Every day we throw garbage down the pipe. Occasionally, we throw too much down, things back up, get blocked andthe results could be worse than awful! I know you think I’m talking about the kitchen sink, but actually, I’m talking about our bodies.
Just as we sometimes mis-judge how much our kitchen sink can handle – stuffing potato peels down the garbage disposal, for instance – we mis-judge how much junk we can throw down our gullets, expecting the body to deal with it all.
We fill our bodies with preservatives, dyes, hydrogenated fats, fillers, excipients, flavor enhancers, dough conditioners, bleaches, sodium chloride, MSG, alcohols, waxes, coffee, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans-fats, and the list goes on. When consumed in excess, it begins to interfere with function. We experience fatigue, lack of motivation, depression, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, achiness, foggy thinking, etc. In short, we don’t feel well, but in the early stages it is simply difficult to identify why, and in the more chronic cases, dysfunction results.
So what can we do about it? First of all, just as potato peels overwhelm most garbage disposal units, garbage foods overwhelm the body’s garbage disposal system – the liver, kidneys, lymph, and colon primarily. Avoiding the things that overwhelm the system is the first step. This means replacing fast foods and processed foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and whole grains. Certain foods are particularly helpful in supporting the body’s detoxification process and should be consumed on a regular basis.
The cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) supports the liver detoxification process. Cranberries, grapes, spinach, blueberries, parsley, ginger and asparagus are foods helpful in kidney cleansing. Raw foods, high in fiber are best for colon cleansing. Exercise, water and mini-trampolines are helpful for the lymph.
Although all these are helpful, a structured detoxification program is the most effective. Working with health care professionals trained to assist you in this process is the best option. You could hire the neighbor’s child to come clean out your plugged up kitchen sink, or you could hire a professional that has the proper tools, training and expertise to do it properly.
Over the years I have seen innumerable detoxification programs. Some are simple and easy for most people, possibly too subtle to do too much. These are best for long term support if done properly. Others I have learned about are silly at best. Some can be dangerous if not done with a trained professional. After more than 30 years of participating in, evaluating and implementing detoxification programs, we have found a handful that are quite good.
The bottom line is, just as you regularly clear your kitchen drain by running lots of water through it, buzzing the garbage disposal unit frequently, and avoiding adding junk that will plug it up, your body, which cannot be replaced like your sink, needs the extra support as well.
©2011 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.