Detox Home Spa - Power Health
By: Patricia Niland Dip.ION, MBANT
In 1912 Dr. Alexis Carrel, a French Biologist, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on cell mortality. Through his work he demonstrated that by constantly cleansing a cell of toxins and supplying it with pure nutrients, life could be extended. His research led him conclude "The cell is immortal. It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates. Renew the fluid at proper intervals, and give the cell nourishment upon which to feed and so far as we know, the pulsation of life may go on forever." His research demonstrated that cells degenerate not from age but from their own wastes and lack of quality nutrients.
Detox's have been used throughout history as means of accessing 'God'. Nowadays, we know that detoxification can be used by everyone, as a means of refreshing and supercharging the system. We take the time to service the cars we drive. Knowing that it is essential to our vehicles performance. Look at a detox as your "service", an opportunity to give your body a complete overhaul, clearing the debris, cleansing the system and supplying high-grade nutrients, with the long-term view of enabling your system to run more efficiently.
What are the benefits?
Increased energy levels, improved health, stabilized body weight, a reduction in cravings and at a more profound level a clarity of mind that has been likened to a spiritual experience. If any of these, sound attractive, then you should consider improving your body's ability to detoxify. Taking place mainly at night and in the early morning, the elimination of toxins and the balance of the internal chemistry is something that is constant, and occurs naturally.
Symptoms of poor detoxification include:
* Low energy levels (tired all the time)
* Weight gain or an inabilty to lose weight
* Low immune function
* Inability to wake in the morning
* Dark patches under the eyes
* Constipation or IBS
* Eczema, asthma, psoriosis, age spots
* Some disease states are also associated with poor detoxification, including certain cancers, MS and Parkinson's
The symptoms listed above are not uncommon, which would suggests that many of us would benefit from regular detoxification.
When we eat an inappropriate diet, or are depleted in the nutrients required for detoxification, the system begins to slow and over time becomes congested. Also as part of normal protein metabolism the body produces it's own by-products or wastes, that also need to be broken down and removed from the body. Unfortunately if the body is out of balance, these toxin levels build, which go on to impair performance of the cells.
It is not only inappropriate foods and nutrient deficiencies that slow detoxification. Chemicals incorporated into the food chain are also problematic; as are chemicals absorbed through the skin or lungs, which include skin care products, airborne pollutants and household products. Heavy metals can also disrupt the fine balance within the body, as they weaken the body's enzyme efficiency.
During the process of detoxification, it is the livers job to convert fat-soluble compounds (most man made chemicals are fat soluble) into water soluble ones, so that they can easily be eliminated, by route of the kidneys or the bowels. The problem is fat soluble toxins have more of an affinity for storage in the cells and organs. These are therefore potentially much more problematic to our health and vitality than water-soluble toxins. Over time these can present a real challenge to our system and potentially reduce or impair the function of our cells.
Can I test my detoxification capacity?
* Liver Function can be tested through a Detoxification Capacity Profile. Poor liver detoxification can be assisted by supplementation of the appropriate nutrients and dietary revisions. Many health problems and diseases are related to poor detoxification.
* Hair Mineral Analysis to identify heavy metals
If heavy metals are identified you are provided with a list of appropriate supplements and lifestyle changes.
The Whole Body Detox
Detoxification occurs constantly, so it does seem logical, to assist the process rather than encumber it. Consider the enormous health benefits that you could acquire from a 'cleaner' body. Longterm, you should create a plan to minimise the factors in your life that can create toxicity and aim instead, to create balance, vitality and health.
By following the guidelines below you can ensure that you are helping your body to balance itself, aid detoxification and to realise your potential for real health. Personally I am never in favour of short-term measures, as the body functions much more efficiently when we can give it routine. However a short-term detox, can provide a welcome break from the everyday strain of food and drink, or an opportunity to take stock of diet and lifestyle. To reap maximum benefitsd, use these 'pamper weekends' as the starting point to health, rather than the end product.
Please note, you should not undertake a detox if you are pregnant or intending to become pregnant in the near future. Or if you are on medication or have any medical condition please consult your medical practioner.
DETOX STAGE 1 Shorterm
1. Kick start your detox programme
It is beneficial to approach a detox with a precise programme or plan. That is why The Amanda Hamilton Nutri Gold Detox pack, 7 or 14 day, is very useful, because it structures the detox and provides your body with the nutrients and compounds it requires for detoxification.
2. Follow a 7 or 14 day detox diet - Repeat Week 1 for Week 2
A detox regine would similiar to:
On Waking: Hot water and lemon juice
Breakfast: Vegetable and fruit juice mix
Mid morning: A large fruit salad
Lunch: Jacket potato, rice or jacket sweet potato with a salad and houmous, tahini or oil dressing.
Mid Afternoon: Mixed nuts and a piece of fruit
Evening: Vegetable soup. Steamed fish, vegetables and a side salad
Great books for detox recipes include Michael van Straten's 'Super Detox' or Cherie Calbom's 'Wrinkle Cleanse'
3. Skin Brushing
Stimulates cleansing by rousing the lymphatic system and encouraging toxins to be released through the skin. Brushing also removes dead cells from the skins surface, which increases microcirculation to further aid detoxification. For this you will need a long handled natural bristle brush. Only use a light pressure and brush in small clockwise circles, where possible. You are moving the brush from the extremities to the heart. Avoid the face, breasts and other delicate areas.
* Start at the soles of the feet, use small stroke from the heel to the toes
* Move the tops of the feet, from the toe upwards
* Now work the feet to the knees, always working up
* Next you are working from the knees to hips
* Then perform clockwise circles on the torso, front and back
* Now work on the palms of the hands and move down the arms. All sides. * Again move to the torso
* Start the process again from the soles of the feet
Continue for 5 minutes and then have a contrast shower.
4. Contrast Showers
Encourage microcirculation and strengthen the immune system, by increasing the number of white cells. See Stage 2 detox (immunity/allergy). Start with 3 minutes of hot water and one minute of cold. Repeat and finish with the cold blast and then wrap yourself in a warm towel.
DETOX STAGE 2 Longterm
Aid Your Whole Body Detox
The body has a system of organs that enable us to detoxify. These require specific assistance to function correctly. Below are guidelines to help you facilitate these health changes.
* Strengthen your immunity, identify your allergies and intolerances When the immune system sees a food as non-self it will mount an immune attack. Inability to lose weight is a prime example of a body that is finding it difficult to detoxify. To detoxify longterm it is always wise to identify your allergens. The easiest and quickest way to do this is through allergy/intolerance testing.
* Only use certified organic skin care products
Your skin absorbs 60% of what is applied to it - If you wouldn't eat it...don't apply it to your skin. Remember many 'natural' products may not be as natural as they profess.
Choose something that you enjoy and can maintain longterm. If you need some extra ideas see our fitness section.
* Skin brushing & contrast showers
* Foods to avoid
Unfortunately much of the western diet is implicated as potentially congesting to the body's cells. This includes red, smoked and cured meats and offal. Refined foods such as white flour and sugar. Salt, saturated and hydrogenated fats, coffee, alcohol and nicotine.
Reduce or eliminate contact with pesticides, additives, chemicals applied the skin or inhaled, smoking, alcohol, drugs. All of which can stress the system and drain nutrients Remember the liver is the body's main sorting house. Liver detoxification is a two-stage process (Phase I and Phase II) that requires specific nutrients to activate the cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved.
Foods to increase
* The brassica family of vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
* Oranges and tangerines
* Herbs - Curcumin, Caraway, Dill, Dandelion, Cinnamon, Licorice
* Food rich in B Vitamins
* Vitamin C rich foods
* Sulphur rich foods - eggs, onions and garlic
* Water soluble fibre - found in oat bran, apples, legumes. These support the detoxification enzymes in the liver. Also artichoke is beneficial as it contains a compound known as caffeoylquinic acid, which aids the gall bladder, increasing bile flow and assisting the digestion of fat. Beets, contains betaine which aids fat digestion and also regeneration of the liver.
Detoxification through the lungs can be assisted by exercise. Also aid lung health through the intake of essential fatty acids, to strengthen cell walls and a daily intake of beta carotene/ vitamin A in the diet. See recommended foods.
The kidneys assist elimination of toxins through urine. Keeping the body hydrated by drinking pure water and keep protein intake at a reasonable level (avoiding 'Atkins' type diets).
Digestive or GI health is crucial to our overall health. It is here we break down foods and absorb the nutrients contained within them. The bacterial balance within the gut, can be easily disrupted. This can be though allergy, low fibre intake or low levels of beneficial bacteria. The bowels should move between 1-3 times per day. If you are experiencing poor digestion, or elimination, not eliminating toxins effectively aim to improve your gut health. Increase fibre, identify allergens and take a probiotic daily.
Our skin is our largest organ of detoxification. To assist it, you need to reduce the number of toxins that you place on the skin, as 60% of all substances on the skin will be absorbed. Wherever possible use organic products, that will not challenge the body. Skin brushing is also beneficial as are essential fatty acids.
A system that requires mobilisation by movement. This can be achieved through body brushing, exercise or lymphatic stimulation. This will also help the immune system.
For a real detox it is important to consider the mental aspects of your life that may cause stress and anxiety. A whole body detox should cleanse the mind and body
Help your yourself, with the nutrients required for detoxification
A variety of nutrients are required by our bodies to promote effective detoxification, these include: The amino acids: glycine, glutamine, taurine, methionine, cysteine and glutathione. Choline and methionine, lipotropic factors that enhance the bile flow and regulate fat metabolism. We also need Vitamins A, C and E, Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid, copper, magnesium and zinc.
The Wrinkle Cleanse - Cherie Calbom Encyclopedia of Natural Health - Michael Murray ND and Joseph Pizzarno Super Detox - Micheal van Straten
Can be freely circulated on the condition that it is used in it's entirity and Patricia Niland Dip.ION, MBANT and www.make-me-whole.com are credited. A pdf of this article can be downloaded from:
About the author: Detox Home Spa - For Long Term Health
Patricia Niland Dip.ION, MBANT is a Director of Whole Health UK Ltd and trained as a Nutritionist at the acclaimed Institute For Optimum Nutrition in London. Her main clinic is now in Merseyside where she consults with individuals regarding their health and wellbeing. Her other clinic is situated in Lancashire. She also works alongside companies from across the UK, dealing with employee health and nutrition
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