Monthly Archives: November 2012

Colon Health, Constipation and Cleansing

There's a lot of attention paid nowadays to colon cleansing and with good reason. The large intestine or colon acts as temporary storage for all our digested food and may have a considerable load of unhealthy bacteria and improperly digested foods.

It is also a vital crossroads for the lymphatic system and an important hub for the parasympathetic nervous system. 

And the colon, and the small intestines, are a major area where the nutrients in food are absorbed. 

So a healthy colon is a vital part of a healthy body!

But if the colon is not clean, it cannot fulfil this important task. 

And that's seriously bad news.

You might wonder what the word "clean" means in this context so let's make that clearer by discussing it's opposite which is constipation.

Don't worry –  I am not going to show you horrible photos of unhealthy stools – but again even in those who have no problem with effortless and of course painless bowel movements fail when it comes to how well formed or otherwise the stool itself is.

That is why constipation is probably the most widespread disorder in the world. You may think I'm exaggerating but think how many people have 2 or more effortless and healthy bowel movements a day?

So if you add up a few lifestyle elements like not drinking enough water, eating fast food with few vegetables and little to no greens together with little exercise and high stress you will have a perfect recipe for constipation and it is no surprise then to see almost everyone with constipation.

A results of that, in turn is that some of the gooey sticky mess in the colon can stick to and coat the inner lining of the colon.

This is delicately called "impacted faecal matter" and leads to a perfect environment for bad bacteria to breed and get access to the bloodstream.

At the least such bacteria in the colon may give you vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps.  They also compete with health giving friendly bacteria a condition called dysbiosis.

Because the colon is so central to our health the symptoms that you can experience when the colon is sick and functioning badly are many and varied.

Clearly the first one is constipation itself and then fatigue, headaches and PMS to list but a few.

How to Cleanse the Colon

There are several ways to clean the colon and the most obvious ones are to use direct washing techniques such as enemas and low pressure colonics.

Then we can help the colon to relax with magnesium supplements and most important of all vitamin C – a shortage of which is a major reason for constipation.

Finally a programme of gentle herbal teas containing mild doses of colon acting herbs such as cascara and Senna will further assist the cleanse.

After that it is important to use bacterial cultures by mouth and by direct implant to help the colon get back to health.

After that a series of daily stretching exercises such as the usual health yoga exercises will boost colon health even further.

You will feel a lot better, clearer and younger after you've done colon cleansing holistically.

One herb cannot achieve anything nor one technique or even one vitamin. It is the combination of these various methods balanced in a logical holistic manner where the power to regenerate your health resides.

And we can use it whenever we like!

Feel free to share this info with your friends

Thanks!

Holistc Alex

Liver Detox or Colon Detox – Which is More Important?

As far as Detox is concerned there are 2 types of experts. There are those who are enthusiastically liver based and there are those who are equally enthusiastically colon based.

The liver is the main organ of detoxification so it seems logical to start there when we wish to detox to get some or all of the many health benefits of a detox.

The colon or large intestine is, well, large. It acts partially as a storage organ and we know what it stores! It also reduces the amount of water lost in a bowel movement and acts as the very final stage of digestion. Holding as it does large colonies of bacteria that interact with harmful bacteria carried in with unhealthy food you could say that it is part of the immune system too.

In my study and practise of Naturopathy I have mostly been a "colon centric" detoxer and it was only after studying the writings of the Master Herbalist Jon Baron that I really understood detox as an integrated whole and that is why my advice now is about understanding Holistic detox as a complete process.

Both points of view are true from their perspective – the liver does need a detox and so does the colon.

But the colon detox or cleanse must be done first!

The reasons why are very obvious.

When you cleanse, heal and detox the colon the waste matter and toxins are funnelled out through the colon itself and into the toilet bowl with little damage or effect on other parts of the body.

Working on the liver is very different. It not only has a massive blood supply but is also connected to the gall bladder and through that to the colon.

Cleansing and detoxing the liver is going to dump extra toxins into the gall bladder and that will funnel its toxins straight down into the colon damaging the wall of the colon and resulting in many of those toxins being reabsorbed into the blood.

Which is clearly a very bad idea!

This why a holistic whole body view is essential – or you end up harming one part of the body while you treat another part.

Not sensible at all and not holistic either.

And is exactly what we in Natural Medicine criticise about Drug based Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Last Words

Detox is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. The type of Detox you do needs to be well considered, gentle and holistic. You can get all the info you need on this blog and in the detox products shown in the sidebar. And you are always welcome to ask questions in the comment section.

And if you found this at all helpful help me to spread the word by Twitter, FaceBook or however you please!

Thanks

Holistic Alex

How to Make Holistic Detox a Part of Your Life

Concern about toxins in the environment is not a modern phenomenon. Ever since industrialisation factories have been producing waste and pollution along with their products.

When industrial pollution was obvious as in smoke stacks or foaming or discoloured rivers that provided an obvious signal that unacceptable shortcuts were being taken.

Modern industries often look a lot cleaner with fewer chimneys and less polluted rivers but often the pollutants are not visible so they do not call attention to themselves.

In many homes you will find chemical coatings on many household items that give rise to concern. Many fabrics have a chemical coating which has the purpose of resisting staining, many kitchen tools have "non stick" coatings and most painted surfaces emit a chemical cloud into the air.

All these and many other chemicals in our home environment find their way into the body as we breathe.

As time goes by the levels of these chemicals rise and may start to produce hormonal or neurological effects.

Mostly we are unaware of the effects of these toxins. We may feel fatigued and anxious and blame our daily commute or our boss.

They may well add to our burden but often it is the load of toxins we carry rather than our burden of responsibility that is responsible.

To sum it up nicely,

Environmental toxins hidden in our air, food and water are also hiding in us. Author unknown

At times of such fatigue and low energy we may wonder if we have an underlying problem and go to get a check up. Perhaps our thyroid is sluggish or our adrenals are "burnt out" by years of over work and under sleep.

And if we are given an "all clear" we may decide to take matters into our own hands and do a detox.

Of course there are many different types of Detox. In Nature Cure or Naturopathy a detox is accomplished holistically and according to the constitution of the individual.

But if we are doing a D-I-Y detox we need to choose a detox diet and a detox formula and a few detox techniques to make our own programme.

A Detox Diet

This needs to be clean and mild as well as nourishing. We cannot detox and eat junk food so we lose the sodas, sugar, and deep fried foods.

OK?

Some of the detox diet should be raw but vegetables soups being nutritious and emotionally satisfying are a healthy and important part of any diet – detox or not.

Add some mild foods such as steamed brown rice or quinoa and lightly cooked veggies and don't get picky about recipes and you'll enjoy it.

And if you have a juicer, then a daily green juice or green smoothie gives your whole detox diet a boost.

A Detox Formula

This is what does the "heavy lifting" in the liver and colon. Diet alone cannot do what the body needs in the complex process of detoxification. Special detox ingredients are required and they may be a blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs.

There are many different detox formulas that are made up according to the views of particular Naturopaths and herbalists.

Of course some of this may conflict with any pharmaceutical drugs you many be taking and that needs a consultation with your health care professional.

If you go "D-I-Y" you are taking responsibility for all this!

Detox Techniques

You can give yourself quite a boost by adding one or more traditional cleansing techniques to your detox programme.

A brief sauna can help you both relax and sweat out some of your toxic load. If that is not possible then try an Epsom Salts bath. Skin brushing may encourage drainage and circulation and can be done as a regular part of daily life

Doing this regularly can be very helpful. You could spend one day a week as a rest and detox day – or maybe a detox weekend once a month. And of course in the spring we can do a Spring Clean of your homes and maybe follow that up with a Spring Detox for ourselves too.

A Holistic Detox need not be expensive or difficult – with a little forethought you can detox and have fun. Part of that can be to get a "Detox buddy" and perhaps detox at the same times and support each other. Journaling can be another way to add some depth to your detox.

Relaxation is an important part of any detox whether it is a D-I-Y approach or at a spa. Gentle Yoga workouts or other stretching exercises relieve tension and help us to de-stress from the daily tensions that can so easily get on top of us.

The whole point of a Holistic Detox is this all round balanced approach. We are more than a vessel that needs cleansing and detox is more than a way of removing toxins from your liver of colon, it can and should be an opportunity to "Reboot" our lives and bring more energy and a clearer vision to who we are and how we live.

Full Body Detox: What it is and When to do it

A Full Body detox is among the best ways of keeping ourselves vibrant  and healthy and includes other methods such as special diets, herbs, vitamin supplements, natural detox techniques.

An important purpose in a full body detox is to restore or replenish our energies so that we do not drag ourselves around at work or at home in an exhausted state.

When you feel so tired that you are not refreshed by a good night's sleep that is a sure sign that we need some TLC and a detox of some sort looks like a good idea.

There are many types of detox diets and detox programmes and in this article we'll look at the main contenders and see if what they are offering is a good fit for our needs.

A body cleanse or body detox is also a great way to give your body a boost after a period of over-indulgence by eating all the wrong foods and consuming more alcohol than is healthy.  That is why body detox is needed because many of us seem trapped in this kind of lifestyle. 

Detox is Natural

The human body has a built in detox system in every cell and every organ that removes harmful substances from the body through excretion but when we put pressure on it from our urban pollution and by eating fast foods, or perhaps drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough sleep the system is stressed and weakened.

Detoxification Centres

Spas and Detox centres and clinics established to help those who wish to detox have very different purposes.

On the one hand detox spa will be run almost as a retreat and will focus on diet and a menu of health talks, saunas, lymphatic massage and perhaps enemas.

On the other hand detox clinics run by Drug Abuse charities or Physicians who specialise in addiction will focus on handling the symptoms of withdrawal as a patient gradually adjusts to the diminishing levels of the drug in their bloodstream.

Often there is no liver support or any attempt to boost the natural ability of the body to detox. Even so such centres called themselves Detox centres.

Odd really!

A full body detox diet plan using organic raw vegetables and fresh fruits is especially important. As much of the diet as possible should be organic because otherwise you have more detox to do from the toxic sprays used on your food by the rather industrial style of farming that produces most of our food.

Todays diets, stressful lifestyles, widespread use of antibiotics or other health problems can deplete the body's natural store of minerals, enzymes and other nutrients essential for our health.

Body detox diets vary but typically involve eating raw or minimally steamed vegetables and fruit, pulses, sprouted seeds.

Liquids would include filtered water, herb teas, soups, juices.

Detox By Exercise

Why not use the benefits of exercise to boost our detox?

Exercise increases oxygen to your system, improves circulation and drainage and raises your body temperature.

Any exercise that is well designed and safe can be followed in a Full Body Detox. Simple stretching and yoga can be a good start and walking and jogging can be added if possible.

Your exercise period can be 15 to 30 minutes a day and still have as major impact on your health. There is little to be gained from spending hours daily on badly designed exercises.

How to Start – Choose Your Diet

Some methods are used individually as body detox solutions while other individuals use several methods together to achieve the best possible results.

If you want to receive optimum results from your detox, you should consider taking some nutrients such as minerals and vitamin supplements for detox.

Herbal teas are an important part of most detox systems.

It is also good for keeping track of detox intervals or a detox schedule, because a body detox is not just a one time thing, for best results it can be done on a regular basis throughout the year. 

Using a healthy organic diet along with detox teas and supplements will achieve a genuine detoxification of the whole body.

But it may not achieve weight loss!

This cannot be guaranteed from a detox but is a welcome bonus when it happens. Often it is excess toxins held in our fat cells that makes slimming so difficult so a full body detox would be a superb preparation to lose weight.

The important issue is to detox in a balanced holistic way which the body can handle without stress, otherwise you may trigger a period of yo-yo dieting and weight gain!