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Components of a Personalized Detox Programme

by Amanda Griggs(more info)

listed in detoxification, originally published in issue 126 - August 2006

Stress Adrenaline Junkies

As a nutritionist practising natural healing in an integrated health and wellbeing clinic, in London's Chelsea, I see busy people leading Trans-Atlantic, fast-paced lives. In our modern success obsessed society, there is so much pressure on people to 'perform'. The workload and the hours are long, and most of the people I see are very driven individuals. They are, what I call, 'adrenalin junkies' constantly pushing themselves and calling on all their reserves. They love taking risks and rising to challenges; they have a lot of natural energy and are very productive. As the pressures and demands on them increase, they turn to caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and sometimes drugs, to give them a boost, and are too busy to notice the steady decline in their health. Constant demand is placed on the adrenals to secrete stress hormones, adrenalin, cortisol and DHEA, causing imbalance in blood sugar levels and eventual burnout.

It is easy to get used to feeling below par, but by the time they walk through the door they are generally exhausted; you could say that most of them are 'vertically ill,' not sick enough to lie down, but certainly not well. The symptoms presented include fatigue (tired all the time), constipation, gas, bad breath, bloating, indigestion, water retention, frequent infections and skin problems, including adult onset acne, eczema and rashes. Most are 'crashing' in the afternoon, craving sweets, carbohydrates and caffeinated drinks. Almost all are not sleeping properly and anxious. Many are depressed and emotional, with most females having difficult and painful menstrual problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome. All have tension and pain in their neck and shoulders. Everybody is grabbing a quick sandwich or eating on the run, and yes, nearly all are drinking too much and burning the candle at both ends. Working hard and playing hard with insufficient time for exercise or proper relaxation is playing havoc with their digestive systems. Almost everyone complains of weight gain, particularly around the middle. It goes without saying that they are all dehydrated and ignoring the body's natural cry for water.[1]

When we are unduly stressed, our bodies produce acidic toxins which can make us feel tired and emotional. Raised acid levels make it harder for the body to create energy, fight disease and burn fat. The stronger the xenobiotic overload caused by stress, overwork, drugs, poor food, bad posture, the bigger the task of cleansing becomes for our bodies, and it can be less inclined to take on the job. Energy blockages result in negative emotions of anxiety, fear, anger and depression. We become disconnected from life, unable to respond to any kind of feelings, storing unhealthy energies in internal organs, creating a cycle of negativity and stress.

Nutritional Approach to Recovery

Recovery takes time. The first step is the need to eliminate the overload on the digestive system. In many cases there is a need to eliminate food intolerances, so tests are carried out prior to devising a modified eating plan. For the most part all the energy sappers will be excluded, such as all refined carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, red meat, cow products, wheat products and those with yeast. These are all pro-inflammatory.

It is very important to take into consideration the lifestyle of each individual and be realistic as to what they are able to sustain. Most people are ready to drop all these stimulants immediately, but some will need to take it more slowly. It has to be said that the programme will be life changing for them, and if they find it too daunting they will do nothing and that will defeat the object. The secret is to make it easy to maintain and to give them plenty of support and encouragement.

One of the fundamentals for good health is learning to balance blood sugar levels in order to sustain energy and mood, so the next step is to make sure they have a high energy eating plan, which will include good quality organic protein from fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, quinoa, pulses, and for some, a little sheep/goat products if not intolerant. Complex carbohydrates, such as oats, rye, brown, red and wild rice, buckwheat, millet, lots of vegetables, and low glycaemic index fruit to start off with, such as avocado, apples and berries. These are all anti-inflammatory.

They will be asked to eat little and often (three meals and two snacks containing a little protein at each meal) to lessen the load on the digestion, stimulate metabolism and balance blood sugar levels. And very importantly, to chew properly, be aware of what is going into their mouths, and to take time out to eat and enjoy food. They will be encouraged to drink suitable herbal teas and plenty of clean water. In essence, a highly nutritional eating plan designed to bring the body back to optimum health.

The constant bombardment of toxins weakens the immune system, and the body's ability to deal with these toxins leads to blockages in the eliminative organs. For a return to vibrant health and wellbeing, we need to support our organs of detoxification.

An 'Opening Channels' protocol has been devised using botanical combinations and homeopathic (spagyric) remedies designed to safely 'open' the natural flow and elimination systems of the body: lymph, colon, liver, kidneys, and at the same time supporting digestion. Gently and thoroughly, this programme drains these channels, replenishing lost minerals, re-seeding beneficial intestinal flora, rehydrating cells and tissues, as well as increasing amino acids and essential fatty acids. This fortifies and heals the pathways essential to further and deeper detoxification. This is the foundation and starting point to an effective, powerful healing strategy that will continue to assist movement through to greater health and wellbeing.

Listed below, with the help of good, compassionate practitioners at the clinic, we include in the programme a series of treatments designed to work as an adjunct to the dietary and herbal cleansing, and help speed up the cleansing process. Treatments are specific to the person's needs.

Colon Hydrotherapy: My study and intensive research on this subject convinces me more than ever that no treatment of healing procedure should ever be started without first giving the patient a series of colon irrigations, in order to clean out the colon and remove the incipient source of infection. There is no ailment, sickness or disease that will respond to treatment quicker and more effectively than it will after the administration of a series of colon irrigations.[2]

Chi Nei Tsang (translated: Chi energy or life-force; Nei Tsang internal organs): Was developed a long time ago by Chinese Taoist monks, in the mountain monasteries, striving to detoxify and refine the body to carry the energy to perform the highest levels of spiritual practices. During the treatment, the internal organs are massaged, clearing out negative influences, and particularly useful in relieving intestinal blockages, cramps, knots, lumps, scar tissue, headaches, menstrual cramps, poor blood circulation, back pain, infertility, impotence and many other problems. It complements other therapies like Colonic Irrigation, Reflexology, Psychology, Reiki, Shiatsu and Massage.[3]

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD): A form of massage designed to stimulate the lymph system to eliminate metabolic waste products, excess fluid, bacteria and viruses. A well-functioning lymphatic system contributes to healthy body tissue and plays an important part in the immune responses. Developed in France in the 1930s by a Danish physical therapist, Dr E Vodder.

Acupuncture: Helps the smooth flow of energy around the body, the chi. When the chi is flowing you feel invigorated and relaxed at the same time. It opens the channels for the chi to run through, and as it is a nurturing, enriching flow everything in its path becomes revitalized. Very helpful for cravings, balancing erratic blood sugar levels, headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, pain and for nourishing the emotions.

Osteopathy, Cranial Osteopathy, Craniosacral Therapy, Chiropractic/Sacro Occipital Therapy: These are administered to release long-standing pain and tension in specific areas, activating the body's natural corrective healing mechanisms. Adequate function of the body systems depends upon the unimpeded circulatory mechanisms, nerve impulses and neurotrophic influences.

Nutritional, botanical, homeopathic/ spagyric remedies are prescribed for the specific needs and constitution of the person during the process of cleansing and replenishing. Relaxing, stress busting, feel good treatments, like Reflexology, Reiki, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue Massages and Detoxifying Mud Wraps, are also available.

Whilst on this gentle cleansing programme of healing, purification and rejuvenation practices, suitable exercises to increase circulation and energy flow, such as rebounding, dry skin brushing, yoga, deep breathing, alternating hot and cold showers, together with meditation and visualization techniques, are taught and clients are encouraged to practise them at home. Aromatherapy with prescriptive oils, alkalizing and seaweed baths are prescribed to create a sense of calm, and to aid restful sleep.

Suitable exercise programmes are discussed. Saunas and steams are encouraged. As the programme progresses, a vegan diet is introduced. Most people tend to opt for the one- or two-day fruit and vegetable cleansing programmes until they feel ready to do a fast.

At this stage they will be emotionally and physically ready to do the Total version of the Lemon Fast. Side-effects are minimized and they find it easy and enjoyable to do. They can choose to do five, seven or ten days: all continue working, carrying on with their busy lives. Everyone is carefully supervised and helped through weak moments and particular symptoms. Supportive treatments are continued through the Lemon diet. This programme is a safe and effective way to assist the body in cleansing itself naturally of accumulated toxins and waste.

About the Lemon Fast

The basic cause of disease is no longer a mystery. It is the habit of improper diet, inadequate exercise, negative mental attitudes and lack of spiritual attunement which combine to produce toxic conditions and the malfunctioning of our bodies. Eliminating the cause of illness is the obvious and only way to healing and health. The elimination of habits that cause illness is done through the positive approach of developing proper habits that cause health, combined with corrective techniques that remove the ill effects of our former incorrect ways.[4]

The above excerpt from Stanley Burroughs' booklet, The Master Cleanser, the renowned Naturopath who developed the Lemonade Diet in the early 1950s to heal a patient with a stomach ulcer. It was originally a mixture of maple syrup with lemon juice and cayenne pepper. It was later further developed and perfected by a team of specialists, including Dr KA Beyer (Zurich Psychologist), Dr A Meywald (Hamburg GP and Homeopath, Dr Raabe (Heidelberg Homeopath and Naturopath) and Kumudini Weerawarna (Canadian Ayurvedic doctor, pharmacist and herbalist), at a Swiss health company called Puris AG.[5]

The result is natural tree syrup with the right balance of minerals necessary to sustain a fast for ten days. It has no artificial sugar and the syrup is high in natural plant sugars which provide the body with energy during the fast and satisfy hunger pangs. The calorie content is about 300 calories per 100 gram. So a typical daily intake of ten glasses therefore provides about 600 calories.5 The mineral content is rich in potassium, manganese and zinc. The ratios of calcium to magnesium and sodium to potassium are almost ideal for the human body's needs. No sugar, preservatives or chemical processes are used, and the pure sap of different trees is harvested without harming the trees and with total care for the environment.

For our regular clients, and those whose current state of health is good and feel they are ready to embark on the Lemon Detox programme immediately, we recommend a consultation with one of our healthcare practitioners, to ascertain whether it is suitable for them to do the Total programme for a shorter period of time or the Relaxed version over a longer period, which means including one nutritious meal per day, preferably at lunch time. Or we may recommend a combination of the two, combined with a personalized treatment programme to enhance the cleansing process and minimize side-effects.

But most important of all, after they have completed the Lemon fast they have the basis and knowledge of a good healthy diet which suits their bodies to fall back on. Thus avoiding the Detox/Retox syndrome which is very damaging.

References

1. Batmanghelidj F Dr. Your Body's Many Cries for Water. Tagman. ISBN 1-903571-49-9. 2005.
2. Walker N DSc, PhD. Colon Health the key to Vibrant Health. pp79. O' Sullivan Woodside and Co. ISBN 0-89019-069-0. 1979.
3. Chia M and Chia M. Chi Nei Tsang. Internal Organs Chi Massage. pp 3-4. Healing Tao Books. Huntingdon. NY. ISBN 0935687-35-0.
4. Burroughs S. The Master Cleanser. pp 1. Burroughs Books. ISBN 0-9639262-009. 1976.
5. Beyer KA. The Lemon Detox Diet. Rejuvenation Sensation 10 Days to Better Health. The Handbook. 1995. English Translation. 2006.

Further Reading

Gilles Marin. Healing from Within with Chi Nei Tsang: Applied Chi Kung in Internal Organs Treatment. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 9 78155643309251695. 1999.
James L Wilson ND, DC, PhD. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Smart Publications. ISBN 1-890572-15-2. 2005.
Dr Jesse Lynn Hanley and Nancy Deville. Tired of Being Tired. Penguin. ISBN 0-141-00680-3. 2004.
Daniel Reid. The Tao of Detox. Simon and Schuster. UK. ISBN 0-7432-3210-0. 2003.
Lisha Simester. The Natural Health Bible. Quadrill Publishing Limited. ISBN 1 902 75766 1. 2001.

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About Amanda Griggs

Amanda Griggs is a Partner and Director of health programmes at Balance Clinic and is one of the UK's leading nutritionists. Her philosophy is based on educating clients to make fundamental dietary and lifestyle changes that not only enable them to recover their health but as importantly, to maintain balanced programmes for continued positive benefit in the future. She can be contacted at Balance Clinic, 250 Kings Road, London SW3 5UE. Tel: 020-7565 0333; amandag@balancetheclinic.com ; www.balancetheclinic.com

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