This article is the fourth in a series of posts exploring the Essential Six Elements of Whole Health, the core of our health philosophy and the foundation for our work with our nutritional therapy clients.
Moving on, let’s talk about appropriate detoxification.
Everywhere you look, especially in natural health, people are talking about detoxification. Detox, detox, detox!
There are pills and powders and kits and special diets- all to help you detox and get the chemicals (and heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc) out. There is a cleanse for most every organ system and you are encouraged to cleanse multiple times per year, according to some.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to targeted cleanses or to detoxing in general. In fact, I do encourage these types of therapy, when needed by our clients, but ONLY at the correct time.
The appropriate time is almost always at the end of a nutritional therapy protocol, sometimes a year or more after beginning your plan.
It is NOT appropriate to begin a healing regimen with a detox or cleanse.
Your body has an innate wisdom and it knows when it can release toxins and when it can not. If you are suffering from a myriad of health issues, forcing your body to dump tons of stored toxins (stored safely away by the body) in to your already overburdened system is a terrible and dangerous idea.
The pathways by which toxins are removed from our system must be open and functioning optimally before beginning a detox.
This means that digestion must be working smoothly, with no leaky gut symptoms (food allergies, autoimmunity, mood disorders, etc) present, and elimination must be regular. The lungs should be clean and clear. The body should be well hydrated, with appropriate blood sugar, mineral and fatty acid balance.
The detoxification is used to take things to the next level and is often needed to fully rid someone of a chronic or serious health condition. Targeted cleanses can be used to rid the body of parasites and/or candida (yeast) overgrowth.
Sometimes, this process happens cyclically, with a period of time to heal the detox pathways (e.g. digestion), then undergoing a targeted cleanse, then further healing can occur on the detox pathways, followed by another round of detoxification.
Achieving health is like peeling off the layers of an onion. It takes one step at a time and there is usually a period of rest or plateau for the body as it readies itself for the next step.
Most detoxification protocols should be done with the help of a professional, one that is familiar with your history and can evaluate your progress and any set backs.
The quality of products on the market vary widely and high quality, tested, and gentle protocols are absolutely encouraged.
Finally, we come to the topic of conscious health-care choices.
This is a huge topic but it really boils down to this: question everything, do your research and become your own best advocate.
YOU are in control of your health and ultimately the one who will be responsible for the outcome- either positive or negative. In modern health-care, there is no shortage of potentially damaging (even life-threatening) medications, surgeries, vaccinations or medical mistakes.
Pharmaceutical medications are powerful combinations of chemicals that seriously affect the body, its systems and its ability to heal itself. More focus is given to covering up the symptoms of a disease or condition than to actually healing it.
Finding the root cause of a health problem and addressing WHY it actually began in the first place is, in my opinion, what true health care should really be about.
There are multiple facets of natural and alternative health, and a lot to be explored still. I highly encourage you to DO THE RESEARCH- reading all sides (especially in the case of something like vaccinations)- and don’t just trust what one doctor, agency, association or other group has to say.
In the end, you will have to make the decision and feel comfortable doing so, and knowledge IS power.
Coming up, we’ll explore Essential Element Four- Movement & Nature here