I’m fascinated by the way detox has become an activity that you set apart time for, buy things for, and ‘do’ if you’re fanatical about health and/or beauty. In reality all of our bodies are engaged in detox activities on a daily basis. I’m no kind of expert in matters of human biology, but I think the way we consider these processes, and the industry around them, stands some thought.
Things come into the body in our food and drink that we don’t want or need and do us no good if they stay around. Our bodies generate waste products that we need to get rid of. We have to get the Co2 out of our lungs. We breathe out. We shit, and piss, and sweat and by these means we remove the things that we need to be shot of. Every day.
For me, the Druidry in this is about recognising that getting the crap out (in all senses) is part of nature as it manifests in the body. We are meant to piss, shit and sweat, and we need ways of living that let us get on with this. Social pressures not to go for a much needed wee, workplaces that restrict comfort breaks – these things impact on us. Sweating is something we’re encouraged not to do. Smearing chemicals onto our skin to close our pores and keep the toxins locked in… it can’t be good for us. Nature is here and in my body, and it doesn’t always smell of roses.
Druidry, for me, is also about challenging mainstream capitalist assumptions. We value things when they are for sale (detox programs) we devalue them when they just happen (sweating). Of the two, sweating is probably doing you more good, but people only make a profit out of your sweat when they can persuade you to inhibit it.
The body things that cause most shame tend to relate to the revealing of our animal selves. If we can embrace our animal selves, we can challenge the body shame. Bringing Druidry into the bathroom works for me at many levels. What happens when we honour, or even celebrate our natural processes?
To support a healthy body, there’s not much point investing in ‘detox’ a few times a year. It’s much better to be supporting the process every day. Having enough water going in to flush everything out is important. Eating enough roughage to carry the toxins through the gut at a decent pace so that it can leave. Making spaces where we are allowed to sweat regularly. It’s also worth trying to avoid putting too much rubbish in to begin with, but costs and the farming industry don’t collaborate to make that easy.
Making waste removal taboo has everything to do with wanting to deny our animal state. It comes from a mindset that wants to set us ‘above’ nature and thus needs to hide and deny that we sweat and piss as well. Let’s pause to remember the chap who exploded because he would not fart at the dinner table, and did not feel able to leave it.