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Importance of detoxification

By Arun Goel

Modern science now believes that the cause of degeneration, decay and premature ageing lies in free radicals in the body. This overrules the earlier concept of germ theory.

According to this theory, accumulation of toxins in our bodies creates free radicals.

Free radicals are dysfunctional molecules (they have a missing electron). These are highly unstable molecules and in an attempt to regain stability they devour electrons from surrounding molecules. This creates more damaged molecules and in a cascading effect, this leads to damaged cells and this causes degeneration.

How free radicals are created

Free radicals are created as a result of accumulation of toxins in the body. Toxins, themselves, are a result of our living style, environment and emotional patterns.

With the kind of food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and our emotional pulls and pressures, certain hormones are secreted that have a tendency to leave behind toxins.

The accumulation of toxins in our body is, therefore, natural. We CANNOT escape from this.

These toxins gradually form layers around the lysosomes inside the cells. Lysosomes are structures inside the cells that flush out the waste products from the cells. When toxins form coats around these structures, they block the membrane of the lysosomes from performing their natural function. This leads to the build up of toxins and the creation of free radicals.


With the accumulation of toxins taking place all the time, it is necessary to find a way to rid the body of these toxins and restore the cells to their normal functioning.

It is necessary to REVERSE this cascading effect of damaged molecules.

Otherwise, this can result in various health disorders and life threatening diseases. In fact, most of the degenerative diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, immunity disorders, strokes, arteriosclerosis and heart ailments can be traced to this one reason.

Modern medicine has devised a therapy called 'Chelation' to detoxify the body. It is performed by injecting the body with a chemical that isolates the free radicals in the body to prevent them from causing further damage to other cells. It also restores the free radicals to their normal form. Elimination of toxins is aided through the urinary system.

Detoxifying naturally

Our bodies carry out this 'Chelation' naturally. In fact, Chelation is a process of nature. Tears, sneezing, mucus, sweat, menstrual blood, urine and faeces are all nature's way of detoxification.

The basic actions of our bodies such as breathing, digesting, circulation and excretion are forms of Chelation and our lymphatic system is an excellent Chelating agent just like the chemical that is injected in to our bodies.

If we can find a way to have these working in an optimum manner, we should be able to free our body of the accumulation of toxins and thereby disease.

Yoga and detoxification

Yoga methods and techniques offer precisely these effects. It is surprising that ancient yogis knew of these effects thousands of years ago and have practiced methods that help to keep optimum health.

Hatha Yoga fulfils detoxification through the practices of Asanas (Yoga poses), Pranayamas (Breathing techniques), Mudras and Bandhas. While Pranayamas create the right vibration in the cells by working on energy flows, Asanas free up blocks and obstacles in the flow of this energy.

Yoga has powerful detoxification techniques of nasal irrigation (Jala Neti), enema (Basti), and the Stomach wash (Kunjal). These are some of the most effective techniques to prevent disease and ageing.

In fact, while techniques of Chelation therapy work at a physical level only, yoga has techniques which help in detoxification at all levels including mental and spiritual. Techniques such as 'Kapalbhati' help in increased oxygenated blood flow to the brain and help in 'purifying' the mind.

In this Information Age, it is important that man realizes the wonders behind his own body. He should use this knowledge to develop a faith in the natural processes of the body and assist it naturally, because the body has a way to respond better to natural therapies.

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This article is based on my understanding and interpretation of the works of Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati through her article 'It's Never Too Early to Detoxify' appearing in Yoga magazine of Sivananda Math, Munger, Bihar, India - Year 2, Issue 1

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