By Mary Dressler, PhD Natural Medicine Doctor and Advanced Colon Hydro-Therapist
Today there are more toxins in the environment than ever before. Therefore, it is critical to detox your body in order to maintain good health.
Do you have any of the following symptoms: unexplained tiredness, sluggishness, irritated skin, allergies, low-grade infections, mental confusion, menstrual problems, constipation, bloating, sexual dysfunction, or bags under your eyes?
Lighten Your "Toxic Load"
Begin by lightening your toxin load (this refers to the combination of toxins and chemicals that build up in our bodies from environmental exposure, food, lifestyle choices, etc.). It’s easiest to begin with what you do have control over—what you put in your mouth. Stopping the use of alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats is a huge step towards better health. These act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also consider your use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes). There are many chemicals included in these that are harmful to health and contribute to a heavy toxic load. Try to use natural alternatives when possible.
The Vast Benefits of Detoxing
Detoxing improves appearance, regulates sleep patterns, boosts emotional well-being, increases vitality and underlying health, and helps you lose weight. One of the main benefits of detoxing is just how much better you will look and feel, often within just a few days of beginning. Detoxification means cleaning the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for removal. The body also removes toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin.
When your system is compromised and the impurities are not filtered properly, every cell in the body is adversely affected. A detox program can help the body’s natural cleansing process by allowing the organs to rest, which can be done through cleansing. This improves circulation of the blood, stimulates the liver to drive toxins from the body, promotes elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin, and refuel the body with healthy nutrients.
Don't Forget Stress...
Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” we’ve been taught is necessary to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts or sustained over time, they create toxins and slow down the detoxification enzymes in the liver. Yoga, Qigong and meditation are simple yet effective ways to relieve stress by changing your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life brings.
Ten Tips for Detoxifying Your Body
After a proper detoxification program (such as our 10-Day Cleanse), you can continue to cleanse your body daily with the following activities:
1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, artichokes, chlorella and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
2. Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
3. Take vitamin C. This helps the body produce glutathione, an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger, and a detoxifying agent.
4. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, as well as drinking green tea.
5. Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.
6. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
7. Detox foot spas/foot baths will remove toxins through your pores.
8. Practice hydrotherapy – you can do this by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
9. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate waste through perspiration.
10. What is the most important way to detoxify?
Colon Hydrotherapy because it:
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By Mary Dressler, PhD Natural Medicine Doctor and Advanced Colon Hydro-Therapist
Transformation. Change. Letting Go. Moving On. These might not be words that come to mind when you think of the Large Intestine. But they are just as connected to that system as are our bowels and our digestive health.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Large Intestine lately.
Being a Colonic Hydrotherapy Doctor, I think about the body and its systems and functions a lot. The Intestines frequently occupy my mind. But more than the physical organ inside our bodies, I’ve been thinking about the energy system that supports this organ and its functions. Did you know that true good health is only possible when our Large Intestine is healthy?
Breaking Down Energy Systems - The Basics
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Large Intestine energy system, like all of our systems, is defined functionally as opposed to anatomically. This means that it is defined by the role the energy plays in the body, not only by the actual organ or tissue. While not always the case with other body systems and organs, the Large Intestine energy system correlates strongly with the physical Large Intestine organ in our bodies. The Large Intestine energy system (“Da Chang” or “Great Intestine”), is in charge of functions in the body such as receiving waste material from the Small Intestine system, absorbing fluid content, and excreting waste. Understandably, we often treat the Large Intestine system when patients present with symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, or lower abdominal cramping.
This is where most of us stop thinking about the Large Intestine, if we think about it at all. But Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that the Large Intestine energy system is SO MUCH MORE than just regulating our bowels – and it is when we can begin to understand these other aspects that we can actually affect real change in our health.
First off, the Large Intestine energy is paired with the Lung energy. We can therefore support the Large Intestine energy when treating a Lung pathology, such as an acute or chronic cough. Many times, people get sick with a cold and then it transfers to their digestive system. This can at least in part be explained by the relationship that exists between the Large Intestine and the Lung. The Qi of both the Large Intestine and the Lung needs to descend to be healthy – when Lung Qi doesn’t descend, we cough. When Large Intestine Qi doesn’t descend, we get constipated.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about relationships. The Large Intestine energy also has a special relationship with the Stomach energy, in that they are both designated as “Yang Ming” or “Yang Brightness.” Yang, as we have mentioned, is the active, hot, fiery, expansive parts of our being. (As opposed to Yin, which is the passive, watery, cool, inward parts.) Yang Brightness, as the name implies, are strong Yang energy systems. This means that they are easily affected by heat. This heat may be generated by long-term patterns of stagnant energy, a poor diet, or physically and/or emotionally toxic environments. The Yang Ming designation also means that we can effectively use these systems to clear pathological heat from the body. Some of the best acupuncture points in the body to clear excess heat are on the Large Intestine meridian. One of the ways to clear excessive heat (such as a high fever) with herbal medicine is to use herbs that stimulate the Large Intestine to promote a bowel movement and bring the fever rapidly down.
Now to the most fascinating part of the Large Intestine energy system. As you may know, Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at the interaction and connection between the physical, mental, emotional, and psycho-spiritual aspects of human existence. Pathology in any given energy system can manifest in any of these levels, or multiple levels. An emotional imbalance in the Large Intestine energy could manifest as chronic constipation, but it could also manifest as an emotional tendency to not let things go. Or chronic constipation could lead to certain destructive patterns of negative emotions. These aspects are not separate and distinct, but different manifestations of the same core imbalance.
The Large Intestine energy’s number one function in the body is to let go of those things that don’t serve us. Physically, it lets go of waste after our upper digestive system has taken all the necessary nutrients out of the food we eat. On an emotional level, the Large Intestine does the exact same thing. Healthy Large Intestine energy allows us to let go of patterns of negative thinking, destructive emotions, and spiritual blockages that we create that prevent us from being our best. When the function of the Large Intestine energy is compromised, people have a hard time moving on from difficult situations, or hold very tightly to emotions they know are harming them. This holding on can also manifest as an unwillingness to share emotions or be open with others – the phenomenon of “bottling up” emotions for years very often leads to chronic constipation.
The Large Intestine is a Metal element. Metal is associated with the emotion of grief. We frequently see grief damage the Lung System (the other Metal energy center) – a common example is when someone comes down with pneumonia or bronchitis or even a common cold after losing a loved one or the loss of a relationship. But grief can affect the Large Intestine, too, particularly when one becomes attached to the grief itself, or too attached to a memory to move on.
This attachment indicates Large Intestine energy involvement, for other negative emotions, too. A pathology in the Large Intestine energy may make one too attached to anger, or fear, or possessiveness – and manifest as an inability to make a change.
The Huang Di Neijing, one of the oldest texts in Chinese Medicine, speaks to the spiritual and emotional importance of the Large Intestine: “The Large Intestine is the official of the transmission of the Way, change and transformation emerge from it.” Change and transformation come from being open to the new, and ready and willing to let go of the old. There is only room for new and positive transformation when we are able to move on from the patterns that hold us to where we are now. And it is the health of the Large Intestine energy that allows us to do that.