28 Day Cleanse Protocol From Dr. Bonnie Nedrow N.D.
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Our bodies have an inherent ability to transform and eliminate toxins on an everyday basis. We can also support this natural process of detoxification through food, lifestyle habits, and supplementation. However, our natural detox systems can be overwhelmed at times. A comprehensive and structured cleanse can be helpful in breaking through residual toxic barriers that may be hindering optimal health. Typically, a detox program is undertaken for two weeks or more and involves nutritional support during all phases, including fiber for binding toxins and gentle motility support. The advantages of a slow steady program of detox support over a few weeks can be beneficial, both in the short term and in the long run.
Her supplement recommendations for a 28-day cleanse support liver detoxification pathways that transform toxins and prepare them for elimination. They also support healthy gastrointestinal function, optimal nutrient intake, and important antioxidant defenses. In addition, Dr. Nedrow recommends the following nine practices to support either daily detoxification or a longer-term cleanse:
- Water consumption. All of the body’s organs need plenty of clean water to do their jobs effectively. The liver requires huge amounts of water to convert toxic substances into benign waste. Water protects the brain and kidneys, which are easily damaged by dehydration. And water hydrates the bowel to ensure easy elimination of toxins.
- Mild to moderate exercise. Regular daily movement through leisure activities, sports, domestic chores, work, and exercise supports detoxification in several ways:
- The skin releases toxins through sweat
- Bowel movements increase
- Breathing deepens
- Lymphatic drainage increases
- Stress and tension release from the muscles and mind
- Phytonutrient-rich diet. Phytonutrients are vital for cell communication, gene expression, antioxidant defenses and detoxification. The simplest way patients can follow a phytonutrient-rich diet is by eating at least three to four cups of organic fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors each day.
- Mind-body healing. Cleansing and daily detoxification are important not only for the body, but also the mind. One self-help tool is mental imagery. Teach patients to envision themselves as healthy, vital, and living the life they want. This practice encourages positive lifestyle choices to realize those results.
- Deep-breathing exercises. Breathing is an essential daily detox activity that cleanses and nurtures every cell in the body. Our fast-paced yet sedentary modern lifestyle leads to unconscious shallow breathing. Additionally, the quality of the air we breathe can be poor due to air pollution and airtight buildings that limit indoor ventilation. Suggest your patients devote a few minutes to deep breathing in the morning, perhaps outside. Then, they can periodically pause to focus on deep breathing throughout the day. Exercising around trees and plants will also benefit the breath and the lungs.
- Dry skin brushing. Skin is the largest organ system in our bodies. Skin cells have great detox capacity, especially when the skin is healthy. But exposure to pollution, body products, and the aging process can lead to clogged skin pores, resulting in suboptimal elimination of toxins through the skin. Daily dry skin brushing with a dry brush, a loofa or exfoliating mitt removes dead skin and debris and stimulates lymphatic flow. Dry skin brushing is ideally done before a shower.
- Contrast showers. Alternating hot and cold showers—also known as contrast showers—stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow. For the ideal contrast shower, start with a comfortably warm water temperature. After washing, adjust the water to as hot as comfortable. Count to 30, then cool the water and count to 30 again. There’s no need to shock yourself with freezing water; cool water works just fine. During each temperature change, slowly rotate your body to expose all surfaces to the water. Continue this process three times, making the water hotter and colder each time. End with a cold blast to close your pores and help you feel warm when you step into room-temperature air.
- Elimination. This natural process is critical for cleansing and detoxification. Daily bowel movements eliminate metabolic wastes and many toxins from the body. Without these healthy bowel movements, toxins will recirculate through the body. Daily habits to support healthy bowel function include drinking plenty of water and eating an abundance of fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and legumes.
- Supplementation. In an ideal world with fabulous fresh organic foods and no synthetic chemicals, supplements wouldn’t be necessary. However, the quality of our food has decreased at the same time as our toxic exposure has increased dramatically. One way to compensate for this is to add some basic supplements to support detoxification in a toxic world.
While all of these supplements are gentle and safe, there are some precautions that particularly apply to the 28-day cleanse. If unwanted symptoms arise during the cleanse, first make sure the patient is drinking plenty of water and having healthy daily bowel movements. Also, consider decreasing the amount of Liver Cleanse Tea to slow down the detoxification process. Finally, remember that magnesium acts as an osmotic agent and can cause diarrhea if taken in overly high amounts.
Daily detoxification habits and seasonal cleanses are simple ways to support the overall health and well-being of your patients, and are complementary strategies to most other naturopathic and functional-medicine approaches. Add this protocol, by our expert Dr. Bonnie Nedrow, to your toolkit as a way to support effective detoxification and address one of the most important root causes of modern health concerns.
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Dr. Bonnie Nedrow N.D. is a board certified naturopathic physician, practicing in California and Oregon. She is president of the National Association of Environmental Medicine (NAEM) and a widely recognized speaker on detoxification, environmental medicine, reproductive health, preconception optimization and keto-adaptation. She’s the author of three books, including: The Cleanse Companion Cookbook, The Seasonal Cleanse Workbook and the recently published Metabolic Flexibility: How to Use a Ketogenic Diet to Heal Your Metabolism. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Nedrow has practiced midwifery, women’s health, family medicine, healthy aging and has supported nearly 1,000 patients through her cleansing and metabolic healing programs. Her signature program is Keto-Cleanse. Go to keto-cleanse.com to learn more.