Detoxification – Why you need it & how to know if YOU are in need

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Toxicity is all around us.  It’s in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, most of the products that we use on our skin, and those we clean our homes with.  According to the EPA, in 2011 there were 4.09 billion pounds of toxic chemicals disposed of or released into the environment.  Much of this ends up on our crops and in our food supply, and in our drinking water. To compound the damage of this environmental toxicity (chemical pollutants, pesticides, fungicides, etc.) most people are also eating heavily processed foods that are filled with refined sugars, genetically modified organisms, and additives that are wreaking havoc on our health. Add to this pharmaceutical drugs, active or passive cigarette smoking, alcohol, heavy metals, carbon emissions, artificial hormones and toxins in our skin care products and more, and we can see how our bodies are bombarded with toxins on multiple levels and on a daily basis.  Instead of getting overwhelmed however, and thinking that there is nothing we can do to prevent exposure or clean up our bodies or planet, we need to take small, manageable, proactive steps to do the best we can to support our bodies own innate detoxification methods, and make wise choices when purchasing our food and products for our home and healthcare needs.

Toxins affect our physical health in many different ways.  However “minor” symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, achy joints or muscles, brain fog, allergies, acne or gas, or more serious illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, migraines, asthma, irritable bowel, acid reflux, arthritis, fibromyalgia, metabolic syndrome and more, are actually signs from your body that it is struggling to function optimally, and that detoxification pathways have been compromised or are being inhibited all together.  Many of us have even gotten used to feeling sub-optimal and have accepted feeling that way as a “natural” side-effect of either the aging process, genetic inheritance, or any other story that one makes up to rationalize feeling un-well.   It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS and start taking care of ourselves!  We do not need to feel tired, achy, foggy, or have digestive issues and live in pain. That is not the natural state of our bodies, and our lifestyle choices DO have the ability to change our genetic expression {see future blog post on Epigenetics}.  The first step is to rid the body of years of accumulated toxins that have been stored in our tissues and organs by restoring health to our organs of elimination so that we may eliminate the toxins rather than continue to recycle them within our bodies.  Doing this will allow you to regain your health and feel more alive, energetic, clear, vibrant, and full of energy.

Detoxification in the body occurs in three phases.  First, only substances that are water-soluble can be excreted from the body.  Because toxins are mostly stored in fat or as fatty molecules, they are not easily excreted.  In Phase I liver detoxification fat-soluble toxins are transformed into intermediate compounds that are more reactive, but more easily able to bind to water-soluble molecules in Phase II.  In Phase II liver detoxification the reactive intermediary compounds and water-soluble molecules bind together for excretion from the body. The third phase is the excretion of neutralized toxins from the body via the kidneys/intestines as bile, feces and urine.  Trouble often arrises however as many people have a difficult time converting the reactive molecules into phase II due to nutrient deficiencies or inhibited metabolic detoxification pathways. Without the appropriate nutritional support, these intermediary substances can actually cause more harm than when they were stored, and can attack healthy tissue and cause damage.  Heathy and safe detoxification requires the body have the appropriate nutritional environment in order to fully complete the three stages of toxin elimination.  Many fasts or trendy juicing regimens {I do love and recommend green juices as additional support to cleansing and as part of a health-full diet} do not provide the nutritional support for healthful detoxification and can cause more harm than good to the muscles and most organs, especially the brain.  Please ask us individually and we can provide you with the appropriate vitamin, mineral, and nutrition combinations necessary for healthy, safe, and complete detoxification.

How do you know if you need to detox?

1. Are you feeling suboptimal? Do you wake up tired or less than vibrant and full of energy? Do you have the symptoms of being toxic like allergies, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, muscle or joint aches and pains? Digestive issues such as gas, reflux, bloating, or are constipated? Detoxifying will help completely solve or significantly reduce these symptoms. If symptoms are not resolved completely, then please consult with us and we will be happy to give you the nutritional support, herbal medicine, and/or acupuncture to help assist in reducing your symptoms further or eliminating them completely.

2. Are you struggling to lose weight?  Have you tried various diets and fasts without getting results? Or gotten results only to then gain the weight back?  There’s a good chance your body is struggling with inflammation and insulin issues that are directly related to an inability to completely detoxify.  Toxicity creates inflammation, as does sugar and a poor diet of refined and processed foods.  Detoxification our way will help to stabilize your blood sugar, cut cravings, decrease inflammation, and give your body a head start to begin functioning optimally again.  We can also take a look at your blood work, run hormone panels or other necessary tests, and see if there are any underlying metabolic issues that need to be addressed and offer you a holistic treatment plan to completely support your body.

3.  Do you have sugar and carb cravings? Sugar and refined flours and carbs that break down into sugar are addictive and deeply affect our neurotransmitters. Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. Stop blaming yourself for not having willpower over the bagels at breakfast, that crusty baguette at lunch, or the cake after dinner.  Realize that your body chemistry has been disrupted.  Just like an alcoholic cannot just have one drink, once we start consuming sugar laden foods and refined carbohydrates our bodies crave more, and more, and more… Once we start detoxifying, we completely eliminate these foods from our diet and put a break to the vicious cycle.  Your cravings will diminish significantly, if not vanish completely.

4. Have you NEVER completed a detox? Many may be new to the idea of detoxification, or if familiar, may still have never taken the first step toward doing so.  If you know deep down that you could feel better than you do, and that your state of being right now is not your optimal state, then give your body, mind and spirit a gift! Take 10 days, or better, 28, and provide your body with wholesome food, plenty of clean water, fresh air, and daily doses of movement. Detoxification is an easy way to start living more optimally.

5. Are you emotionally vulnerable? Under an insane amount of stress? Is the fatigue making you feel depressed and lethargy dragging you down?  Our bodies and minds are intrinsically linked.  When we are struggling through periods of intense emotionality, cleaning up our bodies gives us the clarity of mind to better process our emotional states and move through them with more ease, more calm, and more clarity, and with less reactivity, violence, or anguish.  Stressed to the max? Stress causes the body to release a cascade of inflammatory chemicals throughout the body which can exacerbate digestive issues, muscle and joint pain, and more.  Detoxifying will help the body clear this inflammation and improve our quality of sleep, assisting our bodies in a renewed ability to handle and process our stressors.

If you answered “YES” to any of the above, then please consider embarking on a detox.  At Palm Beach Healing Arts we support patients daily in detoxification choices and programs that are tailored to their unique and individual needs.

Feeling overwhelmed or like it’s just too much? Contact us and we will help you get started!  We also host seasonal detoxification programs where a group of people detoxify together – power in numbers is a powerful thing!  It’s also great to have a friend, spouse, partner, or family member work with you so there is support and a sense of collected experience.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your path to a greater sense of wellbeing, health, and vitality.

*** Also, keep your eyes out for my future blog about how to reduce your toxic load, your risk for toxicity, and tips and advice on how to make better choices to live a cleaner and more health-FULL life –  a life leading to less pain, more joy, more energy, better sleep, and more!  ***

in health,

xo katherine.

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