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To Detox or not to Detox?

Detoxing involves a well-being routine often implying a whole host of physical and mental cleanses, including nature hikes, monastic retreats, and using cosmetics bearing the “detox” stamp.

Cleansing and detoxing were part of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Today, the torch has been taken up by Hollywood stars desperate to hang onto fame, bloggers hot on the trail of the latest buzz, beauty editors sniffing for a scoop, overbooked professionals, and exhausted mothers. Clearly, the craze has gone viral – affecting all people from all generations. But what does it mean? We are told we have to rid ourselves of the sneaky toxins that – with the help of junk food and pollution – are clogging our systems, piling on the pounds, making us flabby, and maybe even worse… And how do we do it? By indulging in a spot of detoxing, of course! This major, internal cleanse was first introduced by the 19th-century hygienist movement, and today has become nothing short of a lifestyle choice. With vials, supplements, patches, yoga, and many other ideas, detoxing has led to a number of wildly successful publications, and is often presented in quite unexpected ways! On Instagram and Tumblr, the race is on to see who can post the most colorful bottle of “detox water.” In the United States, Americans have gone mad for aesthetically-snapped mason jars of the precious elixir, and have all bought into the “Clean” program by Dr. Junger, whose best-seller has been applauded by the New York Times. And that’s not all! As our feet supposedly take on all the stress of the day, there are “foot detox” patches that claim to cleanse your tension while you sleep. But the detox phenomenon is not just about sipping on smoothies and soups. Recently it has become particularly “wave” to cleanse your mind as well. In the U.S.A., a renowned chocolate-coated biscuit company offers its employees breaks away from Wi-Fi zones, and yoga classes and manual workshops make up part of the line-up at “digital detox camps” in Silicon Valley. But are these cleanses authentic? There are of course pointless parts – driven by the hype – but also a hearty helping of basic common sense. After all, helping your body eliminate toxins naturally has been an effective method for as long as we can remember.