Three Detoxification Steps to Improve Your Health
by Barbara Moroney
Good health can be as inexpensive as creating time to relax and making better food and household product choices at the grocery store. Lifestyle choice is important; a recent Forbes article made the case for it being one of the key components in rising healthcare cost.
Chronic disease, another key component, is inextricably linked to lifestyle choice. While the article went on to list good nutrition, sufficient exercise, and the avoidance of tobacco and excessive alcohol as some of the lifestyle choices, minimizing exposure to environmental toxins could surely be added to the list.
In this post, let’s discuss three detoxification steps that will tremendously improve your health without spending much money at all.
Detoxification Step 1: Minimize Your Exposure to Synthetic Chemicals
The grocery store can feel like a land mine to someone aware of the danger of untested synthetic chemicals that may be harmful; an example is the current class of chemicals called hormone disruptors.
These substances have been in use for years, yet how many of us were even aware that the linings of tin cans contain a substance called bisphenol A (BPA)?
We would still not know if BPA’s safety had not come into question. Hormone disruptors interfere with the endocrine system of the body – and are linked to a wide range of developmental, reproductive, immunological and neurological effects. Young children are especially vulnerable.
Yet, the impact of informed choices can be immediate, as was discovered by a television show producer. This producer was surprised when she recently had herself and her daughters tested for exposure to three suspected hormone disruptors.
All had significant levels of BPA (the Centers for Disease Control concludes exposure to BPA is widespread in our country), phthalates, and triclosan in their urinary samples. Her daughter, taught to wash her hands frequently, had levels 100 times higher than the national average; the products in the home containing the triclosan were toothpaste and antibacterial soap.
How quickly lifestyle choices can make a difference is exemplified by what the producer did after the first urine sample.
She modified her habits to avoid these chemicals. She selected unprocessed food – eating fresh instead of canned vegetables, changed her beauty products, and carefully monitored the containers she used to store and heat food.
After only one day of the modified lifestyle, her exposure levels dropped to nearly zero. When she returned to her previous habits the levels immediately rose. An extra benefit from avoiding the chemicals was the healthier food.
There is evidence that hormone disruptors are stored in body fat, something the above experiment did not address. However, if you reduce your exposure, you will reduce the possibility of these chemicals being stored in your body.
One cannot be too cautious when it comes to exposure to synthetic chemicals. Of the 84,000 that are currently in use, only 200 have ever been tested for safety. These numbers come from Jeanne Rizzo, President and CEO of Breast Cancer Fund in testimony before Congress.
Currently the Centers for Disease Control monitors exposure levels of 246 synthetic chemicals in sample populations. And these are only the ones being monitored, a list that is increasing.
Detoxification Step 2: Reduce Stress
Stress can be as harmful to your health as any environmental toxin; chronic anxiety, fear, and depression as toxic as any chemical. Experts estimate that anywhere from 70% to 90% of doctor visits are related to stress.
Chronic stress continually activates the flight-or-fight response programmed into our systems for survival. This long-term activation, according to the Mayo Clinic website, can lead to such health issues as digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.
Stress is an aggravating factor in almost any disease condition you can name.
We have the ability to consciously create the antidote to stress. The relaxation response, documented by a Harvard doctor through his observation of transcendental meditation practitioners, counteracts the stress response.
While the stress response activates the adrenal glands to release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin to increase blood sugar and elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, the relaxation response reduces cortisol and adrenalin levels and lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Regular exercise and a diet of fresh foods support and reduce stress on a body. Other lifestyle choices for reducing the stress in your life include cultivating healthy friendships, having a sense of humor, and developing a regular relaxation practice.
The key ingredient to reducing stress seems to be in the way you handle life’s events. A relaxation practice teaches and trains you, in neutral circumstances, how to take a deep breath and relax when you are in situations that cause you to feel stressed.
Detoxification Step Three: Regularly Remove Toxins that Find Their Way Into Your Body
Detoxification is a normal process for our bodies, but given our increasingly toxic environment, our bodies may need extra help. Detoxification programs with herbs and fasting are one way to cleanse the body.
Ancient cultures have been known to fast for both spiritual and physical benefits. Fasting is part of preventive health care in Chinese medicine.
There are also specific diets to support the detoxifying organs of the kidneys and liver. These diets often include foods and herbs that aid in detoxification – such as garlic, grapefruit and turmeric, as well as substances to avoid during the cleanse – unhealthy fats, processed foods, and sugar.
Another form of detoxification is colon hydrotherapy as found in the office of a practitioner. Other means of cleansing the colon include herbs and enemas. Colon cleansing dates back to Ancient Egypt and Greece. Keeping the colon healthy is an important consideration because new evidence indicates there may be more of a link between overall health and the proper balance of intestinal flora than previously thought.
Another means of cleansing the body is through Ionic footbath therapy, which stimulates the release of toxins through the electrolysis of water and also promotes a relaxed state, aiding in physical and emotional detoxification. Ionic footbath therapy is also beneficial as a complement to enhance other detoxification protocols. It has gained in popularity in the past ten years in the U.S. and can be found in the offices of many alternative practitioners.
Our lifestyle choices can help maintain our health and reduce doctor bills, hospital stays, and the possibility of degenerative diseases. Now is the time to take action.
(Barbara Moroney along with her son Neill own A Major Difference, Inc., manufacturer of the IonCleanse ionic footbath. We are committed to “detoxifying the planet two feet at a time.” www.amajordifference.com)