What You’ll Learn
- Addressing the confusion and misconceptions of what “detox” is.
- Separating the vague, trendy, and ineffective mainstream methods of detoxification
- How do we define the purpose and meaning behind true detox?
- What are the physiological benefits of detox?
- The IM perspective on legitimate and beneficial detox designed to increase optimal primary organ function
A new year is a fresh start and a new perspective that often prompts inspired goals, molting bad habits, and recognition of a much needed healthy routine. The enthusiasm that ensues from committing to a healthy lifestyle can also make quick fixes and trendy diets appealing. But some of these mainstream fads are unhealthy and deprive your body of essential nutrients, like the celery cleanses, charcoal detox, and the one that says you will lose several pounds in three days if you only drink a questionable apple cider vinegar juice. While these claims to quick-fix fame seem like a great jumpstart to your new routine, they are risky and can cause more harm than good. Healthy options can boost and optimize primary organ function and offload harmful toxinsー so how do you decide?
Our bodies’ mechanical capabilities are similar to a car, a machine designed to run on its own; however, to maintain a smooth and efficient operation with unobstructed electrical currents and fluid pathways, maintenance is required. If you fill up with bad gas or skip an oil change, your vehicle will suffer both short and long term; the human body is similar. The word detox often triggers an inherent definition related to removing a poison or harmful substance. Sometimes we associate detox with narcotic drug addiction, but more often it is the keyword for a trendy “new” way to cleanse your system of bad habits.
Primary organs like the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, gastrointestinal tract, and skin function to process, protect, and rid our bodies of toxic build-up and maintain homeostasis. The idea of a stable internal environment, called ‘milieu interne’ was introduced by Claude Bernard (1813-1878), a French physiologist. His research provided explanations for the purpose of some bodily fluids, thus uncovering how those organs function, like pancreatic secretions for fat digestion, and the liver’s role in processing sugars. Although it would be some time before science and medicine could fully develop on Bernard’s theory, it offered compelling evidence that an organism’s internal environment should be healthy and in homeostasis to adjust to external environmental changes to keep the entire organism healthy.
“Although it would be some time before science and medicine could fully develop on Bernard’s theory, it offered compelling evidence that an organism’s internal environment should be healthy and in homeostasis to adjust to external environmental changes to keep the entire organism healthy.”
Unhealthy lifestyles and stress can cause a system overload affecting our daily function by blocking metabolic pathways, altering our microbiota, and reducing energy and mental clarity. Research on microbial niches continues to build a correlation between our microbiota and immunity, suggesting that a disruption in those niches can affect our immune response. Perhaps one of the most prevalent microbiome disrupters is the first thing we ask for when we are sick and one of the most overused and mis-prescribed pharmaceuticals in western medicine ーantibiotics.
Detox and cleansing help balance our inevitable exposure to environmental toxins and enable our primary organs to function at their highest potential; however, it is important to detox for the right reason. Although weight loss often occurs with detox, it should not be the reason for beginning one. Optimal organ function and overall wellness should serve as the foundation for any healthy lifestyle change.
Science, Not Marketing
The industrial revolution introduced an array of heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, mercury, copper, and lead to human environments and over time the medical community and even the United States Government acknowledged the harm in prolonged and excessive exposure. Heavy metal toxicity symptoms range from psychological and digestion changes to neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease.
As research unveiled the dangers of heavy metal toxicity, new protocols and more rigorous monitoring of human exposure to heavy metals increased as well as a need for detoxification. Chelation is a detox that cleanses the body of heavy metal build-up using organic molecules that bind to metal ions, increasing the body’s ability to flush out heavy metals. Some chelating components are found in food, and in acute cases, chelating agents such as EDTA, are used to cleanse the system. Chelation is one example of how detox is beneficial, however, there are common and convenient ways to detox in everyday life.
Diet and nutritional changes are the most obvious form of cleansing, but they should not leave you feeling deprived or hungry. Changes should be formulated to fuel and enhance how your body functions. Eliminating processed food and excessive sugar often leads to weight loss and increased energy and well-being. As food passes through the digestive tract, it has an effect on our microbiome and fuels our bodies. Antioxidant-rich foods help reduce oxidation which produces free radicals in the body, while others help reduce inflammation and increase immune function. Adopting a colorful and nutrient-rich diet will help our fine-tuned machine run more efficiently while making it easier to maintain homeostasis in our milieu interne. With so many other forms of detox available, how do you choose?
IM’s Detox Perspective
Innovative Medicine understands how difficult it is to tell the difference between a popular fad detox and a legitimate cleansing method. At NYCIM, methods – derived from European Biological Medicine – use concepts like the milieu interne to develop a personalized approach to detoxification and will guide you in exploring the best options for your individual goals. Detoxification of your body is not only and effective way to improve your natural bodily processes, it is essential for your health. Many different therapies can be used to target tissues that are overwhelmed by long-term stress from environmental and dietary toxins. By addressing various ways to improve your natural physiological balance, you can restore your body to its optimal healing potential.
Some options tailored to the patient’s individual needs include Matrix regeneration therapy designed to alleviate pain by improving lymphatic drainage and cell regeneration. Spagyric medicine, a therapy that fuses homeopathy, herbology, and pharmacology to regulate organ function and enhance the body’s mechanisms for detoxification, and a technology detox to reduce exposure from EMF radiation, a therapy we could all use in a technologically advanced society. Other therapies designed to optimize your health include:
- Infrared lymphatic therapy – a non-invasive therapy that can improve lymphatic flow to improve symptoms associated with colds, flu, and sinus issues.
- Gerson therapy – a specialized diet often prescribed for chronically-ill patients, rich in organic fruits and vegetables, including up to 13 glasses of fresh fruit juice each day.
- Negative thought detox – by reinforcing your perspective with positive thinking, detoxing from negative thoughts can have a powerful physiological role with your healing journey.
But whatever your needs for detoxification may be, there is a therapy for you. IM does not push mainstream diet fads that sound too good to be true, nor is detoxification simply a quick-cleanse to help with dietary issues. Instead, it’s a necessary and essential part of improving your overall healing potential. The benefit of many detox therapies is more than just getting you back on your feet: it’s unlocking your natural healing potential by naturally restoring your body’s ability to detox itself. Our bodies are miraculous machines, it’s time we give them the extra care to keep them running at their best.
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