by Mark Tassi
There are various things that happen on the path to greater health. Of all these, one that is probably the least understood is what is commonly referred to as “detox”.
Detox, so-called, is, of course, nothing more than detoxification or the body’s attempt to throw out that which is toxic or that which it recognizes to be toxic. The body actually does this on a regular basis and is a normal part of daily biological function.
That the body detoxifies on a regular basis is a good and necessary thing. The body has organs of excretion whose purpose it is to either excrete waste or excrete those things which the body deems as toxic.
However, in an industrialized world motivated by material power and ruled by greed, the average individual lives and breathes within an onslaught of toxic influence. As a result, tremendous barriers of tolerance are built so that functioning in a literal cesspit can take place. Most of the cesspit, unfortunately, is internal. While each individual is indeed influenced by the toxins of an external environment, it is the internal environment that is by far the worse.
Tremendous tolerances to the toxic onslaught via incorrect eating and drinking are brought about through an increasing lack of sensitivity to the toxins and a build up of thick mucous in order to protect the delicate mucosa from the acids.
As the tolerance builds, the ability to detoxify diminishes. Toxins continue to store deep within the tissues as a result of the body’s diminished capacity to detoxify. Brought on by wrong eating and drinking practices through a lifetime, the body of the average human living in the first world becomes not unlike a cesspit.
There is only one disease and not two, and that is a body which vitality is undermined through congestion and autointoxication.
There is another side to this coin. As the aspirant to better health removes the offending substances from the daily menu and opts for a cleaner diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, the strong tolerances, to the toxic influx now removed, begin to diminish. The thick coating of viscous mucous also begins to lesson. The body gradually becomes cleaner, more efficient. Greater energy and mental clarity return.
There is, however, a double edge to this sword. As with all things, but even more pronounced with all great things, there are two poles. On the one hand, the practitioner of this art becomes very clean, very much cleaner than before, more energetic, more efficient in every way, a brighter bulb in the scheme. On the other hand, that same practitioner becomes more “sensitive” to environment in every way, albeit a lot stronger. The same toxins are no longer tolerated. The practitioner gets to the point in his art where even a small amount of toxic influence, hitherto tolerated, is now violently thrown out.
There is a catch here. While those toxins are removed and not stored, thereby not causing a loss of vitality and a host of maladies and eventually disease, as mentioned previously, they often are, at this stage of vibrant health, thrown out so vigorously that this type of detoxification becomes what is commonly known, in holistic circles, as a “cleansing reaction” or when more severe, a “healing crisis”.
What is a cleansing reaction or healing crisis? These occur when the body throws out toxins from the tissues at such a rapid rate that it overwhelms the organs of excretion and the toxins build up in the blood, where they must go until final exit from the body, until the organs of excretion eventually catch up. While the toxins are circulating freely in the blood, one feels rather ill in varying degrees to say the very least, dependent upon how much toxic matter has temporarily accumulated in the blood.
This ill state, which can manifest in a variety of ways, is usually interpreted as weakness by the uninitiated. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here we have a powerful system in action, a system whose cleansing mechanism is no longer almost dormant, weakened by years of abuse. Here is a system that tolerates a much lower level of toxicity, rather than storing toxins for months and years thereby causing loss of vitality, malady and disease, and with great vigor throws these toxins out.
This type of virile cleansing ability is a blessing albeit difficult, difficult only though while one transgresses. On a fruit and vegetable diet, I have little to no cleansing reactions or healing crises.
Another misconception that people have is mistaking tolerance with immunity. I want to make this absolutely clear; tolerance has nothing to do with immunity. If stronger tolerance were synonymous with greater immunity then alcoholics and drug addicts would be the strongest and healthiest people that we know. Toxins and “germs” are not the same thing. Alcohol, a strong toxin, is not the same as a flu virus for instance. One is a toxin, while the other is what may be called a “germ”.
The other misconception that I often run across is that this powerful detoxification process is due to weak digestion. Again, nothing is further from the truth. Personally, I can digest just about anything. The detoxification process starts long after the digestion process is finished, usually the next day, but in some cases even two days later. This process begins when the body decides to throw out the toxins released by the metabolism of certain foods and not due to the digestive process itself or the lack there of.
For me, the detoxification process is marked by stinging in the eyes from mild to excruciating depending upon the amount of toxic matter being removed, signifying kidneys that are overworked, and sometimes accompanied by nausea from mild to violent, again dependant up the amount of toxic matter being removed from the system. A more severe detoxification is almost always accompanied by nausea. I’ve gone through detoxification in the past that was so severe that I couldn’t hold down water. Dry heaves have also been experienced in cases of more profound detoxification.
As difficult as the process can be, I have always felt absolutely marvelous when it was over, feeling more vital and stronger than before. After all, a toxic weight had been lifted.
A great Master once said, “If you want to heal, you must know what hell is”. From my experience with detoxification, I would say that that assessment is entirely correct.
To your health,