You were like any other baby, frequent colds, runny nose, all the usual illnesses throughout school years, then off you go to see the world. You pick up a bad bout of diarrhoea when travelling and although you recover from this, your bowel never really returns to normal. A mild form of diarrhoea stays with you so that you have to go several times a day, often at the most inconvenient times.
As the years pass the problem gradually gets worse, and unpleasant pains begin in the lower part of the stomach. When you finally consult a doctor, he tells you that it is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, and that you should relax more. For many years you suffer headaches, but take paracetemol or aspirin to control them. You get by doing this until one day the headache pain seems to be very intense and on one side of the head. You close the curtains as you cannot bear the light and go to bed. Another visit to the doctor diagnoses Migraine – you follow his advice to relax more.
Over the years you give up alcohol and chocolate as you feel they bring on a migraine.
Every morning you wake up, still tired, sometimes light-headed and confused, and often very edgy and irritable. To add to these problems, you’ve started to notice a few pains in your knees, which eventually spreads to other joints. When waking in the morning you feel exhausted with flu-like symptoms. A visit to the doctor reveals the previous diagnosis, and he suggests that the joint pains are psychosomatic.
What if all of those symptoms were not things going wrong with the body, but were the body’s way of detoxifying� and the process kept getting halted due to medications. What if you were to listen to the body and assist it, rather than suppress the symptoms. The body actually has a blueprint for perfect health, providing it has the right means and the process isn’t prematurely stopped.
At a basic cellular level, there are four key minerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, and essential fatty acids. If you are lacking in any of these, the body doesn’t have what it needs as a basis to detoxify. Most of us drink too many diuretics – tea, coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks- and consume too much hidden salt in foods. This forces potassium out of the cell which means the cells become laden with salt and cannot allow the transfer of nutrients because the salt attracts water and the cells become water-logged. This can present as fluid retention or even just feeling tired and fuzzy-headed. A multi-mineral, not just a multi-vitamin can help to correct this, plus lots of celery, spinach, seaweeds and dandelion or nettle leaf tea.
Most of us are born deficient in essential fatty acids as there are not enough in today’s diet of the ‘low-fat’ variety. Our brain is 60% fat and we use fat as fuel. The second-born child will likely to be low in these from the outset. Therefore on a daily basis everyone should include in their diet, or even supplement, fish, seeds, avocados and cold-pressed vegetable oils.
One month on these basic nutrients means that at a cellular level, the body can now cope with detoxification.
There are 6 main elimination organs – skin, liver, lungs, lymph/ blood, bowel, and kidneys. Encouraging each of these organs means that you are freeing them up to do what they do best – mop up excess toxins in the body. A toxin can be from something you have eaten, old hormones, parasites – anything really that the body wishes to eliminate.
A simple way to start the day and to encourage the kidneys is to drink hot water with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The pepper is important for encouraging circulation, and can be increase until you can tolerate a teaspoon each day. This helps to keep the blood thin, can dissolve blood clots and is high in anti-oxidants, therefore anti-ageing!
To encourage detoxification of the liver, include in your diet each day some raw garlic and olive oil. You could make a pesto with coriander, spinach leaves, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice – yum!
The bowel needs hydration in order to eliminate effectively. This means drinking plenty of water and having enough oil. This comes back to the importance of essential fats because if you are dehydrated from lack of oil and water, the body will interpret this as stress! Adding linseeds to your breakfast cereal is a great way of encouraging the bowel to move. They are high in essential fats and very hormone-balancing.
Skin brushing on a daily basis encourages the movement of the lymphatic fluid and helps to expel toxins via the skin. The lymph runs alongside the blood stream, mopping up toxins. Use a brush on dry skin, starting from the feet and working towards the heart in sweeping motions. After brushing, jump into the shower and turn the hot water down to cold for 30 seconds all over the body, then back to hot for 1 minute then cold again. Continue your shower as usual. The alternating hot and cold pushes the blood towards the heart and back out toward the skin. Of course exercise is also important.
Many people do not actually breathe properly. If you look at a child’s abdomen as it breathes the whole area rises and falls. When we get stressed, we tend to only breathe from the chest. A good exercise is to place one hand on the lower abdomen, the other high in the chest and breathe in slowly for 4 counts, ensuring the lower hand rises first, followed by the hand on the chest. Breathing out should take at least a count of 8. Ten of these deep breaths each day encourages the body to relax.
The above suggestions are things that you can do on a daily basis to encourage elimination. If you are feeling under the weather, allow the body to rest and turn to the basics above, along with plenty of vegetable juices for all the minerals.
At Natural Practices we screen people using the ‘Health Detective’ Screening System to ensure that people have the basics for good health. We test vitamin and mineral levels, essential fats, good bacteria for the bowel, digestive enzymes for the stomach. We also check the endocrine system to ensure that the hormones are in good health, as stress begins to deplete the body of essential nutrients and causes the adrenal glands and thyroid to fatigue.
Please telephone 01625 54 9000 should you wish to book an appointment.