A Naturopathic Doctor’s Approach to Detoxification
Detoxification is a popular way for people to take an active role in their health. There are many great diets, supplements, treatments and programs that have been developed to guide us through what is a complicated and often misunderstood process. Detoxification is really about balancing the rate at which the body can naturally eliminate toxins with the rate at which they build up, and then encouraging the natural processes of elimination.
Start by identifying toxins that are affecting our body and eliminating those which we most easily can. Removing corn syrup beverages and not smoking are two great examples of things we don’t need at all and are prime examples of things within our control to change. Environmental factors like air, noise and light pollution may be out of our control, but we can make some different personal choices. Antiperspirants, lawn chemicals and cleaning solutions are examples of less toxic options.
The second step is to enhance function through the organs of elimination: skin, lungs, kidneys, liver and intestine (gut). We can encourage liver function, waste elimination and balance intestinal flora with food and herbs, or even rest the system with a fast. The kidneys can be supported by proper hydration from pure water and fresh juices. Skin can be dry-brushed and bathed regularly.
Sweating is great for elimination, whether as part of exercise or in a far-infrared sauna. Deep breathing and postural exercises promote healthy lung function while strengthening the diaphragm. Herbs and nutrients can assist healthy organ elimination, and there are a number of products available to help with the detoxification process. But there is no real “detox in a box”, because detox is not just a two-week process; lowering our total toxic burden is a lifelong series of lifestyle choices.
What naturopathic doctors do is guide patients with an individualized plan for detoxification, taking into account their body’s current state of health and personal health goals. This can facilitate more effective elimination and continued enhanced function, which truly brings the detoxification process full circle. Not only will we will end up a higher level of health than when we started, but the benefits will continue as we incorporate this progress into the rest of our life.
Thor Conner, ND, LMT, is co-owner of of World Tree Natural Medicine, located at 17W 703-F Butterfield Rd., in Oakbrook Terrace. For more information and appointments, call 630-359-5522 or visit TheHealingPowerOfNature.com.