Monday, October 18, 2010

Phase Two Detoxification: Practical Advice for a Deeper Fall Cleanse

I recently discussed the importance of a gentle approach to a fall cleanse. Starting with cleansing the blood and tissues, you can prepare your body for a deeper, more intense seasonal detox. The fall season offers us an excellent opportunity to begin this unpeeling process and transition into a more thorough phase of detoxification, using safe, effective therapies.  This deeper phase of your cleanse can be as short as 3 days, or as long as 21 days, or more. I find that 10-14 days is optimal for most people.

In this post I offer suggestions and tips for maximizing your cleanse, while minimizing possible side effects. By following specific dietary guidelines, incorporating the right supplements, and undergoing optional cleansing treatments, we can support the natural detox cycles and assist the body in the second phase of detoxification, the elimination phase.  The therapies mentioned here can facilitate a deeper cleansing and revitalizing of the blood, tissues and organs, on the physical level, and can be integrated with the essential mind/body detox work that I emphasized in my last post on seasonal detoxification.

Food as Medicine

The most important aspect of any detox program is of course, a healthy cleansing diet. The major goals of a cleansing diet are to eliminate foods that have strong pro-inflammatory potential, alkalize your system to promote oxygenation and detoxification of tissues and organs, provide nutritional support to your organs, revitalize cells and tissues, balance blood sugar, improve digestion, and remove toxins and heavy metals. These and many other health benefits are possible with a successful cleansing diet, focusing on a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables and vegetable juices, whole foods and nutritional support. For in-depth cleansing diet recommendations, click here.

Detox Therapies and Treatments

During a cleanse, it is essential to create movement within your body and organ systems, and to keep the momentum going. Therapies that use different forms of heat and energy, such as infrared saunas, hot baths, electro-lymphatic stimulation and exercises such as yoga and walking, are extremely helpful during a cleanse to increase circulation and elimination, and encourage detoxification through the skin and breath. Other therapies, such as colonics, enemas, and drinking ample fluids such as purified water, herbal teas and vegetable broths, work to keep things moving as well, using the element of water to flush out toxins and rehydrate the body. Acupuncture is another modality that can help to clear stagnant blockages and strengthen the organs, providing harmonizing support to our systems of elimination.

Lemon and Olive oil drink: A Simple yet Powerful Detox Therapy

One of my favorite cleansing adjuncts is the classic lemon and olive oil drink. It is simple, inexpensive and easy to prepare, and offers a dramatic boost to any cleanse program by providing support to the liver and gallbladder. Take the pieces of one organic lemon (seeds removed) and blend with about one-and-a-quarter cups of spring water, along with one tablespoon of olive oil. Strain the contents and drink each night before bed on an empty stomach. Bonus: many of my patients find that it improves their sleep as well.

Nutritional Supplements to Support and Enhance your Cleanse

As a health practitioner with significant experience in the field of detoxification, I can attest that the modified citrus pectin (MCP)/modified alginate supplement  followed by a phase II detox formula containing a number of chelating herbs and nutraceuticals to complete the detoxification process, comprise some of  the safest and most effective ways to remove toxins and heavy metals from deep within the tissues and organs. Clinical case studies show that the combination of these two unique formulas reduces overall heavy metal and environmental toxin levels within the body in a gentle yet highly effective way. The MCP/alginate combination is intended for long term use, prior to (by itself for initial systemic clearing) and through your seasonal cleanse. The phase II detox formula is to be used in conjunction with the MCP/alginate complex  for 2-3 months completing the deeper phase of your cleanse. This phase II detox formula contains a number of natural sulfur-containing compounds which have specific affinities for different tissues and organs, and work synergistically together to bring vital energy and support to the organs of elimination, while simultaneously removing harmful toxins and heavy metals without effecting essential minerals.

Another critical point in any detox therapy is to provide the digestive system with extra vitality and “warmth” in order to complete the processes of breakdown and elimination. For added digestive support and to promote healthy elimination, I recommend a non-habit forming, comprehensive poly-herbal digestive formula to boost sluggish digestion, help remove harmful bacteria from the GI tract, and relieve symptoms of bloating, flatulence, fluid retention and indigestion.

Medicinal mushrooms can help prime the immune system and also cleanse the liver, colon, and overall system of built up toxins, bacteria, and other pathogens. A USDA Certified Organic, comprehensive medicinal mushroom formula that contains a synergistic blend of 10 highly researched beneficial mushroom species, is a highly recommended choice for removing toxins from stagnant areas of the body. These mushrooms also have an affinity for deeper areas of toxicity within various organs and systems in the body, and provide an enormous boost to our immune system.

A high quality probiotic supplement is also very important during a cleanse. One of the goals of cleansing and detoxifying is to rid the intestines of harmful bacteria, fungus and parasites. Replanting beneficial bacteria in the GI tract with probiotics significantly helps to reduce the presence of harmful invaders and improve the overall environment in your gut, leading to increased digestive capacity and vitality.

Letting Go

All of these tips and guidelines can be strategically tailored to fit each individual’s unique needs during detoxification. It is important to note that you don’t need to incorporate every one of these suggestions to have a successful cleanse. Perhaps one of the most essential components of a cleanse is the simplest, yet sometimes also the hardest. This is the process of letting go, the acceptance that comes from relaxing the mind and finding inner calm. When we learn to release negative patterns and afflictive emotions, we can simultaneously loosen toxins within our system, and create space for true healing to occur. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fall season emphasizes discharge through the lungs, so remember to breathe and let go.

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