Over a week down! Great job. Please keep using your mantra and or breath-work daily as we progress. Now we move on to some of the biology. We will learn about the physical organs of detoxification, how they function in the body and how we can best support them. Much of this is to just create knowledge about the body and how it links with the mind and with-in the mind. Our mental emotional and spiritual bodies are deeply woven and inter-connected with our physical bodies. Food for thought!


Organs of Detox: LIVER
Patients always ask me about the liver, what does the liver do?...the real question is what DOESN’T the liver do? The liver cleans the blood, removes and breaks down toxins, produces bile, governs all the hormones, is the only organ that can regenerate its own cells. The liver is the workhorse of the body and metabolic functions. It is a filter for our entire blood volume about 1500ml of blood get filtered every minute! The liver does too many things to list.

  • After you read this think about if your emotions have changed?

  • Any anger coming up?

  • Look in the mirror at how white and clear your eyes are!

  • Want to eat more foods to support the liver? Go for it! Great choices are beets, burdock root, dark leafy greens, mustard greens, kale, spinach, cilantro, parsley, cucumbers, ginger

  • Yoga poses to support the liver and detoxification

I love this TCM perspective form Shen Nong:
In western physiology, the liver is responsible for a number of important body functions, including the production and excretion of bile, which is used to break down fat and the detoxification of blood. However, according to TCM, the liver's functions are different. They include control of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system over which a person does not have voluntary control), and the circulatory system. In addition, the liver is responsible for vision. 

"The liver rules flowing and spreading." 
In TCM, the liver promotes flowing and spreading movements. By stimulating flow, the liver adjusts and ensures the smooth movement of qi, blood and body fluids, and spreads these substances to the entire body. There are three functional aspects of the liver's "flowing and spreading" activity: regulating qi, regulating emotions and enhancing the digestive properties of the spleen. 

Regulating qi movement 

The activities of the organs and meridians are dependent on qi movement. The flow and spread of qi throughout the body are in turn dependent on the regulatory functions of the liver. If the liver is not functioning properly, qi flow is interrupted, which can lead to disharmony and imbalance. When this becomes marked, disease and other health problems ensue. 

Regulating emotions 

The liver balances emotions. Normal emotional health depends on the harmony of qi and blood. When the liver keeps qi flowing smoothly, a relaxed internal, emotional environment is created. If liver disharmony results in stagnant liver qi, emotional disturbances like depression and anger can occur.

Enhancing the digestive power of spleen 

The liver's flowing and spreading functions also adjust the digestive functions of spleen. If the liver is not functioning properly, the movement of spleen qi is not smooth. Consequently, the transformation and transportation of digested food will be affected, leading to abdominal pain, nausea, belching, diarrhea and other complications. 

"The liver stores the blood."
The liver is also responsible for storing and regulating blood flow. When a person moves or exercises, the blood leaves the liver and goes to the part of body that needs it. The blood returns to the liver to be stored, when a person rests. If a person has insufficient blood available for storage in the liver, their eyes will not be adequately nourished and will become rough and dry. Dizziness can also occur. 

"The liver opens into the eyes." 
The eyes have a close relationship with the liver; because, they are connected to the liver meridian. The ability to see depends on the nourishment of the eyes from blood stored in the liver, and many liver disorders are reflected in the eyes. For example, insufficient liver blood can lead to blurred vision. "Dampness and heat" of the liver and gall bladder, a condition known in western medicine as jaundice, manifests as yellow eyes. 

"The liver rules the tendons and is manifested in the nails." 
The proper movement of tendons, which attach muscle to bone, is closely related to liver function. If the blood stored in the liver is insufficient and incapable of nourishing the tendons, symptoms like spasms, numbness of limbs and difficulty bending or stretching occur. Fingernail and toenail health is also dependent on the nourishment of blood from the liver. If the liver blood is sufficient, nails will appear pink and moist. If it is insufficient, the nails will become thin, brittle and pale. 
Much Love and Peace *


Organs of Detox: LARGE INTESTINE
The large intestine on a physical level helps us remove waste from the body and integrate the assimilated or “digested” information via food from the body. If you suffer from constipation or mal-digestion it may be reflecting some mental emotional areas in your life.

  • Are you having trouble letting go?

  • Are you having a hard time digesting what it is going on in your life?

  • Are you holding in emotions or pain since childhood that reflects your bowels?

Detoxification and changing your diet habits can change your bowel patterns at first. When you eat less or remove sugars and caffeine your bowels move more slowly at first.

  • Make sure your bowels are moving, with at least one bowel movement per day

  • To enhance bowel action you can add 1-3T of GROUND flax seeds to food/drink daily. Mix in applesauce, or smoothies or shake in water.

  • Daily to weekly enemas can be used if needed.

  • You may want to set up an appointment for a colonic at some point during the cleanse to support this process.

  •  Try the breathing exercise below and see if things get moving!
    Much Love and Peace *

  • Exercise: Get Stuck Energy Moving Again with Large Intestine Exercise
    If you are feeling bottled up or stuck in negative relationship patterns, look to your large intestine for some wisdom about how to get life moving in a positive direction again. 
    According to energy medicine, the Large Intestine Meridian affects, and is affected by, our relationships and feelings. Our ability to digest life's information and release things which no longer serve us is dependent on having a healthy colon. 
    When the Large Intestine Meridian becomes congested or closed down it can manifest in a number of ways. Some people have a hard time moving on from difficult situations, or hold very tightly to harmful emotions even though they know they are harming themselves. 
    Holding onto painful feelings or patterns can also manifest as an unwillingness to betray or share our emotions with others. "Bottling up" our emotions is a common cause of chronic constipation. 
    When your Large Intestine meridian energy is strong and balanced, you are organized—in your thinking and your physical space. You are clear headed and free of pollutants, both physically and mentally. 
    If your Large Intestine Meridian energy is unbalanced, your ability to discern and discriminate can get confused. Physically you may become constipated. Mentally your thinking may become clouded. And your ability to discern or make good judgements becomes impaired. 
    Large Intestine Meridian energy allows us to let go of patterns of negative thinking, destructive emotions, and spiritual blockages. When Large Intestine energy is compromised, it's harder to discern or move on from difficult situations. We end up holding tight, literally and figuratively, to toxic emotions and situations. 
    Here is a Large Intestine Meridian exercise you can use whenever you are feeling sad, indecisive or stuck in a negative situation. 

    Abdominal Breathing Intestine Massage 
    For better energy, improved digestion and glowing skin, perform this easy, relaxing belly breathing exercise to release stress, increase circulation and relieve constipation. 
    Lying, sitting or standing in a comfortable position, place both hands over your belly with your thumbs pointing toward your navel and your two index fingers touching so they form a triangle, covering the area from your navel to your pubic bone. 
    You can also contract and relax your rectal muscles during this exercise to gather energy and warmth more quickly. 
    Begin by Inhaling as you push your abdomen outwards until you feel pressure, like blowing up a balloon. 
    Next, exhale completely, slowly pulling your abdomen back in toward your spine. 
    Hold each inhale and exhale for two to three seconds each. 
    Repeat this circuit 100 times at first. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions to 300. 
    This is a highly relaxing yet stimulating intestinal exercise. When you have completed your circuits, take time to balance your energy by lying or sitting still for several minutes. 
    You can balance your energy further by drinking several glasses of water after this exercise. 


Organs of Detox: LUNGS
The mind will follow the breath*
Keeping your breath even and full will calm your thoughts.
The Lungs are such amazing parts of the body. They are much bigger than you would think rising up to an apex above the clavicle on either side of your neck, widen through the whole width of the torso and reach down expanding and contracting by the diaphragm, protected by the ribcage. Inhale/Exhale
I often forget that the lungs communicate with the outside world, every breath you take. Some practices of medicine consider the lungs the second skin. Suppression to the skin ie hydrocortisone on eczema will drive that expression of inflammation to the lungs and can appear as asthma and in reverse, steroid inhalers, will push lung inflammation to the skin. A deep connection. Inhale/Exhale
Grief is represented in the lungs. It is so common to get a respiratory infection or pneumonia when experiencing grief. Hard to take breaths when grieving. Hard to cry. Short, shallow breaths, incomplete breaths lead to anxiety. Deep sighs of relief can come with release of grief and emotions. Inhale/Exhale
How are you breathing?
Do your ribs and belly rise and fall?
Can you feel air flow up into your upper chest and clavicles rise?
Do you breath quick, shallow breaths?
Are you anxious and searching for air?
Focus on the breath and see where is takes you.
Can you EXPAND?  Can you RELEASE anything?
Can you inhale and exhale in equality? Having the length of the inhale match the exhale, 8 seconds in, 8 seconds out and maintain that for a therapeutic amount of time?
If you need some reminders on the power of breath go back and look at Day 8.
Practice your breathwork/pranayama. Make a commitment to it and feel the positive changes. Inhale/Exhale
Much Love and Peace *


Organs of Detox: KIDNEYS
The kidneys are the long lost forgotten organs of detoxification. They transport vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, hormones, enzymes and other substances throughout your body via water. They regulate our blood pressure, electrolytes and remove waste.
Drink Water, More than you think!
The kidneys sit in the back body just where the rib cage ends posteriorly. Above them sits an adrenal gland one on each side, ready to go into fight or flight mode if needed. In chinese medicine the kidneys are associated with the FEAR emotion. Ever been so scared you pee in your pants?
Fear and emotions are an indicator of one’s state of health.  If you have one particularly dominating emotion, after an extended period of time if it remains locked in the body without being fully felt, acknowledged and allowed to move on, then this emotion will wreak havoc and manifest physical illness within the body.
Fear causes pain and disease in the kidneys, adrenals, and lower back and creates favorable conditions for uri-nary tract disorders and incontinence. When one is afraid, the body contracts in self-protection. The circulation of blood and breath slows down, resulting in conditions of excess and stagnation in the core and depletion in the periphery. A common sign of this is cold hands and feet. One is literally "frozen with fear."
Chronic fear and stress; cause the adrenals to secrete large amounts of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which signal the cells to break down and release glucose into the bloodstream. Over extended periods of time this depletes our energy reserves, we become weak and fatigued, develop insulin dysregulation, leading to "adrenal burnout." The body's reservoir of hormones is not infinitely deep. You must make time to rest and regenerate and RELEASE FEAR.
Do you engage in fear based living? Why? What does it stem from?
This includes fear based thought patterns and self talk.
Is it learned or has it developed from detrimental life experiences?
Are you living in fight or flight mode?
Do you have any fears and phobias?
What do you do for rest and relaxation?
Drink alcohol? Or Drink water?
What can you do to support the kidneys and decrease fear response?
Much Love and Peace *


Organs of Detox: SKIN
Our skin is our largest organ. It interacts with the outside world and connects to our internal neural pathways in such an amazing way. It is so resilient and so revealing. Toxins are released through the skin so during this detoxification process you may notice skin changes, acne, rashes, and eventually overall skin improvement in tone, moisture, quality and turgor. We absorb nutrients and toxins through the skin so the golden rule is if you can eat it you can put it on your skin. You will absorb it. Have you ever used topical hormones creams, patches(nicotine, birth control), they are highly absorbed through the skin so if you are putting poor quality, lotions and ointments on your skin you are absorbing it into your bloodstream. Read labels and see if you need to revamp your beauty products to lower toxic load. Coconut oil and almond oil are great moisturizers.
Helping the mind help the skin
Not everyone responds emotionally through the skin, nor do all people react the same way to having a skin problem. But evidence suggests that in some people, psychological issues often intersect with skin physiology, and treating both may offer the best chance for improvement. …Read More
Beauty From the Inside Out: Skin Disorders, Stress and Aging …Read More

  • Detox through the skin. You release toxins through the skin as well so any increase in sweating through exercise, steam or saunas can enhance detoxification.

  • Clean and scrub skin nightly to remove dead skin cells and increase circulation. Try dry brushing an Ayurvedic technique.

  • Treat yourself to a massage at the end of the detox to reward your body for all its hard work and nourish your skin.

Is there anything your skin is telling you?
Anything that makes you crawl out of your skin?
What gives you chicken skin?
Are you hypersensitive to heat, cold, pain by touch?
Do you have acne, rashes, eczema, hives?
What can you relate to in your life to your skin health and or skin changes?
Much Love and Peace *


Organs of Detox: Thyroid
I know the thyroid gland is not classically thought of as an organ of detoxification but it is highly affected indirectly by our organs of detox and our hormones as well as detox pathways that I felt inclined to talk about it. I see an increasingly larger and larger number of thyroid patients each year, primarily women, and what used to almost always have some genetic patterning now seems to be without direct cause.
The thyroid’s main role in the endocrine system is to regulate your metabolism, which is your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy. Food essentially fuels our bodies, and our bodies each “burn” that fuel at different rates. This is why you often hear about some people having “fast” metabolism and others having “slow” metabolism.
The thyroid keeps your metabolism under control through the action of thyroid hormone, which it makes by extracting iodine from the blood and incorporating it into thyroid hormones. Every other cell depends on the thyroid to manage its metabolism.
I see a common triad of thyroid imbalance and its relationship to sex hormones and adrenal stress. This is the key, every cell depends on the thyroid for its management, so if the thyroid is imbalanced things are going to start to get out of alignment. The thyroid is placed at the base of the throat in the sternal notch joining the clavicles to the sternum.
In essence the thyroid is the bridge between the head and the body, it is sitting on our vocal cords, allowing ease in swallowing and processing food and drinks, managing our body temperature and metabolism. It is our mind body connection.
Are your mental thoughts and the actions in your body aligned?
Are you speaking your truth? Speaking your mind?
Are you able to nourish and feed your self with ease and fuel your metabolism or is there a blockage? Trouble swallowing?
Do you run hot or cold? Temperature dysregualtion?
Do you lose or gain weight easily? Does it make a difference if you are feeling joy or depression in your life at that time?
How To Heal Your Thyroid Naturally With Yoga Shoulderstand
Much Love and Peace *


Day 15
Organs of Detox: Gut~Brain Connection
“If all else fails heal the gut! “ ~A keystone of naturopathic medicine. I had to post this recent article from John Hopkins honoring this fundamental principle of naturopathic medicine. 

The Brain-Gut Connection
Anxiety and depression have been thought to contribute to gastro conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A Johns Hopkins expert explains how what’s going on in your gut could be affecting your brain.
Can Food Affect Your Mood?
Although there is a lot of folklore around this subject (particularly with spices such as pepper and curcumin or teas), there is really not enough rigorous science to make practical recommendations. A basic healthy diet is really important. Beyond that, listen to your gut. Your nervous system and gut may be wired to react to certain foods, and you may feel better if you avoid them. If you’ve ever come back after lunch and felt tired, nauseous, or a little “fuzzy,” your enteric nervous system may be reacting to something you ate—and sending signals to your brain. 
If you’ve ever “gone with your gut” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous, you’re likely getting signals from an unexpected source: your second brain.  Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.  
Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). And it’s not so little. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.
What Does Your Gut’s Brain Control?
Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS can’t balance your checkbook or compose a love note. “Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. “The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”
The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipationdiarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. “For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.
“These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,” Pasricha says. “That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”

This takes us back to the basics, “You are what you eat.”
Use food as medicine.
What is your mind telling you about your gut, anxiety, depression?
What is your gut telling you about your mind, IBS, gas, bloating, constipation?
Much Love and Peace *