Sunday, November 13, 2011
My Guest Blog Post on All Things Detoxification
Hi, healers! Check out the guest post I wrote for my friend Kelly's blog, Girl Gone Vegan. It is copied and pasted below, but click here to read the original version and check out the great blog she is putting together. Kelly has been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, which is a neurologically based condition like RSD/CRPS. I think many of my readers will be able to identify with her struggles as she navigates her way through dis-ease and toward healing - the vegan way :-) Enjoy!
"The human body is a brilliantly amazing, intelligently designed vessel kept thriving by involuntary and intricate processes that a majority of the human race uses, abuses, and takes for granted until a major health crisis materializes and one is forced to ponder where, when, and how he/she took a wrong turn into "Dis-ease Town." Not only did I take that wrong turn into "Dis-ease Town," but I drove the damn train off the tracks and ended up in a firey wreck far off in some ditch. I've spent the last seven years trying to emerge like a Phoenix from the ashes of my own creation.
Over the last seven years, I have attempted to treat a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS) with toxic treatments, surgeries, and medications, including, at its worst, ketamine infusions, fentanyl patches (a narcotic 50-100x stronger than morphine), double strength vicodin (4x per day), neurontin, and ativan. And, yes, all at one time. Loopy Maria was a riot but my attempts at healing were nothing more than shoving a butterfly band-aid on an open, gaping wound and hoping it would just go away on its own. It wasn’t until I encountered a natural treatment, Gerson Therapy, comprised of upwards of 100 ounces of fresh, organic vegetable/fruit juices per day, up to five coffee enemas per day, and a VERY restrictive vegan diet that I was able to lessen my symptoms and wean and remain off of all toxic medications. Gerson Therapy believes that most, if not all, diseases are results of nutritional deficiencies and bodily toxicities, which is why the treatment centers on detoxification.
Detoxification is as necessary to the human body as breathing. As typical waste products of bodily functions, cells are constantly producing toxins that enter into the bloodstream and then the liver for detoxification. In our modern lives, we are exposed to a plethora of man-made toxins that our glorious bodies are not designed to handle and dispose of from the processed crap found in your Standard American Diets, to the gender-bending chemicals found in your beauty products, and the pesticides and neurotoxins found in, on, and around even the healthiest of whole, plant-based foods. These toxins create irritation, inflammation, and acidity in the body causing it to literally strip your bones and teeth of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals to neutralize the acid and damage you are causing it each and every day. Your bones are literally slowly dissolving because of what you eat, drink, and think. Hello, osteoporosis!
The body desires an alkaline pH (potential of hydrogen) of about 7.365. When foods are ingested and digested they leave either an acid or alkaline residue. Processed foods, animal products, alcohol, coffee, and sugar are acidic. Acidity = Disease. I was never great at math, but that is one equation I can comprehend and roll with. How does an individual combat bodily acidity? By eating mostly alkaline foods (a ratio of about 80/20), which include leafy greens and many other luscious plant-based goodies, by assisting the body in detoxification through coffee and wheat grass enemas, colonics, deep breathing, dry brushing, sweating, rebounding, and exercising, by avoiding environmental toxins as much as possible, and by controlling stress. What you think is just as, if not more, important than what you eat and drink. Negative, stress-induced thoughts actually create acidity in the body just as if you were to eat a big, honkin’ cheeseburger.
A topic worth spending a few moments on is that of NEUROtoxicty. It occurs when exposure to environmental toxins, natural or artificial, damages the nervous system in such a way that the normal brain activity is altered. These environmental toxins are called neurotoxins and can be found in the forms of drug therapies, heavy metals, pesticides, cosmetics, and cleaning solvents, amongst other commonly occurring substances that we come in contact with multiple times a day. Believe it or not, many of these substances are found in the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Ever heard of MSG? Yes, these delicious neurotoxins are added to your foods to enhance taste and slowly kill off your brain cells one by one. How nice! Can you say, “Yum?” Some common symptoms of neurotoxicity include memory, vision, and cognitive disturbances, limb weakness or numbness, and headaches, and these symptoms may occur immediately after exposure or may be significantly delayed. The prognosis depends upon the length and degree of exposure, but a full recovery is possible under the right conditions and circumstances.
The subjects of healing and detoxification are vast and loaded with life-saving information, but they can take months and even years to sift through. The message I hope you receive today is that it is important to become educated and empowered as a health care consumer just as it is important to find a trusted medical professional to partner with, traditional and/or holistic. It is even more imperative that you strive for maintenance and healing through significant diet and lifestyle changes, but most importantly, healing is possible. It may take more time than you are willing to donate to your health at the start, but remember, slow and steady wins the race – and heals.
Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, is a raw vegan, licensed social worker living with and healing from a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease, RSD/CRPS. Join her in her latest campaign, “Good Health is Gorgeous,” as she attempts to rewrite the societal standards of beauty, and follow along as she heals, grows, and conquers on her blog."