So when did you last do a detox?


images-2A little while ago I heard a story about a man in Canada who, whilst being extremenly fit and healthy, did a hair toxicity test to see if he had heavy metal or chemical contaminants in his body. Why he did such a thing wasn’t elaborated.
The analysis revealed that he did indeed have quite high levels of some contaminant in his body.   He opted to pursue a process known as ‘chelation’ which drains heavy metal toxins from the body. Chelation is a very powerful form of detox and requires a great deal from the persons system, but he wanted the heavy metals out so he opted to do it. A year and a half later he died from multiple cancers.

This is an example of going too far with a detox.

Detoxing has developed a lot of appeal in this culture. This is largely about alcohol and drug intake, as well as feeling ill because of long term frustration and anxiety. There’s a large industry associated with it. It has ideas of redemption and control associated with it.  These are attractive if your drinking is excessive and particularly when you have yet another nasty hangover. Obviously if you’re emotional health isn’t good, then alcohol and drugs become more appealing.

The big organ in charge of detoxing in the day to day is the liver.  If you want to support  your liver, milk thistle helps a bit, nettle tea and berberis tincture are definitely useful. Starting the day with lemon juice in water or a table spoon of olive oil and lemon juice are helpful. Cooking with turmeric which has been broken down in oil is helpful for liver detox amongst many other things.  Liver maintenance will tend to improve your mood.

In terms of toxin management, the most useful things from a Chinese medical point of view is good sleep, hydration and digestion.  The solid pillars of good health in most people.

If you aren’t sleeping well and for long enough and clearing your colon regularly, then this will downgrade your health in a way that no amount of abstaining from this and that, or fruit fasting will help with and fruit fasting may well weaken the digestion and in the longer term your physical health, if you over do it.

The most important thing is not always to clear toxins out of your body. The issue is toxin and pathogen management; how we assist the body by making it strong enough.  If it’s strong, it can either process toxins out of the body, or if they are overwhelming, buy itself time and hold them somewhere safe until we are strong enough to clear them out. This is what is known as a healing crisis. We have an illness and are stronger after it.
The body is amazing at holding environmental toxins or potentially damaging health issues in areas of the body away from the internal organs and brain. It routinely stores these things in joint cavities, and body fat, in the gums and the shoulder and the hips and knees. If you have intermittant chronic joint pain then it may well be part of the process of toxin holding taxing the system when you’re more tired or depleted than usual.
A favourite storage place is in the nails and the hair.

What the alarming test of the unfortunate man revealed was that he was effectively managing heavy metal toxicity, and that his body was adapting in such a way as he need do nothing.
We live in a toxic world and all carry various things around with us that when we’re healthy do us no harm. Sadly for him, in the panicky attempt to cleanse his body, he in all likelihood undermined the very systems that supported his health.
The way Chinese medicine looks at the body is that it is an immensely complex system that’s always looking for other options and another way of getting round a problem, and it seeks to assist people in finding another way to deal with a situation, physically or emotionally. His was doing just fine, as is ours a lot of the time if we just relax ensure that the basics of day to day health are in place of digestion, hydration and sleep and let it get on with looking after us.images-3



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