Probably the two most important detoxification methods are FIR sauna use and the use of diet and supplements. This page discusses lots of common methods used for detoxification, starting with FIR sauna use and enemas and also includes a special section on boosting the health of your lymph system.
Saunas have long been considered an excellent way to remove toxins from the body and to treat and improve diseases where detoxification is severely compromised, such as in MCS.
Using saunas to safely remove as much of the toxic load from the patient as possible, could have many beneficial effects on symptoms of toxic overload and also the course of the disease generally.
FIR saunas are far better tolerated by patients that are sensitive to high temperatures than traditional saunas because they do not raise the body’s core temperature. Many patients can tolerate a FIR sauna that can not tolerate traditional saunas or warm baths/weather.
Far Infrared therapy has been shown in several medical studies to have numerous health benefits in addition to detoxification. It can decrease joint and muscle stiffness and pain directly, relax the muscles, improve flexibility and relieve muscle spasms. FIR saunas can also increase blood flow, reduce pain and increase endorphin production, improve skin tone by unclogging pores and improve the immune system.
FIR saunas can be bought for anywhere between $200 and $5000 or more. Portable models are available, some of which also fold up for easy storage, as are saunas made of wood. (Note that POTS or M.E. patients should never spend time in a sauna SITTING UP!)
Any serious detoxification regime should always be done under the supervision of an experienced medical professional, and approached cautiously and very gradually in serious disease. Detoxifying the body of toxins faster than the body can get rid of them can be very dangerous or even fatal. Saunas can also cause death, if the fluid and minerals lost during their use are not replaced.
Before the sauna: Exfoliating before the sauna can be helpful. It is essential to drink extra water before, during and after the sauna and also to replace lost minerals such as magnesium, calcium, salt and potassium. Because the FIR Sauna is effective at removing toxic chemicals and heavy metals from the body, there is a possibility of side effects.
Dr Rogers recommends that patients take various nutrients before the sauna, in order to minimise any symptoms caused by a ‘detox reaction.’ These include: magnesium chloride (magnesium oil), zinc, calcium and tri-salts. She also recommends correcting mineral deficiencies such as selenium, manganese, zinc and magnesium before starting a sauna regime, to facilitate safer detoxification.
During the sauna: The sauna can cause detox symptoms which can include: muscle cramps and spasms, rashes, strange odours and tastes, heart palpitations and high blood pressure, gastrointestinal changes, headache and nausea. These symptoms are normal but if they become severe, medical attention should be sought. Patients that begin to feel very unwell must get out of the sauna right away. It is very important to wash the sweat off the body with a towel during a sauna, otherwise many of the toxins expelled may be reabsorbed through the skin!
After the sauna: Dr Rogers recommends that patients consume a detox cocktail after each sauna containing vitamin C and Alpha Lipoic Acid, plus a multi-vitamin later in the day.
Saunas should last no longer than 10 minutes to begin with.
Patients must begin with short saunas at the lowest temperature setting (or 100F/40 C) perhaps once a week, or once a fortnight or less, depending on tolerance. After a year or so, a once a day sauna regime may be able to be cut back to a once a week maintenance program.
Avoiding chemicals in personal care products, in the home and in food is of the utmost importance on any detoxification program. Eating an alkaline diet containing lots of fresh and unprocessed fruits and vegetables is equally important. Patients must also take care to avoid any vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
For more information on this topic including a full list of cautions on FIR sauna use, links to FIR sauna products and a reference list, please see the full-length version of this paper.
Click here to read the full-length FIR sauna article on HHH.
Click here to read the full-length detoxification enemas article on HHH.
Prevention is better and easier than treatment when it comes to having a low toxic load, and so step one for any detoxification regime always has to be minimising exposures. The text below lists some of the most well-known detoxification methods, roughly in order of importance, with the most important methods listed first.
High dose vitamin C (possibly combined with RALA and liposomal GSH in a daily detox cocktail.)
Coffee detoxification enemas. Colonics may also be useful, where appropriate, but are far more expensive. Click here to read the full-length detoxification enemas article on HHH.
Daily vegetable juices
Dry skin brushing or body brushing. Some experts recommend dry-brushing the skin for 5-10 minutes with a natural bristle brush before a sauna to remove dead skin cells, allow free perspiration and to stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system. Dry body brushing improves lymph flow after 1 - 3 months. This should be followed by a quick warm shower. For many M.E. patients, the sauna itself is probably enough to do at one time, and so instead, the patient might try and lightly exfoliate themselves all over in the bath the day before using a bath mitt or brush or a salt scrub product.
To dry body brush; first brush in circles on the soles of your feet, then brush your feet then legs and then stomach, upwards towards the heart. Then brush circles on your palms, and then brush your hands and arms and upper chest and back towards the heart. Don't brush your face or your nipples. Use a natural bristle brush only. Make sure you brush towards the heart always.
Neti pot use. Neti pots are a cheap and easy way to flush out and clean your nasal passages; just add salt and water. Make sure to only ever use distilled water or appropriately filtered water with your neti pot and to always keep the pot clean. (Tap water is not safe for noses, in very rare cases amoebas in unfiltered water used for swimming or nasal irrigation can cause brain infections and death.) Very good for clearing out a blocked-up nose, caused by allergies.
The gallbladder/liver flush. Doing a gallbladder flush supports liver and gallbladder health. In her book on healing chronic gastronintesinal disorders Dr Sherry Rogers recommends the following gallbladder flush protocol: taking 15 ml each of olive oil and lime juice for a week, then 30 ml of each the second week, and then 45 ml of each the third week. Sometime during the third week a soft and unformed black stool will be passed and this completes the flush program.
Most gallbladder flush protocols involve a day or more of fasting which is impossible for many or even all M.E. patients. For details of these possibly more intensive fasting gallbladder flush protocols see the books ‘Curing the Incurable’ and ‘Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life’ plus the Detoxification Methods article by Dr Lawrence Wilson.
Lymphatic drainage massage. See a skilled practitioner either in your home or in their office.
Clay baths, salt baths, magnesium baths and apple cider vinegar baths. Add a quarter to one cup of clay OR half a cup to 1.5 kg/3 pounds of epsom salts OR half a cup of unrefined sea salt OR a few teaspoons or tablespoons of magnesium oil (depending on how often you have the baths and what your current magnesium dosage is) OR half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath. Check online for more details on dosages and read the HFME article on magnesium before trying magnesium baths.
Dr Carolyn Dean writes: 'Clay Detox Baths may seem very simplistic. But think about it. Every pore on your skin is in contact with the clay in your bath. And clay absorbs toxins from your body through your skin. Clay can remove heavy metals, chemicals and drugs. I use the Natural Clay formula from LL’s Magnetic Clay. Just blend 1/4 to 1/2 cup of clay in your blender with lots of water and pour that into your hot water foot bath or tub. Soak for 30 min and shower off.
The clay [also] takes chlorine out of bath water. How do I know? Remember I’m not just a comedy writer livening up your day. I’m a scientist! I have chlorine-testing drops. Yes, if you have a pool or a fish tank, you probably have some too! At any rate the scientist in me wanted to see if clay could detox the chlorine in my water. So I did the before-and-after test and was delighted to see that chlorine no longer existed in my clay bath water.
If you decide to follow some sort of detox program, go slowly, especially if you are very toxic. Be aware that things can get “stirred up” and you can actually feel worse when you start eliminating toxins.'
Note that detoxification baths are usually recommended to be taken for only 20 – 30 minutes at a time and only once to three times a week. M.E. patients need to start with detoxification baths VERY slowly as the potential for healing reactions is large.
Castor oil packs. Castor oil packs are usually applied to the stomach/abdomen area or over the liver. For instructions see the Detoxification Methods article by Dr Lawrence Wilson.
Other essential treatments. Other supplements that can help with detoxification include vitamin B12, iodine, chlorella, enzymes, cruciferous vegetables, protein, probiotics and many other important nutrients and other substances. All of the essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes are in a way equally important. It is so important not to be low in any important nutrient as a low level of even one important element can negatively affect so many differnet bodily processes.
While different vitamins and minerals are linked with particular benefits in reality everything does everything! No matter what health issue you gace you need to not be low in ANY of the important nutrients for all your bodily systems to work properly.
The lymph system works as an aid to the immune system by removing waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, and cancer cells. It also plays a role in delivering fats and fat soluble nutrients to the cells and in removing excess fluid from the body.
The lymph system doesn’t have an organ like the heart to pump it around the body, like the circulatory system does. The upward movement of lymph (toward the neck) depends on the motions of the muscle and joint pumps. Lymph naturally flows well when you move around a lot, and if you are very inactive you may very likely have problems in this area.
Good lymph flow is important for health and healing and especially if you are following any sort of detoxification regime. If your lymph flow is sluggish this can have an impact on your health and wellbeing in a number of ways.
Signs of poor lymph flow may include oedema in both legs, both arms or the abdomen.
The health of the lymphatic system can be improved through dry body brushing, increasing water intake, use of a rebounder (a mini trampoline), massage and other methods.
To read more about ways of preventing and treating a sluggish lymph system and the eodema (swelling) it can cause, please read the short article: Boosting the health of your lymph system
Going too fast with detoxification can also be dangerous. It is important to always do as much research as you can before starting anything new and to start very, very slowly at first with just one new treatment at a time.
Note that juice fasts, all raw diets or almost completely plant-based diets are not recommended. Dr Wilson explains, ‘Vegetarian diets are too low in zinc and in sulfur-containing amino acids and this impairs detoxification. Raw food diets do not allow the body to absorb enough minerals.’
Click here to read the full-length FIR sauna article on HHH.Click here to read the full-length detoxification enemas article on HHH.
Toxic Metals by Dr Lawrence Wilson (includes valuable information on testing)
Books by Dr Sherry Rogers
Books by Dr Bruce Fife
Books by Dr Gerson
‘Toxic metals comprise a group of minerals that have no known function in the body and, in fact, are harmful. Today mankind is exposed to the highest levels of these metals in recorded history. This is due to their industrial use, the unrestricted burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum, and incineration of waste materials worldwide. Toxic metals are now everywhere and affect everyone on planet earth. They have become a major cause of illness, aging and even genetic defects. The study of toxic metals is part of nutrition and toxicology, areas not emphasized in medical schools. For this reason, these important causes of disease are accorded little attention in conventional mainstream medicine.’ Dr Lawrence Wilson
Note that the aim of this site is to provide a starting point for health and healing research for ill people; especially very overwhelmed and disabled ill people. This site provides recommendations, summaries and reviews of books but is not meant to be a replacement for actually reading some of these wonderful health books if the reader is at all well enough to do so. (Plus getting individualised advice from a doctor that is also an orthomolecular medicine expert if possible). There is no substitute for reading as many of these books as you can. The HHH site can only really hint at their full brilliance. The amount of insight, scientific references, logic, intelligence, compassion and experience in the recommended books will most likely amaze you. HHH aims to encourage people to do their own reading and learning, and to always make up their own minds. All content copyright Jodi Bassett 2006 - 2014.