Archive for October 2010

How do I detox?

The first step to doing a detoxification program is to set a plan. Pick your start date, determine the length of your cleanse, get your supportive supplements, prepare your meal plan and food choices, get rid of your temptations to get side tracked, and begin.

Most cleanses last at least a week, but some last up to a month. I like a 2 week cleanse as I find that 1 week simply isn’t long enough and a full month can feel daunting.

Choose the supplements that are suitable for you. If you have never done a cleanse before, you may not want to start with the strongest clean you can find. Talk to a natural health professional to make the right choice. The program that you choose should be gentle and support your body’s own ability to detoxify and eliminate. There should be nutrients and/or herbs to support your liver and help with bowel movements. You may also want to consider herbs to help the kidneys, lymphatic system, and even your lungs as these organs are all important to eliminating toxins from your body.

Figure out what you can eat and what you will want to avoid. Sort out the details before hand so you can make it more likely that you will be able to complete your cleanse.

Finally, look forward to feeling healthier and more energized!

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Detox quickies

Ready to do a cleanse, but afraid that your reaction to a cleanse might be strong? Preparing your body can help, so start with these simple steps.

1.  Drink lots of water.  Water is necessary to move waste products out of your cells and out of your body.  For an added boost, squeeze some fresh lemon into your water (always room temperature or warmer to follow TCM principles) and drink it first thing in the morning.

2.  Drink some detoxifying teas. Dandelion tea, while very bitter, can help cleanse the liver. Or, try a pre-made blend that you can find in many health food stores.

3.  Eat detoxifying foods such as:

  • – Burdock root (the Japanese call it gobo) is a blood cleanser.
  • – Mung beans are often used in soups, but make sure to soak them overnight first!  You can add them to a variety of soups and stews or try this Mung Bean Casserole. http://www.veg-world.com/recipes/mung-bean.htm
  • – Beets are blood cleansers.  Pick your favourite…here are beet recipes galore. http://www.justvegetablerecipes.com/inxbet.html
  • – Eat your greens!  Need an easier way?  Use green drink powders such as spirulina, wheatgrass, or chlorella or a veggie and fruit-based greens powder such as “Berry Greens”.  Simply mix in water or juice.

4.  Eat more fibre which helps scrape the intestinal walls of their waste and absorbs some waste products on the way out.  Examples include flax seeds, bran, psyllium husk (but make sure you drink it with lots of water). I prefer flax seeds, hemp seeds, and vegetable fibres. My favourite fibre blend is one called “4 Fiber” as it also contains herbs that help support intestinal health.

5.  Take vitamin C which helps the body to produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.

6.  Exercising causes you to sweat and wastes can be eliminated through your pores.  Jumping rope is a great way to stimulate your lymph circulation.

7. Other lymphatic system stimulants include dry brushing your skin, alternating hot and cold water in your shower, and lymphatic supplements such as “Lymphdiaral”.

Do you have a favourite recipe or tip for helping your body detoxify?

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Think yourself healthy

I recently received a newsletter from Terry Small and his “Brain Bulletin”. I love learning about the brain. This is a study that he wrote about in his latest issue:

Your brain is so powerful you can literally think yourself fit!

So says a study from Manchester University. Three groups were asked to take part in a fascinating study. One group was asked to do a muscular pushing activity for a month, a second group was asked to imagine, vividly, doing the exercises, a third group was asked to do nothing.

What do you think happened? The first group increased strength by 33%, the second group 16%, the third group did not improve. So why did the second group improve? Neuroscientists believe that it is not what is happening in your muscle but in your brain! If you can improve the neural input to your muscle, you can recruit more muscle fiber and exert more force.

That makes me think…if you can think your muscles stronger, what else can you think yourself into? Why not think yourself healthier? Why not think your pain away? Why not think your lungs clean? Why not think your immune system stronger than any virus or bacteria that attacks you? Why not think your mind at peace?

Easier said than done, I know. And the results from just thinking weren’t as good as the group that actually did the strengthening exercises. So, you still need to do something.

I have one patient who came in for a series of acupuncture sessions to help relieve some issues of pain. She had great results from acupuncture. But I expect that. What I found most amazing was that she would imagine herself receiving acupuncture and feeling her muscles relax and the pain fade away when she was on the bus, sitting at work, walking to the store, whenever she needed it. This worked wonders for her. And I just chatted with her again recently and more than a year later, it still works for her!

Acupuncture can elicit powerful sensations. Some people feel sleepy. Some feel heavy. Some feel like they are floating. Today a patient told me that he felt like his body was connected by licorice strings! He could feel how one part of his body was connected to another by a thin line. “Just like acupuncture channels (meridians),” I said.

And, of course, there are also some patients who simply feel better than they’ve felt in a long, long time.

These are memorable, physical and emotional feelings that people can draw upon to play back when they need to.

Have you ever been able to think yourself healthier?

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What is a detox?

You’ve probably heard a lot about detoxes and perhaps you’ve wondered what it’s about and why it might be important.

Detoxification is something natural that our bodies do to neutralize, change, or eliminate substances that are unwanted or toxic to us. We have several systems that help the process: our skin, mucosal membranes, liver, colon, kidney, bladder, and lymphatic system. When operating properly, our bodies can handle many toxins. Problems occur when our bodies are weak or when the level of toxins is overwhelming.

We understand the importance of cleaning the outside of our bodies. We shower, brush our teeth, wash our faces. We must also periodically clean the inside of our bodies and try to limit the number of toxins that we are exposed to.

Detoxification programs help your own natural detoxification systems by using supplements, food, plenty of water, and sometimes treatments such as far infrared saunas for sweating.

Because autumn is an ideal time in Traditional Chinese Medicine to work on the lungs and large intestines, let’s start with a few ways to work on ways to help our lungs.

  • Breathe! Lengthen your breath. Breathe in deeply, hold for a moment, and breathe out for at least as long as you breathed in. Then hold for a moment and repeat 9 more times.
  • Get an air purifier. Living in the city, we are constantly bombarded by toxins in the air that we breathe.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke.
  • If you have allergies, asthma, sinus issues, or other breathing or lung problems, get them treated. Many herbs are lung cleansing.
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First Detox Tip–Why detox?

“I live a healthy life. I eat well. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. Why do I need to cleanse?”

Even if you live healthy, you cannot avoid all toxins if you live in the city. We are bombarded by toxins from our food, our water and other beverages, the air, makeup, body care products, household cleaning products, dry cleaning chemicals, paint, plastics, and the list goes on. Just how toxic are we?

A 2007 study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) took a small sampling of average individuals and tested them for their toxic load. They found an average of:

  • 53 cancer causing toxins
  • 62 substances toxic to the nervous system and brain
  • 55 toxins associated with birth defects

Most of these toxic substances didn’t exist 75 years ago.

They suggested 5 steps to reducing your toxic exposure:

  1. Eat organic foods
  2. Limit your fat intake as toxins are stored in fat (animal fat)
  3. Limit your beauty products (or at least choose more natural ones–read the labels carefully and learn which are better and which are worse)
  4. Avoid stain removers
  5. Avoid seafood high in mercury

Check out this NBC news report from 2007: NBC News Report on Toxins

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Join the team

Have you ever thought that you’d like to do a cleanse, but were scared that it would be too hard? That it would be suffering? That you would be left hungry? Not necessary.

Detoxification Made SIMPLE

Perhaps you’ve been traveling over the summer or have slacked off on watching your food choices. Maybe you’ve been feeling sluggish or have been suffering from a health issue. Or possibly you recognize the importance of regular cleansing. Whatever your reason, fall is a great time to do a detoxification program.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), autumn is when the lungs and large intestines are most active. The TCM lungs and large intestines systems relate to allergies, skin disorders, immune issues, grief and sadness, elimination of wastes, and “letting go”.

SIMPLE is an acronym for the 6 basic steps, from Selecting a start date to Enjoying how great you feel.

S is for Select a date to start”

Just like any new plan you undertake, it’s important to choose a start date that works for you. That doesn’t mean that you have to wait for something perfect, but if you plan on starting a cleanse just before your best friend’s wedding, chances are you are setting yourself up to fail. Set yourself up for success and plan for success.

I is for Implement a plan”

Starting a cleanse doesn’t have to be complicated, but it usually is a change from your usual, so implement a plan on what you need to do, what you need to buy, what you need to avoid. You need to get the right supplements and food so that you’re ready to go. You need a list or at least a clear idea when you go grocery shopping. You might want some support from friends, your partner, and maybe a health professional, especially if you have health issues. You will want to figure out what you’ll do if you do have to eat out or if you’re too busy to cook.

M is for “Make it fit you”

I’m going to state something obvious. You’re all different from each other. No two of you are exactly alike, even if you’re related. For example, my starting point for the detox plan that I set my patients up with eliminates all dairy and all grains. This may be important for a cleanse. But, when I’m working with athletes, I often allow some grains. If I suspect gluten sensitivities, I make sure to exclude foods that would include that.

P is for “Preparation”

Now that you have your plan and it is set to work for you, you need to put that plan into action. Have everything ready before you start. If you don’t, you’re more likely to be challenged.

L is for List your reasons for doing a cleanse”

Motivation or lack thereof is often what determines success. You may “think” that a cleanse is a good idea, but what really motivates us is how we “feel”. Have you ever wanted to do something, new it would be smart to do it, but then lost your motivation partway through? Perhaps you got too busy. Perhaps you were bored. Perhaps you were too tired. Or maybe someone else told you it was a bad idea. If you feel that something is a good idea, write it down. Maybe you want to feel more energy (feel energized), maybe you want to stop worrying about your digestive system or skin or allergies (feel happy about your health), maybe you want to set a good example for your family (feel positive about your family’s health), maybe you want to kick start a new healthy way of living (feel hopeful about your future), etc.

E is for “Enjoy how good you feel!”

Why are you even considering doing a cleanse? For most it’s about feeling good! And most people do feel good or great after a cleanse. “Light”, “energized”, and “clearer” are some descriptive words that some of my patients have used.

JOIN US!

Luisa and Dr. Carr will be organizing our own SIMPLE Cleanse Team.

We are offering several different options for how we can help you with your cleanse:

Grade AAA

Program includes:

Dr. Carr

  • Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)
  • TCM food cures list
  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)
  • 2 acupuncture sessions (1 hour each, value $150)
  • 4 Far Infrared Sauna sessions (30 minutes each, value $100)

Luisa Rios

  • Grocery Tour & Healthy Pantry Makeover (90 minutes, value $150)
  • Personalized Meal Plan created based on Dr. Carr’s food recommendations (value $150)
  • Personal Chef Service for 2 weeks; all Monday-Friday lunch and dinner meals* bought, prepared, and delivered (*not including cost of food; value $350)

Combo package for Dr. Carr and Luisa Rios — $800 (value $1145)

Grade AA

Program includes:

Dr. Carr

  • Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)
  • TCM food cures list
  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)
  • 1 acupuncture session (value $75)

OR

  • 4 Far Infrared Sauna sessions (value $100)

Luisa Rios

  • Grocery Tour & Healthy Pantry Makeover (90 minutes, value $150)
  • Personalized Meal Plan created based on Dr. Carr’s food recommendations (value $150)

Combo package for Dr. Carr and Luisa Rios — $350 (valued at $470-545)

Grade A

Program includes:

Dr. Carr

  • Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)
  • TCM food cures list
  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)

Luisa Rios:

  • Grocery Tour & Healthy Pantry Makeover (90 minutes, value $150)

OR

  • Personalized Meal Plan created based on Dr. Carr’s food recommendations (value $150)

Combo package for Dr. Carr and Luisa Rios — $300 (valued at $395)

Dr. Carr’s TCM Packaged Plans

Acupuncture & Sauna Package:

Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)

TCM food cures list

  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)
  • 2 acupuncture sessions (1 hour each, value $150)
  • 4 Far Infrared Sauna sessions (30 minutes each, value $100)

$400 (valued at $495)

Acupuncture or Sauna Package:

  • Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)
  • TCM food cures list
  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)
  • 1 acupuncture session (value $75)

OR

  • 4 Far Infrared Sauna sessions (value $100)

$150 (valued at $170-245)

TCM Basics Package:

  • Initial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation (1 hour, $95 value)
  • TCM food cures list
  • Supplement assessment overhaul
  • Supplements for cleanse (value $150)

$200 (valued at $245)

Luisa Rios’ Packaged Plans

Full Food Service Package:

  • Grocery Tour & Healthy Pantry Makeover (90 minutes, value $150)
  • Personalized Meal Plan created based on Dr. Carr’s food recommendations (value $150)
  • Personal Chef Service for 2 weeks; all Monday-Friday lunch and dinner meals* bought, prepared, and delivered (*not including cost of food; value $350)

$500 (valued at $650)

Food Assist Package:

  • Grocery Tour & Healthy Pantry Makeover (90 minutes, value $150)
  • Personalized Meal Plan created based on Dr. Carr’s food recommendations (value $150)

$250 (valued at $300)

Note: Services are also available “A La Carte”

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