Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Health Journey: Dextoxification - The Body

Hi Folks -  

Last week I attended a detoxification workshop held by herbalists at Empressive Vitality.  Detoxification is a big thing now.  Everybody is talking about detox juice, detox plans, detox foods and detox do's and don'ts.  What is detoxification in the first place?  It's removing toxic substances from your being.  I do not limit detoxification to just the body.  The mind and spirit also deserve to have toxins removed.  However this post will focus on the body.  I'll get to the other stuff later.

The process of detoxification consists of an agent of some sort (tea, food, juices, water, steam, etc.) being consumed that will help release bound toxins from their hiding places.  Once these toxins are set free, they need to be eliminated or removed from your body. Once the elimination process takes place you must take care to limit the interaction you have with the toxins and have a routine detox program to help your body operate at maximum capacity. 

Here are some statistics on toxins from Digestive Wellness (1):
  • Toxins are everywhere (food, air, and from our own metabolism)
  • There are 300,000 new chemicals created each year
  • On a standard American diet (SAD) 14 pounds of food additives are consumed yearly
  • More than 1 billion pesticides are used in the US yearly
  • The average person is exposed to 100 synthetic chemicals daily (shampoo, deodorant, cleaning products, gasoline, hair dye, lotions, soap, plastics, etc.)
The need for detoxification is greater than ever! Have mercy!!!

This workshop was all about detoxifying the major systems of the body:
1. blood
2. liver
3. skin
4. colon
5. kidney
6. lungs

The workshop helped me personally by: getting me better acquainted with my body,  introducing me to foods and herbs that will assist in my journey and pushing me toward some personal challenges that are sure to be life changing!  Okay,  let me first start with a disclaimer...I am no expert in detoxification practices or procedures.  I have just started this part of my journey.  The only detox program I've done in my 33.75 years of living is a colon cleanse which has made a big difference in my elimination experience.  For more information or products please click the link to Empressive Vitality to reach Herbalist Secora for a consultation.

Highlights from the workshop:

1.  The liver is the first line of defense for our bodies.  It creates hormones and aides in digestion.  If you have ever taken medication, consumed liquor, have night sweats, dry skin, used conventional toothpaste, bad circulation, headaches, and  pretty much any ailment you can think of.  You need to flush your liver! The liver is the powerhouse of our total system and takes a lot of abuse.  Show your liver some love and clean it out!

Tip: drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is like a welcoming hug and kiss for your liver!

A hug and kiss for your liver

2. The lymphatic system is connected to our immune system.  Detoxifying your lymphatic system clears debris from circulation.  It gets your blood pumping properly.  Exercise is key to energizing your lymphatic system!

3.  Our skin is the largest organ we have. It is the barrier between the outside world and our internal goodies.   It gets rid of impurities through perspiration.  What we put on our skin is SO important.  For some reason I never paid attention to the fact that lotions, perfumes,  and oils seep into my body through my skin.  I used put whatever would take the ash away on my skin and did not pay attention to all the synthetic ingredients.  I have been enlightened and will make a pledge to use only NATURAL substances on my skin.  Dry skin brushing helps exfoliate and can improve circulation and the appearance of the is claimed to get rid of cellulite ladies!! There are so many anti-cellulite products on the market...not sure if any of it really works!

Herbs for the skin are: red clover, burdock root, calendula, lavender and sarsaparilla

Shampoo, lotion and deodorant full of synthetic ingredients

4. Detoxing the lungs can be really simple:  deep breathing from your diaphragm not your chest. Essential oils that can help are peppermint and eucalyptus.

5. Water, water, water!! Water is key for every system in our bodies.  It purifies, keeps our bowels moving, hydrates skin and hair, helps the kidney function and feeds our cells.  They say you can live without food, but not without water.  What a statement.  How many of us drink the right amount or the right type of water daily?  I don't always drink the proper amounts.  I've had to get creative in making sure that I do so.  The rule is to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces.

The pH of the water we drink is really important because our bodies need to stay at a pH of 7.35 to work optimally.  Everything we consume is either acidic (pH = 1 - 7.3) or alkaline (pH = 7.4 - 14). We have to maintain a balance (acidic vs. alkaline) to achieve an optimal pH.   At the workshop there was a water demonstration that illustrated the pH of various brands of water.  My "aha" moment was when ginger ale was tested (it was acidic of course) and alkaline water was added to it, to make it alkaline.  This was to show the dynamic of combining both acid and alkaline products to your diet.  There was no hope for alkalizing the ginger ale.  So if you decide to have a soda every once and awhile it's going to take a lot of alkaline water to get you out of the acidic zone.  That demonstration was powerful!  I am an occasional soda drinker and I LOVE Martenelli's sparkling ciders....whew! I've already started thinking twice before I pick up anything acidic to drink.

6.  Good substances for the kidney include: hibiscus, water, pomegranate, cranberry

Types of Detox Methods:

1. Fasting
2. Juicing (The Juice Journey)
3. Steam treatments/Saunas
4. Tea drinking
5. Massage therapy
6. Fruit and vegetable cleansing
7. Vitamin C flush

You can use a combination of the methods listed.  Again, make sure you consult a professional when it comes to choosing the right detoxification method.  Digestive Wellness lists criteria to keep in mind when choosing what method is best: work with your life and values, be thorough, gentle and nurturing to your body (1).

My Personal Challenges:

1. To clean out my liver - too many of the ailments cited for a liver in need of a detox, I have suffered with: poor circulation, dry skin, night sweats, I've had drugs for surgery, and a few more.  The plan I've received consists of fasting, juicing and drinking detoxification teas.

2. To do thirty days of dry skin brushing to help my lumps and bumps, increase my circulation, and energize my lymphatic system.  I am on day 6 of my dry skin brushing challenge.  I was advised to use only a vegetable fiber brush and brush all extremities and areas of the body in the direction of your heart.  Ladies...and men, don't brush your nipples! Ouch!!  Brush before you shower and be sure to clean the brush after every use with lemon and water.

My dry skin brush - made with vegetable fibers

Alright ladies and gentlemen the Journey continues! I'll keep you posted on my liver detox and dry brushing experiences! I'm a little nervous about the liver detox, but I know it's the right step to make.  After my liver, I'll have to look at what else needs a polish!

Peace and blessings!

References for this post:
1 - Digestive Wellness - Elizabeth Lipski