Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I’ve rarely taught a class or had a consultation without discussing the subject of detoxification, or cleansing. Most everyone I know is curious about detoxes, currently on a detox, or preparing for their yearly (or quarterly) cleanse. I hear of people drinking apple juice, lemon juice, or carrot juice. They tell me they take herbs in the morning, herbs in the evening, that they are ingesting large amounts of clay and psyllium husk and fibers of this or that plant. They describe their enemas and the incredible things they “release.” They, excitedly, send me pictures of this ‘release.’ (No joke.)
Lately, however, I have embraced the subject of detoxing. I figure, if so many of us are exploring the world of full body cleansing, why not participate? I have been among the ranks of detox junkies, roaming the internet for the perfect herbal detox kit, memorizing alkaline/acidic food charts, defecating with unbelievable frequency due to purgatives and juices, used coffee, implants, and God-knows-what-else to make sure that every little bit is cleaned out. And, I now know, from personal and clinical experience, that a balanced, healthy body, in homeostasis, will cleanse itself, perfectly, with very little aid from us.
After becoming a Nutritional Therapist I learned the hidden dangers of cleansing the body with unsupervised force. The movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” documents the experience of Joe Cross as he uses juice fasting to lose weight and re-gain health. While the tone of this movie is inspiring, it is also dangerous. Without the close supervision of a doctor or seasoned practitioner, such as Joe had in the movie, cleansing can be risky business. Forcing the body to ‘cleanse’ toxins or wastes that it has intelligently stored is faulty and harmful.
Proper detoxification is simply bringing the body back into a balanced state. Period. Our bodies operate with a very precise innate intelligence. The decisions our physiology continuously make are ones that are always for our highest health. When our body decides to store a toxin or waste, it is doing so for a very good reason. When we force the toxin or waste back into our bloodstream in order to ‘cleanse,’ we are usually working against our innate knowing, and are sometimes causing ourselves harm.
When I work with a client that is interested in detoxification, I take them through a three to six month process that I call the Whole Food Detox Diet. This program is specifically designed to their bio-individuality. Each person’s body needs support in the way that will allow their body to become the most vital, and so the process is different for every person. For example, while one individual will need much more liver support, another will need help with adrenal dysfunction and hormonal balance. Through tools such as functional testing, case history, and food journaling, I tailor fit a detox plan that will work beautifully for my client. A whole food, nutrient dense diet is the basis for all cleansing recommendations.
Remember, a gallon a day of raw apple juice might look like the right way to cleanse, but there are many, many factors that need consideration before detoxing. Consider eating a whole food diet, rich in complete nutrients and void of sugars and alcohol. Simply balancing our bodies, in a balanced way, is the perfect start. For more advanced cleansing consult a practitioner you trust.
About the Author
I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association, located in Olympia, Washington. For over a decade I have explored varied diets and healing modalities, ranging from raw veganism to the Primal Diet. My interest in diet stemmed from a strong desire to heal life long health problems without continued reliance on prescription drugs.
In 2006 I graduated magne cum laude from Murray State University with a bachelor of arts degree, emphasis in medical anthropology and professional writing. My time studying varied culture’s practices sparked my interest in continuing to investigate the link between chronic illness/ degenerative disease and dietary habits.
The teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Nutritional Therapy Association, paired with my background in medical anthropology, have led me to believe that a properly prepared, whole food, nutrient dense diet is one of the primary keys to optimal health. I can be contacted further via my site nourishsystem.com
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