Spring detox: Out with the old, in with the new
Special to the Daily
EDWARDS — Spring is finally upon us. We had a great season with a lot of great skiing conditions; in fact, some of the best skiing conditions in years. Spring is a good time to clean our house from clutter and our closets by putting away the winter cloths. Spring is also a good time to clean our internal environment. The best way to clean our internal environment is through detoxification.
The environment we live in is more toxic than it was even ten years ago. We are exposed to chemical toxins on a daily basis in our air, water and food.
Nearly all cultures and religions have some form of purification and cleaning rituals. In Catholicism, there are rituals of fasting and dietary restrictions such as Lent and fish-only Fridays. Native Americans have a rite of passage called a vision quest, which involves fasting and heat treatments in sweat lodges. Ayurvedic traditions use constitutional specific diets and cleansing called pancha karma. Scientologists have what is called a purification rundown focusing on cleansing the mind and body. In Europe, heat treatments such as saunas, baths and steams are a commonplace. Islamic traditions include extensive fasting for Ramadan.
CHEMICALS THAT SURROUND US
The most common environmental toxins are pesticides, solvents and heavy metals. Of the heavy metals, mercury, lead, uranium and arsenic are the most common I see in the Vail area. New diagnoses of multiple chemical sensitivity are becoming more common. This condition is caused by overexposure to environmental toxins, resulting in an increased sensitivity to them. These compounds are found in many chemicals, perfumes and dyes.
Our ability to detoxify the substances we encounter on a daily basis is critical to our health. Once the detoxification system becomes overloaded, incomplete byproducts accumulate causing us to become very sensitive to the chemicals that surround us.
Symptoms related to toxic exposure include allergies, fibromyalgia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, constipation, arthritis, headaches, autoimmune diseases such as MS and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinusitis, yeast infections and obesity.
A detox is a commitment to changing your diet, increasing your exercise level, drinking a lot of water, taking supplements that detoxify the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin. It also includes a physical modality such as saunas, massage, yoga, craniosacral treatments, colonics, etc. Detoxification is an individualized treatment since we all have different health issues, toxic exposures and dietary needs.
Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has been practicing in the Vail Valley for 16 years. To discuss your individual needs or set up an appointment to create an individualized detox plan, call Wiancek at 970-926-7606.