What detox methods worked best?
I believe that any sort of major cleansing of the body should be assisted as much as possible by some kind of detoxing. The cleansing frees up toxins from their hiding spots, primarily fat cells, and they are then free to wander about the body. Toxins which are mobilized (wandering) and not eliminated (detoxed) are trouble, resulting in the Herxheimer Effect (cramps, weakness, brain fog, confusion, weakness, skin/breath/body odor problems...) and can lead to temporary damage in other tissues. I believe it is immensely helpful to entice them to leave - show them the door! So I experimented with a variety of methods to find out what worked and was convenient, and what didn't and wasn't. My observations:
Salt water flush: Absolutely necessary.
Detox foot pads: Helpful. Assisted in the removal of toxins via sweat through foot skin. Helped loosen that gross white goop on the tongue so that it could be brushed away. Need to be worn for at least 8 hours to be effective, but otherwise very convenient.
Dry Skin Brushing: Helpful. Whether you do a quick 5-10 minute or leisurely 30 minute dry brush, you'll find that the lymph areas (behind the knees, inside the top thighs, armpits, neck and abdomen) seem to be itchier than usual. I find that when I brush these areas until they felt soothed, I feel great after, and the good feeling persists to the next day. There seems to be some connection between stagnant lymph and strained or tense emotions. When I had the time, I brushed these areas until they stopped feeling itchy (mercifly, you don't notice the itchy feeling until you start brushing these areas) and felt - well, um, satisfied. No other way to describe it. I brushed all my skin, even with quick brushing, until I was red all over. No doubt the increased blood flow to the skin was helpful, too. If you want to feel good, dry brush your skin!
Detox baths: Very helpful, especially if preceded by dry skin brushing and followed up with detox foot pads. Assisted in the removal of toxins through sweat through the skin all over the body. Toxin-laden sweat was removed at the end by a short, cool shower, the main purpose of the cool shower being to stop detoxing at the skin level and avoid pimples and rashes. The detox foot pads simply continued detoxing through a small area of skin during the night. Method: 1 cup of epsom salts combined with 1 cup of baking soda, placed in a metal bowl, the bowl floated in the hot water in the tub and boiling water poured into the bowl. Instant chemical reaction! Bubbling and frothing. A superior way of making sure the two substances are well-mixed and properly dissolved. Fill a tub with hot water (the hotter the better, to promote sweating), sit in the tub for 30 minutes or as long as you can (you can get out for a few minutes and then get back in if you feel dizzy, the detoxing seems to continue), then follow with a brief cool shower (not cold! You don't want to precipitate a heart attack from shock!), spraying the extremities first and then the back, trunk and head. Go to bed immediately after. You will be warm for hours, and sleep like a baby. What was really interesting about this method, besides the great detoxing it did (tongue easy to clean the next 2 days) was the sense of peace and good-will which I ALWAYS experienced the next day. So I HIGHLY recommend this detox bath on the days when you find yourself out of sorts, confused, and snappy!
Water: Absolutely necessary. I really felt it on the days I didn't drink the minimum 8 glasses of water (for me: I am small). The next day, the toxin symptoms were always strong. For those wishing to lose weight, you need a carrier to escort broken-down fat out of the body. Think of gasoline. It floats on water, just like fat. If there is no water, the gasoline will soak into the nearest solid substance. With water, it doesn't soak into a solid substance, and is easily moved (out of the body). If you drink more water, the fat will have a better chance to exit the body rather than being re-absorbed.
Sleep: No one really talks about this. It is absolutely necessary during a fast. Your body repairs itself during sleep even more than when awake. Growth Hormones, which are released every night of our lives and are the chemicals which enable self-repair, are only released during sleep, and only in darkness. If even your arm or leg are exposed to light as you sleep, melatonin (sp?) is released at a vastly reduced rate. Part of the magic of the MC is in the body's heightened ability to redirect energy to restoring and repairing the body. It makes sense to support this by sleeping more - at least 8 hours, and more is good - and sleeping in darkness. Using your body's circadian (sp?) cycle is very helpful. So getting to bed at 10 and getting up at 6 the next morning is helpful.
Walking: Helpful. This low-impact activity helped to shake things up in the digestive system, which massaged the walls of the stomach and intestines and tended to clean them, also helping to move materials along inside the digestive tubing. I also walked in an area next to a river, with lots of trees, and the fresh air may have helped detox through my lungs. This is especially important for ex-smokers or anyone suffering from lung ailments. If I walked, I felt that more junk was eliminated through the colon. If I didn't walk, I had that familiar stuffed lower-abdomen feeling - so uncomfortable, unsightly, and unnecessary! Also, I did this MC at the end of the summer's hot weather period, so I always sweated alot (and always followed up with a short shower). The sweating helped remove toxins through the skin.
Any kind of aerobic activity would be just as helpful: Rebounding, dancing, aerobic classes, martial arts training. Also, weight training and circuit training. I found that strength, especially in my legs, was at a low, so weight lifting and strength training (even walking up stairs and inclines) was incredibly taxing. However, if you are already doing exercise before the MC starts, you can continue at the same rate or close to it for the duration of the MC. The exercise greatly assists in moving blood and lymph, and helps move toxins around so they can find an exit via lungs, skin, colon or kidneys.
Anything that makes you sweat: Very helpful. They were even more effective if I consumed water as I sweated. I did some of these things (walking during hot weather, detox foot pads, detox baths) and found them great at moving toxins out. Observing the white coating on your tongue afterwards can help you find the best methods: If it becomes loose and easy to remove with a wet toothbrush, that detox method is good for you. If the coating is still so sticky that you can't remove it, try another method. After a good bout of sweating, the coating on my tongue was always easy to remove the next day.
Another method which would be helpful: Saunas.
Laxative tea: Helpful. It's on Burroughs' protocol, although he says alternatives are an option. However, if you want to maximize toxin elimination through the colon, it would probably be helpful. I also think it would be wise to use a kind of 2-on, 1-off system or any similar interval, so that your body doesn't get addicted to the tea. Having no bms for 4 days following the MC can't be good for you, when an alternative is available.
Mint Tea: Burroughs recommends drinking mint tea (I used peppermint), and I found this to be helpful. It tasted good, was a change from the lemonade, improved my breath (and, I suppose, body odor and sweat odor), and relieved nausea. Also, it reduces cramping and nausea caused by the lax tea. I recommend this strongly to everyone!
Oil swishing/pulling: Forbidden on the MC, because it would activate the digestive system. The same for gum.
Massaging with organic coconut oil: Not recommended when strictly following Burrough's protocol. The oil will be absorbed by the skin and blood, passing through the liver, and possibly compromising cleansing in the liver. One of the benefits of an oil-less diet is that excessive oils in the body will be used up. Some of the oils will be old, stagnant oils, reused many times by the body. So when coming off the MC, introduce healthy non-animal sources of oil (coconut, olive, avocado, etc) and the body will take it up quickly. Just my thoughts. This is especially important for anyone doing Liver Flushing on a regular basis. Concerned Aunt said that her therapist told her that her body was saturated with olive oil, and recommended that she take a break from flushing so that the body could eliminate excess oil.
Hope this helps!
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