So, today’s the second time in a week that I’ve heard detoxes are bullshit.

(Well, specifically, they’ve all been titled “Why Detoxes Don’t Work”)

So, naturally, I wonder if that’s accurate or not.

Something else I wonder is: what does this fascinating piece of body language mean?

(Is that, like, all the shit being shepherded from your colon’s sides? By bits of detox juice?)

Reading over this argument, the claim is that detoxes fail for the same reasons as you might expect – our detox-ing organs do their jobs just fine already. Unless you’re super sick, they don’t need any extra over-the-top help – especially not from some special kit you bought from a webpage with a hot blonde doing tree pose on a mountain in a soft-glow high def mountain locale, sandwiched between too-clean looking cityscapes and tall glasses of emerald colored froth.

The idea, they say, is the same thing I rehash, suggest, but rarely adhere to myself: striking balance.

When I think of that term, I think of Nancy, the instructor from yoga and her too-calm demeanor that pisses me off ‘cause I don’t know how to get it. (Ironically, if I brought more balance into my life, I’d probably have it). It’s simple, really: prioritize exercise, healthy eating, lots of water, and moderate all the stuff that’s shitty for you. Why aren’t we willing to do that? To balance? What’s with this “fcck everything off I’m supposed to do now and kill myself at Bikram later” mentality? The only thing I can think of is how time management and career factors into it. You can have a great, relaxing weekend that leaves you feeling all Peter-of-Office-Space by the end of it. But, come Monday, if you’re headed to a job you hate, and being held accountable to be there by whenever o’clock, that’s already a huge pair of stressors right there. And then you hate it all the way through. And then you sit in traffic. And then you feel like you deserve some reward for such a daily horror. No wonder, man. That’s when you end up having a routine of binge eating, prostituting, shopping, drinking… And after the bacchanalian haze dissipates, you’re left feeling shitty and a half, guilty, and needing to punish yourself as a penance via “detox”.

Like it’ll magically absolve you of fat and fatigue alike.

When I look around at my friends who do “detoxes” or “cleanses” they buy, for most of them, it isn’t to overcome some horrible disease they were just diagnosed with. It isn’t even to rid themselves of a general malaise for some affliction or malady a doctor can’t quite dx. They don’t want to “detox” to be well and live healthy. No. For most of them, these detox kits become tantamount to colonics or drug dependencies – an bandaid treatment. An intermittent means to carry on with an unhealthy lifestyle they’ve no intention of changing. Especially not when they can “make up for it later”.

And they may not even do that much – not any better than you could do for super cheap, anyway.

According to research, people do report feeling “lighter” and “smarter” after doing a detox for a number of weeks. This is fantastic. It’s great to reach that point without suffering a comedown ‘cause you got there from railing blow in a toilet stall. If detoxes are doing that for you, I’m not saying it’s false or it’s bad. Sometimes it’s a placebo effect – but sometimes it’s not. And when it’s not, that’s typically because you’re undergoing calorie restriction – or “a fast”.

I have this hippie friend living off the grid in Hawaii who makes these videos about meditation ‘n stuff. And sometimes he’ll do a fast and talk about how much “lighter” and “smarter” he feels. He doesn’t do drugs, but admittedly, that “high” look he gets during his various kinds of fasts brings back fond memories of my more anorexic days. Unlike my anorexic days, however (since he’s doing it the way it’s suggested unlike former-me), he does actually seem a bit smarter, together, sharper during these times. In effect, these detoxes are the same damned thing my pal does without even forking out a quarter.

So maybe these detoxes are only as bullshit as the brain habits that lead us to rely on them.

Still – that doesn’t mean they don’t “work”. Something “works” if you get results you want: overpriced placebo or not. Scientifically, is anything happening? Not really. You could yield these results on your own. And for far cheaper. But, much like when we purchase a gym or yoga membership or a special transcendental meditation mantra, we’re more likely to follow through if we feel we’ve invested something – in this case, we’re being held accountable by a lower bank account balance. Realizing this fact, I have a natural tendency to want to overcome that strange human proclivity and just make future me – not just with regard to my financial status – hold present me accountable. Is future me feeling lighter and happier for eating right and doing yoga? Does future me have a tighter ass because I stuck with my 50 squats a day regimen? A clearer mind ‘cause I stopped wiggling my body and mind and meditated for at least ten minutes a day? That said, not everyone has to use their imagination for a living, so being willing to envisage you-sheathed-in-adipose-and-anxiety-armor-in-a-month may be a bit challenging to picture, much less be inspired by. After all, if you’re more willing to waste money than effort to try it the cheap ‘n easy way, then who’m I to judge? If something’s finally working for you, then who cares whether it’s placebo effect or a price-tagged fast?

Do as you please.

There are plenty’a companies willing to play codependent to your denial and flush out your bank balance.

I mean body.