by Christine Hunt
This is the first of a multi-part series on detoxing our bodies which will explain how toxins affect our health and what we can do in the short and long term to prevent exposure and clear them out.
Other blogs in my Detox series that you may be interested in reading are:
Many health conscious people like to start their New Year with a detox of their bodies. It is like beginning the year with a clean slate which will make up for all of the unnatural foods and chemicals that they have been exposed to throughout the year. It is a fresh start which may go along with resolutions to eat better and shy away from products containing toxic chemicals in the year to come.
You may wonder why we need to detox at all? It’s because our bodies function the best when they are free of toxins that, in excessive concentrations, can damage virtually every aspect of our immune system and cause a myriad of health problems. Some toxins cause the immune system to overreact and our bodies become sensitive to everything. The result is autoimmune diseases wherein the body is attacking itself. Other toxic chemicals cause the immune system to under react allowing diseases and infections like colds, flu and other diseases to take hold.
Toxins have been blamed for having a hand in just about every illness known to man.
Children are born with the same level of toxins in their bodies as their mothers. Recent tests have revealed the presence of about 200 chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborns. Infants are more sensitive to toxins than adults which may be why there has been such a dramatic increase in some of the diseases that affect children such as autism.
A widely recognized and broad reaching problem toxins cause is disruption of our endocrine system – or our hormones.
Estrogen is mimicked by BPA (Bisphenol A) which is found in many plastic products. Ninety-three percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies and it has been linked to breast and other cancers, infertility, obesity and other diseases.
In 2013 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.” The joint study has been touted as the most comprehensive report on endocrine disrupting chemicals to date.
According to the report, a wide variety of health problems are associated with exposure to these pervasive chemicals, including:
Non-descended testes in young males.
Developmental effects on the nervous system in children.
Prostate cancer in men.
Developmental effects on the nervous system in children.
Attention deficit hyperactivity in children.
The report states:
“The diverse systems affected by endocrine-disrupting chemicals likely include all hormonal systems and range from those controlling development and function of reproductive organs to the tissues and organs regulating metabolism and satiety.
Effects on these systems can lead to obesity, infertility or reduced fertility, learning and memory difficulties, adult-onset diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as well as a variety of other diseases.”
The liver is the organ primarily responsible for detoxing our bodies. It receives, filters then repackages substances for use in the body and safely removes toxic wastes. Over time, if you ingest, inhale or absorb through your skin more toxins than the liver is capable of removing, it becomes overloaded. The toxins are then recirculated through your blood system until the liver can handle them. If this condition continues, excess toxins have to be stored somewhere and they end up in our fat cells resulting in the formation of cysts and benign tumors.
When the fat cells can hold no more, toxins are stored in connective tissues like ligaments, bones, blood and muscle and nerve tissues. This may lead to joint pain and/or blood-related health conditions.
Eventually toxins accumulate in the cells of organs and glands causing diseases of the thyroid, vision, kidney, liver, lungs and heart, ultimately affecting the DNA of cells causing malignant growths.
Other ways our bodies expel toxins are via the kidneys, so be sure to drink plenty of water. A recommendation is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, take your body weight, divide by two and drink that many ounces.
Your skin is the largest organ of elimination so use your pores to expel toxins. Working up a sweat three times a week will help. If you can’t do that try a sauna, steam or detox bath using 1/2 to 1 cup of epsom salts. A few drops of lavender in the water will help you relax into the experience.
Breathe deeply to fully oxygenate your brain, body and spirit. We breathe in toxins from gas fumes, allergens from pets and plants and mold spores, and our lungs help to filter most of them out. Breathing deeply will help to get plenty of oxygen into your bloodstream to help keep all organs functioning at their peak.
These methods are natural ways that the human body has been detoxing since its creation, and are adequate if your exposure to toxic chemicals from food, air, the things you touch and wear and personal care products, that you rub on your skin, are in amounts that these body processes can adequately manage. But there is no way to know when toxicity levels have exceeded their capabilities other than when illness sets in. Unfortunately modern medicine’s remedies are usually more toxins in the form of prescription drugs or chemotherapy that further increases the toxic load. Unless the body is cleansed it may continue to experience more and more disease.
When deciding on a regimen to clean up an excessive accumulation of toxins it is best to incorporate a process that will gradually release the toxins. If not done in this way too much toxicity can enter the blood stream and cause an overdose like reaction.
Our modern way of life has brought us many creature comforts and conveniences, an abundance of food, advanced medical care, the ability to travel long distances in a very short time and for the most part has been beneficial to mankind. But some of us are paying for it in our health because the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, the clothes that we wear and the things that we touch are laden with chemicals that didn’t exist 100 years ago. These chemicals overload the systems in our bodies that were not designed to cope with them in the levels of exposure that we currently experience.
And that is why we need to detox.
To your health!
Do you do regular detoxes?
How often do you detox?
What methods do you use?
Please share your questions and comments below.
Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives. Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.
Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone. So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.