Attempting a radical detoxification may appear to be an effective lifestyle shift at first, especially with the glorified benefits associated with it (gut cleanse and weight loss). But have you ever stopped to ask if a quick-fix detox really works?
There are far too many misconceptions and myths surrounding the topic of detox. Today, we’re going to bust some of these myths and tell it as it is. What’s more, you’ll learn how your body is inherently equipped to flush out toxins. Scroll down to shift your perspective about what detoxification actually is.
Detoxification: What is It and Why is It Important?
Okay, no points for guessing that detoxification is the process of eliminating toxins from the body. Sounds pretty basic, right? But what does it really mean?
What Does It Mean To Detox?
Resetting your system with a juice cleanse doesn’t exactly entail a holistic cleanse. The human body has a remarkable ability to rid itself of toxic build-up. In fact, there are entire organs and molecular pathways in place for this process. While the bulk of it is handled by the liver and kidneys, your lymphatic system – skin, and large intestines all do their part in toxin elimination.
In holistic detoxification, these elimination pathways are supported so they can perform at the peak of their potential. Optimizing organ function and reducing toxic burden while nourishing the cells with an antioxidant-rich diet are some of the primary goals of a holistic detox.”
What Actually Happens During A Holistic Detox?
A common question on people’s minds before taking up a detox is “What does detoxing your body do?” We answer this question for you here.
The barrel analogy of toxicity is an accurate way to describe the body under high toxic stress. Per this theory, the body functions as a barrel that when filled to the brim with toxins, overflows into circulation and interstitial cavities. When left unchecked, these circulating toxins form the basis for all diseases.
Quick detoxes temporarily flush out toxins from organs of elimination, only so they may enter circulation. Toxins actively circulating within the body without an exit often show up as worsening symptoms for the patient, leaving them anxious and perplexed.
Holistic detox therapies at NYCIM such as Matrix regeneration therapy, Spagyric medicine, Gerson therapy, or Ozone therapy, assist in the removal of toxins from both circulation and organs while replenishing the nutritional needs of the body. A gentle nudge to the elimination system in this way ensures cleansing the body of toxins without having to deal with a detox reaction.
A Case for Detoxification
You might wonder: what is the purpose of detoxification?
Today more than ever we are constantly being bombarded in our everyday life with toxins. The word “toxin” or “toxic” is being used solely for describing household chemicals, toxic vapors or environmental pollutants. In truth, any factor that throws off the homeostatic balance of the body is considered a toxic stressor.
In the less-than-ideal world that we live in today, everything from preservatives in food to bacterial pathogens and EMF pollution contributes to an alarming level of toxin exposure. To add to this, did you know that your seemingly harmless negative thoughts and emotions can be toxic stressors too? Don’t let this information send you down a worry spiral, because awareness of what’s toxic within and outside of you is a powerful catalyst for change.
This unprecedented toxic burden on our elimination system provides a strong case for detoxification.
What Detox is Misunderstood As
An infinite array of detox supplements and regimens are available to us today, thanks to the ever-growing global detox market. Per popular culture, a quick-fix detox typically involves a combination of colon cleansing, diet regimens, juicing, fasting, and liver supplements. These are being sold as an easy means to rid your body of toxins, lose weight, and restore energy.
But there is more than meets the eye here. It’s important to consider the flip side of this trending get-healthy-fast scheme.
Why Weight Loss Should Not Be the Goal of a Detoxification
Nutritionists and physicians warn that quick-fix detoxification programs can be dangerous. At the very least, there might be long-term detrimental changes to overall health. Detoxes help shed weight temporarily due to immediate loss of water weight. However, weight lost in such a manner is bound to return.
Furthermore, these detoxes can alter metabolism. They can also result in malnutrition due to poor absorption. To make matters worse, frequent colon cleansing can alter the bacterial landscape in your gut. Losing these good gut bugs can mess with your immunity and even result in mood swings based on gut-brain axis research.
In essence, quick-fix detoxes alter our vitality in the long run.
Now that you are convinced of the ill-effects of these detoxes, here’s what you need to know if you are looking for a holistic health makeover.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metal toxicity from cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and lead is a growing concern. Mood swings, behavioral changes, gut-brain axis disruption, and osteoporosis, are just a few of the many tell-tale signs of heavy metal toxicity.
But first things first, where and how are these heavy metals entering our body? Vaccinations, dental fillings, farm-raised fish, and processed food are some of the common sources of heavy metals.
Heavy Metal Detox with Chelation Therapy
Chelation has been used with immense success for heavy metal detoxification. Because of its success, chelating agents like EDTA and DMPS have gained enormous popularity in recent years. Fundamentally, the chelating agents bind to the heavy metals and draw them out of interstitial cavities where they are stored.
Both DMPS and EDTA have been successfully used for mercury, lead, and arsenic poisoning. EDTA is now being used by many for oral chelation.
Additionally, if you are looking for foods that cleanse the body, look no further. Cilantro, chlorella, spirulina, vitamin C, and garlic are known to possess strong chelating properties. Intravenous chelation is available at NYCIM and is a detoxification treatment of choice for more severe cases of heavy metal toxicity.
How to Detox Naturally With Diet and Nutrition
The Hippocrates philosophy of “food is medicine” is largely neglected and is a primary contributing factor for most diseases today. At Innovative Medicine, we believe that your kitchen is an amazing pharmacy.
Simple kitchen hacks like a lemon and water detox go a long way in supporting the basic nutritional needs of your mind and body. They also are excellent ways to detox your body naturally. We have created a diet plan that promotes holistic health.
Here are a few fundamentals with diet and nutrition that help reduce the toxic burden of the body on a regular basis.
1. Drink more water
2. Limit alcohol consumption
3. Eat more antioxidant-rich meals
4. Limit intake of processed foods
Holistic Detoxification Practices
1. Oil Pulling
Did you know? Your mouth is a mirror for what goes on in your entire gut? Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that entails swishing oil in the mouth to cleanse the oral cavity and remove gut toxins. Highly recommended by doctors and dentists alike, this ancient practice is believed to stimulate lymphatic drainage and eliminate oral cavity bacteria.
Additionally, it is even believed to activate acupuncture points and thereby clear blockages from the meridian pathways connected to our internal organs.
2. Minimize EMF Exposure
The current tech-savvy age has introduced us to many innovative and beneficial technologies. But on the downside, we’re being exposed to unprecedented levels of man-made frequencies compared to previous generations. Recent research has proven that these artificial frequencies are detrimental to organ function. Multiple reports have linked immune suppression, sleep disorders, mood changes, and a number of other health consequences to this biophotonic blitz.
The free radicals generated by EMF pollution can be dealt with by consuming antioxidant-rich foods and glutathione supplements. Additionally, limiting EMF exposure with gadgets like YouMatrix and walking barefoot on the soil are ways to counter EMF toxicity.
Read our exclusive guide to all-things-EMF to learn more about this new-age phenomenon.
“Inhale-Exhale,” “Just breathe,” and innumerous quotes for breathing are trending on social media and for good reason. After all, we can all agree that breath is life-giving. But how often do you actually pay attention to your breathing pattern? Drowned in our daily rut, most of us engage only in shallow breathing. We get by with just enough oxygen required for survival.
Did you know? Breathwork and deep breathing can be used for transformative healing. Breath is so much more than survival alone. If you are asking, can breathwork be a natural body cleansing modality? We say yes!
Per ancient Ayurveda and Hatha yoga, breath holds the capacity to move around Prana (vital life force energy) within the body. Breathing in 5 different ways – Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana, Udana formed the foundation of health and healing. Of these, Apana is particularly important in the context of detoxification. Apana specifically promotes absorption and elimination.
Engage in Apana model of breathwork with these 5 easy steps:
a. Inhale in through your nose. Take a deep breath
b. Focus on exhalation (hold breath after exhalation)
c. Inhale into the belly and direct your focus towards your pelvic lower back area (which holds a majority of the elimination organs).
d. Connect with the muscles in the pelvic region and visualize the inhaled air to infiltrate all cells in this region
e. Forcefully exhale through the nose and visualize all the air driving out toxins from organs of elimination.
Consistently repeat this for a few cycles to notice a tangible difference.
Are you ready to use breathwork for an at-home daily detox?
4. Sleep and Detox
Restful regenerative sleep forms the foundation of health and healing. Of the many regenerative processes that occur during deep NREM sleep, elimination is perhaps the most noteworthy one. Per TCM and meridian theory, the liver works at its peak between 1-3 am when the body is in deep sleep. Any disruptions to NREM sleep will interfere with these elimination pathways. Unfortunately, sleep is often the most ignored aspect of health. For this reason, we believe that “sleep-like-a-baby” is a pretty good mantra to have.
Read “Circadian Rhythm 101” to learn what you can do to improve your sleep.
5. Mold Toxicity
The mere thought of mold might make you cringe. Mold (fungal) poisoning can prove to be dangerous to our health and wellbeing. Not surprisingly, our survival instinct has wired us to avoid mold in the food we consume. Despite this awareness, mold exposure is surprisingly prevalent in the United States.
A home and buildings report from 2017 reported that nearly 45 million buildings were found to house unhealthy levels of mold. If you have reason to believe that you are exposed to this inconspicuous pathogen, the first step is to rid your home and refrigerator of mold.’
If symptoms persist, get yourself tested for mold toxicity. Read Innovative Medicine’s comprehensive guide on mold toxicity for the next few steps before you resort to using harmful bleach or bleach-like chemicals for mold removal.
1. What are some of the best detox products available?
Given how much vagueness exists in the mainstream notion of detox, we compiled a list of the 6 detox products that Innovative Medicine believes to be most effective in supporting your organs of elimination. Learn more about these products with this review “6-Products-to-Help-You-Detox”.
2. Is detoxing safe?
A holistic detox as described in the above article is recommended to minimize toxic burden. However, the detox we endorse at Innovative Medicine differs from the popularly marketed cleanses based on juicing and liver supplements. The long-term dangers associated with quick-fix detoxes should be considered before venturing into what is advertised.
3. Should I remove mercury fillings?
Amalgam in dental fillings is a major contributor to mercury levels in our system. Removal of dental fillings and replacing them with a biocompatible, non-metal-based filling is a great place to start for minimizing your exposure to heavy metals. That said, extreme precaution needs to be exercised during the removal procedure and is to be performed only by a trained biological dentist. The goal here is to minimize mercury in the amalgam from vaporizing to gaseous mercury. Gaseous mercury emitted in this manner can be dangerous to both the patient and practitioner.
4. Herx Reaction (vs) Detox reaction?
Simply put, Herx or Herxheimer reaction is when a patient feels worse before feeling better. It’s a short-term detoxification reaction where the patient experiences flu-like symptoms, fatigue, body aches, and general soreness while undergoing systemic detoxification. Toxins being flushed out of organs of elimination and into circulation is primarily why such symptoms are seen. These wither away with time and can be easily dealt with.
Detox reaction on the other hand (often seen with quick-fix detoxes) is when toxins are flushed out too quickly at a rate higher than what the kidneys and liver can handle. An electrolyte imbalance is created which then triggers a release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Such symptoms indicate that the body is in shock and the detoxification approach needs to be reassessed.
Are You Ready to Start Detoxing The Right Way?
The temptation to instantly cleanse your gut of all the nasty gunk from holiday overindulgence can be real. Add in the motivation to shed those extra pounds and you might find yourself diving headfirst into a quick fix detox.
Today we discussed a few best practices to detox your body. We hope you will make the choice to holistically support your innate elimination pathways. A holistic detox begins with the fundamental belief that, with just a little support, your body has the detoxification process under control. Know that your body will thank you for taking this approach.
Write to us to learn more about how the NYCIM and Innovative Medicine team can help you with a personalized holistic detox plan tailored to your individual health needs.
Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.
At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.
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