When dealing with chronic illness, one often wonders where to begin the detoxification and cleansing process. Sometimes it seems that starting anything is better than doing nothing. However, a systematic approach offers a higher probability of success with less symptoms occurring for the patient. So frequently with chronic cases, a Herxheimer (herx) reaction can put the patient into a downward spiral of aggravated symptoms and recurrence of active disease. Let?s look at an approach that is effective and gentle.
The first point to consider is the need of the body for multifaceted cleansing. One area isn't affected; the patient is dealing with chronic long term conditions and symp?toms from bacterial, viral, or inflammatory illness. One of my favorite comments is: “Don't clean the kitchen if the garbage disposal isn't working.”
The human garbage disposal is the colon. However it is much more. The value of our intestines is not only diges?tion but also the impact of the immune system. After all, 70% of the immune system is in the gut. When the milieu and microbiota are maintained in a vital state, this adap?tive immune system can support the body?s defenses.
Many individuals have a weakened immune system because of their first two years of life. The microbiota is established in babies and is dependant on their exposure. Family, foods, medical treatments, vaccines, and living con?ditions all contribute to this environment. It is known that whatever is in the environment of an infant will show in the gut. This is of vital importance to consider in chronic illness. Not only does this play a role in the success of the immune system but also of the knowledge that one?s gut will always gravitate back to this initial microbiota at age 2.
There is not 'one' perfect microbiota. There are many. Individuals living in the Orient eating a vegetarian diet can have a healthy microbiota just as one in Iceland eating a highly fat and protein diet can have a healthy microbiota. Each is determined by individual exposure to bacteria.
In chronic illness this microbiota has been affected not only by their disease but also by their medical treatment. Medication generally has an impact on the gut. Holistic medication often has an impact that is life supporting. This is where our detoxification protocol is important. So let?s begin in the gut.
The probiotics given by mouth will have only a slight change on the intestines since acids in the stomach destroy most of these. For this reason, rectal introduc?tion of probiotics rapidly supports the immune system. Since bacterium doubles in 20 minutes, a retention suppository with 50 billion bacteria will grow to 400 billion in only one hour. The gut will stabilize in 3 days. This is called reflorastation. By frequently restor?ing a compromised microbiota with healthy probiotics, this delays the return of the microbiota to a previously less effective state.
What needs to be determined is the need or importance of colon irrigation. Often times, colon?ics are unavailable. When they are available, and it is warranted, they are a valuable modality in cleansing. Bile is recycled in the colon and returned to the liver for reuse. For a healthy person, colonics twice yearly will remove this bile and compel the liver to create new bile. This aids digestion and removes the buildup in old bile; which is laden with toxins.
Much more frequent colonics are important for those dealing with chronic illness. The degree of toxic?ity is generally high, from neurotoxins, medication residue, exotoxins and endotoxins. One might consider weekly colonics in severe cases. At the same time it is important to select infusions to promote cleansing and regeneration of the mucosa.
First and foremost is the reflorastation. In cases of IBS or UC, it may need to be administered weekly for as many as 5 treatments. In Lyme, it may need to be used weekly or twice monthly as long as antibiotic or other therapy is needed. It is important to keep the colon strong since we can use it to begin cleansing the liver, the second organ to consider.
The liver can be addressed orally and rectally. There are many good oral cleansing products available. It is important to select those that support both phase I and phase II detoxification pathways of the liver. I suggest starting slowly, usually one third of the recommended dose. It is easier to increase the program then to deal with a herx. As the detoxification pathways are being addressed, the liver needs support for effective elimi?nation. Homeopathic drainage remedies offer gentle cellular support.
When there has been a reaction or further support is warranted, consider coffee enemas or infusions. It is a method that can rapidly cleanse the liver. Organic coffee when administered rectally will pass through the portal vein into the liver, causing the liver to release some of its toxic load, which is eliminated via the colon. This is perhaps the most important infusion to consider after the reflorastation.
My recommendations for use are: Start with a reflo?rastation (and colonic if indicated). Wait three days. Begin coffee infusions on day 4. Continue daily for 10 days. Next is a colonic with reflorastation and begin the cycle again. It is important for the practitioner to moni?tor the detoxification process. If the reactions are too intense or uncomfortable, suggest the coffee infusions every other day.
Where there are treatments in which the coffee could minimize the effectiveness of the medication, it is best to wait until the value of the medication is complete. Per?haps this is 6 hours, Perhaps it is 24 hours. It is important to let the treatment work and then begin the detoxifica?tion of the ?die-off? and residues from the protocol.
One supportive rectal treatment is the use of wheat?grass juice. There are many benefits such as: increase in red blood cells, restores alkalinity, detoxifier, liver and blood protector. Additionally, the enzymes and amino acids offer protection from carcinogens and neutralize environmental pollutants. It is important to have fresh-juiced wheatgrass although there are powdered packets available that can be reconstituted and administered.
Another infusion is liquid garlic. When a patient is also dealing with parasites, this can have a beneficial effect. It is important to dilute it at least 4:1. The adverse affect is garlic gas for about 24 hours.
Many patients have excess mucus in the guts since it is a protective secretion against allergens, irritants, and inflam?mation. Excess mucus is swallowed during sleep; which con?tributes to the accumulation. Diluted lemon juice enemas can assist the mucosa in releasing this sticky secretion.
Once the colon and liver are working in tandem, it is now time to evaluate the affects on the lymphatic system. The interstitial fluid is frequently sluggish when there is chronic illness. Instead of a fluid that bathes the cells and removes debris, one finds fluid much like molasses: sticky and congested. This can be seen with thermography and can also be shown by fluid retention.
Lymphatic cleansing can be done manually or elec?tronically. Manual is effective however it takes many treatments. I consider it a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio. It will take at least 10 manual treatments to equal one electronically assisted treatment. If a partial or spot treatment is done, then the ration is 20:1.
The electronically assisted lymph drainage is more efficient although not as available in all areas. Far infrared and multiwave oscillating frequencies compose this treat?ment. These can be done in designated areas or encom?pass the entire body. What is important to consider is the degree and depth of toxins. When too many toxins are released too quickly, the body might not be able to eliminate them efficiently causing a reabsorption.
The debris from the lymphatic system is eliminated in urine. Therefore support for the kidneys and bladder is also important. This can be with the use of herbs and teas or homeopathic drainage remedies.
There are support treatments the patient can continue at home to help the lymphatic system. If additional mag?nesium is not contraindicated in their treatment plan, Epsom salt baths can help. Other bath products, par?ticularly those with ethylenediaminetetraacetate (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.
Since the skin is the largest organ of the immune sys?tem, daily brushing will be helpful. If dry brushing is too vigorous, then a wet loofa or vegetable brush is acceptable. One looks for progress that supports the patient, and doesn?t overwhelm them. Easy does it applies to every detoxification protocol when dealing with chronic conditions.
Walking, jumping on a little trampoline, and swim?ming are all exercises that stimulate lymphatic flow. Suggesting that a patient spend just 5 minutes will begin their active participation in moving lymphatic fluid. This can be increased to 5 minutes three times daily or even 15 minutes twice daily.
Even though our protocol looks like: colon first, liver second and lymph third, this is not a linear approach. One must always keep the colon working efficiently and effectively. One patient might only need to address their colon once per month whereas another might need weekly treatments. In some, the liver is so impaired they will need ongoing liver cleansing. When there are excessive endotoxins and exotoxins, lymphatic cleansing may be paramount. Consider weekly treat?ments with once monthly reflorastation as needed, and occasional liver support.
What is important is active evaluation of where the patient is today. Perhaps our final thought is this: What the body is not able to carry away must be treated first or simultaneously.
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.