July 30, 2008 by 8junebugs
But still about detox. And alternative medicine.
Okay, and a little about poop.
I’m in the fortunate position of having a lot of people around who care about me. Right now, that translates into, “You’re doing what? Is this safe? Are you sure you should be doing this? You are going to eat, right?”
I’m doing a 30-day detox, it’s safe, I’m sure, and I’m eating rather well, thank you. I know the two-and-a-half day migraine was worrisome — I’m much better now. (But ask me what color my poop is!)
The immediate effects of this are (a) tolerable, (b) short-term, and (c) compound versions of things I deal with anyway: migraines, fatigue, and…well, a lot of pooping. Now it’s just anticipated and for a good cause.
I’ve been asked for journal articles to back up the science of this plan. Shockingly, the AMA archives are a little sparse in the area of holistic healing — could it be because it doesn’t require a prescription? Or surgery? Or an HMO?
Natural medicine — assisting the body in sorting itself out — is not the focus of Western medicine. In truth, the detoxing I’m doing appears to be far more prevalent in Europe and Asia. The list of foods I’m eating reads like a Japanese grocery list.
A few examples of what I’m eating:
- Brown rice fried in olive oil with egg and sauteed sweet peppers
- Tilapia loin filets pan-fried with olive oil
- Broccoli sauteed with garlic
- Grilled salmon with baked sweet potato fries
See? Not starving. (I’m not going to give you the grocery list. If you want to do this kind of thing, talk to your doctor. Or mine.)
The effects during the first week are similar to withdrawal symptoms. The term for them is Herxheimer Reaction (or die-off reaction) — the cells/toxins counting on the sugars and caffeine and alcohol essentially die off and, well, who likes dying? The cells/toxins go out kicking and screaming.
If you’ve ever had a massage, you know that the therapist will tell you to drink a lot of water over the following day or two to help flush out toxins released during the muscle manipulation. Same basic principle — massage is just a manual release instead of one caused inside your system.
Here’s the thing about me — I firmly believe that our bodies are generally equipped to take care of themselves. Whenever possible, for my own body, I will try the least invasive treatment available first. That means treating burns with aloe, bruises with arnica, and yeast with yogurt.
That doesn’t mean I won’t take someone to the hospital if he has broken a leg or is bleeding from the ears, or that I won’t drive an on-call pediatric nurse batshit with questions someday. It just means that my body has historically responded poorly to AMA-approved treatments and well to alternative medicine.
That’s how I ended up in a chiropractor’s office in the first place. I thought they were quacks, too — I tagged along to an adjustment after a friend’s (first) car accident in high school, and I yelped when the guy whipped her head around. I vowed I would never put my spine in the hands of ANYONE WHO WOULD DO THAT WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?!
Ten years later, I worked at Trader Joe’s and, despite my best lifting intentions, developed lower back pain — I couldn’t step into the bathtub without leaning or otherwise compensating. Also squealing in agony.
I tried over-the-counter painkillers, which I hate. I talked about it with every doctor I saw, and all they wanted to do was give me pain medication to treat (read: mask) the symptoms. None of them thought physical therapy was appropriate. Therapy for what? They couldn’t see an injury.
Finally, I gave in and tried the chiropractor around the corner from my office as a last resort. (The idea came from my receptionist at the time — always trust your receptionist.) That doctor was so friendly and open about chiropractics and what he was doing that I learned to trust him. I went in a couple of times a week until the immediate issue was resolved, and then went in once a week or so to make sure I wasn’t backsliding.
(Backsliding, get it? HA!)
It’s the only thing that helped. The pain disappeared, I moved more easily, and I slept better. I had been so focused on the sharp pain in the mornings that I hadn’t even realized how much of a dull ache I’d had the rest of the time. And I wasn’t stuck on pain pills.
When he decided to move and sold the practice, I trusted his judgment and started my relationship with the woman I go to now.
Six years later, I’m a convert and a quiet chirovangelist. I understand the concerns, because I’ve been there. But I’ve also experienced the benefits firsthand…and enjoyed the client-focused atmosphere of this particular office, which I hear is pretty normal. As opposed to my primary care physician, who has three levels of staff between her and the phone, a calendar booked six weeks out, and no concept of what to do besides take a sample and write a prescription.
And I like that doctor. You should hear what I say about the ones who are a little, ahem, CARELESS WITH THE DUCK LIPS.
Geez, people, show a little respect down there.
So I trust this doctor and this process — now you know why.