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Detoxification is commonly thought of as a tool for drug addicts and alcoholics.  The nausea, pain and discomfort of acute detox is incredibly intense and can be a medical emergency, yet the essence of detoxifying reaches far beyond this picture.  In fact, it’s happening in your belly right now.  You’re detoxifying substances from everything you have eaten, drank, absorbed and inhaled from the recent past.

To detoxify is simply the process that occurs in the liver constantly, when substances are broken down and built-up in order to be eliminated from the body.  It is an essential part of our health in every moment.

Toxins in Our World

Bis-phenol A, heroine, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, alcohol, benzene, high fructose corn syrup and more are all routinely consumed toxins in any random American’s experience.  Recently, in Mayflower, Arkansas a pipeline carrying tar sands oil ruptured and spilled into the waterways.  This unintentionally exposed the town’s population of 2,000 people to at least 7 known toxins.

Meanwhile, many people are consciously ingesting illegal substances into their bodies routinely.  Plus those ingesting legal intoxicants, smoke-breaks, happy hours, drive-thru’s and much more.  Toxic exposure is happening to all of us, everyday whether consciously, or unconsciously.  This can create problems for the body on every level.

A toxin may be a normal product of cellular metabolism, a intermediary step in a pathway of something non-toxic being processed in the body, or something overtly damaging to the body from start to finish.  Whatever the method of origin, a toxin in the body disrupts normal organ function and causes cellular damage.  Fortunately, our bodies are well equipped for this process, when we are in an optimal state of health and when our exposure is reasonable.

However, our modern world is filled with substances that require nearly constant work to address.  Many are difficult for the body to process and are known as bio-accumulative, staying with us our entire lives.  Driving down the road, drinking tap water, cleaning house, cooking a meal: all of these simple daily activities can overwhelm our system with toxic substances over time, depending on our choices.

Toxicity and Our Health

The outcome of toxic exposures in the body are many.  Cellular damage leads to poor organ function which can lead to poor metabolism, fatigue, body aches, mind-fog, obesity, hormonal disturbances, auto-immunity, cancer, and the myriad of unexplained symptomatic patterns.  Toxic accumulation can play a role in every type of disease.  Generally, the symptoms develop slowly, over time and may be considered normal aging at first.

Enhancing normal detoxification in the body is something that can be achieved through numerous simple, daily life activities.  Based on the personal experience and individual imbalance, a formulation of specific tools can make a world of difference.  In general, detoxification practices should involve taking fewer substances into the body and encouraging normal elimination through the bowels, breath, skin and urine.

Adapting a toxin free lifestyle is an important step.  This may be unreasonable for some, especially when addiction stands in the way.  In today’s world with our current stress-level, global challenges and chemical exposures, it is important to fit tools into your daily routine that support detoxification.

Traditional Detox Tools Include:

–       Dry Skin Brushing: from Ayurvedic medicine,  brushing the skin with a course bristle brush from the tips of the extremities toward the heart daily supports longevity.  Aiding lymphatic circulation, toxins are circulated in order to be better eliminated.

–       Castor Oil Packs: popularized by Edgar Cayce, this routine abdominal self-massage is a fantastic way to aid digestion and liver health.

–       Contrast Hydrotherapy: many of the early European Eclectic Physicians devoted their careers to exploring the benefits of hot & cold therapies on the skin surface.  As an everyday tonic, alternating the heat of the shower with a brief burst of cold invirgorates vitality.

–       Sauna Therapy: inducing a high-temperature fever like state in the body through sauna’s is a tradition from cultures around the globe.  Ideal use includes the contrasting cold of a shower, cold-plunge or roll in the snow to draw the vital heat back into the body.

–       Fasting: reducing and altering dietary intake is a common thread through many traditions of medicine.  In addition to the rest it allows the body for spiritual pursuit, it also gives the body a great opportunity to detoxify.

At Stillwater, we offer tools for supporting longevity through detoxification.  Whether you’re facing addiction or illness we are here for you.  Our infrared sauna is the most efficient and most gentle tool for aiding the bodies release.  Addiction expert and therapist James Hart counsels people on making change.  Our Natural Living Store carries all the tools you need and as a Naturopathic Doctor, I have worked in both in-patient and out-patient detox programs and supported people on the journey to optimal health for over 10 years.

For optimal health, join us seasonally for a thorough approach to dietary cleansing and detoxification with professional support.  3-day, 7-day or 3-week options available!  For more information visit www. http://stillwaterhealingarts.com/seasonal-cleanse/.  Programs are based upon your unique needs, body-burdens, vitality and schedule.  Schedule your pre-cleanse consult today!

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Spring Cleaning

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Daffodils and crocus flowers mean more than just the addition of color to our landscape.  They’re here to alert us that spring has arrived!  Despite the cool breezes and chilly weather, our days have lengthened enough to give the plant life of our region the signal that all systems are GO!

Shed the heaviness of winter time by taking advantage of this early burst of nature’s energy with spring cleaning.  Eliminating the excess from our lives and cleaning out the nooks and crannies of the external, and internal environment is a great way to brighten up your life.

Initially, through house cleaning we may discover long lost treasures that are actually useful and prevent us from needing to purchase new items.  Perhaps they may even inspire some creativity, rearranging items to make something new again.  Secondly, donations to the local Goodwill can help keep things out of landfills and allow others to purchase perfectly functional items at a reduced cost.  And always, eliminating the excess from our homes can provide a refreshing feeling of accomplishment and renewal.

Now, it’s time to look inside our bodies and consider what may be accumulating there.  Arsenic, bisphenol A, perchlorate, flouride, lead, flame retardants, mercury, phthalates, and many other dirty words can adequately describe what we carry around with us in our daily travels.  These substances are all found to cause severe health effects; reproductive disorders, thyroid disorders, mental health imbalances, immune dysfunction, cancers and many other problems.  Unfortunately, most of these substances bio-accumulate, pass on to our children and are not easily eliminated by the body.  Additionally, their presence is vast, extending far into regions where the benefits of the industrialized world have not yet reached.  Please visit the Environmental Working Group (http://www.ewg.org/) for more information on toxicity in our world, homes and bodies and to learn about simple changes you can make to improve the health of future generations.

So what are we to do, living amongst the worlds richest in both resources and toxic plastic junk?  Perhaps looking to our ancestors can assist us in our present quandry.  For many northern latitude people, springtime was a lean time of year.  The food stock of the previous year has come to an end and the earth is not yet providing much nourishment.  Thus, an ideal time to fast or go without as the body engages in its own deep cleaning.  Springtime has been a time to fast for various religious purposes as well.  Refraining from consumption can connect us to the past, to acknowledge the sacrifices of those that came before us as well as provide a new appreciation for our abundance.

This spring, allow yourself time to clean house and consider utilizing cleansing methods for your internal health as well.  Cleanse programs are widely variable but in general, should work to increase your elimination and reduce your consumption.  Any product based cleanse system may just be adding more substances for the body to have to deal with.  However, ceasing consumption altogether, as in a water-only fast may be too extreme for some individuals.  Finding the right balance to support yourself through the daily life that will likely continue, while increasing elimination is the goal for a beneficial spring-cleaning program.

For more information and guidance through an individually designed spring cleanse, I am here to help!  I have been guiding individual and group cleanse programs for many seasons and greatly enjoy this opportunity to help people discover how routine changes can make a big impact in their health.

Spring Cleanse Program
Feeling trapped in a routine that doesn’t support your optimal health? Join us for our Spring Cleanse Program to reset your habits and create a fresh start!  Our 10-day group cleanse begins Tuesday April 4th.
All programs include medical support with the practitioners at Stillwater clinic, use of the infrared sauna and group classes. Dates don’t work for you? Individual cleanse programs are available at anytime. Visit our website for more information www.stillwaterhealingarts.com!

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