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When it comes to achieving higher levels of health, one potential method that comes up time and time again is detoxification.
Though this term is sometimes thrown around rather loosely, Dictionary.com defines detoxification as “the metabolic process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances.”
Generally speaking, people are typically at one end of the spectrum or the other when it comes to their feelings toward the act of intentionally removing certain substances from the body. Either they believe in detoxes wholeheartedly or not at all. Why is there such a divide?
The detox divide
One of the reasons detoxification has received such a negative stigma is because some of the programs available recommend unsafe detox practices. Aggressive detoxification methods such as water-only fasting and quick-fix cleanses can actually do more harm than good, resulting in the individual feeling worse instead of better due to increased feelings of fatigue, brain fog, and, sometimes, even aches and pains.
On the other side are the true advocates of detoxification, the individuals who believe that, when engaged in safely, detoxification can really benefit the human body, relieving it of the substances that are doing it harm. In fact, the body does this quite well on its own, with the kidneys and liver constantly filtering unwanted substances out of our cells, so many see engaging in detoxification practices as an extension of the body’s natural responses.
One person who falls on the pro-detox side of the fence is Scott Richmond, DC, Psc.D, founder of Thrive Health in Urbandale, IA. Why is he such a proponent of detoxification? After dealing with major health issues, detoxification helped give him a higher quality of life.
From sickness to health
In 2008, Richmond became extremely ill. He began experiencing fatigue, pain, and a host of other symptoms that left him feeling overall unwell. In his quest to figure out what was going on in his body, he met with many top doctors. He even sent samples of his blood to Spain in the hopes that he’d receive some answers. Fortunately, in time, the answers finally came.
Richmond eventually learned that he was experiencing a multitude of symptoms partly because his house was infected with toxic mold. He was also ultimately diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic Lyme disease, heavy metal toxicity, and hypothyroidism.
After undergoing treatments and enduring many hospitalizations, many of which were outside of his home state which meant extensive amounts of time spent away from his family, Richmond was able to help his body get rid of these toxic substances and finally feel better. Now, he devotes his time to helping his patients overcome these same types of issues in their own lives, issues he refers to as “the Chemical Subluxation.”
What are the benefits of detoxing?
“Many symptoms are directly related to the toxicity level in ones’ body,” says Richmond. For instance, research published in EXS (Experientia Supplementum) indicates that there are five metals—arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury—that have a “high degree of toxicity” and even relatively low levels of exposure to them can result in organ damage and/or the development of chronic, and sometimes severe, health conditions.
Detoxification helps rid the body of these types of substances before they’re able to do major harm or to help prevent them from doing even more damage. Richmond’s reports that, by undergoing detoxification, his patients have been able to discontinue certain medications, lose weight, feel better, and enjoy a higher quality of life. He also shares that other benefits of detoxing properly include:
- Increased mental clarity and cognition
- Higher energy levels
- Reduction/elimination of headaches
- Better mood
- Decreased joint pain
- Improved digestion
- Better sleep
- Improved blood pressure
- Ability to lose weight
How supplements help
Though the body does some of this detoxification naturally on its own, Richmond believes that supplements can help enhance the process. “Proper supplementation is very important in my opinion,” he says. Why?
Richmond says that, “With today’s environment, the body is being blocked from either absorption and/or excretion, which has caused many to become very ill. Supporting the gut, liver drainage, and lymphatic movement using various vitamins, minerals, and herbs is very effective to support the body’s natural ability to detoxify.”
Research has been conducted on some of these vitamins, minerals, and herbs to determine how they help. For instance, one article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in June of 2017 discussed how the wild plant rose hips have been found to help the liver by restoring healthier levels of specific enzymes that, in higher levels are typically associated with hepatic injury.
“Along with supporting the detoxification pathways, the use of other supplements to protect the cells, organs, and tissues would be an important area to focus on,” Richmond adds. “One example is glutathione, the body’s strongest antioxidant, produced in the liver. This is why coffee enema’s can be so beneficial as it naturally helps increase glutathione without supplementation.”
“Many people may do a ‘cleanse’ or a detox program, only to find themselves in a worse situation,” says Richmond. “This is because they have rapidly mobilized many toxins but have not removed them from the body.”
That’s why Richmond says that “proper drainage support is crucial” when detoxing. This drainage occurs via the liver, gallbladder, lymphatics, kidney, and bladder. So, supporting these organs and tissues is important to a healthy detoxification process.
“Another often missed component is binding,” says Richmond. Therefore, it’s important to use products that assist with “safely binding onto toxins from the bile, intracellularly, tissues, and organs.”
If your patients are presenting with multiple symptoms such as joint pain, low energy, headaches, poor sleep, or inability to lose weight, you should consider testing the patient for chemical sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity, and other toxicity issues. A detailed questionnaire, included in your intake process or for use with existing patients presenting with new symptoms, could alert you to toxicity issues allowing you the opportunity to develop a safe detox protocol including appropriate supplements.
About Systemic Formulas
Systemic Formulas uses a technologically advanced research and production facility to manufacture synergistically formulated herbal blends available through chiropractors and other healthcare professionals. This in-house process enables them to maintain their commitment to the highest standard of product purity.
Systemic Formulas utilizes a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, RNA/DNA tissue factors, amino acids, and botanicals which are synergistically formulated in a manner that targets a health issue, as well as supports the entire body system. Tested and proven by users for over fifty years, these products are developed to aid the body’s vital functions such as the immune system, organ function, and overall wellness.
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