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Observing the Detox – Retox Cycle.

Imagine this… You just get done with an amazing workout, glowing from the great detoxifying feeling of sweating it all away. Your body feels amazing, your mind is clear and your self-esteem is thru the roof. Then it comes…. you get home and open the refrigerator and the cookie dough ice cream calls your name, or the invitation is at your doorstep, you go out and indulge in the decadence of drinking and fun. These are just a couple examples of the Detox – Retox cycle. Detoxing being the process or time where the body rids itself of unhealthy or toxic substances or behaviors. Retoxing is generally understood to be the opposite, actually re-toxiifying your body with harmful behaviors or substances after a period of abstaining from the very behaviors. Only to actually increase both the frequency and intensity of the behaviors.

Essentially, you like working out your body, mind, and spirit. You might also have a behavior that you don’t want to give up. The desire to detoxify and retoxify is very normal. The following are ideas to consider as you find yourself in the tug of war between extinguishing your behavior and exploring the desire to do it.


In the world of addiction the Detox --- Retox cycle can be a slippery slope. You can visualize the excitement of cleansing or clearing your old behaviors. You even get a great start on the new life you are looking for… And then the urge runs you over before you even saw it coming. You are deeper and deeper in the rut. This cycle can be over come through using mindful intention: labeling what it is your detoxing.


We have all heard of fasting or cleansing, if you haven’t don’t worry. The idea of fasting is to abstain from some kind of food, drink or behavior. The definition of cleansing is to make something thoroughly clean, get rid of or free. And actually both definitions bring up spirituality or religion as potential reasons to do these behaviors. I digress…. Consider taking the approach of cleansing or fasting your behavior. This behavior can be as simple as looking at how you use your technology for a day or an entire week. Be gentle…

Create a plan of what you are looking to accomplish: Are you abstaining from a behavior or habit? OR do you want to look at doing something at a different intensity.

The most valuable perspective I want to offer is through the words of Aristotle. Consider the pace and balance in your life.


Gentleness is the ability to bear reproaches and slights with moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not to be easily provoked to anger, but be free from bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquility and stability in the spirit.


-Walking in nature


-Walks with loved ones

-Spending time in water

-Any form of Exercise


-Juice Cleanse

-Stepping away from technology

-Shutting off electronics. (Have a day without minimum use of electricity)

-Appropriate amounts of sleep

-Consider where your time goes

Take some time and consider what you’re going to DETOX and how you ‘re going to start DETOXING … AND AS ALWAYS BE GENTLE...

Dr. Ryan Westrum, PhD MA. Is a speaker and mental health professional that specializes in sexuality, addiction and supporting clients with building authentic living. You can contact him at or calling him at 952-261-5269.

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