Start with the Detoxification Program
There is no one single “right” method for building and maintaining balanced health. The range of tools available for promoting detoxification is impressive, and, with experience and guidance and attention to some disclaimers, you can use all the methods at varying points in your life. Extensive experience with all of them has shown me that the largest number of people get the greatest results from a nutritional cleanse. Bringing about an ongoing release of toxicity backed by a steady supply of nourishment, they achieve in a relatively short time (three weeks) the kind of results that the more challenging juice fasts might achieve in seven to ten days. The Detoxification program that you will follow on this website uses the principles of the nutritional cleanse to create a detox program you can easily do at home, with freshly made foods and drinks. It is safe and practical and has been tested extensively on hundreds of patients under my medical supervision.
To design Detoxification, I drew on the extensive research and knowledge of Functional Medicine, a model of healing that exemplifies the integration of Western, evidence-based science with an Eastern, holistic approach to deliver individualized care that truly gets to the root of disease. Functional Medicine is “open-minded” medicine in action, benefiting from ancient health knowledge while using the most advanced technology when necessary.
Detoxification is custom-built to incorporate the five essential functions of detoxification.
- Reduce the workload of digestion. The small daily loss of energy funds to allergy responses, even if you don’t overtly feel them happening, is taking its energy toll and contributing to the “dullness” that most of us experience day in and day out. Consuming less solid food and leaving out irritants lead to a reallocation of energy to the processes of detoxification.
- Restore the twelve-hour window. After the signal to enter detox mode starts, around eight hours after your last meal, the typical modern body needs about four hours to do a deep cleaning. Few of us get this today, because we snack and drink until late at night.
- Rebuild the inner environment. Acidity is lowered, the intestinal flora is rebalanced in favor of the beneficial bacteria, and the intestinal wall gets a chance to heal. Creating this balanced and stable environment reduces cravings for the foods that cause toxicity, which supports long-term maintenance of a clean state.
- Support the liver. Nutrients are delivered that ensure that the liver can perform phase 1 and 2 functions efficiently, keeping you safe.
- Enhance elimination. Once toxins are released and neutralized, they must be discarded along with their mucus coating. Detoxification incorporates supplements and techniques to ensure that this happens effectively.
Detoxification preparation is done in three steps:
You do not have to wait until toxicity is eliminated across the planet—it may be too late. You do not have to settle for symptom control and its dangers.
You do not have to give up on your search for a powerful way to repair the damage of living in our toxic world.
You are about to experience what happens when your body is given back the magic abilities it was born with.
Detox works best when you complete the full three weeks, but the program will also yield results after one or two weeks. Some of my patients build up to the complete three-week program, while others jump in and complete the whole Detoxification program the first time out. Wherever you are in this spectrum, it is important to remember that every change you make is an important one.
Please read through the following section, which describes the whole program, before starting, as it contains information that will help you plan, accomplish, and benefit from Detoxification in the most successful way.
Before You Start Detox
People with certain conditions should not cleanse or detox. Please do not proceed if any of these apply to you at the moment:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.
- You are currently living with advanced cancer and are losing weight rapidly.
- You are taking a medication that needs a stable blood concentration, including medication for preventing blood clots (such as Coumadin), antiarrhythmics (such as Tikosyn), or anticonvulsants (such as Tegretol). Stable blood concentrations of drugs may get disrupted as absorption rates change, leaving you on too high or too low a dose. Consult with your doctor and do not proceed on any kind of detoxification program without supervision of an expert.
- You are currently living with any other disease that needs close monitoring and in which slight changes in your body chemistry could pose a threat.
Are You Spent?
There is another group of people who should not start the Detoxification or any other detox program. These are people who present with a clinical picture that is not recognized by most traditional physicians, but has been identified and treated extensively by my colleague, Dr. Frank Lipman. He has named this the “Spent” syndrome, and it refers to patients who are exhausted and have low blood pressure and a host of other symptoms attributable to the depletion of their hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal axis, the body’s stress-regulating system.
Depletion of the adrenal system, the “Spent” condition, is rarely diagnosed by conventional doctors, largely because most blood tests and other laboratory evaluations come back as normal, despite the patients’ experience of being constantly exhausted. This means they continue on without treatment as stress takes its toll on the body, when replenishing the adrenal function holistically is actually what is indicated. Dr. Lipman, my partner at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York, and I are seeing that this condition disproportionately affects women. This could be because their hormonal systems are more complex, because they tend to express the effects of fatigue more acutely, or because women, as natural caregivers, are more likely to let themselves reach a point of burnout before asking for help. But the condition does not discriminate between the sexes and it’s likely that all of us, women and men, go “Spent” at times in our lives.
Your answers to the following questions will help determine whether you have a problem with your adrenal function:
- Does it take you longer than average to recover from illnesses or injuries?
- Do you regularly have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning?
- Do you feel a sense of ongoing fatigue that is not relieved by a good night’s sleep?
- Do you feel light-headed when getting up from a lying-down position?
- Do you have abnormally low blood pressure?
- Do you have extreme sensitivity to cold or tend to feel cold in environments where others do not?
- Do you have a chronic level of anxiety or have you ever had panic attacks?
- Do you have periods of depression or frequent crying jags (also a hallmark of toxicity)?
- Do you have a tendency to bruise easily?
Although some of these symptoms are similar to those of toxicity, as a group they are more specific to the adrenal weakness the Spent program is designed to help. If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, it is important to find a health-care practitioner who understands how to check your level of adrenal function and work with you to improve it. Embarking on a detox program would be counterproductive and even harmful if you are Spent, as you will not have necessary energy to support the detox and intestinal rebuilding processes. Once you have rested and reactivated your adrenal glands, a detox program will be in order.
I highly recommend that you read Dr. Lipman’s book, Spent, which describes the syndrome and its treatment plan in detail. The ability to tune in to what you need and distinguish between the conditions of toxicity and of being Spent may be one of the most important tools you can use to create a future free of hospital visits and prescription drugs—and full of vibrant health.
If you have any ongoing health problems whatsoever, please consult your doctor before engaging in any detox program, including Detoxification. If your doctor does not support you or does not give you well-explained, sound reasons why you should not begin a program, I recommend you change doctors and consider working with a professional familiar with Functional Medicine, who is trained in the ways that sickness and disease can have roots in toxicity and a weakened ability to detoxify. You will learn more about working with a wellness partner in a future post.