There are so many different types of detoxification available, it can be difficult to decide which one to attempt. For instance there is the Master Cleanser (also known as the ‘Lemonade Diet’) made famous by Stanley Burroughs. It is usually 7-10 days long. Supposedly you do not feel hungry. This cleanse is probably best for robust types and not for those with already low body weight. You drink a large mixture of fresh lemons and water, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a rather hefty portion of maple syrup. This cleanse is not for those with candida albicans (yeast problems) because of the high sugar content. Elson M. Haas, a Holistic M.D. practicing in San Rafael, California says in his book, The New Detox Diet, that the Master Cleanse is his favorite fast. (p. 61) He also said:

“I believe in and consider the cleansing/fasting/detoxification process…to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization. In over 25 years of medical practice, I have utilized extensively, various detox and healing/rejuvenation practices….I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification…is virtually one of the most powerful healing therapies (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) I have witnessed….Its effects offer re-balance for the body/mind and are preventive for many health problems.” (from The Purification Process: Healing for Modern Times by Elson Haas, M.D.)

Many other cleanses are available, some even more radical than this. For instance, Richard Anderson’s ‘Arise and Shine’ cleanse (detox) requires one to take, daily, 3–5 ‘shakes’ (a mixture of juice, water, psyllium seed husk, and bentonite clay), a combination that pulls what Anderson calls ‘mucoid plaque’ away from the intestinal walls. These shakes are followed 2 hours later with an herbal combination called ‘Herbal Nutrition’ mixed with one called ‘Chomper’. These herbs than provide nutrition and sweep the colonic debris out. This is done for 1–3 weeks. I have done it several times and it certainly removed some deeply impacted intestinal debris but was quite intense.

Another way to detox is with fresh, organic vegetable juices. Three 16-oz glasses a day with carrot juice as a base mixed with beet, celery, spinach, lettuce or other green leafy vegetables make for a powerful yet much easier cleanse. This detox can be done for several days or several weeks and will completely revitalize the system with a heavy dose of enzymes and minerals. If one is on a juice cleanse for more than a few days, an once or twice a day enema will be needed or at least an herbal laxative, like senna or cascara sagrada, to keep the bowels moving and limit auto-intoxication (cleansing too fast). These ‘cleansing reactions’ can be uncomfortable but only indicate that the body is reabsorbing old toxic debris. Once the bowels move, the reaction subsides and one feels lighter than ever.

In Chinese Medicine, a lot of raw food is not advocated. They believe that too much raw food can be weakening for the spleen, causing an imbalance in the body. Different foods are thought to have different energies, from cold to neutral to hot. Raw fruits and vegetables possess a cooling energy. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, over-consumption can result in symptoms such as chilliness, mucus, congestion, fatigue and depletion, feeling cold, abdominal pain, poor appetite, and bloating after meals.

There are many other possible detoxification protocols available. If you feel it is time to attempt a cleanse, please come in for a treatment and we can discuss viable options based on your unique body constitution and current health.

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