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   How to detox safely & naturally

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How We Lose Weight
The first step to losing weight is understanding how we gain it.

Detox Diet Weight Loss
How a detox diet will help you lose weight.

Weight Loss Secrets
Experts' takes on what works andwhat doesn't.

Digestion & Weight Loss

Undigested food is a big culprit in weight gain.


Lymph Cleanse
Learn how to detox the lymph system. Plus, foods that naturally detox the lymph.

Lung Detox
How to support lung health this winter with a detox cleanse.

Colon Detox
Colon cleansing is essential to any detox program. Learn how to detox the colon safely.

Liver Detox
The liver is the primary organ of detoxification in the body. Learn how to detox the liver safely with this liver detox gude.


Lemon Detox Diet
The lemon detox diet is one of the best and most simple detox diets. Here's a guide and one-gallon recipe.

Liquid Diets
Fasting with fruit and vegetable juices is a safe and thorough detox method when done properly.

Detox & Weight Loss
Yes, a detox diet will help you lose weight. Before you start any detox diet, read this.

Easy Detox Diet
This weekend detox diet is a safe and gentle detox method, perfect for the detox newbie and the ultra busy.

Toxicity in Everyday Life

Toxic Environments
In your day-to-day life, you are exposed to toxins on numerous levels, some within your control, some totally outside it.

Toxicity and Disease
Increasingly, life on planet earth is tough on the body. An in depth look at the onset of toxicity.

Why We Need to Detox
Increasingly, life on planet earth is tough on the body. An in depth look at the onset of toxicity.

Detoxification and the Immune System
On a daily basis our immune and detoxification systems may be overwhelmed by chemical exposure.

Do You Need to Detox?

Do You Need to Detox?
Are you overweight or tired all the time? Do you have headaches, other aches and pains, or frequent colds and flus? Do you suffer from constipation or digestive problems?

Detoxification & Your Health
The key to a long and healthy life is locked in the internal condition of our body.

Toxicity Symptoms
If gone unnoticed for a long time, toxicity can seriously weaken your immune system and health. Here is a comprehensive list of toxcity symptoms.

How Detoxification Works
There are two major detoxification systems operating within the body--the antioxidation system, and the liver's detoxification processes. 

Toxicity in Everyday Life

We live in a sea of toxins. Worldwide, exposure to chemical pollutants continues to increase, resulting in increased contamination of our air, water and food supply. In the developed world, laws have been passed and often even enforced, which have led to reductions in air and water pollution of several known toxins. Yet at the same time, thousands of new and untested "bio-active" chemicals are being introduced. Likewise, science continues to discover new health threats from existing chemicals, such as endocrine system impairments from estrogen-mimicking pesticides.

Toxic Environments

The petrochemical industry has grown from isolated experimentation a hundred years ago to a multi-billion dollar industry today, from a handful of researchers to thousands of petrochemical producers making millions of tons of both old and new chemicals -- most of which are toxic. Yet today even individuals who consider themselves generally well-informed are unaware of the many sources of toxins in their immediate environment and the threat they can pose to health.

One of the easiest ways to visualize the impact on your own health is to see yourself as a boat afloat in a sea of toxins. If a boat is trustworthy, it can carry a specified load without problem. Good News! If your general health is good, your body can process a certain amount of environmental and other toxins without any apparent problem. (See How the Body Detoxifies, and to learn how to assist your body's natural detoxification abilities, check out How to Detox).

But a craft may not be seaworthy, and no boat can keep afloat if it is simply overloaded. Similarly, even the strongest immune system can be swamped if overloaded with too many toxins.

In your day-to-day life, you are exposed to toxins on numerous levels, some within your control, some totally outside it, and others somewhere in between. Accordingly, it makes sense to learn something about the various kinds of exposure that you encounter daily, in order to make informed choices to reduce your overall level of toxic intake.

It may be helpful to think of yourself as standing on the bull's eye in a series of concentric circles. The bull's eye marks the area that lies within your control. Each ring radiating outward means less personal control in areas where you interface -- your home, neighborhood, workplace, and your community.

Internal Metabolic Toxins
At the center of the target -- the first level of toxic exposure -- are internal bodily toxins. These are the natural byproducts of your metabolism, which the body's natural detoxification processes are designed to handle. Those natural detoxification processes can be overwhelmed if the body generates an excess of internal toxins, for example when a prescription for antibiotics kills off the friendly intestinal flora, allowing unfriendly microbes such as Candida albicans -- a yeast bacteria -- to proliferate. The yeast generates high levels of toxins. The Yeast Syndrome by John Parks Trowbridge, M.D. and Morton Walker, D.P.M. is a good source of information on how to address the many health impacts of a yeast problem.

Emotional Toxins
The need to love and be loved qualifies as a physical need. Conversely, another source of internal toxins that most people donut consider as such are emotional toxins. The potential sources are innumerable -- whether unresolved trauma or abuse that occurred as a child or as an adult, or unhappy relationships with a relative, a spouse, a "significant other," a boss, co-worker or even a neighbor. The pursuit of vibrant physical health is undermined when these unresolved emotional toxins are not dealt with directly. Complicating this process is the fact that though a person can leave a job or even a spouse, or avoid a relative or neighbor -- the simple fact is that unresolved trauma doesn't just go away, nor can one move away from it. Work with a counselor or mental health care provider can be helpful in launching the process, but ultimately its a spiritual journey in the deepest sense. Emotional toxins are ultimately under your control, but mastering them can be the battle of a lifetime. (For more information and some helpful links see our articles on psycho-neuro immunology and post traumatic stress disorder.)

Consumable Toxins
Consumable toxins are toxins that enter your body directly by way of your mouth. Here, you have the greatest amount of control. You decide what goes into your mouth. But to make that decision wisely requires knowledge of the sources of "consumable toxins." They include water-borne toxins, some foods (particularly for the millions of people with food allergies), chemical additives in packaged foods and beverages, tobacco and alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, "recreational" drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and toxins absorbed from dental work.

Toxins Absorbed Through the Skin
The next ring also allows a high level of personal control. It involves toxins found in anything that is applied to or absorbed by your skin. Sources of toxins in this category can include not only personal care products, such as cosmetics and hygiene supplies, but also some sources you may not have considered. For example, PVA (poly-vinyl alcohol) -- the carcinogenic formaldehyde-based substance that creates "perma-press" fabrics -- can be absorbed by your skin. The skin can also absorb chemical or fragrance additives to soaps and cleansers. Fortunately, many new non-toxic personal care alternatives have begun to appear on the market. For suggestions on how to shop for more natural personal care products, click here.

toxic productsEnvironmental Toxins in Your Home Environment
The third circle of your toxic load involves substances you encounter in your immediate personal environment: your home, garden or automobile. While still under your control, these areas often have to be negotiated with other people. Household exposure affects other family members, and garden exposure might have to be shared with neighbors. Still, your level of control over pollutants from these sources remains relatively high. These toxins can include biological pollutants -- such as pollen, dust, mold, mildew, animal dander and bacteria -- or chemical pollutants found in the house, garden and auto. They include outgassing from carpet and furniture or radiation from smoke alarms. Radon, a naturally occurring form of radioactive gas found in many soils may also be present. Electromagnetic fields (EMF), waves of electrical energy emitted by home electrical wiring and electrical devices including computers and appliances, is almost certainly present. Additionally, chemical agents are found in cleaning compounds, waxes and polishes, disinfectants, garage fumes, insecticides, weed killers, and car-care products. "Detoxifying" your home is one of the greatest contributions you can make to your health and your family.

Unless you work at home, you have less control in terms of work environment, where toxic exposure may be controlled by fellow employees, bosses, and building owners or managers. Many of the toxins found in offices or work environments duplicate those found in the household -- for example, carpet outgassing, cleaning compounds, insecticides, and disinfectants. But office environments also carry the risk of chemicals used in clerical work, such as photocopier toners, "white out" and glues, or the effects of sick building syndrome. Many work environments bring exposure from automotive fumes or chemicals, chemicals associated with carpentry, construction, or manufacturing, or exposure to agricultural chemicals. Protecting yourself may involve anything from a simple change in equipment to quitting your job. Ouch!

If you work in an office there are many simple steps you can take to make your office safer. Also, for more general information on dealing with toxins in the work environment, try this article.

environmental pollutants chemical factoryEnvironmental Toxins in Your City or Community
The largest circle, and the one over which you have the least immediate control, is your community. The type of toxic exposure experienced at the community level can vary widely depending on whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural environment. Urban residents face increased exposure to lead, to air-borne particulates from diesel engines, and to contamination from industrial sites. Suburban residents run the risk of air pollution from commuting or chemical exposures from golf courses and gardens, while rural residents are more likely to encounter high levels of fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. There are basically two ways to protect your and your family's health from the threat of toxins found in the community. First, you can insulate your personal environment somewhat from community toxins -- for example by increasing the number of air-filtering plants in and around your house, or by using an air filter indoors. Second, you can join others in your community to press for a healthier environment. Life can become very rewarding when your concern for personal health starts to extend towards positive action for the health of our communities and planet. It's certainly more fulfilling than junk food!

In this toxic sea upon which we sail, its easy to see how even a well-constructed and well-maintained boat can become swamped with toxins. It takes an active crew for safe sailing. If you bring awareness to the process, and start making active choices, you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

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