By: Graeme Stuart-Bradshaw
Every day we are exposed to external toxins from our environment and internal toxins produced as the byproduct of our digestive and metabolic processes. Toxic and unwanted inorgranic chemicals are found in our foods, water and air in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals and other pollutants. Working in climate controlled environments is a source of airborne microorganisms and debris and home and work environments expose us to paint and carpet fumes. Everything from plastic containers to drycleaned clothes to skin and haircare products and cosmetics bombard our bodies with unwanted pollutants. All of these fall in the category of environmental toxins.
Our bodies also produce unwanted substances as the normal byproduct of our digestion and metabolism. In addition to this, we can accumulate waste products of any infectious microrganisms living in our bodies. If our body has the proper nutrition in sufficient quantities to provide a healthy biochemistry and if the organs of elimination and detoxification are functioning at optimal levels, our body is able to eliminate these unwanted substances safely and efficiently through cellular processes via the main organs of detoxification; skin, bowels, liver, kidneys and lungs. This manifests as elimination through perspiration, bowel elimination, urination and respiration. However, if the body is producing and taking in more toxins than it can safely eliminate, a state of chronic toxicity may occur.
Most chronic illnesses are the result of a combination of factors.
The main contributing factors, however, can be attributed to the presence of unwanted substances in the body or the lack of needed substances in the body and, in many cases, a combination of both of these factors. When the body has been overburdened with exogenous (external) and endogenous (internal) toxic substances for a prolonged period of time, it loses its capacity to detoxify at the same rate that toxins are being produced and ingested. It is under these unnatural conditions that we begin to manifest symptoms of being overloaded with toxicity and our organs are weakened. It is thought by many natural health professionals that this prolonged state of toxicity undermines organ and cellular function and is the underlying cause of many chronic diseases.
The presence of unwanted substances in the body is a very common root of illness. The process of eliminating unwanted substances from the body at the cellular level addresses and corrects this imbalance. However, for effective detoxification it is essential to provide the body with the necessary dietary substances so that the body can perform this important and natural function. This is exactly what we will be doing on the program.
"Detoxification" refers to the body's ability to neutralize and safely eliminate harmful chemicals within the body. The detoxification program is designed to enhance the body's innate ability to handle toxins. While it is unrealistic and virtually impossible to eliminate external toxins completely, the body can be unburdened and supported in its natural function of detoxification so that it is better able to cope with the daily stresses of modern life and thereby establish a higher level of health.
Detoxification has a beneficial effect on most chronic illnesses because it has an impact on almost all systems of the body: cardiovascular, nervous, immune, respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, urinary, skin, musculoskeletal and endocrine.
Detoxification is recommended for individuals who:
Have symptoms of toxicity
Have chronic digestive problems
Have imparied liver function due to lifestyle (alcohol, toxic exposure, poor eating habits, high stress, chemical exposure in the workplace)
Have impaired liver function due to chronic illness (hepatitis, jaundice, fatty liver)
Are on medications affecting the liver
Are on hormone replacement therapy
Have PMS and moodiness
Have chronic headaches
Have chronic skin conditions
Have gallbladder pathology
Have chronic poor lifestyle habits
Common symptoms alleviated by detoxification may include:
Stiff, aching joints and muscles
Susceptibility to infections
Low energy and fatigue
Restlessness and irritability
Inability to concentrate
Depression and moodiness
Poor quality sleep and insomnia
Benefits of Detoxification
These are some of the possible results you can expect to experience:
A feeling of revitalisation
Increased energy, vitality and stamina
Increased immunity and resistance to infections and illness
Reduced allergy symptoms
Increased metabolism and metabolic balancing for weight control
Improved digestive functions such as absorption and elimination
Balanced water metabolism and reduction in fluid retention and uric acid
Enhanced liver function and detoxification processes
Invigorate circulation and balance blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
Strengthen and lubricate joints; reduced joint aches and pains; increased joint mobility
Reduced risk for many chronic diseases
Reduced symptoms of chronic toxicity
Improved sleep patterns and feeling rested and refreshed
Heightened mental clarity, focus, concentration and memory
Promotion of stable moods, emotional balance and wellbeing; a greater sense of peace and calm
A feeling of rejuvenation on all levels
Graeme Stuart-Bradshaw, founder of the Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI) in Hong Kong, is a naturopathic physician with extensive experience at his Hong Kong-based clinic and internationally.
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Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa, Thailand