Must We Be Cleansed?
April 7th, 2014
One of my mentors recently wrote about her resistance to embrace environmental medicine and detoxification in her practice due to lack of research on specific nutrients and protocols, as well as the questionable methods often employed in these types of programs. Of particular importance to me, she also described her philosophical conflict around using an approach that promotes the concept that patients ‘need to be cleansed’. She wrote that this felt ‘akin to Salem witch trials, dogmas and religious fundamentalism’.
As the creator of an anti-inflammatory whole foods cleansing Program, this took my breath away.
Here’s the thing: I completely agree with my dear mentor. I just think about it a little differently. For me, using the practices of cleansing and detoxification with my patients and with groups has become a gateway to refocusing patients on their diets, examining their relationships with food and reconnecting with themselves. A beginning. A hook. A neon sign that says ‘Start Here’!
Are there a lot of questionable cleansing techniques and programs out there? YES! Do we need more research on what really works? YES! Must we be cleansed because we have behaved poorly? NO! Must we be cleansed because we are being poisoned by the environment? Well, maybe. Bottom line, though, it’s not about purging or getting rid of any ‘evil’ within (or even without). It is about making simple changes that will help our bodies do what they were meant to do EVEN BETTER.
Like my mentor, I do NOT believe that harsh methods like fasting, laxatives, enemas and colonics are necessary to cleanse and detoxify. In fact, I have found that very simple attention to diet, support, and self-care can yield exceptional results. And that part of those ‘results’ is a new found confidence in how to eat and enjoy a healthy diet that helps you feel fantastic while reducing your risk for developing chronic diseases down the road.
Healthstyle’s 21-Day Reset, the anti-inflammatory whole foods cleansing Program that I created with Chef Jenny Brewer, is really about making life changes and optimizing health long-term. The beauty is that the types of cleansing and detoxification practices that 21-Day Reset employs decrease inflammation, enhance circulation & lymphatic drainage, improve digestion & elimination and support the liver. Who doesn’t need that?