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 The Purification Process: Healing for Modern Times 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by . View all columns in series

Naturopathically, deficiency and toxicity are the continuum of nutritional balance, or lack of balance. People who are deficient may experience such problems as fatigue, coldness, hair loss or dry skin, and the healing choice is to be nourished with wholesome foods to stimulate and support healing. However, congestive problems are more common in Western, industrialized civilizations, starting from acute colds and sinus or allergic problems to skin rashes and digestive disturbances. Likewise, many chronic diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and cancer, most often come from long-term health-destroying habits.

Of course, these many health problems are not only from poor food choices. We are constantly dabbing, spraying, and imbibing/inhaling more chemicals from the air, water, foods, and from our vehicles and medications than ever before. Many of our acute and chronic diseases and dilemmas result from the clogging of our tissues and tubes and the suffocating of our cells and vital energy to support our ability to make healthful choices. These medical problems may be prevented or treated at least in part and often dramatically by embarking on a process of cleansing and detoxification. The detoxification process is the 'natural' way to heal!

The incorporation of dietary changes, including consumption of more fresh fruits, vegetables and water while reducing animal fats and proteins and eliminating any damaging substance abuses is the beginning of the rejuvenation process for the human body. This was discovered long ago and is still true today even though medical science may make light of it in deference to the quick solution to major diseases. Western doctors are trained primarily to name the disease and then prescribe a bill, a pill, and a refill, which is often not even related to the needs of the body's healing process – the true solution for disease.

I believe in and consider the cleansing/fasting/detoxification process (they are different degrees of the same process of reduced toxin intake and enhanced toxin elimination) to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization. In over 25 years of medical practice, I have utilized extensively various detox and healing/rejuvenation practices for both myself and literally thousands of patients. I offer cleansing group support in the autumn and spring (and the new year) at my office. I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification – the Purification Process – is virtually one of the most powerful healing (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) therapies I have witnessed as well as participated in for as long as I have practiced medicine. Its effects offer rebalance for the body/mind and are preventive for many health problems.

I have written extensively about detoxification, as can be seen in the last section of my 1100 page Staying Healthy With Nutrition book and which is the focus of my 1997 book, The Detox Diet: The How-to and When-to Guide For Clearing Your Body of Toxic Substances, wherein I discuss both the medical and health factors of the cleansing process. The Detox Diet basics follow here to give you a clear idea of what is involved.

There are two important levels to the Purification Process. The first is mentioned above as the clearing from any substance habits or abuses, even addictions for some, which are a serious type of imbalanced relationship to one's true nurturing needs. This program encourages you to take a break, which may be temporary or lifelong, to such common habits as the daily intake of sugar (as refined sugar and corn syrups – they put them in everything, it seems), caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and chemicals in foods (especially watch the regular use of aspartame), and as able, from over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals and chemically-loaded beauty products, foods, and household cleansers. To me, this is very often the first step in health liberation, freeing ourselves from the emotional connection and dependence on certain items to give us energy or sedate us. All of these substances can alter our moods and vitality, both immediately and over time.

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 About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...moreElson Haas MD
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