Category: Environment/Detoxification

Dry Skin Brushing

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Skin is the largest organ of our body.  With regular skin brushing, you help your lymph system to improve its circulation to rid your body of toxins.  It also increases cell renewal by removing dead skin layers and can even reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Buy a natural, not synthetic, bristle brush that is neither too stiff nor too soft.  It shouldn’t scratch, but you should feel some friction against the skin.  Buy a brush with a long handle so that you can reach all areas of your body.

Here’s how to do it.  The whole process should take less than 2 minutes.

  1. Start by undressing just prior to your bath or shower.
  2. You will use the brush to lightly stroke your skin with the movements going toward the heart.  This is the direction your lymph flows.
  3. Start with circular movements on the soles of the feet.
  4. Then brush up the ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, and lower back.
  5. On the abdomen, begin at the lower right area, then brush in a circular motion up, across, down, and around in a circle a few times.
  6. Next, brush your breasts in circular movements, being careful to avoid your nipples.
  7. Next, brush your hands upward toward your arms and shoulders.
  8. Finish by take a warm bath or shower followed by a cool rinse at the end to invigorate your circulation and stimulate surface warmth.

For best results, do this practice before every shower or bath.  You can also use the power of positive suggestion to send a moment of love to each part of your body that you brush. 

How The Liver Detoxifies:

Your liver is a workhorse. The work of detoxification is happening everyday, whether you’re “on a cleanse” or not. The liver’s detoxification process is complex, but most simply is divided into two steps, aptly named Phase 1 and Phase 2. This infographic found on www.integrativefamilypractice.com shows an overview of how the liver works.

Pathways and Nutrients:

Phase 1 Detoxification:

The purpose of Phase 1 is to reduce toxicity of chemicals. This process occurs via a special set of enzymes, called Cytochrome P450. Antioxidants is very important for this phase, to neutralize toxic metabolites as chemicals are broken down.

Slow Phase 1 detoxification may occur due to lack of blood flow, sometimes a result of aging or low physical activity. It can also run slow due to deficiency in vitamin and mineral cofactors needed for enzyme function (like riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, and iron). Heavy metal toxicity is especially damaging to this phase. 

Extra fast Phase 1 detox can be problematic as well, especially if Phase 2 is slow; in this case, antioxidants become overtaxed and may cause oxidative damage and/or chemical sensitivity.

Phase 2 Detoxification:

Toxins processed through Phase 1 continue to Phase 2, called conjugation, where a side group is added to improve the body’s ability to eliminate the toxin. There are six main pathways in Phase 2, and some chemicals can be detoxed through more than one. 

  • The Sulfation Pathway:  detoxifies bacterial toxins, Tylenol, BPA, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, neurotransmitters, and xenoestrogens (estrogen-like chemicals).
  • The Glucuronidation Pathway: detoxifies medications like aspirin, food additives like benzoates and preservatives, and some steroid hormones. 
  • The Glutathione Transferase Pathway:  detoxifies heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides.
  • The Acetylation Pathway: detoxifies histamine, serotonin, salicylic acid, tobacco, and car exhaust.
  • The Amino Acid Conjugation Pathway: detoxifies toluene (a solvent), benzoate (a food preservative) and other environmental chemicals.
  • The Methylation Pathway: detoxifies hormones, neurotransmitters, or toxins, by making them water soluble; detoxifies amines (serotonin, melatonin, histamine, tyramine, and all of the catecholamines: dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine), phenols (salicylic acid—aspirin, cannabinoids, estradiol, and BPA), and many other chemicals. Genetic mutations in the methylation cycle can cause mental/emotional imbalance, migraines, hormone imbalance, and toxicity.

Important cofactors throughout Phase 2 include B vitamins, especially methylated versions of folate and B12, trace minerals such as iron, manganese, and molybdenum, amino acids like choline, cysteine, methionine, taurine, and others, like magnesium and vitamin C.

Summary:

Liver detoxification is complex! Be cautious about signing up for just any “detox” plan, because it’s very important to keep the liver and all it’s pathways in sync. A great detox takes the individual and symptoms into consideration. If you are interested in trying a detox, working with a Naturopathic Doctor can enhance your results. I’d love to help you choose the solution that’s right for you. Contact me at Boise Natural Health Clinic for your spring detox!

https://www.integrativefamilypractice.com/blog/liver-detoxification

Pets, Kids, Lawn Chemicals and Alternatives  

 by Emily Yuen, ABT

Did you know that lawn spray has been found on 70% of pets up to 8 days after application?  Find out more about allergic reactions and the dangers of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides on the studies below.  Learn alternatives to safely manage weeds see below.

Your lawn isn’t the only place you maybe exposed to dangerous chemicals. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s great links for keeping your children, pets and your home safe from toxins. Consider testing for toxic chemicals in your body at BNHC.

NAET can reduce or eliminate allergic reactions caused by chemicals such as asthma and skin conditions – read a testimonial.

Information and Studies about Pets and Lawn Chemicals:

Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Detection of herbicides in the urine of pet dogs following home lawn chemical application.

Case-Control Study of Canine Malignant Lymphoma: Positive Association With Dog Owner’s Use of 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides

Household chemical exposures and the risk of canine malignant lymphoma, a model for human non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

An observational study of the potential for human exposures to pet-borne diazinon residues following lawn applications

Dogs are ingesting, inhaling and otherwise being exposed to garden and lawn chemicals that have been associated with bladder cancer

Helpful Links

Organic Landscape 

Organic Lawn Care 101

Rutgers Organic Land Care Manual 

Other Pesticide Resources

Pesticide Action Network In the U.S., one of every two men and one of every three women are likely to develop cancer over the course of a lifetime — and pesticides are part of the reason why.

DIY Weed Spray –by Dr. Becker published in Planet Paws

“This DIY home spray is very effective at killing foliage (all plants) so it’s important to make sure it only contacts the weeds you want to kill (as it will also kill grass). Also note vinegar that is 10-20% acetic acid means it’s much stronger than regular vinegar, which is why it’s so effective for killing foliage. The essential oils add a serious extra kick for pesky weeds, but there are some cautions to be aware of before mixing up this potent brew: I recommend wearing protective gloves and eyewear (vinegar burns if you accidently get it on your skin) and if you’re sensitive to smells, a mask is also smart. Mix the three ingredients in a well-ventilated area and store in a heavy duty, non-corrosive container (the solution will dissolve cheaper plastic spray bottles quickly).

Recipe:

Spray weeds directly with solution in the heat of the day, in direct sunshine, preferably when temperatures are above 70 degrees. The solution works best when the soil is dry, so don’t apply it the day rain is forecasted.

Keep pets off of sprayed areas until dry (as solution can be irritating to skin). This nontoxic weed killer is super effective, but won’t harm the earth or the animals contacting the weeds after it dries. Happy spraying, and here’s  to green, non-toxic lawns.”

Why Boise Natural Health Clinic Has a Fragrance-Free Policy

by Joan Haynes

You may have noticed this sign in our office:

FRAGRANCE-FREE POLICY

To protect the health of our

chemically sensitive patients and staff,

we ask that while visiting

Boise Natural Health Clinic, you do not wear any

fragrance that is perceptible to others.

 

Fragrances Can Have a Negative Effect to Yourself and Others

You may not realize you are making yourself or other people sick by your fragrances.  Because people do not want to offend you or are afraid of being accused of being “sensitive”, your friends or family may not tell you that they get sick from your laundry detergent, lotion, hair products, or perfume.  We commonly get people in the office who have no idea that their overpowering fragrance can be perceived even in the back office as soon as they walk into the building or that we need to air the building out as soon as they leave.

People can develop headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nasal congestion or sneezing, nausea, or even pass out when exposed to fragrance.  Studies have been done linking some of these chemicals to health problems with the immune, nervous, detoxification, and hormonal systems as well as cancers.

What is a Fragrance?

Perfumes, colognes, and deodorants obviously have fragrance.  But so do most seemingly harmless personal care products.  Even those marked “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may contain a fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odor.  There are over 3000 chemicals that are used as fragrance most of which have not been tested for toxicity alone or in combination.  The industry is unregulated – fragrances are considered “trade secrets”.  Just because it is on the market, do not assume it is safe.

How to Avoid Exposure

We get exposed to dangerous chemicals in our environment all the time over which we have no control, but we have complete control over what we use on our body and in our home.

  1. Stop using scented laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets. It can take many washings to get the smell out, especially of synthetic fibers.  If clothes are permeated, you may need to hang clothes or linens in the sun for a few days – UV light is an amazing detoxifier.
  2. Get rid of any artificially scented candles, or air fresheners including plug-ins. Some contain acetone, benzene, lead, carbon monoxide, toluene and more!
  3. If you like fragrances, use essential oils instead of synthetic perfumes. But be careful, essential oils can smell too strong for some people and can affect people with seasonal allergies.  You may need to dilute the oil before using on your skin as they can burn.  Essential oil sprays make good deodorants.
  4. There are very few occasions that you need to use toxic cleaning supplies in your home. Learn to use baking soda and vinegar to clean.
  5. If you are exposed to strong fragrances in your work place, you have every right to ask for a fragrance -free policy to be implemented. Stand up for yourself!
  6. Environmental Working Group is the best place to go for more information. This non-profit organization has amazing Consumer Guides for non-toxic household and personal care products.

How Chemicals Increase Food Sensitivities and What You Can Do

By Emily Yuen, ABT

The author of one of my favorite allergy-free cook books called Nourishing Meals shared this great article on the relationship between chemical exposure and food intolerance and/or food allergies. Read the article to learn about how chemicals alter immune cell function, lower vitamin D levels, and cause your immune system to overreact. The article also provides steps to decrease your exposure.

Here at BNH, we help people identify and reduce chemical exposure, guiding them through elimination diets, and helping the body perform better so it can detoxify easier. Emily Yuen also offers NAET to help desensitize the body to chemicals that are causing a negative impact such as headaches, body aches, acne, fatigue, asthma, inattentiveness, and brain fog. Check out this testimonial from a chemically sensitive patient. NAET can be used to desensitize your reactions to many things other than foods and pollens such as: additives, flavoring, colorings, pesticides, perfumes, prescription medication, and cleaners. This is helpful for items that are difficult to avoid as part of daily life in a modern world.

Testing for Toxic Chemicals In Your System

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Could your chronic illness or allergic reactions be related to ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals? A newly available and finally affordable lab test (only $219) screens for the presence of 168 different toxic chemicals all from a single urine sample. Exposure to these compounds has been linked to allergic reactions, cancer, obesity, infertility, fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes, ADHD, autism, autoimmune disorders and more. 

We all know that our modern world is full of pollutants. But did you know that chemicals do not have to be proven safe prior to being introduced into use? The new documentary The Human Experiment, narrated by Sean Penn, is available on Netflix and I strongly recommend you watch it. It demonstrates how thousands of untested chemicals are ubiquitous in our everyday products, our homes, our food, and in us. 

Here’s just one example: 

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2, 4-D)  A very common herbicide most commonly used in agriculture on genetically modified foods, and as a weed killer for lawns.  Exposure to 2, 4-D via skin or oral ingestion is associated with neuritis, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, peripheral neuropathy, stupor, seizures, brain damage, and impaired reflexes. 2, 4-D is a known endocrine disruptor, and can block hormone distribution and cause glandular breakdowns. 

The Categories of Environmental Pollutants Tested by GPL-TOX lab test (168 compounds tested in total)

  • Phthalates
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene
  • Pyrethrins
  • Xylenes
  • Styrene
  • Otganophosphates
  • MTBE and ETBE
  • 2,4 Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D)

Recommendations for Detoxifications of Chemicals

First and foremost, we must identify and reduce our exposure to these toxic compounds in our homes and workplaces.   Secondly, working with an expert can be helpful. Naturopathic physicians are trained in accredited medical schools how to biochemically detoxify patients. Customized programs include specific nutritional and herbal supplements to promote the removal of toxins. In addition, we always focus on the whole person, including the gastrointestinal health, nutritional habits, and the mental/emotional factors and lifestyle activities of each individual patient. 

Read more about these toxins, the lab test, and when it is recommended at The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. To have the test ordered, and for a follow up plan of action, contact Boise Natural Health to schedule an appointment.