Toxicity and Detoxification (…and a giveaway)
Since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over 5 years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about my body and “fix” my immune system; all in an effort to avoid pharmaceuticals. You can only imagine how much information I have consumed over the years about natural healing methods (and how many things I have tried). Recently I have been learning more about toxicity in the body and different methods of detoxification. I have traded in a lot of old habits for new ones based on the things that I have learned.
One of my turning points in developing a set of new habits was when I met the people at Clean Program. The Clean Program is a 21-day cleanse based on the NY Times Bestseller “Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself “ by Dr. Alejandro Junger, one of their founders.
The book itself talks about Dr. Junger’s journey both in life and his medical practice. I immediately read the book cover to cover in 2 days. I found a lot of what Dr. Junger shared in the book about his experience and about toxicity and it’s effects on us relevant to me.
In the book, Dr. Junger shares some case studies with many of his own patients that were fascinating. Many of them mirrored symptoms of my own, both past and present. Although the Clean Program does sell a kit to accompany their 21-day cleanse outlined in the book, Clean is much more than this. In it’s essence, Clean is a “Mindfulness Movement”. It invites us to be mindful of what we put in our bodies, minds, and souls and through this mindfulness we experience amazing health benefits on the all planes: physical, mental, and spiritual. I am proud to say that I did the Clean Program and completed the full 21 days. It has been the source of many changes in my life including eating habits and thought patterns.
The body is designed to detoxify itself. However, there are many studies showing that our bodies store toxic levels of chemicals and not one single study proves that our bodies efficiently eliminate all of these toxic chemicals. Where do toxins actually come from? External toxins come from air pollution, food additives, pesticides and other industrial toxins, cleaning products, personal care items, etc (you will see a partial list below).
Internal toxins include the by-products of the normal metabolism that your body undergoes on a regular basis. How are these toxins finding their way into the body? Well much of it is in the form of the foods that we choose to ingest along with environmental toxins. But there is one source of toxicity that we can’t deny: our thoughts.
Sometimes we don’t even realize how toxic our lives have become simply because we are just always on the go. I invite you to spend some time really exploring your body and what you see and feel. Bring some mindfulness to it. If you notice any of the following on a regular basis, you will benefit greatly from some learning more about detoxification:
- Puffiness: saggy skin, bloating around the body, white film on the back of the tongue in the morning, general feeling of “heaviness”
- Constipation: the body naturally should eliminate after each meal, any longer would be considered constipation
- Allergies: from sneezing to hives, if you have them, they could be coming from food as well as environmental toxins
- Depression: depletion of serotonin
This accumulation of toxins in the body is known as “body burden”. Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within their body at least 700 contaminants. Chemicals can have different effects on people depending on the amount, timing, duration, and pattern of exposure as well as the properties of the specific chemical. Chemicals can have toxic effects on the body in a variety of ways.
Sometimes a chemical attacks and damages or kills cells or tissues in the body or the genetic material in the nucleus of a cell, causing damage directly to the DNA. This may create an inheritable defect that is passed on to the next generation leading to gene mutations, which can set in motion a sequence of events leading to cancer, birth defects, developmental or reproductive disorders. Cancer causing chemicals are called carcinogens while birth defect causing ones are called teratogens. Some chemicals, called endocrine disruptors, interfere with normal hormone function.
Toxic chemicals can cause a long list of health problems including direct damage to the lungs, liver, kidney, bones, blood, brain and other nerves, and the reproductive systems. Potential effects from prolonged toxin exposure can include include cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, ADHD, cognitive behavioral and learning dysfunctions and disabilities, Parkinson’s-like diseases, infertility, endometriosis, peripheral nerve damage, and dysfunctional immune systems. Fetal exposure to mercury, for example, causes attention, memory, and learning problems and has been linked to Autism. Brain development is also impaired in fetuses and infants exposed to lead.
Here is a short list of some known heavy metal toxins and some of the ways we come in contact with them:
- Aluminum: antacids, aluminum cookware, antiperspirants, drinking water, aluminum cans, nasal spray, toothpaste, pesticides, bleached flour, automotive exhausts, cigarette filters, color additives, dental amalgams, American cheese, milk and milk products (from equipment), vanilla powder, seasonings and pickled foods (check labels), rat poison
- Cadmium: drinking water, soft drinks, cigarette smoke, silver polish, oysters, refined wheat flour, polyvinyl plastics, processed foods, canned evaporated milk, superphosphate fertilizers, paint pigments, ceramic glazes, rubber carpet backing, dental appliances, rust proofing materials, nickel cadmium batteries
- Lead: automotive exhausted, leaded house paints, drinking water from lead plumbing, canned fruits and juices, canned evaporated milk, leaded caps on wine bottles, pottery, painted glassware, rainwater and snow, pencils, toothpaste, newsprint, putty, eating utensils, car batteries, firing ranges
- Mercury: dental amalgams, broken thermometers, grain seeds treated with methyl mercury fungicide, predator fish, talc body powders, laxatives, cosmetics, latex and solvent-thinned paints, fabric softeners, floor waxes and polishes, hemorrhoid suppositories, air conditioner filters, wood preservatives, tattooing, skin lightening creams, psoriasis ointments
- Arsenic: rat poison, insecticide residues on fruits and veggies, drinking water, well water, sea water, automobile exhaust, wine, household detergents, colored chalk, sewage disposal, wood preservatives, wallpaper dye and plaster
(One of my next blog posts will talk about heavy metal removal, or chelation, through clay baths.)
I urge you to do your own reading on toxicity and detoxification. Take the Clean Audit here to see if you suffer from any symptoms of toxicity: Clean Audit.
And now for the giveaway, the folks at Clean were nice enough to send us some copies of the Clean book so we are giving away 5 copies. To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post below telling us how you think you would benefit from being “clean”. Contest is open to residents of all countries however those outside the US would be responsible for shipping & handling fees.
We will announce the 5 winners on our Facebook on Jan 24th. You can also purchase your own copy of Clean from Amazon:
Realize that detoxification is a process and one should take it slow and always remember to consult your doctor as needed. However if you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, you can benefit from a proper detox plan. Over time, you will find that you will naturally acquire new habits will help keep the levels of toxicity low in the body. The body is a beautiful thing, when treated well, it has the ability to heal itself. Sometimes we forget this and think that dis-ease is our natural state.
Today I enjoy a level of energy and health that I never thought imaginable. I have learned that I have been sitting on this box of treasure all this time… silly me.
“You are sitting on a box, begging for pennies to survive, unaware that inside that box is a treasure that not only will fund you survival, but will also provide you wealth beyond your wildest dreams.” ~ Dr. Alejandro Junger M.D.
Here is a great post on detoxification by Dr. Frank Lipman that can give some more information on the topic: Detox Demystified. For those interested in learning more about Clean Program, you can visit them online at www.cleanprogram.com and watch this quick video:
Wishing you all good health,