Acupuncture and Detoxification

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Toxicity can take many shapes and forms, from air and water pollution to chemicals in our foods. These are considered external toxins. We also have internal toxins that build up in our bodies through our everyday cellular functions that also need to be eliminated–they’re called free radicals. Free radicals are considered a common factor in chronic disease, so it’s important to learn ways to neutralize these molecules and heal our bodies. Emotions, negative thinking and stressful situations also create a toxic environment.

So how do we eliminate these toxins, and return our body to its natural, healthy and balanced state? Lucky for us we have many modes of elimination and many tools to help us speed that process along…

The main organs that help us detox are the Liver, Kidneys, Lungs, GI tract and Skin. The Liver helps transform many toxic substances into harmless agents which the blood eventually carries away to the Kidneys. The Kidneys use the Bladder and Urethra to eliminate waste, while the Lungs work through the Sinuses, Throat and Nose. We all know where the GI tract goes and Skin purges toxins through the Pores, Sebaceous Glands and Tears.

If the body is in balance then it can handle these normal light loads of toxicity that enter our bodies on a daily basis. If the input of these elements however outweighs the output then that’s when we experience congestion, disease, allergies, skin problems and generalized fatigue. The body and/or mind are on overload and detoxification is in order to restore us to healthy living.

HOW DO YOU DETOXIFY?
There are several methods of detoxification and many helpful techniques that can be added into everyday living. Following is some info on detoxing and some tips for further exploration…

HEALING TREATMENTS
Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki, Cranio-Sacral, Chiropractic, Sound, Light, Energy, Color therapies and other methods of bodywork are amazing healing practices. These practices are all detoxifying and many of them work on all three levels, healing mind, body and spirit. When we leave a healing treatment we often feel lighter, looser, calmer and more optimistic. Sometimes we can resist the healing effects of a treatment, but if we open ourselves up to receiving healing and commit to a course of treatment we often experience even greater effects. There are many books and information on the effects of these therapies and as “modern medicine” catches up there will be more and more information about the healing qualities and effects of these modalities.

1. One healing treatment a week is terrific to purge any accumulated toxins taken on during the week.
2. Seek out new types of therapies or use them together–people will often get a massage following an acupuncture treatment.
3. Instead of using your mind to figure out how it works, be open and explore how you feel in your body during and after the treatment. Sometimes it’s amazing what happens when you get your analytic mind out of the way.

HERBS
Herbal medicine is a gentle form of internal healing that you can offer to your body. We have herbs that can help with mental, physical and emotional issues. While some feel the effects of herbal medicine take a bit of time, others experience relief right away. Herbs are also a great solution to detoxifying your medicine cabinet. We have herbal formulas that clear sinuses, relieve pain, allergies, neuralgia, cramping, neuropathy, headaches, digestive disharmony, you name it. NyQuil, Advil, Zyrtec, and many over the counter medicine that can be harmful to the cells of the body can be replaced with herbal formulas. There are formulas geared towards emotional health that help calm the mind and spirit. Do yourself a favor and rehab your medicine cabinet with some herbs that will not only relieve unwanted symptoms but will also HEAL your body!

1. Purge your medicine cabinet of over the counter medicine and find natural remedies that work.
2. Include herbal teas in your everyday life, they’re a great way to unwind.
3. Ask your licensed herbalist or acupuncturist (all trained and licensed in herbal medicine) what you can do to help relieve any unwanted symptoms naturally
(always consult with your physician if you are taking any prescribed medicine)

FOOD
Food is our daily medicine that we can offer to our bodies to help maintain that wonderful state of vibrant health. Nutritious foods that contain phytochemicals–think colorful fruits and vegetables–are what your body uses to eliminate the free radical loads taken on in everyday life. Whole foods are the key to greater health and longevity. A predominantly alkaline diet is also essential to reduce inflammation and create healthy digestion. Alkaline generating foods like fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Animal products, certain nuts and all refined foods (think things with flour and sugar) are acidic and cause imbalances to the healthy terrain of the digestive tract, so keep these at a minimum (if at all). Cleanses are great ways to give the body a reboot, and we have some great nutrition coaches that we work with at HCA if you want to delve deeper into food healing and juice cleansing.

1. Choose colorful foods
2. Drink plenty of purified water
3. Pick up a book on cleansing or seek out a nutrition coach

CLEAR THE MIND, RELIEVE ANXIETY (MENTAL HEALTH)
We take on a lot being in this busy fast-paced world everyday. Things have been taken to whole new levels of stimulation–we are clearly in an electronic age. This has its benefits but also has many drawbacks that we are all experiencing at the cellular level. Social media has brought with it new pressures and social anxieties. Marketing has taken a stance where things are now “last chance” and “only for the next two days” emphasizing a sense of urgency in all activities. None of this contributes to a peaceful, relaxed mind. Anxiety and anxiousness come from thinking of the future, being fearful of the outcome of events in our lives. So how do we put those to rest? How do you push the reset button and detoxify the mind of all of this input? Mindfulness training is an effective technique to calm the mind. There are many books, counselors, monks, workshops and yes, even apps that can help clear the clutter of the mind. Stillness and nature are great healers. When we rush around keeping busy all the time we don’t have time to feel how we are feeling–we need this open space to purge and expunge some of the many things our mind has accumulated during the day. We have terrific life coaches, counselors, books and suggestions of local retreat centers if you would like to find out more, just ask us!

1. Cultivate stillness for some time everyday, aka, UNPLUG, and give your mind a digital detoxification!
2. Get into nature as much as possible
3. Explore ways to release built up emotions and thoughts–yoga, running, guided meditations, sitting quietly in nature, talk therapy etc.

POSITIVE THINKING
There is oodles and oodles of research on this now so all you scientifically-minded folk have to jump on the band wagon now, no excuses! Positive Thinking is the way to go. Self-depreciation is not cool, Self-appreciation is the new way to be. Thinking positively about our lives is so essential to well-being. Cultivating a practice of Gratitude can heal many areas of our lives, so check out a good book on Gratitude Cultivation. Louise Hay is a wonderful author on this subject as is Wayne Dyer and many others. We have a lending library at HCA so if you want to sample some of their books, let us know 🙂

1. Start a gratitude journal and list 10 things everyday you’re happy about
2. Put up a post-it on your mirror that says wonderful things about yourself
3. Rewire those neural pathways by repeating loving thoughts in your mind daily like I am wonderful, I am loving, I am kind, I am love, I am joyful–see how you feel after a few minutes of those thoughts (hint: it’s amazing).

EXERCISE
We love Qi Gong and Tai Chi at HCA and many of our associates and employees practice yoga as a healing and detoxifying experience. There are many methods of moving the body that detoxify organs, heal muscle tissue, strengthen, stretch and enhance general health. Check out your local gym, yoga center, meetup group or ask us about a place that could be a good fit for your fitness needs, we are happy to help.

1. Practice healing movement as much as you can–4-5x a week is great!
2. Find a Tai Chi or Qi Gong class nearby and try it out
3. If you have a sedentary job get up and move any time you feel cold or discomfort and at least once every hour get up and walk around

WATER
Our body is predominantly water. If we are drinking a lot of caffeine then we are purging out that water due to its diuretic nature. If we are in the sun or dry arid climates (like San Diego) then we need to rebuild those cells by giving it the hydration it needs to carry out its tasks. Include plenty of purified water in your daily life. There are many sources here in SD, there’s the Water Lady in North Park and OB Water Store in Point Loma, as well as many others, where you can find quality tested purified water. OB Water Store in Point Loma also has alkaline water at great prices. Check ’em out!

BREATH
Our breath is what keeps us going in this world. It inspires us, it cleanses the body of toxins, it oxygenates our blood and all of our cells. Breath is so important. Breath can also bring us quickly into the present moment if we take one with mindfulness. There are breath empowerment seminars and workshops that help people get in touch with this powerful life force, don’t take it for granted, utilize it and explore it’s many healing and detoxifying capacities. Did you know that a few minutes of deep breathing alkalinizes the body? Pretty cool!

SUNSHINE
Our last newsletter covered the benefits of sunshine, so we’ll just remind everyone of how awesome sunshine is…it detoxifies by boosting serotonin, rids the body of bacteria and viruses and helps us absorb that Vitamin we all hear so much about Vitamin D! Enjoy a gentle sunbath from 9-11am or from 3-5pm, if you do head out during peak hours, be sure to use mineral sunscreen with organic natural ingredients.

If you want any more information on detoxification let us know we have access to many resources for you to look into and help you start on your cleansing journey to health and wellness…

We hope you are enjoying your summer! Sending you all lots of love and healing vibes from us here at Hillcrest Community Acupuncture.

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