Recommendations for Your Seasonal Cleanse
When engaging in a seasonal cleanse, many people often feel worse with symptoms which seem to be aggravated, rather than improved. This is what’s commonly known as a “detox crisis,” and is thought by many to be an inevitable aspect to any detoxification program where one must temporarily feel worse before feeling better.
This is largely avoidable by following the right steps and moving at a gentle and gradual pace. For example, when we follow the detox cycles according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, we can enhance our wellness and healing every step of the way, rather than further challenging our health as a result of toxin overload. In my article, How to Avoid a Healing Crisis, I outline the TCM principle of the “detox stations” and the sequential order in which our organs and detox systems operate to remove toxins and waste. By gently cleansing the blood and circulatory system first with diet and the right supplements, and following the order of the “detox cycles” within our bodies, we can enjoy a much gentler and more effective cleanse.
The Importance of an Alkalizing Diet
Our fast paced lifestyles and Western diets, which emphasize processed food, commercial meat, caffeine, alcohol and other products, are highly acid forming to our bodies. Proper acid/alkaline balance within the various systems of the body, commonly referred to as pH balance, is a vital aspect to any health promoting program. Many chronic and degenerative conditions are related to an overly acidic internal environment. Increasing alkalinity by reducing stress and following an alkaline diet also greatly enhances natural detoxification capacities. Cleansing vegetables such as greens, cruciferous vegetables and sea veggies are all great examples of cleansing as well as alkalizing foods. For an in-depth article explaining the benefits of an alkalizing diet, acid/alkaline food lists, and how to test your pH, see my recent blog article: How to Heal with Food.
Phase I and Phase II Detox Formulas
One of the safest and most effective ways to remove toxins and heavy metals from the circulation system is to use a clinically proven blend of modified citrus pectin (MCP) and modified alginates for one to three months. After this initial phase 1 period of one to three months, the MCP/alginate formula can be followed by a phase 2 detox formula containing a number of herbs and nutraceuticals which bind and remove heavy metals and toxins from deep within our organs and tissues. Published clinical studies show that the combination of these two unique formulas reduces overall heavy metal and environmental toxin levels within the body by up to 74%, in a gentle yet highly effective way. The phase 1 MCP/alginate combination is designed for long term use: prior to (by itself for initial systemic clearing), throughout the duration of, and after your seasonal cleanse. The phase 2 detox formula is to be used in conjunction with the MCP/alginate complex for 2-3 months, in order to complete the deeper phase of your cleanse and ensure the most thorough removal of heavy metals and toxins. The phase 2 detox formula contains a number of natural sulfur-containing compounds which have specific affinities for different tissues and organs, to synergistically support and enhance vital energy and assist the organs of elimination. Both phase 1 and phase 2 detox formulas simultaneously remove harmful toxins and heavy metals without effecting essential mineral levels within the body, as demonstrated in published clinical trials. In addition, ongoing research on Modified Citrus Pectin, the main ingredient within the phase 1 formula, demonstrates that this unique nutrient offers powerful anti-cancer and immune boosting benefits, in addition to being a safe and effective chelator of heavy metals and environmental toxins.
Another critical part of any detox therapy is to ensure that your digestive system has the support it needs. By providing your digestive system with extra vitality and “warmth” in the form of a comprehensive digestive supplement, you will enhance the processes of nutrient breakdown and elimination, as well as support immune function which is directly influenced by the digestive environment. For increased digestive and immune function and to promote regular elimination, I recommend a non-habit forming (non-laxative) holistic digestive formula. This poly-botanical and nutritional formula gently yet effectively boosts sluggish digestion, reduces harmful bacteria from the GI tract, and relieves symptoms of bloating, nausea, flatulence, fluid retention and indigestion. This is critical during a cleanse, where digestive capacity needs to function at its best in order to ensure proper elimination of toxins and complete nutrient assimilation.
Medicinal mushrooms are unique in that they have an affinity for specific areas within the body that have been damaged from overexposure to toxins, prescription medications and other health robbing substances. In the way that fungi in nature have an affinity for materials that are decaying, medicinal mushrooms travel to “dead” and damaged areas of the body and work to rejuvenate them. Thus, they are great allies during a cleanse as they can help to remove toxins from organs and tissues, where they may have been stored for years. Additionally, mushrooms help prime the immune system and also cleanse the liver, colon, and overall system of built up toxins, bacteria and other pathogens. An organically grown, comprehensive medicinal mushroom formula that contains a synergistic blend of 10 extensively researched beneficial mushroom species, is a highly recommended choice for removing toxins from stagnant areas of the body. These mushrooms have an affinity for deeper areas of toxicity within various organs and systems in the body, and provide a significant and noticeable boost to our immune system and overall vitality.
Pre and Probiotics
High quality prebiotic and probiotic supplements are also very important during a cleanse. One of the goals of cleansing and detoxifying is to rid the intestines of harmful bacteria, fungus and parasites. Replanting and nourishing beneficial bacteria in the GI tract with pre and probiotics significantly helps to reduce the presence of harmful invaders and improve the overall environment in your gut, leading to increased digestive capacity and vitality. Recent studies have shown that probiotics directly enhance our immune function as well as our brain’s neurotransmitter activity, in addition to numerous other health benefits. They are true “friendly flora.”
Lemon and Olive Oil Drink: A Simple yet Powerful Detox Therapy
One of my favorite cleansing adjuncts is the classic lemon and olive oil drink. It is simple, inexpensive and easy to prepare, and offers a dramatic boost to any cleanse program by providing support to the liver and gallbladder. Take the pieces of one organic lemon (seeds removed) and blend with about one-and-a-quarter cups of spring water, along with one tablespoon of olive oil. Strain the contents and drink each night before bed on an empty stomach. As an added bonus, many people find that that this refreshing drink improves their sleep as well.
Treatments and Exercises
It is critical to keep things moving during a cleanse so that toxins (and afflictive mental/emotional states) that are in the process of being eliminated do not get stuck and create further areas of stagnation. Thus, it is very important to engage in mild to moderate exercise, even just 15 minutes of walking, every day of your cleanse. In addition, specific treatments that promote the movement of vital energy within the body can be very helpful in deepening and enhancing the clearing process. Acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, microcurrent therapy, homeopathic treatments, infrared saunas, yoga and Qi Gong, and breathing exercises are some of my top recommended modalities for ensuring the movement of vital energy within the body to support natural detoxification processes.
What about Colonics?
Many people recommend colonics and enemas during a cleanse, as a way to assist the large intestines in its job of elimination. While these therapies may be beneficial for some people (many certainly swear by them), it is important to understand that this method of detoxification represents one small aspect of a total body cleanse, and not the most important one. A well planned cleanse can be equally if not more successful in helping to rid the body of harmful excess wastes and toxins than simply receiving a regular schedule of colonics or enemas. That’s because these treatments may offer some immediate relief from constipation and build up, but do not address the underlying causes of stagnant bowels or toxic body burden. A successful cleanse uses herbs and nutrients along with proper diet and exercises to help re-balance the body’s innate detoxification processes safely and naturally.
In my next issue, I will share some practical and theoretical principles for helping to enhance your inner motivation and will power to follow through on your own personal healing path and health program. With a focused mind, anything is truly possible and I am excited to share with you some of my personal methods for building and sustaining health promoting practices during your cleanse and throughout life.
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