Fall is here … What a beautiful time! The temperatures get cooler, the leaves on the trees begin to change and fall, the kids are back in school and we all get back into a routine. For many, getting back into a routine also means taking better care of ourselves and our health.
After a summer filled with BBQs, patio get-togethers and drinks in the sun, many people begin to think about doing a detox. For many, doing a detox is an overwhelming process and many don’t know where to start or what type of detox to do. There are many detox ‘kits’ or cleanses that you can buy on the market, but they are not necessarily tailored to your body’s specific needs nor to the time of year.
Does the time of year really matter when choosing a detox? In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the answer would be YES. According to Chinese medicine, there are five seasons in the year: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Late Summer. It is of great importance to detox the body and rejuvenate the spirit throughout these times as the health of our organs are linked to the rhythms of these seasons and elements of Life.
If you have been thinking of doing a detox and would like a program that is uniquely planned for you, then we are here to help. You can visit our Seasonal Cleansing & Rejuvenation Program page to read more about the different detox programs throughout the year. For optimal health, we recommend a minimum of one detox a year. For general health, a great option is to select a different season to detox each year.
Who should do a detox in the Fall?
Our Fall detox is a program modified for each person and it’s uniquely tailored to your body’s specific needs to ensure good health and to promote wellness all year round. For this reason, anyone wanting to detox in the Fall would benefit from this program.
More specifically, in Chinese Medicine, the Fall is a perfect time to cleanse, detox and support our Lungs, Large Intestine and Skin. If you have recurrent or chronic lung conditions (ie. bronchitis, chronic cough, pneumonia), digestive issues (ie. constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain) or skin issues (ie. acne, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, rosacea), now would be a great time to do a detox.
I usually recommend that this detox begin at the end of September/beginning of October and ends in the middle of December (just in time for Christmas!). But you can begin at any time during the Fall.
Does the Fall detox program involve any testing?
Different screening tests are available for the Fall detox program to provide us with further information regarding how the lungs, large intestine and skin are functioning. This will help guide our recommendations to better tailor the detox for you. Not all screening tests are necessary and they are selected on an individual basis.
Some of the screening tests that may be recommended as part of the Fall detox are:
- Hair mineral and heavy metal testing
- Red Blood Cell Minerals on blood work
- Zinc tally test to assess zinc levels
- Urinary indican testing to analyze bowel toxicity
- Chest X-ray
- Food sensitivity testing
- Occult blood in the stool
- Eosinophils in blood to screen for parasites
- Candida testing
- Skin exam
Our Fall Detox Program has 5 Main Components
1. Restoring minerals in our body
Throughout the year, our bodies lose important minerals and we often don’t properly replenish them through our diet. Minerals are required in different amounts by the body, and they perform very important roles. Many conditions can arise if they are depleted. I often recommend a hair mineral analysis at this time of the year so that we can have a more accurate idea of the minerals that need our focus.
The Fall is a good time to focus on replenishing minerals through the diet and to begin supplementing with a good multi-mineral supplement. Eat mineral rich foods in the Fall and aim for 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Foods rich in minerals are:
- Sea vegetables: dulse, nori, kelp, and kombu
- Nuts & seeds: brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, tahini, almond butter
- Grains: oatmeal, wheat germ, amaranth, wild rice, brown rice, pearl barley, millet
- Sprouts: mung bean, red clover, broccoli, sunflower seed
- Vegetables: swiss chard, kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, avocado, fresh vegetable juices
- Fruits: bananas, figs, apples, kiwi
- Beans & legumes: aduki beans, mung beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, tofu
- Greens: powdered organic green supplements (ie. Greens +, barley green, spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella)
As mentioned, you will also want to supplement with a good multi-mineral supplement as these help displace toxic metals from their binding sites and prevent their absorption. You want to be careful when choosing a multi-mineral supplement as not all are created equally and in appropriate dosages. You will want to speak with your Naturopathic Doctor or a qualified health professional who has training in natural medicines before supplementing with any natural products.
2. Eliminating toxic heavy metals
The first step to eliminating toxic heavy metals is to analyze the toxic load in our bodies by doing a hair analysis. This will give us an idea of just how aggressive of a detox is necessary. Once the heavy metal toxic load is determined, we can then select recommendations to help with their elimination. This may include an herbal formula, a homeopathic drainage protocol or a variety of nutritional therapies.
When cleansing heavy metals from the body, they are released from where they have been stored therefore it’s normal and likely to see an initial rise in hair, urine or stool testing before levels start to decrease as they are eliminated for the body. If you carry an average toxic load of heavy metals, they will likely be cleared within 9 months. Some with a greater toxic load or with certain metals (ie. lead) that are stored in deeper tissues, the process may take longer and may take closer to 2 years to be completely eliminated. The degree of a detox and monitoring is determined on an individual basis and will be modified as necessary.
General recommendations to help eliminate heavy metals:
- Green smoothies; homemade or can be taken in supplement form (example: Greens + Visit your local health food store as many exist)
- help prevent absorption of toxic metals
- help eliminate toxic metals through the bowels
- cilantro, garlic, miso, wheat grass, parsley, soy or whey protein
- * caution with whey protein if a dairy sensitivity is present
- Remove and replace silver and mercury amalgam dental fillings. Talk to your dentist!
- If you are having them removed, it’s important that you also have a regimen in place at the same time to assist in the removal of the heavy metals
3. Boosting our immune system
With the colder months quickly approaching and winter around the corner, now is the time to boost your immune system. Many options exist from eating a wholesome healthy diet, to beginning an immune boosting regimen that may entail vitamins and minerals, herbs and homeopathic remedies. You can also read my previous blog on boosting your child’s immune system as many tips and tricks in the blog are also applicable for adults.
4. Cleansing our bowels
If you’ve been thinking about doing food sensitivity testing, Fall is a great time. I will be blogging in the upcoming weeks about food sensitivities and the difference between a sensitivity and an allergy. If you have any questions regarding food sensitivity testing, please give us a call or send us an email at any time.
During this time of the detox, we would be offering food sensitivity testing (optional) and recommending a 2 week hypoallergenic type diet. A hypoallergenic diet removes all offending food allergens from the diet to allow the digestive tract to heal, to help eliminate heavy metals and old fecal matter and to prepare our colon for a yeast and parasite cleanse that will follow. This part of the detox may also involve indican testing to determine the degree of bowel toxicity. Depending on the severity, bowel cleansing enemas may also be recommended. Again, these are all discussed on an individual basis.
5. Cleansing yeast (candida) & parasites from our bodies
Parasite and candida testing would be discussed and offered at the beginning of the detox and the degree and aggressiveness of the detox would be determined accordingly.
Once bowel detox has been underway for about 1 week, we would then begin a parasite & candida detox for another 10 days. Yeast (candida), fungi, harmful bacteria and parasites can exist and live anywhere in the body, but our digestive tract seems to be amongst the most popular, especially if the levels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria are out of balance. Part of your treatment plan may include herbs, homeopathics and other professional nutraceuticals.
General recommendations for removing yeast and parasites in our bodies:
- Avoid all sugars, alcohol, yeast in baked goods, dairy products, vinegar, pistachios, peanuts, mushrooms, high glycemic carbohydrates, fermented foods
- Avoid fruit or limit to 1 serving daily
- Eat raw, steamed vegetables, legumes, cooked whole grains, bean and rice combinations, tofu, other nuts and seeds (except peanuts and pistachios)
- Add cinnamon and ginger to as many foods as possible
- Drink 8 oz of diluted pure cranberry juice daily
- Eat ½ cup of raw or soaked pumpkin seeds daily
- Eat 2 cloves of raw garlic daily for 10 weeks