Detox Naturally

 Detoxification for Healthy Living

The human body has remarkable recuperative capacity when properly nourished, maintained and detoxified. While many people view detoxification as being synonymous with colon cleansing, the truth is that colon cleansing is only one method of elimination in an even greater detoxification strategy. This article will discuss a comprehensive program to eliminate toxins from your body.

Many people view detoxification in a very narrow sense, seeing it as synonymous with colon cleansing. As you may already know, the colon is a major organ of elimination. When it’s not working properly, toxins can be retained in the body. Therefore, colon cleansing is indeed very important. However, you may not know that we have six other elimination channels as well: your liver, lungs, blood, lymphatic system, kidneys and skin. To achieve optimal cleansing results, we’ll want to nourish and support all of these other channels as well as the colon. Doing this often requires pronounced changes in lifestyle and diet. Such changes will include reduction of exposure to toxins, as well as a detoxification program to eliminate toxins stored in the body. Such internal cleansing is best accomplished through appropriate use of herbal cleanses, saunas, cleansing diets or short fasts, and colon hydrotherapy (the therapeutic infusion of water into the colon for the purpose of reducing its waste content). All of these forms of cleansing have been practiced historically throughout virtually every culture in one form or another.


A History of Internal Cleansing

History of Herbs

A tradition of herbal cleansing is recorded in the cultures of the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Europeans and American and Asian Indians. The Chinese have a long and rich herbal tradition, dating back some 5,000 years. They count their medicinal herbs in the thousands, as compared to the hundreds used therapeutically in Western societies. The therapeutic use of herbal preparations is also an integral part of Ayurvedic Medicine, an ancient Indian system of healing that has its roots in Vedic culture. The American Indians also relied heavily upon the healing properties of herbs. In fact, many of the over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs in use today in our society are derived from Native American herbs. All cultures have traditionally used eliminative herbs that have laxative, diuretic (increases urine flow), diaphoretic (sweat-inducing) and blood purifying properties to remove toxins from the body.


History of Saunas

Saunas were developed in Finland centuries ago and have been used throughout the ages by people all over the world for their health benefits. Because of the heat they produce, saunas help your body perspire, thus promoting elimination of stored toxins through the skin, the largest major organ of elimination. Heat causes toxins to be released from cells into the lymphatic fluid. Since sweat is manufactured from lymphatic fluid, the toxins from the lymph are released when your body perspires. Releasing toxins through sweat also helps take the toxic load off the kidneys and liver, enabling them to function more efficiently, and it relaxes muscles, easing aches and pains. This “sweat therapy” is known technically as hyperthermic therapy.

Various forms of hyperthermic therapy have been used historically to promote elimination of toxins from the body. Native Americans have traditionally used the sweat lodge ceremony, which has existed in different forms in many other cultures, as a means of physical healing and spiritual connection. Typically, a sweat lodge is made of wooden poles that are covered with either blankets or canvas. A pit containing hot rocks is located in the center of the structure. Once participants are seated inside the lodge, the door is closed, and the ceremony takes place in darkness. It may involve a ritual consisting of prayers, chants, drumming and invocations, or it may be held in silence. Traditionally, each sweat consists of four 20- to 30-minute sessions. The sweating brought on by the steam from the hot rocks removes toxins from the body. The heat stimulates the endocrine glands. And the negative ions released into the air help alleviate tension and fatigue.1

Another form of hyperthermic therapy is the detoxification bath (described in detail below). Such baths have been long used by naturopaths and by spas in Germany.

History of Fasting

Fasting is another time-honored cleansing tradition, one that dates back thousands of years. During a fast, no solid food is consumed, only liquids. Strict fasts allow only the ingestion of water, while more permissive ones focus on fresh juices, which are excellent sources of enzymes and antioxidant nutrients that assist in toxin removal. Some liberal “fasts” are actually monofood diets, where only a single food, usually a fruit, is consumed.

Throughout the ages, people of all faiths have fasted for religious purposes, for spiritual purification and as a means of communing with God. Others, including some doctors, have fasted, or recommended fasting, for the health benefits it confers. The “Natural Hygiene” movement (which dates back to the early 1800s) has long endorsed supervised water fasting as a means of restoring health. Juice fasting has been used extensively throughout the 20th and into the 21st century in European health clinics and elsewhere.

Fasting helps the body detoxify itself. During the fasting period, the digestive organs are put “on vacation.” Digestion requires a greater output of energy than any other bodily process. During a fast, energy that would have been used to digest food is instead used to heal the body. During the fast, the body eliminates toxins that have built up in fatty tissue throughout the years, compromising health. These benefits, coupled with evidence showing that regulated fasting contributes to longer life, prompt some physicians to endorse fasting as a beneficial therapy. Others, however, warn against fasting for extended periods of time without supervision. James F. Balch, MD, and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, list the following specific benefits of fasting:2

  • The natural process of toxin excretion continues, while the influx of new toxins is reduced. This results in a reduction of total body toxicity.
  • The energy usually used for digestion is redirected to immune function, cell growth and eliminatory processes.
  • The immune system’s workload is greatly reduced, and the digestive tract is spared any inflammation due to allergic reactions to food.
  • Due to a lowering of serum fats that thin the blood, tissue oxygenation is increased, and white blood cells are moved more efficiently.
  • Fat-stored chemicals, such as pesticides and drugs, are released.
  • Physical awareness and sensitivity to diet and surroundings are increased.

There are many changes that take place in your body when you’re fasting: the core temperature will decrease; blood pressure, pulse and metabolic rate will be lowered; and your breathing will slow down. Because of the powerful effect the process can have on your body, do not consider embarking on a fast without first consulting your doctor if you are pregnant or lactating, on any type of medication, or have any sort of ailment.

Some people fast to regain their health. Others fast periodically, often at the beginning of each new season as a preventive health measure. In either case, and no matter what type of fast is undertaken, it’s important while fasting to limit physical activity, and rest as much as possible, though some people do feel energized as toxins leave the body.


History of Colon Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, as its name implies, is water therapy. The most simple and popular form of colon hydrotherapy is the enema. The enema involves infusion of water into the anus. This practice is referenced as far back in medical history as the first century A.D. by Galen, considered the greatest physician since Hippocrates.

Initially, enemas were the province of the medical community, though their practice was turned over to apprentices, barbers and attendants, rather than being administered directly by the physician. The use of enema syringes, which were called clysters, became wildly popular in the 17th century. No home was without one! The fluid carried in the clyster was often embellished with color and fragrance, and it was not uncommon for people to have as many as three to four daily rectal infusions. Monarchs were particularly privileged in this regard: history records that Louis XIII received more than 200 enemas in one single year! As time passed, “enema mania” faded, improvements were made in the process, and, by the early 19th century, colon hydrotherapy became once again the province of the medical community.

At times, medications, nutrients and other therapeutic substances have been administered via enemas. One of the most interesting of these substances has been coffee. Not only are coffee enemas referenced in the literature of folk medicine, they were even listed in the Merck Manual (a major reference book used by medical doctors) until 1977.3 While coffee enemas have some benefit to the colon, their major therapeutic value lies in the effect of the caffeine upon the liver and gallbladder.

Among of the many benefits of coffee enemas are:

  • Increased peristalsis
  • Discharge of toxins from the bile duct
  • Stimulation of glutathione production (which helps liver detoxification pathways)
  • Breakdown of fat that has accumulated in the liver cells

The coffee enema is a form of retention enema, one that is held in or retained in the body for a period of time, sometimes for a matter of minutes, sometimes overnight. Retention is not difficult since typically only one to two cups of liquid is used.

Wheat grass retention enemas are sometimes used therapeutically by natural healthcare practitioners — 1 oz. of wheat grass juice to 1 cup of warm water. Wheat grass is highly beneficial as it contains all nutrients needed for healing. Retention enemas of probiotics have been effectively used to replenish beneficial bacteria in the colon.

In the 1900s J.H. Kellogg, MD, of Battle Creek, Michigan (and cornflakes fame) popularized colon hydrotherapy in the US. He reported in 1917 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that he had successfully treated all but 20 of 40,000 gastrointestinal patients using no surgery — only diet, exercise and enemas.

Word of Dr. Kellogg’s successful therapeutic use of enemas led to the development of advanced colon cleansing equipment to perform the colon-cleansing procedures known as colonics or colonic irrigations. Their practice, like that of enemas, is based on the recognition that a sluggish colon leads to re-absorption of toxins in the body.

This recognition has its roots in antiquity. Colon hydrotherapy was first recorded in ancient Egyptian documents. It was also mentioned in the writings of the Sumerians, Chinese, Hindus, Greeks and Romans. It is said that the practice of colon hydrotherapy in its most basic form, the enema, was passed down from the gods to the Egyptians.

By the 1950s, colon hydrotherapy was flourishing in the United States. In fact, prestigious Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, California was then known as “colonic row.” By the mid-1960s, however, the use of colon hydrotherapy had slowly dwindled. By the early 1970s, most colon hydrotherapy instruments were removed from hospitals and nursing homes, being displaced by the use of prescription laxatives and surgery. At this point in time, the use of colon hydrotherapy left the domain of medicine, becoming once again the domain of the lay practitioner.


The late Dr. Bernard Jensen, DC, among many other contributions to the natural health field, popularized the use of colon hydrotherapy in conjunction with herbs in his classic book, Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management, introduced in 1981. In this book, Dr. Jensen detailed an intensive seven-day cleansing program pioneered by the late Dr. V.E. Irons. The program features the use of cleansing drinks containing fiber and clay water (which absorbs toxins), specific supplements designed to nourish the body and loosen accumulations on the bowel wall, and twice-daily colemas (colon therapy with a colon-cleansing device that uses the force of gravity to infuse large amounts of water into the colon). The supplements and drinks specified in the program substitute for solid food for the seven-day period. Dr. Jensen’s book contains some very graphic and impressive photographs showing both the morbid matter that can build up in the colon and the spectacular healing (of the skin) that can occur as a result of removing it.


Colon Hydrotherapy Today

A colonic is basically an extended and more complete form of enema. Both the enema and the colonic involve the infusion of water into the colon through the anal opening. However, the enema is a one-time infusion of water into the rectum. The patient takes in as much as a quart of water, holds it for a time, and then releases it directly into the toilet. In contrast, colonic treatments (now known as colon hydrotherapy sessions) involve repeated infusions of filtered, warm water into all segments of the colon by a certified colon therapist. During the course of a treatment, the patient lies comfortably on his or her back.

Colon hydrotherapists are trained to use massage techniques to help relax abdominal muscles and ensure that all areas of the colon are adequately irrigated. While the colon is filled and emptied a few times during one 45-minute session, there is no need for the client to leave the table to expel the water. The passage of the water in and out of the colon is controlled by the therapist who operates the colonic apparatus, while the client lies still on the table. As the water leaves the body, it passes through a clear viewing tube, allowing both client and therapist to see what is being eliminated from the colon. In addition to fecal matter, gas bubbles, mucus and parasites are often seen.

There is no odor or health risk involved in the colonic procedure when performed properly by a trained, certified colon therapist. Therapeutic benefits of colon hydrotherapy include improved tone of colonic muscles, reduced stagnation of intestinal contents, reduced toxic waste absorption and the thorough cleansing and balancing of the colon.

Your colon can hold a great deal of waste material. That which is not eliminated promptly putrefies, adding to the toxic load of your body. Many people with “potbellies” may actually have several pounds of old, hardened fecal matter lodged within their colons. While colon hydrotherapy is not actually a weight loss procedure, it does often result in significant weight loss due to its ability to efficiently reduce the toxic burden of the large intestine. Furthermore, several ailments have been associated with colon toxicity.

People with conditions listed in below may benefit from colon hydrotherapy.

·         Acne

·         Allergies

·         Arthritis

·         Asthma

·         Attention Deficit Disorder

·         Body odor

·         Brittle nails

·         Brittle hair

·         Chest pain

·         Chronic fatigue

·         Cold hands and feet

·         Colitis

·         Constipation

·         Fibromyalgia

·         Headaches

·         Hypertension

·         Irritable Bowel Syndrome

·         Joint aches

·         Memory lapses

·         Mouth sores

·         Multiple sclerosis

·         Muscle pain

·         Nausea

·         Peptic ulcer

·         Peripheral neuropathies

·         Pigmentation

·         Poor posture

·         Potbelly

·         Seizures

·         Skin rashes

·         Spastic colon

·         Toxic environmental exposure

Colon hydrotherapy has helped many people overcome constipation. Unlike chemical laxatives, it does not encourage dependency, but rather helps to tone the bowel, gently prompting it to resume normal functioning.

Your cleansing, as well as your overall health, will be aided significantly by the addition of colon hydro-therapy sessions. Such therapy stimulates the liver, your body’s major organ of detoxification, helping it to eliminate toxins.

Colon hydrotherapy also benefits your body’s lymphatic system, for when the intestinal walls are impacted, the lymphatic system retains and continuously re-circulates cellular waste. Your lymphatic system (your body’s sewage system) become stagnant when the normally clear lymph fluid becomes thick with cellular debris, toxins, microorganisms and dietary fats. Thickened, stagnant lymph contributes to fatigue, malaise (vague feeling of illness) and weight gain, especially around the abdomen, hips and buttocks.4

Look for a colon therapist certified by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT). These therapists use FDA-registered equipment, disposable rectal nozzles (called speculums) and filtered water. I-ACT is the worldwide certifying body for colon hydrotherapists. The organization works in conjunction with local municipalities to regulate colon hydrotherapy by establishing standards and guidelines.

If you are able to add one or more colon hydrotherapy sessions to your cleansing regime, it can greatly facilitate your progress, and help to prevent or alleviate the symptoms associated with cleansing reactions (and with colon toxicity). Your colon therapist, following your initial session, can give guidelines about suggested frequency and duration of treatment. If colon hydrotherapy is not an option for you, enemas may be used instead. Though not as thorough as colonics, they do facilitate colon cleansing.

You can enhance your colon cleansing efforts if you simulate the natural squatting posture when you sit on the toilet to have a bowel movement. This can be done easily by elevating your feet while seated on the commode, resting them on a special platform called a Life Step™.


Detox Naturally/ Fasting Today

Foods such as fatty meats, white flour, sugar and dairy products can clog the channels of elimination. There are also foods that build (make us stronger and more resilient), those that cleanse (relieve the toxic burden) and those that both cleanse and build. Proteins, such as meat and eggs, are the major builders. Most fruits are aggressive cleansers, while vegetables have both a cleansing and building effect on the body. Ideally, a detoxification diet will feature cleansing foods, but contain enough of the building ones to prevent undue discomfort brought on by too rapid release of toxins. An extreme cleansing or detoxification program such as a water fast (where no food at all is eaten and no beverage consumed other than water), fruit diet or prolonged juice “fast” is not recommended. While such practices do cleanse and accomplish the purpose of giving the digestive organs a rest so that energy may be diverted to healing, they may also bring on a powerful cleansing reaction (Herxheimer reaction) when toxins are released faster than they can be eliminated, causing a great deal of discomfort. A total fast can be debilitating for those with little or no nutritional reserves. A fruit diet, while accomplishing the task of cleansing, may also cause problems by eliciting a strong insulin response, thereby leading to blood sugar imbalances and other problems associated with carbohydrate over-consumption. Most fruits, due to their high sugar content, also provide nourishment for any fungal organisms we may be harboring, and can give rise to candida overgrowth and such attendant problems as fatigue, allergies, digestive problems and brain fog.

A short fast of three days’ duration, featuring freshly prepared vegetable juices (especially green juices), can be most beneficial to the body and is an excellent way to jump-start your cleansing program, for fresh juices are nutrient-dense, and their nutrients are readily available for the body to use. Eat a light meal for supper the evening before you begin your juice fast. Try combining leafy greens like spinach with a juicy green like cucumber in a base of carrot juice. The addition of garlic or fresh ginger will enhance the therapeutic value (and taste) of your creation. Make fresh juices from a recipe book or experiment with creating your own recipes. Be sure to drink your juice immediately after preparing it, as it will not store well. Start slowly, drinking just a few ounces, or dilute the juice with water until you become accustomed to the taste. Prepare fresh juice as often as possible throughout the day. Drink water when not drinking vegetable juice, striving to consume one-half ounce for every pound of body weight throughout the day (100-pound person drinks 50 ounces per day). Herbal tea is also permissible, but avoid coffee, sodas, fruit juice and pre-packaged juices of any kind while on a juice fast. At the end of your three-day juice fast, introduce solid foods gradually, starting with the lighter ones like non-starchy vegetables or citrus fruit. By dinner of the first day following a fast, you may add back starches, but wait another day before adding heavy protein foods like meat.

To cleanse effectively but safely, follow your three-day fast with a balanced diet of cleansing and building foods, as well as elimination of all processed foods.

The following guidelines represent a modified Paleolithic Diet, which features lean meat, fresh fruit and vegetables. Such an eating plan is based on the premise that we were designed to thrive on the foods that our ancient ancestors ate, the hunter-gatherer diet preceding the age of agriculture. Consuming an abundance of lean meat provides plenty of protein to lower cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, speed up metabolism, satisfy appetite, and aid in weight loss.

  • Eat plenty of lean meats (flank steak, top sirloin steak, London broil ) plus chicken and turkey breasts, wild game, and fish. Choose the meat of organically raised, pastured animals (those that eat grass, not grains) whenever possible. Choose smaller fish such as flounder, sole, pollock and halibut over the large ones like swordfish, shark and tuna, which tend to accumulate more mercury. Avoid raw fish (can be a source of parasites). Choose wild fish, including salmon, over farm-raised fish, whose diet is often lacking in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Avoid fatty meats. Bacon, beef ribs, chicken and turkey legs, thighs, wings and skin, fatty beef roasts, fatty cuts of beef, fatty ground beef, fatty pork chops, fatty pork roasts, lamb chops, lamb roasts, leg of lamb, pork ribs, pork sausage and T-bone steaks.
  • Avoid or minimize salted foods. Deli meats, hot dogs, smoked, dried and salted fish and meat, bacon, cheese, ham, most commercial salad dressings and condiments, pickled foods, pork rinds, processed meats, salted nuts, salted spices, sausages and olives.
  • Eggs are permitted. Limit to six per week, and choose free-range organic.
  • Avoid or minimize use of table salt. Use unprocessed sea salt sparingly.
  • Eliminate sugars and artificial sweeteners, as well as foods containing them. This includes sucrose (or table sugar), lactose (milk sugar found in dairy products), honey, fructose (fruit sugar), molasses, maple syrup and other concentrated sweeteners. A moderate amount of the herbs stevia or lo han may be used as a sweetener when needed. All sodas, diet and regular, are to be strictly avoided.
  • Limit grains. Choose those that do not contain gluten (such as corn, millet, teff and quinoa). Only whole grains are recommended, used sparingly — no more than four servings daily (one-half to one cup = one serving). Avoid wheat bread and wheat-based products; try sprouted grain (“Ezekiel”) bread or millet bread. Avoid all processed foods made with refined cereal grains — commercial rolls, pasta, noodles, muffins, waffles, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes and crackers.
  • Eat fruits freely. (if candida is not a problem), favoring those that have a low glycemic index (a measurement of how quickly the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose in the bloodstream). These would include berries of all sorts, pears, peaches, plums, dried apricots, cherries, bananas, apples, grapefruit, oranges, kiwis and grapes.
  • Eat non-starchy vegetables freely. Minimize intake of starchy vegetables (starchy tubers, cassava root, manioc, potatoes of all types, tapioca pudding and yams) and legumes (all beans, peas and lentils).
  • Avoid all canned, bottled and frozen juices. As well as freshly prepared fruit juices (which lack the fiber of fresh fruit and have a much higher glycemic index). Stick with freshly prepared vegetable juices. Emphasize the green juices.
  • Avoid commercial dairy products. Milk, sour cream, buttermilk, cheeses, margarine and other milk products. The exceptions are butter and plain (not low-fat or no-fat) yogurt, in small amounts — no more than one-half a cup per day.
  • Avoid white potatoes, russets, yams and sweet potatoes. A moderate amount of red potatoes is permitted.
  • Avoid or greatly minimize intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid or limit coffee and tea. Choose organic, decaffeinated coffee and/or herbal teas instead.
  • Eat nuts and seeds in moderation. Always soak them in water overnight before eating to deactivate enzyme inhibitors.

Olive oil and/or coconut oil are suggested for use with cooking. Olive oil is also useful as (or in) a salad dressing. Unrefined extra virgin olive oil is the best choice. Flax oil is also good in a salad dressing.

Adhering to a diet such as this, along with the use of appropriate herbal supplements to strengthen and support your body’s detoxification channels, can do much to lessen the toxic load of your body. Such a cleanse is recommended on at least an annual basis, but may be done more often.

Some people like to embark upon a cleansing program at the beginning of every new season. Such regimens can be enhanced through addition of colon hydrotherapy and the use of saunas and/or soaks, all of which gently accelerate the release of toxins without causing excessive stress to the body. Exercise, gentle or vigorous, depending upon your individual condition, is vital during this period of time to stimulate circulation, facilitating the release of toxins.

Detox Naturally/ Saunas, Soaks and Skin Brushing

Sweating occurs naturally during activity such as strenuous exercise, exposure to the sun or being in a warm room. Saunas (dry heat), steam baths (wet heat) and even tub baths can create sweat intentionally for therapeutic purposes.

Raising the core temperature of your body through the hyperthermic effect has been shown to have a favorable impact upon the immune system. It is one of the few known ways to stimulate increased production of growth hormone, which helps your body shed fat, while maintaining lean muscle mass. Hyperthermic therapy also helps to restore autonomic nervous system function. This system governs muscle tension, sweating, blood pressure, digestion and balance. The autonomic nervous system is often dysfunctional in people with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia (a chronic disease involving pain in muscles and joints). For this reason, people with these conditions can gain particular benefit from sauna therapy, of which there are two types: conventional sauna and infrared sauna.

A conventional sauna heats the air either electrically or by the burning of wood. Your skin perspires as a result of direct contact with the hot air. Typically, temperatures of 180 to 235 degrees Fahrenheit are used to induce sweating. These high temperatures increase cardiac load in the same way that aerobic exercise does.

Hal Huggins, DDS, an authority on mercury detoxification, recommends use of the sauna for detoxification. He suggests that the ill or sensitive patient start out at a temperature of 135 degrees, work up to staying in the sauna for 45 minutes without discomfort and leave the sauna at any sign of discomfort. Once 135 degrees is comfortably tolerated for 45 minutes, temperature may be gradually increased to 145 degrees.5 (These temperatures apply to a conventional sauna, not infrared.)

In recent years, infrared saunas have been widely used for their superior therapeutic effect. Infrared heat is radiant heat. It heats objects directly without heating the air in between. In the infrared sauna, only 20% of the infrared energy heats the air; the other 80% is directly converted to heat within the body. The result is that your body perspires more quickly at lower temperatures than in a conventional sauna. The heat also penetrates more deeply, although without the discomfort and draining effect often experienced in a conventionally heated sauna. An infrared sauna produces two to three times more sweat volume, and because of the lower temperatures used (110-130 degrees), it is considered safer for those at cardiovascular risk.

People suffering from sports injuries, arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, as well as other painful conditions, have benefited from the use of infrared saunas. These saunas accelerate the removal of toxic metals, as well as organic toxins like PCBs and pesticide residues — chemicals that are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and are not easily dislodged. The heat produced in infrared saunas is extremely beneficial for those suffering from such skin conditions as acne, eczema and psoriasis. The sweating caused by deep heat helps eliminate dead skin cells, reduces cellulite deposits and improves skin tone and elasticity. Weight loss is facilitated through use of an infrared sauna, in part due to the increase in growth hormone that it produces. It has been calculated that one can burn 600 calories in 30 minutes in an infrared sauna. Health benefits can certainly be obtained in a conventional sauna or steam bath as well, but the infrared sauna has a greater range of therapeutic efficiency, especially for detoxification. The infrared sauna actually has an energizing effect on users, making them feel good as toxins are eliminated.

According to detoxification expert, Sherry A. Rogers, MD, “A sauna program is the only known way of getting rid of twentieth century man-made chemicals”6 such as PCBs, dioxins, pesticides and phthalates (plasticizers). As Dr. Rogers points out, saunas have helped detoxify people who have had significant toxic exposure: drug addicts, fire fighters, Vietnam veterans (exposed to Agent Orange), farmers, and pesticide pilots, to name a few. Saunas are also an excellent detoxification aid for people with multiple chemical sensitivities and others with “incurable” symptoms.

Conventional saunas and steam baths are generally found in gymnasiums and health spas. Infrared saunas are more apt to be found in clinics run by holistic practitioners. People with health problems should consult a natural healthcare practitioner before using either type of sauna.

If you don’t have access to a sauna or steam bath, you may want to do your own detoxification bath at home. This is prepared by filling a clean tub with hot filtered water (a shower filter or whole house filter is recommended). Make the water as hot as you can comfortably tolerate. There are a number of therapeutic substances that may be used in the bath water. One is Epsom salts, which contains magnesium (which relaxes muscles) and sulfur (which aids in detoxification and helps increase blood supply to the skin). A quarter cup of Epsom salts is a good start, with a gradual increase to as much as two to four pounds per bath. Another option is ginger root. Ginger helps the body to sweat, so toxins are drawn to the skin’s surface. To prepare the ginger bath, place half-inch slices of fresh ginger in boiling water; then turn off the heat, and steep for 30 minutes. Remove the ginger, and pour the water into the tub.7 

Dr. Huggins states that a soak of only two to three minutes will actually produce results, while benefits are maximized at 20 minutes. Often toxic metals leave the body and are visible after the bath in the form of a powder that adheres to the tub walls. Dr. Huggins suggests that adding a cup of baking soda to the bath water will enhance the effect of the soak. After the third bath, decrease baking soda to one-half a cup, but also add one-half a cup of Epsom salts. After another three baths, add one full cup of each.8


Other detox bath additives may include:

  • Apple cider vinegar increases blood supply to skin, changes its pH
  • Hydrogen peroxide used in warm water increases oxygen at the cellular level
  • Clay has drawing properties and alkalizing action
  • Oatstraw is good for skin conditions
  • Burdock Root helps the body excrete uric acid; useful when rashes are present

After any type of hyperthermic therapy (and during, if possible), be sure to drink lots of water to replace fluid lost through perspiration.

In addition to detoxification through saunas and soaks, toxins may be eliminated from the skin by brushing it with a special natural bristle skin brush. This may be purchased in a health food store. Brush the skin before showering or bathing, stroking toward the heart, gently but vigorously. This will help open the pores of your skin, increase circulation and remove dead skin cells. Remember: The skin is a major organ of elimination, and brushing it regularly helps it do its job.

If you have access to some form of sauna, a steam bath or even a bathtub, you may wish to use it regularly in the manners described above to facilitate detoxification. If you are unable to do any form of heat therapy, you still can benefit from adding regular skin brushing to your daily regimen.



There are many forms of exercise, each offering a unique set of benefits. Generally speaking, the benefits of exercise include:9

  • Increased stamina and energy
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Increased lymphatic circulation (which aids in detoxification and increases immunity)
  • Better sleep/decreased need for sleep
  • Stress reduction
  • Development of self-discipline
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Increased oxygen supply to cells and tissues
  • Increased muscle strength/tone and endurance
  • Release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which act as a natural tranquilizer
  • Increased progesterone and decreased estrogen production in women, potentially easing PMS and cramps
  • Decrease in food cravings
  • Decreased blood sugar levels (which increases effectiveness of insulin)
  • Weight redistribution and maintenance

Aerobic exercise takes energy from the cells, and by doing so, helps them to increase the number and size of the mitochondria (power generators) and operate more efficiently.10 As your mitochondria increase, so too does your energy and your ability to burn fat. Aerobic exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Running/jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Rowing
  • Skiing
  • Fast dancing                        
  • Jumping rope
  • Skating

If engaged in any of the above activities, you must sustain motion for at least 15 to 20 minutes in order to obtain the aerobic effect. If exercise has not been part of your daily regimen, start with a shorter period, say five minutes, and add another five-minute increment every week or so.

One of the greatest benefits of exercise is body purification, the cleansing of the blood and all body tissues. While your choice of exercise is an individual matter and should reflect your personal preferences, regular walking and/or use of a rebounder or mini-trampoline (which can incorporate a jogging or jumping motion) are encouraged here because of their simplicity and accessibility. Both are excellent ways of stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation, helping to move toxins out of their storage sites and out of your body.

The simple act of walking pumps lymph nodes, concentrated in the neck, underarms, groin and behind the knees, helping to move toxins out of the body. Slow movement exercises, like yoga and tai chi, will also work the lymph glands, helping to detoxify your body, as well as stabilize structure.

If you are transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle into one that incorporates regular exercise, start slowly, with a short walk and/or a short session on the rebounder, gradually increasing the time engaged in the activity and the intensity of your effort. If walking, work up to a sustained fast pace for 15 to 20 minutes. Breathe deeply as you walk, letting arms swing in a “cross-crawl” motion, so that the right arm is swinging forward at the same time the left foot is put forward — a brisk marching movement.

Jogging on a rebounder is easier on your body than jogging on a hard surface, for as your feet hit the running surface, there is no resistance: your body is propelled upward, and you don’t lose energy on the down bounce. With rebounding, there is no risk of injury to your joints.

If you’re new to the rebounder, you may want to start out with a “soft walk,” where you simply shift your weight from one foot to another, lifting your heels as you do so. Even this gentle motion is enough to stimulate lymph flow, helping your body to dissolve and eliminate toxins and strengthen your immune system. Rebounding so effectively moves lymphatic fluid that it has been referred to as “lymphasizing.” In addition to clearing the lymph glands, rebounding will provide aerobic exercise (once you’ve worked up to a sustained motion for 15 to 20 minutes), oxygenating your body.

When you jump up and down on a rebounder, the force of gravity alternately pulls and then releases each cell, stimulating cellular fluid flow so that toxic material is flushed out, and nutrients are absorbed. In addition, the valves in your lymphatic system open and shut when you rebound, pumping lymphatic fluid throughout your body. During this process, not only are toxins removed, but white blood cells are also produced. Even a short (two- to three-minute) rebounding session will dramatically increase your white blood cell production, which has the net effect of increasing immunity. In addition to providing cellular cleansing and enhanced immunity, rebounding exercises the musculoskeletal system, protects and strengthens the cardiovascular and peripheral vascular systems and helps restore bone density. It is a safe and easy-to-perform exercise for people of any age and in any physical condition. Use your rebounder at least once daily. Short, frequent rebounding sessions can be as beneficial as a single long one.

Start slowly, and don’t overdo it. You may wish to start with one five-minute rebounder session per day and/or one ten-minute walk daily (or five or six times per week). You would then gradually increase your rebounding or walking time until it is doubled and/or add an extra short rebounder session, as time in your schedule permits. Another option would be to rebound and walk on alternate days. If you have another form of exercise that you prefer, by all means continue doing it. Just consider adding a little rebounding to the mix. The particulars of your program are not nearly as important as your commitment to setting up a routine and goals and sticking with them.


The Dos and Don’ts of a Cleansing Lifestyle

A detoxification diet, saunas, soaks, skin brushing, colon hydrotherapy, exercise — all are part of what we might call a “cleansing lifestyle.” At the crux of your cleansing program will be specific herbal cleanses designed to assist your body in getting rid of toxins. Before discussing the specifics of the recommended herbal cleanses, let’s look at some of the specific components of a healthy lifestyle. Strive to incorporate as many of the following recommendations as possible into your daily regimen.


  • Drink plenty of water every day (half your body’s weight in ounces). Without sufficient water, toxins are reabsorbed.
  • Consider investing in a good-quality water purification unit, such as a reverse osmosis system. In addition to purifying drinking water, use a shower filter or whole house filter to avoid toxic exposure from bathing and showering. Change all filters in a timely manner as per manufacturer’s directions.
  • Add minerals back to your water if you drink distilled or reverse osmosis water.
  • Choose organic food products whenever possible.
  • Invest in a good-quality air purifier — and change the filters regularly.
  • Change/clean the filter in your air conditioning unit/s often.
  • Use plants (spider plant, aloe, chrysanthemum, philodendron, Gerber daisies) to help filter toxins from and add oxygen to your indoor air.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables (preferably organically grown) daily and their juices. Fresh vegetable juices are quickly and easily absorbed, within 30 minutes of ingestion.
  • Use unrefined oils (preferably organic). Never cook with flax oil; it is very heat-sensitive.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat plenty of raw foods. Increase the amount slowly, working your way up to 50% or more of your diet.
  • Get some natural sunlight per day (about 10-15 minutes). Take off your glasses or sunglasses so that beneficial rays will not be blocked.
  • Substitute all-natural (preferably organic) personal care and household products for commercial ones, which contain toxic ingredients.
  • Read labels!
  • Combine foods properly (especially if you suffer from digestive disturbances).
  • Eat slowly, and chew your food well.



As much as possible, you’ll want to avoid the following:

  • Tap water. Do not use at home or away from home. Carry your own purified water with you. Store in glass, rather than plastic.
  • Sodas (including diet sodas) and other junk food.
  • Processed foods (refined grain products made from white sugar and flour, refined and hydrogenated oils). Minimize consumption of such products by eating out as seldom as possible and making wise food choices when you do.
  • Aluminum, stainless steel and non-stick cookware. Use porcelain or glass instead.
  • Exposure to radiations from microwave ovens and cell phones. There is evidence that these can be damaging to the body.
  • Artificial sweeteners. Choose stevia or lo-han instead.
  • Caffeine-containing coffee and tea. Choose organic. Consider using coffee that has been decaffeinated by a chemical-free water process and/or naturally caffeine-free herbal teas.
  • Synthetic fragrances. Choose essential oils instead. (Essential oils are compounds found within aromatic plants.)
  • Anti-bacterial soaps. They will kill the good bacteria, along with the bad, and contribute to development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
  • Antiperspirants. Instead use a deodorant that does not contain aluminum.
  • Toxic pesticides. Choose natural products like boric acid, or find a natural pest control service.
  • Drinking large amounts of liquid with your meals or immediately afterward. This can interfere with digestion.
  • Wearing tight bras. They restrict lymph drainage in the chest area and under the arms.
  • Overeating. This can cause digestive distress and even reduce lifespan.
  • Eating when you are under stress. This is another factor that will cause digestive problems.
  • Synthetic carpets. Choose natural fibers like wool, hemp, cotton or jute — manufactured without additives — or use tile instead.