Learning How Internal Cleansing Can Benefit Your Health - Although you may take showers regularly and wash your hair every day or two, it does not always mean that you have successfully rid your body of all the toxins you have been exposed to throughout your daily travels. In fact, what you may be missing in the shower is something that can't be reached with soap and a washcloth.
Internal cleansing refers to the detoxification that your body undergoes either naturally or with a little help from nutrients and herbs. According to Sidney MacDonald Baker, M.D., author of Detoxification and Healing, detoxification is what your body's chemistry does to rid itself of unwanted chemicals. The process occurs when toxins either move from the liver into the bile, then to the intestines and out of the body, or are absorbed into the bloodstream where they travel into the kidneys and then leave the body as urine. The liver works as a starting point and it determines where toxins are going to end up in our system. A well-functioning liver can hold its own in making sure that any dangerous substances leave the body as soon as possible.
For those of us who have sluggish livers, this process may not be as efficient because it becomes easily overwhelmed by large amounts of chemicals and, therefore, cannot fully metabolize fat. Ann Louise Gittleman, in her book The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet, states that when this happens your body begins to suffer. "As a result, it dumps fat and cholesterol back into the bloodstream, sabotaging your weight loss and putting you at risk for numerous health problems, including indigestion, fatigue, high cholesterol, depression, mood swings, lupus, arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions." At this point, it may be beneficial to start considering the use of internal cleansers to wash out your body.
So how can you tell if your liver is in need of some help? In the November/December 1999 issue of Total Health, Lindsey Duncan wrote an article, "Internal Detoxification," which contained a list of symptoms to look for that may be related to a toxic liver. The symptoms include, but are not limited to: constipation , stomach bloat, poor digestion, gas, fatigue, weight gain, excessive mucus, arthritis, poor skin, poor memory, depression, body odor, and bad breath. Duncan also reminded readers to pay attention to the severity of the symptoms. "Ninety-nine percent of the time the amount of toxicity in the body correlates directly with the seriousness of the condition."
If you do feel that a good cleaning is just what your body needs, then there are several different processes of detoxifying.
Probably one of the easiest ways to begin eliminating toxins would be through eating more "Fat Flushing" foods and supplements. Again, Gittleman informs readers, this time in her book The Fat Flush Foods, about upping their intake of foods like almonds, olive oil, spelt, sweet potatoes, and yogurt, and supplements such as choline, chromium, milk thistle, and Oregon grape root.
Another detoxifier you can try is fasting, which is one of the quickest ways to help speed up the elimination of wastes and improve healing processes in the body. Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., and James F. Balch, M.D., authors of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, say "fasting is beneficial in the body's healing process because the work of digesting food is temporarily absent, allowing the system to focus on ridding itself of toxins." In addition, the workload your immune system once had is now greatly reduced and your physical awareness and sensitivity to food is increased.
Jordan S. Rubin, N.MD., MD., informs readers in his book, The Maker's Diet, about fasting in general and the different types of fasts described in the Bible. These include the "Esther Fast," which requires three days where foods and liquids are absent, the "Daniel Fast," which lasts for 10 days and replaces rich meats and wines with vegetables, and any other type of fast that may last between one and 40 days and may or may not require the consumption of water.
Colon cleansing is also suggested in Prescription for Nutritional Healing as a process to help rid your body of chemicals. This form of detoxifying may be very familiar to the Western world and its benefits can be great, according to both authors, who say that it is capable of "removing retained debris in the colon that leads to absorption of toxins, resulting in systemic intoxication (poisoning)."
In her book, Detoxification, Linda Page, PhD., reviews additional body-cleansing techniques from around the world that may also get the job done:
Ayurvedic healing, originating from India, focuses on using oils, herbs, therapeutic foods, massage, and sweat therapy, to stimulate functions like digestion and return balance to the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, which revolves around eight different healing approaches, says Page, is thought to achieve balance, just like yin and yang, in the mind and body. The eight approaches include perspiration, therapeutic emesis, purgation, neutralization, stimulation, heat clearing, reduction, and tonic.
The Rainforest Culture features medicine that is largely based on shamanic tradition where spiritual beliefs play a large role in healing. Some of its aspects involve liver cleansing, blood purifying rituals, heat therapy herbal steam baths, yearly parasite cleansing, purgative herbs, and massage and palpation.
As for the benefits of using a detoxification regimen, it may be able to clear up various health problems that you might have thought were just a part of aging or working long hours. The Internet may be of some help. For example, www.liddell.net provides consumers with several lists of the many symptoms that were alleviated using detoxification products. The successful results ranged from reducing coughing and wheezing to countering fevers, pain, and swelling.
References: Detoxification and Healing, by Sidney MacDonald Baker, M.D.
The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet, by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., CN.S.
"Internal Detoxification," by Lindsey Duncan, Total Health, Nov/Dec99, Vol.21, Issue 5
The Fat Flush Foods, by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, and James F. Balch, MD.
The Maker's Diet, by Jordan S. Rubin,N.MD.,MD.
Detoxification, by Linda Page, N.D., PhD.
www.liddell.com. website of Liddell Laboratories