Holistic is Not One or the Other

Which-Way-is-the-Right-way-for-Satellite-Web-Browsing-If you ask a fitness trainer how to get flat abs, the chances are (if they are any good), you’ll hear how there is no such thing as spot reduction. To get fit abs you have to have a fit body. You have to get in shape all over.

The same is true of holistic medicine. Getting healthy holistically doesn’t mean dealing with one symptom, it means treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. It means looking at the big picture, not a tiny little corner of it. Let’s look at…

Detoxification. The human body is amazing and perfectly designed. It is not flawed. It is designed to heal itself from almost anything, if we let it. It is also perfectly equipped to handle the toxins it is exposed to.

Within limits.

The body has several organs that effectively deal with toxins

  • Lungs can detoxify by removing gases.
  • Skin can detoxify by reducing the penetration of toxic substances (toxins in water don’t get in through the skin well; however, toxins in oils do penetrate easily).
  • Digestive System can detoxify by eliminating toxic foods, by either vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Kidneys detoxify by secreting toxins or filtering toxins out of the blood into urine.
  • Liver detoxifies by changing the chemical nature of many toxins.

I came across an interesting article about juicing and detoxification. Though the article was written with a specific intent, I couldn’t disagree with it. I was also a bit disturbed by what I read. Two things in particular stood out

  • People think juice will detoxify the body
  • People don’t know what they are trying to detoxify

Juicing.  Juicing is not a method of detoxification, per se.  It is, however, an excellent way to get nutrients into the body.

Charlotte Gerson does a phenomenal job of writing about nutrient dense juices and how they contribute to good health.

I believe the misunderstanding on both sides (the doctors in the article missed the point also, I think) comes from people taking small bits of information from various sources and drawing incorrect conclusions.

Juice fasts. When someone goes on a juice fast they consume nothing but juice. They consume no food. Regardless of whether you believe the claims of resting the digestive system and other benefits, juice fasts do not detoxify the body. If the juices are fresh they will deliver healthy nutrients in a form the body can readily absorb. Juices, and fresh juices in particular, nourish the body.

Juice fasts are a short-term protocol, not a way of life. They cannot make up for poor lifestyle choices and are not a health panacea.

Chelation.  Part of the misunderstanding may stem from the fact that many foods and herbs that find their way into juices have the ability to bind to heavy metals.

I added cilantro to our juices to accomplish this.

In this context, juicing is only one small part of an entire detoxification protocol. If someone is interested in full detox they need to add saunas, exercise, plenty of sleep, lots of fresh clean water, herbs that specifically aid in detoxification,  dry brushing, and other therapies aimed at treating the whole body.

Acupuncture should be considered as it is helpful in releasing energy blocks that are keeping the detoxification organs from performing efficiently.

Toxin? What toxin?  More disturbing was the fact that people didn’t know what toxins they were trying to get rid of.

How can you fix something when you don’t know the problem?

To me this is the crux of the problem in most healing practices. Too many people want quick fixes. They would rather just take a pill or drink a juice to make the symptom go away. This will not fix the root cause and the symptoms will  eventually return.  They could also worsen and new symptoms appear because the root problem was not addressed.

Whether following allopathic or alternative therapies, it is imperative you understand what it is you are treating before you start medicating.  You can easily do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Chelating agents, including foods high in certain minerals, can take out heavy metals, but they can also take out beneficial minerals and vitamins. If you do anything to excess you can throw off the body and cause great harm. And it can happen to the best of us.

I recently found myself with extremely low levels of vitamin C. I know how this happened to me and I’ve made several lifestyle changes (that I will be writing about) to address the problem.  How did I know? Gum problems. More later…

I think part of the reason holistic medicine gets a bad rap is that people aren’t treating themselves holistically. Treating a symptom is not taking into account the root cause and to do that you have to consider all factors that contributed to an illness. You have to consider the whole, not one piece.

With autoimmune conditions, there are always emotional and mental considerations.  Stress plays a huge role in autoimmune conditions.

Allopathic medicine may make the symptoms disappear but that is no better than alternative medicine if the root cause is not dealt with.

Not to mention the treatment could make things worse.  Many medications deplete the body of valuable nutrients.  You could easily fix one problem only to create several more.

Holistic medicine means taking into account the whole.  In some cases, such as my own recent gum situation, it means combining both allopathic and alternative.

Now that is holistic…

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