Balance. While cleanses can be extremely healing, it is important to balance the cleansing techniques with periods of rebuilding and strengthening using other techniques discussed in this resource guide (e.g., healthy diet, supplements, yoga, support network, etc.). Cleansing without rebuilding and strengthening will eventually weaken your system, including your immune system. Therefore, after each cleanse, take a period of time to concentrate non-cleansing healing techniques. Most people should perform no more than three (3) GI Tract cleanses per year. Once you are on your road to healing, you can reduce the number of yearly GI Tract cleanses to two or one. After a GI Tract cleanse, take at least three months to work on strengthening your digestion, assimilation, and elimination abilities. See "Food and Nutrition" chapter for more information. After performing any other cleanse, take *at least* a few weeks to strengthen the area that was cleansed using ideas presented below as well as ideas presented throughout this guide.
Sensitivities. If you are very sensitive to some item or items that are suggested for the cleanse (i.e., strong allergic reaction), then you will obviously have to stay away from that item. Please keep in mind that many of these cleanses can be adjusted to suit your needs. A healthcare practitioner, experienced with cleansing techniques, can help you with this. Persons with immune system-related disorders should always begin taking new supplements in tiny amounts before the cleanse in order to determine if they are sensitive to the supplement.
Cleansing Environment. When you perform a cleanse, please try to keep the body warm, comfortable and feeling as nurtured as much as possible. The more difficult cleanses are, therefore, much easier to perform in warmer weather. Some people prefer to perform a cleanse during holidays from work so that the work stress doesn't affect the results of the cleanse.
Cleansing Symptoms. When the body is cleansing, whether through a cleanse technique or simply a positive change in lifestyle, you may experience what is called a "healing crises." The healing crises can last as long as a few days (sometimes longer in rare instances). Some of the symptoms you may experience are: Fever, Headaches and other aches and pains, Fatigue, Skin eruptions (spots), Emotional irritability, Wind, Temporary constipation or diarrhoea, Temporary stopping of menstruation, Yawning and Tight muscles.
In almost all cases, it is important not to use drugs to suppress these cleansing symptoms, but instead, to encourage the release of toxins from the body (and the expression of emotions, to release pent up emotions, when necessary). If you are working closely with a holistic health practitioner, as you should be, the practitioner can help you monitor any cleansing symptoms. You have to be certain that they are not more than you can handle in your condition. In cases where the cleansing symptoms need to be reduced and/or toxins are being dumped into the intestines at a large rate (in persons who have had chemical poisoning, for example), it can be helpful to take action to avoid having toxins reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
Here are listed some ideas that may be helpful in very uncomfortable cleansing reactions. Please realise, however, that it is counter-productive to rely regularly on these techniques, except during a cleanse. Most of the time, acute symptoms should be handled with other natural remedies (e.g., Peppermint tea for stomach upset, etc.):
1. Colonic or Thorough Enema - This technique has been used for hundreds of years in acute conditions to remove toxins from the intestines. In some cases it can be extremely helpful to perform a coffee enema to encourage the liver to dump toxins. Please bear in mind, it is not recommended that colonics and/or enemas should become a regular part of your lifestyle or that it is necessary to use these techniques on a regular basis until you heal. For the most part, these techniques are used during the cleanse and then healing and strengthening techniques are begun as normal peristalsis returns.
2. Activated Charcoal - Activated charcoal is known for its ability to adsorb toxins in the GI Tract. It is sometimes used as poison centers for this ability. This works as follows:
The charcoal adsorbs unabsorbed poison still present in the gut and the charcoal adsorbs chemicals that are secreted in bile, thereby preventing their enterohepatic recirculation.
The charcoal binds any drug that diffuses from the circulation into the gut lumen.
(NOTE: Adsorbtion is not the same as absorption. Adsorption is the process by which a solid attracts and concentrates upon its surface, in a thin layer, molecules of a gas, liquid or dissolved substance by adhesion.) You can purchase activated charcoal from your local natural food store.
3. Bentonite Clay - Bentonite clay works the same way of activated charcoal, but it is not quite as effective. You can purchase bentonite clay from your local natural foods store
In all cases, of course, carefully read the product instructions as provided!
Supplementation - In the instructions for many of the cleanses detailed, it is recommended that some whole food concentrate supplementation is taken. This is especially important when performing a GI Tract cleanse, a skin cleanse, or a fast cleanse of any kind. The form of supplementation can include any of the items listed in the "Food and Nutrition" chapter or anything else your healthcare practitioner deems appropriate. The following supplements are usually appropriate:
i. Mineral supplement from sea vegetables (chelated and colloidal) before, during and after the cleanse.
ii. One of the comprehensive food supplements, then add other supplements (e.g., acerola cherries for Vitamin C) before and after the cleanse as needed.
Liquids - An extra reminder - it is important to get plenty of liquids during the detoxification procedure so that you do not become dehydrated.
Cleansing Results - You may or may not notice sudden, major health improvements immediately after the cleanse is finished. In some cases there have been total elimination of symptoms with just one cleanse.
Just remember that internal healing can be taking place even if there is no apparent reduction in symptoms. The reduction in symptoms should come as you slowly build your health, using holistic healing techniques.
Next : Part 4 - Gastrointestinal