th centuary and the early 20th. But as the scientific evidence accumulated support for any real and measurable effects of detoxification procedures became smaller and smaller (until in approximated around the size of a homeopathic dilution!).

Most woo has it’s own form of detox nonsense. From homeopathy to chiropractic and from Chinese to herbal alternative “medicine”… Each with a strong set of anedcotes from grateful slobs who have used one of these “detox” methods to alivieate their festive guilt at overindulgence…

As festive guilt is pretty much all these treatments will help to alivieate as the “toxins” they claim to help extradite from your systems don’t even exist. Leading some to suggest such things are just an expensive and elaborate con.

Although despite some of these so called treatments being utterly ridiculous are they really pernicious?

If someone wants to buy a bit of piece of mind after a bit of festive gluttony why begrudge them that? Most of these treatments are perfectly safe and only a few cause any significant health problems through undernourishment and the like.

Although if you have the stomach to try colonic irrigation I should warn you that any gut feelings or concerns you have about it’s safety should be listened to… The procedure has no scientific basis for any benefit and the equipment used can damage the rectum. There has also been cases where heart attacks have been linked with certain kinds of enema preperations…

So all in all if you choose to detox this New Year know you do so in the face of scientific evidence of any actual benefit and try to avoid sticking tubes up your arse!