Detox Yourself With A Cleanse!

It’s springtime, a time of renewal. The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, change is in the air and it’s the optimal time to do a cleanse. A cleanse is the perfect way to get in tune with your body and really get back to basics. Beyond breaking yourself of bad eating habits and eliminating toxins from your body it’s a way to gain clarity about what your body and mind really need, not crave.

Everyone is asking if they should do one. If so, which one should they do? What are the benefits? Is it difficult? We have the answers!

According to your constitution and lifestyle, we will assess you as an individual and figure out which cleanse will best suit your needs and be most effective.

Due to our diets, our environment, our lifestyle, and the products we use on a daily basis, we are all toxic to varying degrees. We all should do a cleanse once or twice a year or whenever we get motivated and feel like we can fit it in to our schedules. It is best to work with a licensed practitioner to guide you through the process. While you are cleansing, acupuncture can be a big part of achieving desired results and assist your body in stimulating the liver and kidneys to remove toxins. Depending on your toxic load you may experience detox symptoms for the first few days to a week. These symptoms can include headache, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and brain fog. I know, sounds awful!! But once you get through the tough part you arrive at a place of euphoria!

After a cleanse, people end up feeling energized and clear minded with improved digestive health, increased stamina for workouts, better quality sleep and stronger immune systems, all with a renewed zest for life. Your energy lasts all day without hitting that afternoon slump. It’s worth it! Most people report that once they set their minds to it, it is actually not that hard. You get into the zone and feel like you’re taking charge of your health and life. There really is no better feeling.

Let us know if you are interested!

Mind-body

When it comes to health and well-being, we all know that what goes on in the mind can influence what goes on in the body. Who could doubt, for example, that psychological stress can have a negative impact on one’s physiological function? Positive mind-body interplay can occur, too, and the simple act of anticipating good health can at times promote healing. The question is, at what times?

The therapeutic encounter

Surprisingly, one of the best known catalysts for promoting healing is the interaction that takes place between a healthcare professional and a patient. I’ve written about this healing alliance before, and even humbly suggested that this natural baseline healing process receive more attention in the world of medical research. So imagine my surprise when — babba-bing, babba-boom — I come across a book published this year that provides all of the scientific evidence one could hope for regarding the importance of the therapeutic encounter: The Placebo Response and the Power of Unconscious Healing, by Dr. Richard Kradin. He is an MD, psychoanalyst, and medical researcher. If anyone is going to probe the role of mind-body interactions in maintaining health, who better than a practicing MD who conducts research and is also a psychoanalyst who has co-directed a course at Harvard on Mind/Body Science?

The placebo response

Medical researchers have known about the placebo response for a long time and have been concerned with designing experiments that take this phenomenon into account when attempting to test for the effectiveness of new treatments. This natural tendency toward healing is a distraction, in a way, for researchers, and it must be tested for as rigorously as the effects of the main treatment.

But what is a distraction for some is the core issue for others, and Dr. Kradin systematically goes about demonstrating how the mind can bring about objective, measurable healing responses. People don’t just imagine that they are getting better, they really are getting better.

And he describes how the interaction of healthcare providers and patients is a crucial component of this response. So there you have it: the very act of seeking help from another can enhance acquiring that help. The origins of this response undoubtedly lie in our deep history as social animals, but I’ll leave that part of the story for Dr. Kradin to relate.

Parade Magazine

If you missed it in last month’s March 9 issue of Parade Magazine, here’s what many were reading over their Sunday a.m. coffee cups: Thoughts Can Heal Your Body, by Robert Moss.

PNAS

Placebo responses are commonly associated with the modulation of pain, and in the on-line June 26, 2007 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is this article: Placebo effects on human u-opioid activity during pain. A pharmacologically inert cream was applied to the arms of healthy volunteer patients. In some instances the doctors told the patients that this cream would have no effect on pain. In others, they were told that the cream was a highly effective pain reliever. Same cream in both cases. No possible physical effects. Then a painful heat stimulus was applied, and the researchers measured the analgesic effect on their subjects. They also measured opioid activity in the brain.

And the results? Partly expected, partly wow. Expected: the placebo group reported perceiving less pain. But here’s the amazing part: their brains were behaving differently. Several regions of their brains were responding by altering the pattern of their endogenous opioid activity. They were unconsciously creating a therapeutic effect. Wow.

Mind-body interactions. What will we learn next?

Healing alliances

How can I optimize the treatment of my patients? How can I provide the best healing experience possible? It begins with a partnership with each patient – a unique healing alliance. How does this alliance develop?

Listening

It begins with listening. Listening for a patient’s personal understanding of whatever symptoms brought him or her to me. Dealing with illness or pain can be as emotionally draining as it is physically trying. So I also ask about expectations and anxieties. I listen for small details that might convey meaning. It isn’t uncommon for a patient’s needs to be greater than what can be objectively diagnosed. How else to discover this than by listening?

What follows

The result is shared communication. Shared attention. Shared concern. And how could it stop there? Compassion follows automatically. As does a shared vision of what this person’s life would be like without whatever symptom has initiated this interaction.

This is what it means to say I strive to treat the person, rather than the symptom. This is certainly one of the things that drew me to Chinese medicine in the first place.

The unexpected power of the therapeutic alliance

What I now realize is that this interaction has healing power in and of itself. Progress on the road to healing can begin even before acupuncture, before herbs, or before any kind of treatment. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that there is therapeutic value to this healer-patient interaction. This is why randomized clinical trials are needed, after all. Researchers attempt to control for this phenomenon when testing the efficacy of a new drug or treatment. Otherwise, how would we know when a new treatment was effective beyond this important baseline?

All of this is true for Western medicine, too. There even have been instances in which once-orthodox drugs and treatments were abandoned later because subsequent controlled studies demonstrated that the main variable bringing about the positive outcome was the interaction with the doctor, not the treatment itself. Isn’t that amazing? It’s even true for some surgical procedures, believe it or not. Patients were experiencing healing for reasons other than the specifics of the operation. Doctor and patient expectations can have such dramatic effects on treatment outcomes.

A humble suggestion regarding medical research priorities

Dear mainstream and alternative medicine researchers, please focus more investigative energy on that part of your research that is normally referred to only by way of comparison with a main treatment group — that phenomenal baseline of healing. Please discover more about how all practitioners can be better healers, regardless of the types of treatment involved. What mind-body phenomena are at work when patients and doctors interact, and how can we enhance these effects? What physiological interactions between the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems are taking place when a healer and a patient establish an alliance?

Until we’ve discovered more, I’ll keep listening for clues from my patients.