Fall into Detox: 7 Gentle Cleansing Tips for Improving Energy, Immune Function and Vitality
Your skin is vulnerable. As the largest organ system, it performs numerous essential tasks and is the frontline of defense against bacteria, viruses, allergens, toxins, and more. You do your best to protect your skin, but it’s out in the open, exposed to sun, wind and environmental pollutants. Skin structure is complex, and part of an intricate network involving other organs. To keep it healthy, you need to support this system. Healthy skin is a vital component to wellness and vice versa. Here are some recommended ways to love your skin and promote overall health.
Many potentially toxic substances are manmade. Considered safe by the government until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proves otherwise, these molecules are often described by their manufacturers as harmless in small amounts. But modern life exposes us to small doses many times over, with our cells playing host to a roiling cocktail of chemicals from different sources. The resulting “body burden” of toxins we’ve accumulated adds up to 400 to 800 chemicals at any given time, says Gaetano Morello, ND.
Detoxification is a specific integrative health protocol that is traditionally and preferably practiced in the fall and spring seasons, as these are times that energetically correspond to the natural cycles of change in nature and detoxification within our bodies. It can also be done at other times of the year — if medically warranted. Although the fall season has ended and winter is officially here, I would nonetheless like to discuss some of the important details of this increasingly relevant topic with regard to integrative medicine. Having a deeper understanding of the detox process can help us prepare now for the completion of a successful cleanse during the appropriate season as it approaches.
The next time you go to a pharmacy, take a look at the shelves behind the counter. They’re packed with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of drugs, all designed to cure what ails us. The key word here is cure, meaning fixing something that is wrong. However, we are slowly relearning what ancient medicine has taught for ages: The best solution to a health problem is to prevent it in the first place. And if we do develop a health condition that isn't immediately life threatening, our first approach should be the gentlest one. Many conditions can be prevented or remedied with lifestyle adjustments, and diet tops the list. By now, we should all know that eating healthy—reducing fat, salt, and alcohol, increasing fruits and vegetables—can have a profound impact on our health. But there are other dietary resources that can stave off disease and improve overall health. Specifically, common medicinal herbs and other botanicals can complement or even replace the pharmaceuticals in our medicine cabinet. As an integrative physician, I rely on herbs and botanicals to help promote optimal health. Medicinal herbs have evolved to provide a variety of beneficial natural compounds, such as antioxidants and phytonutrients, which support good health in numerous complex ways. But these are simple, easy-to-find natural remedies, many of which flourish right in our own backyards. This is, of course, the best natural pharmacy: a garden full of vital, living remedies rich in healing properties. In fact, many traditional herbalists insist that our best medicine can be found growing closest to us, fresh and in season.
Collection of YouTube videos featuring Dr. Isaac Eliaz, integrative health expert.
Collection of videos featuring Dr. Isaac Eliaz on World News.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the worldwide run on potassium iodide -– the first line of radiation protection. But in a recent e-mail I received from HSI Panelist Dr. Eliaz, he warns that potassium iodide use is extremely dependent on timing. Dr. Eliaz: “Self-medicating with ongoing high doses of potassium iodide is strongly discouraged because of the negative health effects this supplement can have on thyroid and overall health. High dose potassium iodide is only helpful if exposure to a large amount of radiation is imminent and the supplement can be taken 24 hours prior to exposure.” Dr. Eliaz is an integrative physician who specializes in natural chelation of heavy metals and detoxification. In fact, it was the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago that inspired Dr. Eliaz to begin his own radiation detox research.
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spring and Fall seasons provide the best opportunities for deeply detoxifying and cleansing the body of harmful impurities that have collected in our organs and tissues over the past months and years. Fundamental philosophies in TCM state that the energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring offers a unique transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation and stagnancy characterizing the energies of cold winter months prior. This expansive energy helps to move things to the surface and expel some of the body's burden of toxins in preparation for the high activity of summer, and this energy of upward growth toward the sun means emotions and issues stored deep within the past also have an opportunity to be released. With a little preparation and mindfulness, the forces of renewal and rebirth that are so pervasive during the spring season can be harnessed and used to greatly benefit the body, mind and spirit during a spring cleanse.
The question of what we feel and where we feel it may seem simultaneously complex and vague, however, it has the potential to provide us with deeper insight into ourselves. There is obviously no right answer. It's an example of the type of questioning and inquiry that can lead to a more profound perspective on our state of being, and hopefully provide keys to unlock some of the doors on our path of healing and growth. It's a way to examine how, what and where we feel, from a broader outlook which can serve as the foundation of our experience and help to guide our journey. We can begin to raise awareness in our being that provides a more complete view of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reality. For example, if you have pain in your upper right abdomen, is the pain coming from there, or from the sensory part of your brain? If it's from the liver, the organ located in the same area, what emotions are related to it? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and many of the ancient medical systems, each organ relates to a specific emotion. Are the emotions coming from the pain, from the organ affected, from our perception of and identification with the experience, or all of the above? Is the pain triggered by a present issue, or is it reflecting a surfacing or resurfacing past issue? How is the current pain projecting into the future?