Our livers have started to groan and our waistbands strain at the thought of the excessive alcohol and too rich food we’re about to consume during the festive season. For many of us, the only thing that will keep us going is the knowledge that the New Year brings the opportunity to give your body a fresh start.

Words like detoxification, cleansing and chelation have become big buzzwords in wellness circles and beyond, but what do they actually mean?

What is a detox?

A detox is short for detoxification, a natural process that the body performs day-in, day-out to reduce toxins in the body. This could be through neutralising the toxins, transforming them into a less harmful substances or eliminating them from the body. We can aid this metabolic function in the body in a number of ways, such as decreasing the amount of toxins that we put in the body. Or, we can support the body’s detoxification and elimination processes by increasing the nutrients it requires to perform these functions.

Vitamin C is a truly versatile nutrient and as a powerful antioxidant it can help fight free radicals that are caused by the body’s reaction to environmental pollutants. Another antioxidant is B3 which can eradicate free radicals when they appear in our skin, liver, lymph nodes and bloodstream.

Magnesium sulphate, which appears in many of our nutrient IV drips, is a potent detoxifier. It works by neutralising toxins as well as protecting us from many of the man-made chemicals that are in the atmosphere.

What is a cleanse?

A cleanse is a form on ‘internal cleansing’ with the aim of ridding your body of harmful things and supporting you in your detoxification efforts. Often a cleanse targets a specific organ involved in the detoxification process, whether that’s the liver or colon.

What is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation Therapy works by removing heavy metals, such as mercury, iron, lead, copper and calcium, that can poison our system. You may wonder how these heavy metals enter our bodies but the food sources we consume are increasingly exposed to these heavy metals and it is thought that heavy metal toxicity can cause a whole range of health concerns.

Chelation means ‘to bind’, so a solution called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is delivered into the bloodstream where it grabs hold of heavy metals and removes them from our body. It has been approved by the FDA in America for the treatment of lead poisoning.

Often, we only discover that our internal cleaning processes are not functioning as well as they should be when we start to feel very unwell.