Detoxification can be an important method to support the patient during their healing crisis. As with many autoimmune cases, there are many factors. Neurotoxin overload is a common problem that affects many patients. The source of neurotoxins may be heavy metals, viruses, bacteria (in the case of Lyme), fungi, molds, parasites and protozoans. Some of the toxins actually target, impair and even damage the nervous system and the detoxification organs. This can further impair and block the route for normal excretion causing an accumulation of toxins. This results in intracellular damage and further progression of disease.
In Lyme disease, the bacteria is a ”smart“ bug which wants to maintain its life within the person. It actually hides itself from the immune system. The Lyme bacteria is neurotoxic and in order to survive, clogs up the lymphatic system and causes the blood to thicken. This leads to poor blood flow through the liver and a stickiness to the interstitial fluid. The interstitial fluid is the fluid that bathes and nourishes the tissue cells. It also picks up microorganisms, foreign particles, enzymes, proteins, and hormones for processing through the lymphatic system. In addition to the lymphatic system, Lyme prefers to travel through the collagen more than the blood.
Lyme disease is a systemic infection and it can invade and damage any and all organs, glands, and systems of our body. Lyme patients are also challenged by other co-infections that are often overlooked.
Because of its ability to hide from the immune system, Lyme makes itself difficult to diagnose through testing and thereby difficult to design an effective treatment protocol. Often it can mask itself as a different disease such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig disease). It is important for the physician to ascertain if Lyme is at a causal level in these diseases. Assuming the patient is being treated with an appropriate protocol, effective detoxification plays an extremely important role in eliminating the neurotoxins from the body.
When the Lyme is being killed, it produces its own neurotoxin in defense. This subsequently clogs the blood, lymph, liver and colon which slows down the detoxification pathways. And as long as the patient is in treatment for Lyme, detoxification needs to be ongoing. When the body is overburdened with a toxic load, the patient might experience a Herxheimer (Herx) reaction. One of my patients explained her Herx reactions like a bad hangover. She had extreme fatigue, headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms, and a tingling sensation throughout her body. She also noticed that her usual symptoms were made much worse. It is during these episodes, the detoxification process becomes even more important.
Since there are numerous methods for detoxification, one must select those which offer the most support. The two primary pathways of detoxification are: 1) the colon which removes solid wastes and 2) the kidneys and bladder which removes liquid wastes. These pathways have external elimination being feces and urine. The liver is also a primary detoxification organ for toxins, hormones, and protein and fat metabolism. The pathway for water soluble toxins is through the urine. Hormones are excreted through bile in the GI tract. The lungs and skin are the secondary pathways. The lungs outgas toxins from the bloodstream and the skin acts as an excretion pathway by erupting with pimples, pustules, abscesses or oozing sores in the attempt to remove toxins from the body.
The functions of the colon (also called the large intestine or large bowel) are numerous. These functions work very well when the intestinal bacteria is of beneficial varieties and in sufficient quantities. The colon actually manufactures certain nutrients for us, including B 12 and Vitamin K. It absorbs nutrients which might have been missed in the small intestines which helps to keep us nutrient dense. Third, it blocks the absorption of pathogens and toxins from returning to the blood stream. Next, it reabsorbs and recycles water and bile. The water is used to keep the body from dehydrating and the bile is reused in digestion of fats. Finally, the colon decomposes chyme (digested food) into fecal material as the final component of the life cycle. It is essentially our own personal compost pit.
For effective elimination of solid waste, it is important to have a proper binding agent such as fiber or chlorella. This is especially true with neurotoxins. One needs to also have numerous daily bowel movements or colon hydrotherapy. Otherwise the neurotoxins are reabsorbed from the colon back into the system and redistributed throughout the body. This vicious cycle needs to be broken.
With any detoxification protocol, if the bowels are not working efficiently and effectively, this is the first place to start. Also, 60 percent of the immune system is in the intestines which is called GALT. This stands for Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue. Therefore a properly functioning gastrointestinal (GI) tract is vital for immune function. To keep the bowels working we can use colon hydrotherapy, supplements which loosen the bowels, and most importantly colon reflorastation therapy.
Colon hydrotherapy, also called colonics, is the gentle washing out of the large intestine. Many areas have colon therapists, some do not. To find a competent therapist, talk with the holistic practitioners in your area. Colonics are an effective way to remove fecal material when there is toxicity, constipation, or poor muscle action in the colon. It also removes bile which has not been absorbed. During a colonic much of the fecal material in the 5 feet of large intestines is removed. Colonic should be administered as needed.
When there is lower abdominal pain, castor oil packs according to the Edgar Cayce method are beneficial. Use a piece of wool or cotton flannel. Saturate it with hexane free castor oil and place the cloth on the abdomen from the bottom of the ribs to the top of the hip bones. It can be covered with a piece of plastic like a garbage bag liner which keeps the oil from soiling our clothing or bedding. A heating pad or hot water bottle is placed on top of the plastic for the one hour treatment. These are suggested three times per week or as needed. More is definitely better and some patients sleep with the pack covering the abdomen. The flannel doesn’t need to be washed, just placed in a Ziploc® bag until the next application. Additional oil is used for each treatment. There are studies which show that these packs increase the detoxification process, strengthen the immune system and decrease pain. They can be used before colonics or as needed.
If colonics are not possible, there are a number of ways to increase bowel activity: magnesium oxide, vitamin C in crystal form, digestive enzymes, or herbal supplements such as hyssop. These stimulate the muscle action of the colon called peristalsis. An occasional use of the herbs cascara sagrada or senna is acceptable although these are not a preferred choice, as they can irritate the delicate lining of the intestines.
When there are excessive bowels movements due to diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, it is preferable to begin with one colon reflorastation therapy. This therapy is the rectal introduction of probiotics. Due to the acidity of the stomach, most probiotics do not easily reach the large intestine. The oral method only has a success rate of two to five percent.
However in a rectal application, 100 % of the bacteria are retained and flourish in this dark, moist, and warm environment. In this way the colon will colonize within one hour and stabilize in three days. This is called colon reflorastation therapy and can be readministered as often as needed. This provides rapid support for detoxification.
In my 30 years of private practice, I have continuously tested many varieties of probiotics and have found those which are safe, efficient, and effective. This is determined by a positive response on 95% of all the patients. In this way, I have formulated a proprietary formula which has twenty varieties and 50 billion in quantity per application. This provides a rapid proliferation of bacteria. For those with chemical or environmental sensitivity, each individual bacteria can be tested with EAV or Vega testing.
The vitality of this formula has shown a primary support for the GI tract and a secondary support for the liver, kidneys, and immune system. Because of this, the frequency of colonics can be reduced unless there is chronic constipation or slow bowel transit time.
Bowel transit time is the number of hours or days it takes for our food to travel from our mouth to final elimination. We test this with unpopped kernels of corn or a large serving of beets. When we see the evidence in the stool, we can determine the amount of time it took to complete the journey through our digestive tract.
While addressing the frequency and effectiveness of bowel elimination, we need to also consider parasites. Lyme likes to hide in parasites. These microscopic invaders might be amoebas, worms, protozoan, fungal spores, or yeasts. While I do not think that parasites are causal to a disease, I do think they are contributors to the deterioration of the patient’s vital force.
Most parasites live in the colon where the small intestines connect on the lower right side of the abdomen. However, they can be found in most areas of the body. Many doctors dismiss parasites as a concern for those living in third world nations. In a sample of almost 3,000 people, 32% tested positive for some type of parasitic infection.
Parasites inflame the lining of the GI tract which blocks the absorption of nutrients. A natural by-product of parasites is acid, which can cause the central nervous system to become sluggish, damage organs, and break down muscle tissue. In their process of growth and reproduction, they emit toxins that affect the liver and kidneys. These detoxification organs then become fatigued and sluggish. Because parasites hinder the growth of beneficial probiotics, they create an environment that allows yeast to flourish.
A comprehensive parasite detoxification program will address these invaders three ways. First, we use an energetic approach with a homeopathic remedy. Second, a chemical method is used. I prefer a tincture of black walnut. It is best to select the green hull form since it has the highest concentration of the chemical which affects parasites. Third, there is a mechanical method using a food grade form of diatomaceous earth.
Since most parasites have a life cycle of 21 days, a parasite cleanse should last 23 days or longer. A gentle bowel cleanser will help to move the parasites, their debris, and their eggs out more quickly. I prefer one that is rice based since it is easier to eliminate because it stays soft and slippery.
Once we have a healthy colon, it is necessary to look to the liver. Toxins in the body can expose the liver to damage which causes a decrease in liver metabolism. This is called sluggish liver. Symptoms from this kind of damage include fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, increased fat storage, and hormone imbalance.
Our liver has a central role in the removal of toxins from the body. It also detoxifies and excretes hormones into the bile. Another main function of the liver is protein metabolism. When there is decreased blood flow through the liver, there can be increased levels of ammonia in the blood. One other central function is fat metabolism, particularly cholesterol and phospholipids, such as lecithin. It is therefore essential that our liver remains in optimal working condition.
There is a distinct difference in liver detoxification enzymes which exist between men and women. This is due to the phase 1 liver detoxification enzyme induced by progesterone. What we must remember is that it affects our susceptibility and outcome to toxic exposure. Perhaps this is a factor which contributes to the high incidence rate of autism in males, more than females. Also, genetic mutations of the liver detoxification pathways can make our job even more difficult.
Since the liver detoxification pathways are complex, this article is not about understanding it. Instead, let’s learn how to effectively support this process. Juicing with deep green vegetables, including kale, barley grass, alfalfa, and beet greens will support ongoing daily detoxification. Also, look for a nutritional product which has a combination of supplements designed to address both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways. Begin with a very small dose, increase slowly, and vary the dose as needed. We do this to reduce the possibility of herx and detox reactions.
Should this occur or if you are feeling toxic, lethargic or sluggish, consider a coffee enema. They can decrease the load in the liver. There is a portal vein which allows the coffee in the rectum and lower colon to rapidly activate the liver. It dumps the toxic load into the GI tract for removal via the stool.
An easy method of delivery of coffee is to use organic instant coffee in a 4 ounce disposable enema bottle. First, pour off an ounce of the saline solution. Add 3 tablespoons of the organic instant coffee to the bottle. It is then warmed by placing it in a cup of hot water for several minutes. Lie on your left side to administer the enema. When completed, turn onto your back and place a small pillow under the buttocks. If possible hold this for five to twenty minutes, longer if possible, before expelling the coffee. These may also be repeated as often as needed. However it is important to periodically do the colon reflorastation therapy.
During coffee enemas we are disrupting the pH (acid-alkaline balance) of the colon. Our healthy bacteria are now working to clear out the toxins from the liver while having their environment less than optimal. 24 hours after the coffee enemas, administer a new colon reflorastation to will further support our detoxification channels.
Now that we are keeping the colon and liver in better working order, we need to turn to the lymphatic pathways. This is our immune system. While the skin is the largest organ of the immune system, sixty percent of the immune system is in the intestines. The lymph vessels are located near our arteries and veins. These carry toxins and wastes away from the cells. The pathogens are then trapped in lymph nodes until they can be destroyed by cells. We can more easily feel our lymph nodes in our neck, under our arms, and around the groin. They also surround our vital organs, our face and our head.
There are two forms of lymphatic drainage therapy: manual and electronically assisted. The most effective and rapid method is the electronically assisted. These treatments may last from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. It is important to not overload the system when taking your first treatment. If flu-like symptoms, nausea, or headaches occur, be sure the colon and liver are well supported. Longer sessions can be taken when the reactions are minimal or tolerable.
This form of lymph drainage uses far infrared heat and multi-wave oscillating frequencies with noble gases. Infrared is a type of invisible light with electromagnetic waves. Research has shown that far infrared ray has a high value on human health. These rays penetrate into the cells and create a water molecule resonance. It enters the subcutaneous cell layer and elevates the temperature. This increases capillary dilation and circulation. At this time there is an excretion of blood and congested toxins. This activates the cells, assists in repair and protection of these cells, and promotes the formation of enzymes.
In addition to the far infrared heat, we use multi-wave oscillating frequencies. These are based on quantum physics. When the light energy is applied to the skin, it increases the flow of both blood and lymphatic fluids. During the lymphatic drainage therapy, the light is applied to the skin in a systematic pattern. Toxins are decoupled from the interstitial fluid. They must then pass through the lymphatics. After being processed in the lymph nodes the toxins are excreted in the urine.
This light can also be used during colonics as the gut takes on the energy field and increases the flow of blood and lymph within the colon. This increases detoxification. Whether we do this as a full lymphatic drainage therapy or in addition to a colon hydrotherapy, we will have a reduction of toxins and pathogenic material. Naturally we will have healthier cells.
After a lymphatic drainage treatment, it is important to drink plenty of water and take a detoxification bath. One of the easiest products to use is epsom salt. At least one pound of epsom salt is added to the bath water. Submerge the body as much as possible for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a loofa or vegetable brush to thoroughly brush the skin at the end of the bath. Other bath products, particularly those with EDTA can assist in the additional removal of toxins and heavy metals. Baths may be incorporated into any protocol as it stimulates the elimination of toxins through the skin.
In my private practice, I have come to realize that administration of the colon reflorastation therapy is essential to the lymphatic drainage treatment. This can be done after a colonic or as the lymphatic treatment begins. In this way, I have been able to almost completely eliminate detox reactions after the treatment. Otherwise, patients experience symptoms such as fatigue, flu like symptoms, headaches, and nausea.
A detox bath can be as simple as the epsom salt bath explained above or as comprehensive as one using specific equipment. There are several models available which emit healing frequencies into the water. The unit which I prefer has four features. The powerful ultrasonic waves help the body recover from fatigue, has a massaging effect and boosts energy levels as it drives heat deep into the body. This warms the bones and the internal organs while improving circulation. The mat emits far infrared rays which create a magnetic field to detoxify whatever parts of the body are submerged in the water. It creates ozone from ambient air and disperses it into the water in the form of bubbles. In this way, the skin transfers the ozone into the blood stream disabling the toxins. The final feature is the negative ions which, like a thunderstorm, are generated anions to promote cell activity and assist in the body’s ability to process oxygen.
The benefits of this type of bath are internal warming, deep cleansing as it releases toxins, and the benefits of massage such as passive exercise and relaxation. A typical treatment is 15 minutes and can be done occasionally or up to four times per day.
There are a number of other forms of detoxification, including hyperbaric oxygen, ionic foot baths, homeopathic drainage, and intravenous injections of hydrogen peroxide and nutrients. What is critical is to recognize the toxic problem being experienced. By evaluating this, we can then determine the most effective treatment to address that concern. Keeping in mind, the importance of an efficient colon first, and then the liver and lymphatics. What is not able to carry away the neurotoxins, must be treated first or at the same time.
S.J. is a 20 year old female who was diagnosed with Lyme disease in the summer of 2006. Her program included the natural IVs of hydrogen peroxide, Vitamin C, and an ozone treatment. On the traditional side, she did 3 times per week for 2 months of antibiotic injections. Afterwards, she did oral antibiotics and antifungals. Within 6 months, her detox channels were extremely congested and crippled by the excessive neurotoxins.
Her detox program included colonics with the colon reflorastation therapy. As symptoms changed, we incorporated a parasite cleanse, detox baths, lymphatic drainage therapy and coffee enemas. After nineteen months of treatment, her doctors have determined that she is in remission. Her comment to me last week was: “Your treatments have been so valuable. However, what I appreciate most is this: I have learned what to look for so that I know what to do and when to do it. Thanks.”
N.J. is a 7 year old body who was diagnosed with high functioning autism. He has done a comprehensive heavy metal detox as well as antibiotics and antifungals. His detox protocol includes ongoing colon reflorastation therapy, lymphatic drainage therapy and hyperbaric oxygen. When his detoxification pathways function effectively, his behaviors such as spitting vanish and his speech and communication skills increase.
P.F. is a 44 year old male, diagnosed in early 2005 with Lyme. Traditional treatment was done initially, with some improvement. He then relapsed, which began his search into alternative treatment. He did IVs of vitamin C, chelation therapy, holistic antibiotics, and Bee venom treatment. The Lyme disease was primarily neurological. He continues to utilize numerous holistic physicians. The detox protocol includes colon reflorastation therapy which he considered a primary key. He also did lymphatic drainage therapy and castor oil packs. He must maintain a comprehensive program for Lyme, opportunistic viruses, and effective detoxification.
Victoria Bowmann, D.H.M., Ph.D., earned her doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy and her Ph.D. in homeopathy and natural medicine from Westbrook University from Wierton, WV. She has been in private practice in Phoenix AZ since 1978 specializing in detoxification, cleansing, and the process of increased well being.