Detox comes up a lot throughout the spring and summer so I wanted to re-post a blog by Dr. Ben Lynch, ND covering some of the common questions people ask about detoxing.
Please feel free to post comments or questions in the comment area.
Why is detox necessary?
A detox is necessary as the body is bombarded daily by toxic exposures - from air, water, food, industry, manufacturing, drugs, stress and others. Processing toxic substances requires necessary nutrients, sleep, breathing and sweating. Without any one of these, detoxification is limited. When detoxification is limited, the body burden of chemicals accumulates further and disrupts biological processes. At first these biological processes may simply be a skin rash, head cold or headache. Then as months go by and sleep gets worse due to skin rashes and headaches, toxins further accumulate and cause deeper disruptions which affect memory, digestion, energy and circulation. At this level, the individual gets even less sleep, less proper diet and is severely depleted of the proper nutrients for detoxification. Now the body requires even more nutrients to detoxify the daily exposures along with the accumulated body burden over the last months or even years. A few more months or another year of daily exposures built upon those already accumulated, and symptoms may worsen.
With that said, it is blatantly necessary to detoxify properly often and reduce the daily toxic exposures in order to live a long healthy functional life.
What toxins are stored in the fat tissue that can be removed?
Toxins stored in fat are numerous. Pesticides, herbicides, solvents, plastics (phthalates), heavy metals are some primary toxins stored in fat. These can be removed by a properly trained physician effectively. Keep in mind though that while they can be removed, they also can be replaced quite simply. The environment in which we live is toxic. It is imperative detoxification occur when needed and properly.
What are the ways to detox?
Deep abdominal breathing
Our lungs are large detoxification organs breathing out volatile gases and bringing necessary oxygen to all our tissues.
Exercise brings oxygen-rich blood to all tissues which not only delivers needed oxygen but also carries out and removes metabolites which are the body's natural waste products. Exercise also brings peace of mind thereby reducing stress. Exercise also induces sweating which pulls toxins from the blood and body tissues and places them through the lungs and skin via sweat.
Meditation - being calm reduces stress
Stress is a highly catabolic or destructive state creating mass metabolic waste. This metabolic waste builds up and slows detoxification. It slows detoxification as blood vessels become narrowed and reduced blood flow to the liver, skin, brain and numerous other key organs. This creates a toxic body burden.
Colonic or enema
If one is in excess with a large parasite infestation, chronic colitis or consumes much processed foods and little fiber, colon irrigation may be useful. Inserting water up into the colon quickly removes toxic bile and other toxins which are soluble in stool.
Not eating anything but water can be done under supervision for numerous days or weeks. This method allows the body's organs to focus solely on detoxification.
Daily saunas for one to five hours under supervision are useful for removing the fat soluble toxins through sweat.
Daily hot baths under guidance are a convenient method to detoxify at home. Hot baths induce sweating which helps remove fat soluble toxins.
Why to use bath instead of other treatments?
Bathing can be done by most anyone at home. Bathing is relaxing and can create intense sweating followed by an excellent nights sleep. Deep breathing while in the bath along with meditation and reduced stress all account for an effective accumulative method of detoxification. Bath temperatures can also be varied which determine the intensity and duration of a detox. After sweating in a hot bath, one can lie down for one to two more hours and continue the intense sweating. Sweating post-bath increases the effectiveness of detoxification as it mobilizes even more fat soluble toxins out through the skin.
Why do I need moor mud in the bath? What does moor mud do in detox?
Moor mud in the bath is needed for a few reasons. One: a natural moor mud has natural cellulose fibers which insulate the water. Insulating the water is needed to maintain a hot temperature and induce a longer more effective sweat. These same fibers also create a suspension in the water and surround the person in the bath. Being surrounded by cellulose fibers allows the bath temperature to be quite hot while it may not seem that hot for the bather. There are also humic acids which have been shown in research to bind heavy metals. While the bather is sweating, some toxic metals bind to the humic acids. This limits re-absorption of the toxic metals back through the skin.
What does "chelation" mean?
Chelation means using an introduced carrier to draw out a chemical or toxin via the urine, sweat or feces. The chemical or toxin is bound to the carrier in a ring-like structure. Chelation must be supervised by a physician as kidney or liver damage may occur.
What is the correct procedure and how long does it take to detox with moor mud bath?
The correct procedure depends on the symptom picture of the individual, age, type of exposures, time of year, type of medical conditions and if pregnant. There is no one set proper detoxification procedure.
For the general population who do not have any medical conditions, not pregnant, and are not overly tired, a moor mud detoxification procedure may be helpful in reducing overall toxic body burden.
The best time to detox is in the spring. The worst time to detoxify is in the winter.
A standard detox protocol using moor mud:
1. Eat healthfully.
2. Sleep 8-10 hours a night.
3. Exercise prior to bathing in moor mud [this induces sweating in individuals who do not sweat much and makes the bathing more effective].
4. Take healthy oils up to 2 tablespoons a day - like olive oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, fish oil [this protects the brain and cell membranes from circulating solvents and other toxins]
5. Bathe daily up to 30 days in hot water up to 103 degrees F for a maximum of 20 minutes. Use 1/2 tube of moor mud per bath for average height and weight. For larger persons who are obese or are well-built, a full 1 liter tube may be needed.
6. After bathing in the hot moor mud bath, put on long sleeve cotton shirt and cotton pants. Then lay under warm bedding for another 1-2 hours to continue sweating. After sweating for 1-2 hours, shower off well as the toxins must be removed from your skin. Do not use soap.
8. Moor mud bathing detox is done when the individual feels more youthful and healthy.
How often do I need to detox?
Varies for people. Some people like to detox a little daily by meditating, deep abdominal breathing and exercising. Some people detoxify once per year using an intense detoxification protocol with supplementation, sweating and colonics. Some people fast once per week sustaining only with water. It also depends on occupation, local environment and past/present exposures.
What else do I need to do to keep free of toxins?
- Buy organic produce - at least buy the dirty dozen produce organically.
- Buy an air filter for your home.
- Filter your drinking and bathing water with chlorine filters
- Have indoor house plants.
- Exercise as much as possible.
- Deep breathing as much as possible.
- Reduce stress.
- Consider a daily detox supplement.
- Eat non-processed foods. Rule: if the food wasn't around 80 years ago, don't eat it.
- Have fun with family and friends.
- Go on vacation.
What's your experience with detoxifying? What do you do to detox?
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods
Original article by Dr. Ben Lynch, ND, posted 06/2000 on Healthy Goods.