As my first and only acupuncture experience, I don't have anything to compare this to, but Janet is lovely. And, most importantly, I'm actually sleeping again - something that no medication or other remedy could fix. So, to recap: sleeping
Nicole R., San Francisco, CA
DETOXIFY TO PURIFYOctober 16, 2013 Blog
Do you experience stress, weight gain, sleep issues, hormonal imbalances (PMS, painful periods, infertility, menopause, acne), skin rashes, allergies, food cravings, reduced mental clarity, low libido, and/or low energy?
Are you exposed to strong chemicals, pesticides, dust, smoke, cosmetics such as perfume, nail polish, hairspray, exhaust, diesel, and/or gasoline fumes?
If so, you may want to consider detoxification.
WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION?
Detoxification involves how our bodies get rid of waste. If waste builds up, we get sick. The important thing is to figure out how to enhance our body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing our exposure to toxins.
Your body already detoxifies on its own in order to achieve homeostasis through the removal of endotoxins (toxins produced by the body). There are two types of endotoxins that our body naturally removes: carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a by-product of cellular respiration, and ammonia, a waste product from protein utilization. Our organs, specifically the liver, kidneys, and lungs help to detoxify the body at all times.
WHY IS DETOXIFICATION IMPORTANT?
Many of our illnesses and diseases are related to toxicity. To name a few:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Food allergies
- Digestive diseases – Chron’s disease, ulcers, colitis
- Menstrual imbalances – cramps, heavy bleeding, PMS, moods
Unfortunately, we are increasingly exposed to a variety of toxins – whether from air, water, food, and emotional stressors. Environmental pollutants, pesticides, and chemicals are in nearly every commercial product. Many processed foods contain chemical additives that are also toxic to our bodies.
Over accumulation of these toxins exhaust our detoxification organs – namely the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, lymph, and skin. These organs are made to remove endotoxins from the body, not environmental toxins. As a result, these organs are overburdened. The liver and kidneys are the primary organs that perform the majority of detoxification. If these organs are fatigued or clogged, the lymph and skin become secondary routes of excretion. As a result, people develop skin disorders or stagnant lymph drainage.
HOW MUCH TOXICITY IS TOO MUCH?
Toxicity relates to toxic load. It is the total amount of stressors on your body’s system at any one time. When our detoxification system is overwhelmed, it is overloaded. The body can handle only a certain amount of toxicity or the body will begin to break down and symptoms start to manifest and we get sick.
Toxicity comes in many forms. They include (but not limited):
- Heavy metals, mercury, lead, pesticides, fertilizers
- Environmental allergies, molds, food allergies
- Stress and emotional imbalances – anger, isolation, irritability, jealousy, sadness
- Cigarette smoke
- Bacteria, yeast, fungus
- Medications can be toxic because many of us over-medicate
- Standard American Diet – processed foods and the sweet meat and carb diet
HOW DOES DETOXIFICATION WORK?
Detoxification means cleaning out the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. As mentioned earlier, the body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, gut, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is overloaded or compromised, toxins are not properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.
HOW DO I BEGIN?
In order to optimize your detoxification pathways, you must (with the help from a health care professional):
- Identify and get rid of toxins
- Fix your gut – a common source of toxic load for many
- Move your body – to help facilitate toxic removal through blood and lymph circulation
- Ensure your liver and detox system are working properly
- Detox your mind and spirit
WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO BEGIN A DETOXIFICATION?
According to Chinese medicine, early spring and fall represent seasonal change around the equinox and is considered a perfect time to cleanse the body. If you adapt yourself to the changes that come with the seasons, you will maintain health. In general, it is recommended to do a detoxification at least 1-2 times a year.
10 PRACTICAL WAYS TO DETOXIFY
Drink plenty of water. Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes about 60 percent of your body weight. Drink at least 8 ounces of water daily.
Regulate and move the bowels – at least 1-2 times daily.
Increase your intake of fiber – especially vegetables and fruits. Eat twice as many vegetables to fruits. Specifically focus on cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts), garlic and onions.
Choose non-GMO organic food as much as possible.
Avoid or minimize stimulants, sedatives, such as caffeine and nicotine. Try to avoid alcohol intake. During detoxification, it is ideal to avoid these completely. If this is difficult, there are ways to help you. Ask your health care professional.
Exercise 5 days a week. Inducing sweat through exercise can help eliminate waste. Complement your cardiovascular exercise with yoga, tai chi, or qi gong.
Breathe deeply to calm your nerves and allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions or thinking. Check out the Stress Series to find out various strategies to mitigate stress.
Dry brush your skin or try an herbal foot soak/bath to remove toxins through your pores.
Get acupuncture. Acupuncture helps to enhance the body’s ability and capacity to release toxins.
PARTICIPATE IN A WHOLE FOODS PURIFICATION PROGRAM
If you are interested in a structured program that combines whole food eating with supplementation to help your body get rid of toxins naturally, participating in a program can help. Highly concentrated whole food and organic supplements can help fuel the detoxification pathways as well as replenish nutrients lost from toxicity. Please note: Prior to starting any program, one must make sure that digestion and bowel movements are regular to help facilitate the detoxification process. If you are unsure, obtaining guidance from a health care professional can help.
DETOXIFICATION IS FOR EVERYONE
Our bodies were not made to detoxify the myriad of toxins we see and experience today in the modern world. Detoxification can help facilitate and enhance the body’s capacity to remove toxic by-products and chemicals from the environment. In order to prevent our organs from becoming overloaded, it is necessary to take proactive steps to detoxify. Try the steps above and ask us about how to tailor a detox program for your body’s needs.
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