Detoxification-Modern Knowledge and Ancient Wisdom
By Danny Jui • March 3rd, 2009 • 5774 Views
Detoxification is any process that decreases the negative impact of chemicals or molecules on the body, involving biotransformation of these toxic substances into excretable forms. Although this process has been a focus of recent scientific research, the idea of detoxification, however, parallels with the idea of proper flow in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The Five Elements constitute the basis of Chinese medical theory on the idea of proper flow or biotransformation among all collaborative organs to ensure optimal health. The five elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.
Metal represents the lungs in Chinese Medicine. Having optimal exchanges and flow of fresh air with deep breathing exercises is an important part of any detoxification program. Ancient texts suggest that upon rising is the best time for breathing exercises such as Tai-Chi, meditation, yoga, or any form of light exercise.
Water corresponds to our kidneys. Hydration is extremely important in detoxification. In fact, our kidneys are designed to handle roughly 180 liters of fluids a day, filter the blood about 60 times daily, and remove wastes through urination. In addition to drinking more purified water, naturopathic traditions offer simple home-based hydrotherapies such as sitz baths and contrast showers to gently enhance the flow through our kidneys.
Wood is related to the liver - our biggest internal organ of detoxification. The biotransformation in the liver is mediated by two closely related steps identified by researchers as Phase I and Phase II. Phase I converts toxic substances into more reactive forms before Phase II neutralizes and makes them more soluble for excretion. Proper functioning of both phases is essential because the metabolites produced during Phase I may actually be more toxic than the original substance; therefore, the two phases must be in balance to ensure complete detoxification without serious side effects or potential interactions with your medications or supplements. Specific nutrients and phytochemicals may be recommended by your naturopathic physician to appropriately support either or both phases of this delicate system, depending on your health situation....