What about Detoxification Regimens? Are They a Good Idea?
You betcha! (You can take the girl out of Minnesota . . .)
Detoxification regimens can help purge your body of innumerable toxic metabolites and toxic buildup in your colon, cells, and fat tissue from pesticides, other chemicals, heavy metals, and stress-related compounds. I’ve got news for you; we all have them. Even newborn babies are showing a couple of hundred toxic chemicals systemically when tested.
A study released in January 2011 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that essentially 100 percent of the 268 pregnant women tested were contaminated with highly toxic synthetic chemicals. The authors stated, “Certain PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PFCs, phenols, PBDEs, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perchlorate were detected in 99 to 100% of pregnant women” (Woodruff et al. 2011).
This is terrifying. Even before birth, no one is safe. The burden this unavoidable contamination places on the human immune system and energy reserves is monumental.
Minimizing Toxic Burden
Taking steps to minimize this toxic burden makes good sense, to put it mildly.
Detoxification approaches can range from daily regimens to much more involved programs lasting anywhere from ten days to about a month, usually. Some focus entirely on the colon, and others involve a more systematic detoxification of the entire body.
I suggest starting with perhaps a good colon detox with additional support for your other avenues of elimination: your liver, kidneys, and urinary tract, as well as skin and lungs. Once your avenues of elimination are open and well prepared, the rest of the detoxification process tends to go more smoothly and with a lot less discomfort, and a more intensive regimen can be more safely and effectively implemented. Ultimately, one should strive toward some form of daily detoxification measures to have any real hope of staying ahead of the game.
Steps To Take Toward Detoxification
• Start by eliminating processed and chemically laden foods from your diet once and for all. Go organic, biodynamic, and local with your whole-food choices. We must take control of what we can. Don’t allow cynicism to seduce or detract you from common sense.
• Get in the habit of drinking roughly half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of purified water daily. For every diuretic beverage you consume (caffeine, juices, or sodas), include an extra 12–16 ounces of water to compensate for its dehydrating effects.
• Drink quality, unsweetened (or sweetened only with a little stevia) green drinks daily.
• Include a variety of nonstarchy, fibrous vegetables and greens in your daily diet.
• Detox teas of all kinds can be an extremely helpful adjunct. The most powerful variety I know of that is widely available is called FlorEssence (made by Flora, Inc.), found in most health food stores. Take 2 ounces of the concentrate and add a little warm or hot water to it without sweetening it at all, and sip it on an empty stomach before bedtime. It is a remarkable, powerful, and very gentle product. Although this is a bit expensive for ongoing use, it is a superb adjunct to any detoxification program you may implement.
• Powerful and safe daily detoxing support supplements that I have found helpful include chlorella, cilantro extract, astaxanthin (a potent marine carotenoid), modified citrus pectin (Pecta-Sol), and a very safe and potent detoxifying seaweed extract known as Modifilan.
• Use quality, viable probiotic supplements or living sources of beneficial flora through the consumption of homemade coconut (or, if you aren’t casein sensitive, made from raw milk) yogurt or kefir and delicious cultured vegetables. (You can learn to make these at home. It’s simple, and you’ll save a fortune.)
• Find a quality fiber product such as Garden of Life’s Super Seed and begin using it daily in the morning to help cleanse your colon and bind conjugated excess (particularly estrogenic) hormones for safe elimination. You may also want to consider finding a quality colon hydrotherapist who uses a gravity-fed system to help really cleanse and tone the full length of your colon and give it a fresh start. Otherwise, there are colon-cleansing programs out there you can buy online, such as Arise and Shine, that can be very helpful.
• Either buy a far-infrared sauna or find a way to spend regular time in one. These are amazing for detoxifying very readily through your largest organ — your skin — on a downright cellular level. Recent research suggests that exposure of our cells to penetrating infrared light results in improved water structuring and energy production at the cellular level. Far-infrared saunas are a leap forward in detoxification regimens and can greatly relieve your toxic burden over time. I find these far more preferable and beneficial than a conventional sauna, and they are much safer. I use a Sunlight Saunas brand Solo model, though there are many quality far-infrared saunas on the market to choose from.
• Using Epsom salts in your bathwater (a good two cups) can be an inexpensive way to absorb more detoxifying (and calming) magnesium into your system through your skin in a warm, soothing tub of water. Ahhhh . . .
• Consider doing a more comprehensive detoxification program that can help reduce inflammation, support liver and renal function, and help relieve your entire system of years of toxic burden. There are numerous over-the-counter kits that vary significantly in quality. Beware of those designed to be little more than a laxative and diuretic. You also might want to work with a nutritional therapist or health care provider who can walk you through something much more tailored to your individual needs.
• Detoxify your mind of toxic fear, negativity, cynicism, and unnecessary negative emotions or thinking by engaging in meditation, biofeedback or neurofeedback using quality audiovisual entrainment tools (see www.MindAlive.com), releasing techniques (see www.sedona.com), positive visualization, and laughter, and by focusing more on feelings of love, appreciation, gratitude, and compassion. Seriously, all “new age” fluff aside, this stuff works. The science behind this is crystal clear.
This article is excerpted with permission from the book:
Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life
by Nora T. Gedgaudas.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press, a division of Inner Traditions International. www.innertraditions.com. ©2011.
About the Author
Nora Gedgaudas has a background in diet and nutrition spanning some 25 years and is a widely recognized, respected and sought-after expert in the field. She is recognized by the Nutritional Therapy Association as a Certified Nutritional Therapist (CNT) and is also Board-certified in Holistic Nutrition® through the National Association of Nutritional Professionals (NANP). Nora served as a trainer for the State of Washington Institute of Mental Health, illuminating nutrition's impact on mental health for State workers at all levels. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a CNT and a Board-certified Clinical Neurofeedback Specialist (CNS). Visit her website at: http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com.