The Toxic Burden
The body is built to maintain health and self-detoxify. But what are the implications of the thousands of new chemicals that have been introduced in recent decades? Follow my journey of detoxing from toxic cancer treatments.
Inflammation and Detoxification
The focus of my work with clients is to detoxify their lives. It became clear to me through my cancer, the birth and death of my grandson, and the loss of my mom to cancer that no one is immune to the health effects of the toxins all around us. This buildup of toxins within us – our toxic burden – is a gradual buildup. The symptoms are often clustered and seemingly unrelated. For example, you see one specialist for your back or joint pains, another for your chronic sinus infections, and yet another for any gastrointestinal issues.
It’s becoming clearer every day, even to mainstream medicine, that there is one common thread to most of the chronic health issues: inflammation. Inflammation occurs in two ways. The first is a healthy response to injury or germs. The second is the body’s response to a malfunction of the immune system.
The Role of Inflammation
When the body encounters a threat to integrity such as invaders like infection, the immune system rallies the white blood cells. Think of them like the national guard. They stay home and keep watch for danger, ready and waiting to be called to duty. They increase in number to combat infections, and in response to injury, stress, and normal inflammation – all things that threaten the continued health of the body. But what happens when communications get compromised or break down? The immune system must be able to tell the difference between what belongs in the body and was does not. If the troops are called out in error, they still look for something to attack, and will attack tissues and organs that are not in danger. When too many “nots” rain down on the body, the protectors go into high gear looking for the enemy. They call for more help multiplying forces beyond what is necessary, to counter the barrage of attacks coming at it from all angles. The problem occurs when these cells go rogue (unregulated) and don’t receive the communication to stop. It is at this point that the immune system is in overdrive and doing more harm than good, resulting in autoimmune disorders.
The Role of Detoxification
Humans have engaged in detoxification behaviors for centuries. Think about that. Thousands of years before the introduction of tens of thousands of toxic chemicals into our environment; humans realized the need to detoxify. That being said, the body is built to detoxify itself of toxins. The liver is like a wastewater treatment plant, taking in toxins and converting them so other organs like the colon, kidneys, and skin can excrete them. The question is, how effective can the body be at elimination if it is bombarded with toxins at unprecedented rates or there are clogs in the system? It is not inconceivable that we have overwhelmed the body with toxins day in, day out, that it cannot keep up with the rate of detoxification necessary to keep us in a state of health. The debate is whether the body can keep up with the barrage of toxins; new ones added daily to the chemical soup of our environment. Think about how stressed organs like the liver and kidneys are trying to detox the thousands of toxins you take in every day. It’s just too much; which is why chronic disease has surpassed contagious disease in causing death. Our bodies are toxic waste dumps that need to be drained and cleaned.
The key? Reduce the number of toxins. Whatever is finally determined about the need to detox, one truth holds true – healthy living will not hurt you.
Since undergoing chemo and radiation three years ago, I have been dedicated to restoring my health. I can’t tell you that I’ve removed all toxins. I live in modern society and there is simply no way to control all aspects of the environment. What I have done is addressed areas over which I do have control. I’ve been working on a physical detox for about four months now. However, my toxic burden is much greater than it was three years ago due to all the chemo drugs that landed me in the hospital and the very unsafe levels of radiation I’ve been exposed to before, during and after cancer treatments. I have decided to invoke one of the oldest detoxification techniques in my quest to reduce my toxic burden – the sauna. My infrared sauna arrives Thursday. Why did I choose this as my next step? I have experienced my body trying desperately to heal itself. Over the last three years I have cleaned up my diet with whole, organic foods; reduced my alcohol consumption to nearly nothing; replaced toxic personal care and cleaning products with clean (age-old) alternatives; and filtered my water of metals and chemicals that are toxic. I feel the difference. But now, my body is using its innate functions to rid itself of the remaining toxins that keep me down. Sleep is a time the body takes advantage of our inactivity to heal. My body has been utilizing this time lately, and I have noticed that it has also been sweating out toxins while I sleep. It’s actually quite gross; so, after much research I have decided to start daily sauna treatments to help it out. I will keep you posted as to the effects and outcome. Stay tuned!!
Yours in Wellness,