Detox Sensibly

Words: Dr Ryan N HARRISON

The danger of exposure to chemicals is a frightening — and, frighteningly true — scenario, and one that we simply cannot afford to let be swept under the carpet, or forgotten. Dr Marshall Mandell, MD, one of the world’s leading allergists and father of bio-ecologic medicine states, “The current level of chemicals in the food and water supply, and the indoor and outdoor environment, has lowered our threshold of resistance to disease and has altered our body’s metabolism, causing enzyme dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances.”

This is not all. Beyond chemicals, at some time in our lives, three out of every five of us will have had a parasite living inside of them. Easier to contract than some less deadly diseases, parasites are among the most highly numbered living organisms in the world — and, they live right inside of you. But, what does this really mean?

Hidden Dangers 

Discover magazine made the incredible statement. Every living thing has at least one parasite that lives inside, or on it, and many, including humans, have far more. Scientists are only beginning to discover exactly how powerful these hidden inhabitants can be, but their research is pointing to a remarkable possibility. Parasites may rule the world. The notion that tiny creatures we’ve largely taken for granted are such a dominant force is immensely disturbing. We are collections of cells that work together, or kept harmonised by chemical signals. If an organism can control such signals, an organism like a parasite can control us. And, therein, lies the peculiar and precise horror of parasites.

The problem is simple. The average American diet, for instance, as may be other ‘yo-yo’ diets, produces a sick colon, complete with deadly faecal build-up that becomes the perfect breeding ground for parasites. Humans can actually play host to over 100 different kinds of parasites, ranging from the microscopic to tapeworms that can grow to several feet in length. And, they don’t just sit in your intestines. They can migrate to other parts of the body, including the liver, lungs, muscles, joints, skin, blood, and even the brain.

While they are not terribly difficult to clean from the body, parasites are often unsuspected and, therefore, completely unnoticed by their hosts. This allows them to thrive, taking the most valuable nutrients away from the host, who then has to deal not only with poor nutrition and all of its attendant complications, but parasitic waste products as well.

Scientists refer to the level of a person’s chemical and toxin exposure as the individual’s body burden — the consequence of lifelong exposure to industrial chemicals that are used in thousands of consumer products and linger as contaminants in air, water, food, and in the soil. There are literally hundreds of chemicals in drinking water, household air, dust, treated tap water and food. And, they come from household products like detergent, insulation, fabric treatments, cosmetics, paints, upholstery, computers, TVs, etc. What’s more, they accumulate in fat, blood and organs, or are passed through the body in breast milk, urine, faeces, sweat, semen, hair and nails.

Maladies Galore

Carrying a high body burden translates into all sorts of maladies. Headaches, insomnia [sleeplessness], constipation, fatigue, weakness, blurred vision, greater susceptibility to infection, allergic reactions, joint pain, recurrent respiratory problems, back pain, mood changes, stomach pain, and digestive problems. The list is long. It is shocking to realise that most of the problems mentioned have become so commonplace in our culture that we don’t stop to wonder why we experience them with such regularity. There are entire over-the-counter [OTC] product lines that depend on us to be and feel ill. Indeed, some companies need us to carry a high body burden.

Fortunately, the human body is quite resilient. Dr Andrew Weil, MD, one of the world’s leaders in complementary medicine today, is a firm believer that our bodies want to be healthy. “Health is the condition of perfect balance, when all systems run smoothly and energy circulates freely. This is the natural condition, the one in which least effort is expended; therefore, when the body is out of balance, it wants to get back to it.”

Detox

Now — more than ever before — it is imperative that we assist our body’s detoxification processes. Detoxification is a natural, health-preserving therapy, which helps remove harmful toxins from the cells and tissues, while restoring their immune-protecting functions.

Dr Elson Haas, MD, Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin, San Rafael, California, US, and author of The Detox Diet says, “The process of detoxification is the missing link to rejuvenating the body and preventing such chronic diseases as cancer, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, diabetes, and obesity. The modern diet, with excess animal proteins, fats, caffeine, alcohol, and chemicals, inhibits the optimum function of our cells and tissues. The cleansing of toxins and waste products will restore function and vitality.”

All detoxification programmes are not equal, though. Some, due to the relatively recent discovery of the need of detoxification, are nothing more than low-quality attempts to cash in on a potential market. So, you need to know what makes a good detoxification programme.

Here are the components that I suggest — ‘All Systems Detoxification Programme.’ While it is great to target one particular system of the body from time to time, and as necessary, such a regimen is no substitute for a complete, full-body cleanse. Completing a detoxification programme that cleans all systems of the body, in consultation with a wellness therapist, is the essential step to achieving maximum health and wellness. 

A User-Friendly Programme 

Let’s face it. The more difficult the detoxification procedure, the less likely most people are to start it, let alone see it through. Luckily, detoxifying is not as difficult as you may think. You shouldn’t have to make trips to and from a detoxification facility, or specialist, and in general, the programme needn’t be uncomfortable, or something so complicated that you don’t want to try it again. I recommend finding a detoxification programme that comes pre-assembled and ready-to-use, so that you do not have to spend hours and hours searching for all the right components. However, you need to be aware and do your research: never sacrifice quality for convenience. The right detoxification programme will offer both.

Natural, ‘Human-Friendly’ Ingredients 

You should only use a detoxification programme that contains 100 per cent natural, non-genetically modified, life-promoting ingredients. After all, you can’t expect to help detoxify your body by pouring more potentially-harmful synthetic chemicals into it. Look for a programme that uses primarily herbs, vitamins and minerals, and if there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce, be sure you know what they are and what they do.

Anti-Parasite Support 

Recent medical studies suggest that 75-80 per cent of most adult populations are infected with at least one form of parasite. Easily spread from person to person and through contaminated water, food and soil, parasites cause our bodies to lose their biological balance by secreting toxins and damaging vital organs. A good detoxification programme will have an anti-parasite component to help expel parasites as well as to clear their eggs and hatching larvae from the body.

Intestine-Colon Cleansing Support 

Making sure that the bowels are consistently active is vital to healthy detoxification. Toxins and ‘dead’ foods lead to poor digestion, constipation, toxic colon build-up, weight gain and low energy. The common symptoms are more than just an inconvenience — they can lead to long-term health problems and serious disease. Irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], constipation, gas, diverticulitis and colon cancer are simply not things we like to discuss. And yet, as the old expression goes, “Death begins in the colon.” Don’t believe it? Ask any coroner. Autopsies often reveal colons that are plugged up to 80 per cent with waste material. 

Probiotic Support 

You may not be aware of it, but inside each of us live vast numbers — as in several thousand billion — of bacteria without which we could not remain in good health. We call these ‘friendly’ bacteria to distinguish them from the ‘harmful’ bacteria that also inhabit our bodies. When the ‘harmful’ bacteria proliferate and outnumber the ‘friendly’ bacteria, we experience all manner of ailments, including excessive gas, bloating, diarrhoea, intestinal toxicity, constipation and poor absorption of nutrients. If this imbalance is left untreated, the symptoms can become chronic and can compromise our immune system, leading to other serious illnesses. A good detoxification programme will provide you with a potent probiotic to help tip the scale back in favour of ‘friendly’ bacteria. Look for a probiotic that contains at least eight different strains of ‘friendly’ bacteria and is ‘enteric-coated.’ This ensures the bacteria are released in the intestines where they are needed, and not in the stomach, where they can be destroyed by digestive juices.

All Systems Detox 

While it is great to target one particular system of the body from time-to-time and as necessary, such a regimen is no substitute for a complete, full-body cleanse. Completing a detoxification programme that cleans all systems of the body is an essential step to achieving maximum health and wellness.

Multivit Detox 

Few people actually obtain the minimum recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from their diet, and yet our bodies cannot function optimally without them. When you add to that the fact that an unhealthy and toxin-burdened body cannot make complete use of vitamins and minerals as they are made available, you have a recipe for poor health. As your body becomes progressively cleaner and toxin-free, its ability to uptake and utilise much-needed vitamins and minerals increases dramatically. This, in turn, ‘super-charges’ your body, optimising it to perform all of its functions flawlessly.

Conclusion 

While it sounds like a large bill to fill, a good detoxification programme will meet and/or exceed the suggestions cited. Because, detoxification is such an item of interest lately — and, with good reason — your options are fairly open. By staying within the guidelines prescribed above, you can take a lot of the hassle out of figuring out if a programme, in consultation with a wellness therapist, will meet your detoxification needs.

Dr RYAN N HARRISON, PsyD, MA, BCIH, EFT-ADV, HHP, NC, MH, QTP, LWM, HSM, is a holistic health educator and consultant in private practice. He also holds a post-graduate degree in transpersonal psychology and certifications as a nutritional consultant, holistic health practitioner, spiritual counsellor, and quantum-touch. Aside from being an advanced practitioner of EFT [Emotional Freedom Techniques], Harrison teaches and lectures in conventional and online forums. He lives in California, US. 

 

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