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Sage Center, formerly Sage Holistic Health and Wellness, is a collective of independent holistic therapists whose goals are to make the world better. Schedule Now Call or Text 541-304-5022 - 2205 Adams Avenue, La Grande OR. Blog - December 14, 2018 Demystifying Detox by Elle Hutchins SNHS (Acupressure, Holistic Nutrition, Herbalism) What is a detox? What does detoxing your body really mean? Depending on which practitioner you go to, it can mean very different things, and if you ask your doctor, will they be in professional agreement with your Holistic Health practitioner (Physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, your yoga teacher, your Reiki practitioner, your herbalist, etc.)? The truth of the matter is, your body is very good at detoxing your system. You have 5 major ways your body already works to remove “toxins” from your system. (Again, toxin means very different things to the various practitioners.) Your Urinary system - removes toxins through urine Your intestinal system - removes toxins from your blood and from your food through your feces Your skin and mucous membranes and your tears - your skin sweats, your eyes create tears, and your mucous membranes envelop, and sometimes kill bacteria, dust particles and viruses Your respiratory system - your lungs do more than add air to your blood, they also release carbon dioxide and other chemicals into the hair. Thinking carefully about what “toxins” you and your holistic health practitioner are trying to help you remove from your system, and why, should drive what kind of cleanse or detox you do. If you are trying to remove allergens or metals - you want to pull it from your blood and quickly move it into a tract where you can eliminate it quickly If the toxin is like a metal, if you use cilantro to release it from your teeth and bones, you absolutely need to take steps to remove it from the system, not let it settle into a different part of your body with antioxidants and good nutrients, and fill the vacuum in your bones with calcium. If you are detoxing from the after effects of an illness, then your detox is more about caring for, nurturing and building up your body while at the same time eliminating the residue left behind by the bacteria Perhaps, though you some bodywork done and you need to release the toxins released by your muscles or fascia (this includes the emotion that can often also be released that was held in the muscles… remember emotions have a component in our head and feelings, but they also have a chemical component in our bodies. Emotions get stuck in different locations in our bodies, because your body stores your body’s chemistry the same way it stores fat, in your tissue. Release the tissue, and you release the chemistry and therefore the emotion. Your mental and emotional detox could involve mental health sessions, meditation, mindfulness, spiritual counseling, or Emotional Freedom Tapping.) Getting rid of the chemistry is just like detoxing from an illness. So how to craft your detox to your needs: Urinary system - lots of water. Increase your fluid intake, but watch out for sugars, nutritionists agree that if you are going to have sugar, drinking it is not the best way to go. Sugar is hard on your system, so watch out for added sugars, salts, preservatives and dyes. Its like you are trying to make a house quiet so you can take a nap. You turn off the stereo, you find the fan and turn that off, you turn off the leaf blower, and so on But when you drink more sugars and chemicals, now you may have added a pillow and a blanket to the bed, but you also have to go back and turn off the jack hammer, and the television set. Note: Adding Lemon, lime, and vinegar to water are popular ways to detox. What they are doing is making your stomach more acidic (so if you take omeprazole, talk to your nutritionist), which then will make the next part of your stomach produce the stuff that helps you digest your foods, and that makes your body more alkaline. While some people claim that a alkaline diet will prevent most diseases, pay more attention to how your body feels in the long term. If you feel better when your system is more alkaline, if you suffer from fewer colds, that should be all the proof you need. Some people suggest drinking lots of salt water or Epsom salts to do a cleanse. The salts are very hard on your kidneys, and their real value is by causing a bowel movement, and this will dehydrate you. Depending on how salty the water you drink is, please know that nitrates (salt is sodium chloride, and nitrates mean salts), contribute to cancer, and dehydration is actually a serious condition. The salts don’t necessarily leave your body in 24 hours or with your bowel movement either. Please discuss this with your doctor or qualified health care professional. 2. Eat lots of soluble and insoluble fiber Soluble fiber - soaks up “toxins” from your blood. Insoluble fiber - is bulk forming, which means it soaks up water, so can help manage diarrhea. Because it is “bulk forming” you can think of it like a little scrubby a lot like you use in the kitchen to wash dishes. It cleans debris from the inside of your intestines and pushes it out. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are both found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but not fruit juice. Soluble fiber binds to things like cholesterols, fats, allergens and “toxins” (waste) in the blood. It pulls it from the blood, into the intestines where it can be eliminated. Soluble fiber can be found in apples, and most fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber speeds up a bowel movement, and pushes all the waste and toxins out. Examples include psyllium fiber and bran and the strings in the celery and most of what is in iceberg lettuce. 3. You eliminate through skin and process emotion with tears by letting yourself feel the feelings that your body is having. You have a mind portion of all emotions and a body portion. This type of detox is a little trickier, but it can be done. If you need more help, you can try movement related detoxifiers like yoga, dance, stretching, massage therapy, and Emotional Freedom Tapping. In addition, consider, life coaching, hypnosis, Reiki, talking with someone who can help you develop your spirituality, regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof, and finally mental health professionals can offer a great deal of benefit and insight for you. Detoxing for your skin is as simple as exercising to bring a sweat then bathing after, bathing in an Epsom salt bath, having a mud bath or a mud wrap, or using a sauna. 4. Your breath. Your breath is your life. Try to live in a way that allows you to have the fewest number of airborne chemicals and particulate matter. Your lungs, at their most fundamental level are a single layer of cells in front of a very thin layer of capillary. Your breath literally takes the air from the outside and moves it across a very thin lung cell and into your blood. Just like when you smoke, you are delivering nicotine directly into your blood, when you are breathing dirty air, you're pulling those chemicals directly into your blood. When you breath out, naturally you breathe out carbon dioxide and other chemicals, so if the air is already saturated with chemicals, your lungs use very basic physics… Here is another way to think about it. Have you ever been around someone whose breath smells like medicine. People who use nebulizers, inhalers, or whose kidneys and liver is not functioning at peak, may have breath that smells like urine or the chemicals that they put into inhalers. What you are smelling is their body is so full of the medicine, that it has saturated the blood and is leaking out of their body through their blood, across that single lung cell and into the air. So support your breathing, protect your lungs, so you can breathe out fat (yes, just a little bit, but it is true). If you accidentally breathe in something that hurts your lungs, take time to heal and nourish yourself. Boil some water, put it into a bowl and breathe the steam… this will help your lungs rehydrate and soothes them. Herbs that help you detox: Please do your research, because herbs, herbal information, essential oils, information about essential oils are not regulated, which means anyone can say anything. Ginger - warming - speeds up a cold and helps you eliminate toxins from your body more quickly… it will also speed up a headache Lavender and Mint tea - strengthens the lungs Northern bedstraw, Echinacea - Blood Purifier - cleans the lymph system Detoxing and cleansing your body, as you now know, just means that you are helping to take care of yourself by helping your body purge waste material. Whether you fast, do a juice fast, take a break from heavy foods in favor of easy to digest fruits, vegetables and lean meats, do an ionic foot bath, sweat, or any other of more than dozens of activities, paying attention to what you are trying to accomplish in the most gentle manner possible is always a good choice. A clean body, a clean system fights stress better, fights infection, boosts energy and metabolism, and generally makes you feel brighter, healthier, and more like you. When you are ready, talk to your doctor and health care team about finding the fit that works best for you. Be sure to talk to your health care team especially if you take prescription medication, as some popular cleanses could interfere with medication absorption, blood sugar or blood pressure levels.