Part one of my drainage series: the colon!
Cleanses and detoxes get trendy because they make it seem like getting healthy is easy, and all you have to do is eat this one thing or drink this one juice.
I’m here to pop that bubble. Healing is not easy, but it is rewarding, and it’s very possible. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Truly detoxing isn’t always pretty, and you don’t always feel great the next day or even the next month.
The very first thing I talk about is the colon is because it’s imperative to be able to excrete toxins + pathogens whether you’re dealing with parasites, Lyme, auto-immune, metals or something else.
If your bowels aren’t flowing regularly, then no matter how much you detox, you will feel worse.
Some causes are easier to fix than others, but in all cases, consistency is key.
Irregularities in bowel functions can be a good sign that you're not able to properly detox and the first step to healing is opening up the first of your drainage pathways.
A quick way to tell if you have a stagnant colon is if you're having one or fewer bowel movements per day. There are several different reasons why this could occur:
Dehydration. More than half of the US population doesn't drink enough water. The prominence of juice, coffee, soda, and flavored water has made us forget that hydration comes from pure, high-quality water. When we are dehydrated, our intestines can't add enough water to the stool, which leads to chronic constipation.
Parasites such as roundworms can cause constipation. Getting rid of the parasites can ease symptoms and make it easier for your body to get rid of future parasites.
Lack of fiber. Statistics show that only 5% of Americans get enough fiber into their diet, with most people only getting 50% of their daily needs. This is problematic because fiber is key for managing digestion.
Sedentary lifestyle. With over 85% of people now working at a desk all day, more and more people are moving less daily. This leads to poor digestion and can cause constipation.
Trauma + holding on to emotions. The inability to let go of emotions can cause stress, and stress tends to irritate the gut and cause muscles to tense up. Anger and anxiety are powerful emotions that have a lot of sway over our stomach and intestines.
Candida + SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Yeast and bacteria overgrowth can cause several issues like constipation and bloating.
Hydration. This is one of the easiest to fix because all you have to do is drink more water. Filtered, mineralized water is key, as you want to avoid sugary juices, sodas, flavored drinks, and other potential gut irritants. A good amount to aim for per day is half of your body weight in ounces.
So how do you support the colon?
Professional colonic hydrotherapy. A colonic is typically performed at a wellness spa/clinic. This procedure is similar to an enema, but it includes multiple infusions of water into the colon and is meant to clear out a larger part of the bowel. Colonics are commonly used to treat constipation.
Water + coffee enemas. This can be done at home with either distilled water or a coffee solution. Enemas can also relieve constipation and coffee solutions will help facilitate the production of bile, which helps to break down carbohydrates and fats thus improving digestion.
Herbs. Herbal medicine is easy to incorporate into a daily routine in the form of tea. Herbs that will aid in digestion and bowel movements include marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, ginger root, aloe vera (can be taken in pure, juice format), fennel, peppermint, senna, dandelion root, gentian root, chickweed, and chamomile.
Fiber. Adding more insoluble fiber will slow down digestion and allow you to better absorb nutrients from your diet, while soluble fiber draws water into the stool and allows it to pass through the intestines more quickly. Both are needed for healthy digestion. Women need about 25 grams a day and men need about 35. Start slowly if you're not used to eating this much fiber.
Movement. Not only will this improve digestion, but it will likely improve mood and overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement a day, and take frequent breaks from your desk if you sit at work. Yoga is also a great option, as there are many poses specifically for improving digestion.
Breathwork + emotional release. Letting go of anger, anxiety, and stress can have a profound effect on digestion and bowel movements. 5-10 minutes of breathwork a day is a great place to start for your physical and emotional well-being.
Parasite cleansing. Aside from constipation, parasites can wreak havoc in the body. While it's a popular belief that parasites are only an issue in the third world, the truth is that almost every living person has parasites. Watch out for protocols that only encourage the killing of parasites, as that can cause a herxheimer reaction if the parasites are not properly expelled from the body.
Healing the gut lining through herbs, digestive bitters, pre-biotics, pro-biotics, and a healthy diet will help to support digestion, thus promoting healthy bowel movements
I’m sharing this because this is the kind of information I wish I had when I first started on my healing journey. I challenge you to dedicate to improving one aspect of your health this month, whether it’s drinking more water, getting better sleep, or cutting out even a single processed food you currently eat.
Let me know in the comments what you’re challenging yourself to!