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So you’ve made your choice on what type of program you’re doing and you’re ready to start. Or you’re thinking this is something you’re interested in but wondering how you’re going to feel. Can I still go to work? Do I need to hang close to a bathroom? All of these are excellent questions and I am going to answer them to the best of my ability without going into a lot of detail.
Your detoxification symptoms are going to be unique to you. This is based on not only what type of program that you have chosen but also on what your lifestyle has been, your past food choices, and any preparatory work that you did leading up to the detoxification such as eliminating caffeine.
Your symptoms may start immediately or once you’re in the program for a few days – or even a few weeks into it. You may have various symptoms at different points during your detox. If is also entirely possible not to have any symptoms at all.
The duration of symptoms you experience will depend on your medical history, lifestyle, and what type of detox you are doing. Many common symptoms of a detox include fatigue, headaches and unfamiliar tastes in the mouth. Some also see skin outbreaks and old injuries that hurt or ache as the body releases the toxins. I had someone in one of my programs tell me she had broken her wrist as a child and during the first week of the detox her wrist hurt.
You may also notice some strange smells from your body. I had a lady that had undergone chemotherapy treatment several years before the detox program. During the program she stated she could smell the chemotherapy coming out of her. She also had symptoms from when she underwent chemotherapy such as fatigue. These symptoms lasted over 2/3rd’s of the time she was on her detox but felt fantastic once the symptoms had gone away.
Other physical symptoms may include constipation, diarrhea, or gastric discomfort. Sinus congestion, sinus discomfort, sore throats, hoarseness or flu like symptoms may also be experienced during a detox. In addition to physical symptoms there may also be emotional symptoms. This is due in part because our body stores everything at a cellular level. The cells remember whether we want to or not. If we have undergone some sort of a trauma (whether that be physical or emotional), even if we have resolved and found peace with that trauma, it is still stored in our cellular memory. Sometimes doing a detoxification program may bring up some emotions. These emotions may be sadness, anger, joy, or intense grief. Whatever that emotion is it can often be surprising when someone has this happen. It is important to recognize it for what it is, accept it, and know that it will pass.
Remember, all of these symptoms are simply part of your body’s way of “letting go”.
There are many different types and ways of doing a detoxification program. I don’t really want to spend a lot of time going into a lot of detail about each of these. Instead I’m going to briefly describe them. If anyone has questions about any of these or any other type of cleanse, please comment and I will be sure to get back to you.
Many of you have heard of various types of programs for detoxification. There are colon cleanses, liver cleanses, gallbladder cleanse, Candida cleanses, and parasite cleanses. Many of these involve tablets, pills, and/or herbs. There are usually no dietary suggestions to go along with most of these types of programs.
Another type of detoxification is to use liquids only such as a juice feast, fasting with water or some other type of liquid, and using meal replacement shakes. All of these involve no food for a certain period of time. Then gradually adding food back in when you have completed the fast or feast.
The final and most gentle way to detoxify is by using your food choices to detoxify. This may involve eliminating animal products, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, certain grains, or other food categories that could be creating inflammation in the body. In can also include transitioning into a raw food lifestyle which is eating mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Most people when doing a detox also start to incorporate more local, organic, chemical and hormone free products into the diet. Using foods that are either organic, or locally grown without chemicals and that are not processed (come in a box or a can) can greatly enhance the benefits and help to detoxify the body.
As I’ve already discussed my personal favorite and the way I cleanse is to do a juicefeast. This is different than a fast as I’m drinking 1 gallon of freshly juiced vegetables and fruits daily. Most of them are green vegetable juices.
The 21 day program, mentioned before, is in my experience the most successful in restarting the body with out any deprivation of food. It is a gentle program that does not create a lot of side effects and it sets you up for creating a healthy lifestyle around food and the choices you make. I use this program for those wishing to jumpstart into a healthy more whole food based lifestyle in my SAD2FAB program.
All of these types of cleanses may create results; however, they are generally not long lasting. If you’ve eliminated food all together and weight loss was your goal you will more than likely gain back at least 5 lbs. The key to doing a successful detoxification program is to develop and maintain a lifestyle that will support the work you jut completed. This can be hard in a society that bases social activity on food and I will discuss this more in-depth later.
The benefits of doing a detoxification or what I like to also call a restart or reset to the body is that you are first of all giving your body a rest from all of the work that it has been doing to keep the body able to perform. Other benefits that can be seen are going to be based on the type of program that you choose the length of the program, and whether or not you are following a nutrition plan that has eliminated any foods that may or may not be causing problems in the body.
In my practice and in my personal experience I’ve probably done just about every detoxification program out there. I’ve completed and lead programs where I’ve not felt any differently some that ended with me feeling fantastic. A couple of years ago I did a 92 day juicefeast. During this program I totally reset my metabolism, I lost weight and kept most of it off, my skin became clearer and more supple, some of my fine lines that are starting to come out went away, my eyes were brighter, my mind clearer, and my energy was better than it was when I was in my 20’s. Juicing has quickly become my favorite way of detoxifying and I use it regularly to reset and recharge. I also coach people who wish to do juicing as a way to reset their system.
During the past five years, I’ve led over 50 people either individually or in a group through a 21 day purification program. Some of the benefits these participants have received include improved mental clarity, improved libido, less headaches, and their sleep has improved. I’ve also had people lose between five and twenty- two pounds of weight, reverse health issues, come off of prescription medications, improve their sleep, resolve digestive issues, resolve fertility issues, and find out they had allergies to some foods that may have been causing them problems.
So you see there are many benefits to doing a detoxification program.
I hope everyone has had a nice summer. My sincere apologies for abandoning you during this time frame. I’ve been very busy planning new programs and learning more great information to share with you.
One of the things I would like to share with you today is a trip that I recently took to Palmyra Wisconsin. You might ask why would I go there? As you may or may not know I carry the Standard Process and Mediherb lines of nutritional supplements. I had the high honor along with 99 other acupuncturists to be invited for a visit to the farm and the factory as well as to attend a weekend seminar. I must tell you I was absolutely blown away by what I saw. I was already familiar with the fact that Standard Process grows most of their own ingredients to go into their nutritional supplements on a certified organic farm. I also knew they had very high quality control and manufacturing standards but to see that all in person was amazing. I bring this up not as a selling tool for Standard Process but to give you some insight as to what prompted my upcoming series of posts on Detoxification.
At the end of September I will be starting my Fall Detoxification class which follows the Standard Process Purification Program. I felt this would be a great opportunity to inform everyone as to my thoughts on detoxification. What is the TCM belief, why do we need to detox, how often, the different kinds of detoxes, detox symptoms, and how to avoid or reduce detox symptoms. I will also discuss other things that can help with your detox such as dry skin brushing, enemas, colonics, sauna’s, herbal teas, etc..
So stay tuned and let me know if you have any questions about detoxification that you would like to have answered.