Acupuncture for Assisting with Detox
Acupuncture adds another level to your detox
Acupuncture is widely used for assisting in drug and alcohol detoxification. Acupuncture also plays an important role in many other forms of detox, including seasonal or annual well being detox, weight loss, preparing for pregnancy detoxification, and chronic illness detox. Many people are familiar with detox diets or juice cleansing. This post will show how acupuncture can be used to supplement other lifestyle changes or detox plans.
Acupuncture helps your body remove toxins so you can function at your optimal level. The body is naturally very good at removing toxins. But most of us are exposed to so many toxins, through air, water, food, chemicals in household products and cosmetics, that we need to actively assist the body in its detoxification process. There are things we can do to aid the process and help the body function more efficiently. Along with lifestyle choices, acupuncture helps the body function better. Some people may have symptoms from detoxification, especially if their body has a lot of toxins or they have a chronic illness. Acupuncture assists the body in detoxification, making the process gentler. If you are considering any change in your diet or starting a detox regimen, acupuncture can assist the process and limit any unwanted side effects.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, detox may be right for you:
Pain in the body that comes and goes, headaches
Skin conditions, eczema, acne
Anxiety, depression, irritability
The above mentioned symptoms may be a result of toxic overload. Even if you are experiencing no symptoms, acupuncture detox is very helpful in preventing illness, helping your body achieve homeostasis, and maintaining health. Acupuncture detox is also helpful when preparing for pregnancy, to cleanse your body of harmful toxins.
Common Detox treatments
It is important to eat nutritious, non-inflammatory foods to get the most out of your detox treatments. Drinking fresh squeezed vegetable juices or making a green smoothie is a great way to get your daily nutrients. Carrot and cilantro (1) have shown to chelate heavy metals from your body. Romaine lettuce, avocado, and celery are also great to add to smoothies. If you have any sort of digestive issue, avoid adding raw spinach (slightly steamed or sautéed spinach is great, but raw spinach is hard to digest.) Also avoid eating too much raw kale.
Avoid foods that may be causing inflammation in your body such as, wheat and other types of grains, meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and sugar.
2. Overnight fasting
In order to allow your body adequate time to repair itself and detox, it is important to have time that you are not eating and digesting food. Research has shown that overnight fasting for at least 13 hours lowers breast cancer survivors risk of recurrence (2).
3. Saunas, exercising, and deep breathing
Saunas and especially far-infrared saunas enable your body to sweat out the toxins. Toxins are eliminated from the body from sweat, bowel movements, urination, and breathing. So it is important that you help your body fully eliminate the toxins. Saunas are not right for everyone, so please be sure to take precautions and not overdo it. Exercise is also a very healthy way to sweat out toxins. Practicing deep breathing also is helpful. Try inhaling through your nose for 5 counts and exhaling through your mouth for 7 counts.
4. Colonics, enemas
As mentioned before, it is important that the toxins and waste are eliminated. If you have any sort of constipation while doing a detox you will want to consider adding colonics or enemas to your detox plan. Even if you are having regular bowel movements these may be important for you too.
5. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the use of sesame oil, coconut oil, or olive oil and swishing it around in your mouth. Oil pulling helps in detoxification because it helps in eliminating bacteria from your mouth. To perform oil pulling, place a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil of your choice in your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes, then spit it out. (4)
Acupuncture is a great addition to any detox plan and can be used on its own for detoxification principles. There are known treatments for detox, such as NADA, which is the use of acupuncture points on the ear (3). In Acupuncture, it is important that the Liver is free from any impairment, so points are often used to assist the Liver in its detoxification, allowing free flow of blood and nutrients.
Cupping is a Chinese medicine technique that I use at Red Panda Acupuncture in Elkins Park, PA. It is the use of suction cups to increase blood circulation and eliminate toxins.
Detoxification may not be for everyone, so if you have any hesitations please consult a health care provider. Naturopaths and Functional medicine specialist can assist you in a supplement focused detox plan. But just taking a few steps in your daily life such as eating more vegetables and less refined food, exercising, using the sauna at your gym, adding oil pulling to your oral routine, can help your body to detox. Acupuncture and cupping can add another level to your detox, helping your body to function at its optimal level. If you have any questions on how acupuncture can help you, please feel free to contact me.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Spring,
Kearney DeFillipo L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Red Panda Acupuncture
Elkins Park, PA
(4) Fife, Bruce. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing. Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2017