Monday, August 2, 2010

Cleansing 101: Essential Cleansing Part 1.

I have finally gotten around to the promised mini-course on Cleansing, as part of my 'Cleansing Series' 101. For additional related info go to my 'Top 10 Summer Foods For Detox" post and my review on "Inno-vite Innoclease 7 Day Total Cleanse".
Essential Cleansing

With all the stress in today's society (economy, job security, uncertainty, money, school, poor diet and exercise, pressure, family, relationships, illness, responsibilities etc) taking a shower may feel like a giant accomplishment worthy of  Olympic Gold. We are so busy keeping up, our health, diets and nutrition often fall to the wayside and take a backseat to our daily responsibilities.

 As we progress towards the future, our stress levels are at an all time high, and our time is at a premium. Unfortunately, so is our health. Our body is being assailed by so many stressors, and is becoming so weakened due to poor lifestyle habits, that we are oxidizing healthy cells, leaching metabolic enzymes to use as digestive enzymes, and plummeting our immune health-and therefore well-being, into further decline.

It is no wonder chronic diseases are showing up faster than ever. The more we place our bodies under stress, the more we leach B vitamins and lose the gastric juices that we so need for digesting our food and assimilating nutrients to keep us healthy. We eat processed food, are sleep deprived and breath polluted air. Our soils are dumped with chemicals and our oceans are polluted with our garbage. We are destroying the delicate ecosystem and equilibrium our earth needs to sustain not only itself, but us as well.

Seeing as we live in a toxic world, it comes as no surprise that our bodies have become a condensed carbon copy (pun intended) of the world we live in. Our 'equilibrium' is out of whack. We are full of toxins, which are chemicals that harm our body's cells, organs, immune system and wreak havoc on our daily functions.


There are 2 forms of toxins:

Endotoxins: These are the toxins that are created within the body (undigested food: inflammation causes purification which creates toxins that damage the cells, organs, tissues etc).

Exotoxics: These are toxins that come from outside of our bodies- inhaled/ingested: polluted air and water, smog, cigarette smoke, alcohol, medication, food additives, household chemicals, chemicals sprayed on food etc.

As you can see, our bodies have a lot to deal with! Luckily, we have 7 personal 'body guards' or allies that help naturally detoxify us, and keep up the fight in eliminating all the toxins in our bodies. Unfortunately, as our immune system is compromised and all of our defences are overworked, these seven "body guards", or channels of elimination often are struggling to do their jobs.
The 7 Channels Of Elimination

What are these Seven 'Channels Of Elimination'?
They are:
Blood, Skin, Lungs, Lymphatic System, Liver, Colon, Kidneys.

This is our main Glutathione producer (I will do a separate post on the AMAZING benefits of Glutathione), and most important detox ally. We would be dead without it in 24 hrs. It changes harmful toxins into substances that we can safely eliminate from our bodies. This 3lbs organ is responsible for over 500 separate metabolic functions for the body. These functions can be grouped into two main actions: one, processing digested food received from the blood, and two, filtering wastes and toxins also received from the blood. The liver works via a 2 phase Enzyme pathway detox process.

Lymphatic System:
The Lymph System works through a network of vessels that run throughout our bodies.

With every breath we take, our lungs are working to rid us of toxins and expel them in mucous. They are connected to the Lymphatic System, in that deep breathing stimulates the lymphatic flow to eliminate toxins.
Just think of all the pollution we breath in daily (construction, smoke, chemicals, cleaners, perfume etc) and you can imagine how important our lungs are in keeping us healthy and how hard they work!

This huge organ eliminates toxins through perspiration. So, although sweating may not be exactly desired, it is necessary to getting waste and toxins out out of our bodies through our pores! This is part of the 'anti-perspirant' controversy.

This is the obvious 'eliminator' (pun intended). All the toxins that are transformed by the liver are (hopefully) eliminated through the colon (also referred to as the Large Intestine). A weathered liver leads to a sluggish colon, poor elimination and toxic overload.

All the water soluble toxins and waste that's changed by the liver, go to the Kidney for elimination. The Kidney further filters them and finally sends them to our bladder for elimination.

Blood is our 'life water' and flows through our vascular system, delivering nutrients, oxygen and all that comes with it to the cells throughout our bodies. It flows throughout our bodies delivering these critical nutrients, while simultaneously removing harmful waste. We all know how blood circulates throughout our bodies, and how fast an infection in the blood can spread. You can imagine how important the removal of these 'waste' products are in preventing potentially life threatening bacteria, toxins, viruses, diseases and infections from spreading throughout.

Hopefully, you can now understand why cleansing is so important! Detoxification is our bodies natural process in eliminating these toxins, and toxic buildup from our bodies, or neutralizing them so they can't harm us. It does this by removing/neutralizing them from our cells, tissues, organs, bloodstream and processes them through the liver, kidneys (urine), colon (feces), sweat etc.

So what is Cleansing?
Cleansing, in a sense, is helping or supporting our bodies natural ability to detoxify us. Lessening the burden/stress on our bodies, and 7 channels of elimination, so that they can do their jobs more efficiently! My favorite analogy is it's like cleaning oil from your car! Or like putting Drano in your sink (especially the Colon)!

We all have a different 'toxic' build-up or tolerance depending on our lifestyles, immune health and environments. I call it our 'toxic threshhold'. However, when we reach it, undesirable side effects begin to  occur.

Think of a vacuum cleaner bag: the filter and bag serve to contain all the dust particles, dirt, debris etc you vacuum up, and contain them in the bag so you are not exposed to them. Over time, as you keep vacuuming the filter gets clogged and the bag gets more and more full. Eventually, there is no more room in the bag and the more you try to vacuum the more the dust/dirt etc start spewing and overflowing from the bag back into your environment and air. This is the same analogy as with our bodies. Our bodies become overwhelmed with all the stress and toxins- they no longer work at peak capacity to eliminate them. This is when we suffer the many symptoms of toxic overload. Our natural detoxification is at max capacity, and this is when degenerative and chronic diseased can start to occur.

Some symptoms of toxic overload are:
  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy Thinking
  • Joint Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Allergy Symptoms
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Food Allergies and sensitivities
  • Back Pain and Muscle Pain
  • Respiratory Problems and impaired function
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired digestion
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Acne and Skin problems (psoriasis)
  • Arthritis
  • Ulcers
  • Blood Disorders
Unfortunately, as we evolve into a technology-based era, we are being exposed to more and more heavy metals, chemicals and toxins.

By cleansing, we are alleviating some of the stress we place on our bodies. This leads to a decrease of potential diseases,inflammation and chronic health conditions; increased energy levels, improved digestion and immune health, healthier weight, and improved health and well-being!

Relevant content:
Toxin Ingredient List:

Stay tuned for next weeks installment!

What areas in your life do you see impacted by toxins?
Do you suffer from any of the above symptoms?
Have you ever tried a cleanse or cleansing? What were your experiences?
How could your body benefits from cleansing?

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