Environmental toxins are one of the foremost causes of many of today’s chronic and degenerative diseases. In Dr. W. Lee Cowden’s and my upcoming book, Create a Toxin-Free Body and Home…Starting Today, we share some common environmental toxins and how to remove them from your body and home, in order to be in optimal health. The book will be available on my website as well as on the website of the Academy for Comprehensive Integrative Medicine, in approximately 2-4 weeks: www.conniestrasheim.com and ACIM.
Toxin removal can be a costly and complicated process, but below I share a few of my favorite toxin-removal strategies, which I like because they are (mostly) inexpensive, give you great bang for the buck, and are highly effective at removing a variety of toxins, including heavy metals, industrial chemicals, plastics, pesticides, pathogens and many of the other toxins that we come into contact with daily through our food, water, air and personal care and cleaning products.
I advocate doing all of these strategies for a well-rounded toxin-removal protocol. You may need to do additional types of detoxification, according to your personal needs and your doctor’s recommendations, so please don’t take the following as medical advice! We all have unique needs, although the strategies that I share below are beneficial for most people.
1) Sauna Therapy– Okay, so saunas aren’t cheap, but over the long run, they don’t cost as much as some other toxin-removal therapies since they are a one-time purchase. I bought my sauna slightly used on craigslist.org for $800. New, two-person far infrared saunas cost about 2-3K, but you can sometimes get good deals on craigslist or elsewhere. Cheap, portable, tent-like saunas which cost less than $200 are available on the Internet, but these may or may not be as useful as other types. Far infrared saunas mobilize toxins from deep within the tissues, and are great for removing stubborn toxins such as phthalates (which come from plastics) from the body, as well as heavy metals.
2) Coffee enema/liver cleanse– Most of us have dozens of gallstones in our livers, which cause them to become inefficient at toxin removal. You can improve your liver function by doing a Hulda-Clark type liver cleanse every 3-4 months. I personally like the cleanses developed by Dr. Steve Hines, ND, which are similar to the Hulda-Clark cleanse, but easier on the body. I have done Dr. Hines’ cleanses and eliminated lots of stones. (They aren’t always fun, but are definitely worth it!). Dr. Hines claims that he’s seen many of his clients’ PMS symptoms disappear after doing multiple liver cleanses. To read more about Dr. Hines’ protocols, see: http://www.hopewellness.com/forms/LiverFlush.pdf
Coffee enemas also cleanse the liver and gallbladder (and colon). They are useful when you just need a fast, superficial cleanse. They don’t remove liver stones in the same way as a full-on liver cleanse, but they do remove a lot of garbage from your body! For more information about how to do a coffee enema, visit: http://www.sawilsons.com/basicenema.htm.
3) Zeolite Of all the toxin binders out there, I really like zeolite because it is a relatively safe toxin-binder and can remove a wide variety of contaminants, including heavy metals. If you know that you have heavy metal toxicity, you’ll probably also need to use other binders in addition to zeolite, but if you can’t handle intensive detoxification regimens, low amounts of zeolite daily can help to lower your overall toxin and heavy metal burden. I recommend Dr. Garry Gordon’s zeolite product for this purpose, which can be found at the Longevity Plus website: http://longevityplus.com
4) Rebounding/jump-roping– When detoxifying your body it’s important to keep toxins moving through your lymphatic system, which is like a superhighway that shuttles toxins out of the tissues into a network of vessels that carries the toxins to the excretory organs for elimination by the body. The lymphatic system gets “backed up” easily, so to keep toxins flowing through your lymphatic vessels, I recommend either jumping for 10 minutes daily on a rebounder, pretend bike pedaling with your feet in the air for 10 minutes, or, if you can afford to purchase one- lying on a Chi machine, which moves your body side to side in a fishlike motion. For more information on Chi machines, visit: http://www.thechimachine.com
5) Exercise– Any type of exercise that gets your body moving will aid it in its detoxification processes, since exercise increases oxygen delivery to the tissues and encourages the movement of toxins through and out of your body. Combining some moderate cardiovascular exercise with strength training, stretching and rebounding is a good regimen to follow, if you are able to exercise. If you aren’t, simple deep breathing techniques can also aid in tissue oxygenation and toxin removal. Check out Dr. Lam’s site for some great videos on how to do deep breathing: www.drlam.com.
6) Clay Mud Treatments– Bentonite clay, as well as green, red and some other types of clay can bind toxins and carry them out of the body. You can take some types of clay orally, or mix them with enough water to make a paste which you can spread over the entire surface of your skin. If you do the paste method, allow the clay to dry on your skin for about 10-20 minutes, before rinsing it off. Alternatively, you can take a clay bath, although this doesn’t seem to be quite as effective as painting your skin with the stuff, or taking clay orally. Clay is inexpensive and relatively safe compared to some other types of toxin-removal products, which is why I recommend it. Different types of clay can be found at most health food stores, or online. You can even buy clay in bulk to save money. I like Mountain Rose herb’s products: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com
7) Juicing– Juicing is a great way to super-charge your body with nutrients while also eliminating toxins from it. Certain vegetables and fruits encourage the tissues and organs to dump toxins- especially carrots, beets, cucumbers, lemons, cranberries, and apples-, and when you spend several days or weeks juicing, you can help your body to eliminate an abundance of toxins, especially if you aren’t also consuming a lot of animal protein.
It’s important, however, to use organic vegetables and fruits, so that you don’t re-toxify yourself with toxins that come from non-organic food. It’s also a good idea to eat as little animal protein as possible while juicing, since the liver works really hard to process animal protein, and when you take a break from eating it, you give the liver a chance to rest and regenerate itself, which in turn enables you to better eliminate toxins over the long run!
Also, if you are hypoglycemic or have other blood-sugar issues, avoid using medium and high-glycemic fruits for juicing, such as papayas, melons, bananas and even apples and pears (if you are sensitive). For some great juicing recipes, visit: http://www.all-about-juicing.com/detox-recipes.html