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Clean Up Time: Detoxification, Fasting, Autophagy — What Does This All Mean?

Mar 1, 2023 | Diet & Nutrition, Healthy Living, Holistic Healing

The term “detoxification” is technically defined as removing poisonous substances from the body. However, its origin can be traced back to the Latin and French words “de,” meaning “down from,” and “toxic-poison,” derived from the Latin “toxicum,” the French “toxique,” or the Greek “toxikon.”

Over time, the meaning of “detoxification” has evolved. In 1867, “detoxicate” was introduced as a verb meaning to eliminate heavy alcohol from the body. In 1905, “detoxify” was defined as a verb meaning to remove poisons from the body. By 1970, “detoxify” had expanded to refer to the treatment of removing alcohol and drugs from the body. In 1971, the term was used to refer to removing addictive substances from the body. In 1972, “detox” became a colloquial abbreviation for “detoxify,” used as either a noun or a verb.

What Does Detoxification Mean in the Health & Wellness Arena?

In modern conventional medicine, “detoxification” is used to describe the removal of toxic chemicals from the body in general. However, in conventional medicine, “chelation” is used specifically for heavy metal poisoning, such as lead or mercury or for radioactive substances like uranium.

It is important to note that conventional medical teaching does not include chelation as a means of removing the “excess buildup” of toxic metals, as is done in the health and wellness arena. The American Medical Association (AMA) has established a set of rules and language that it defines for the purpose of prohibiting anything outside of its own scripts.

Detoxes and Cleanses for Health & Wellness

Detoxification and cleansing are terms referring to:

  • Removal of toxins such as by-products of poor eating, heavy metals, drugs, alcohol, pathogenic organisms, carcinogenic substances, and other unwelcome materials in the body
  • Gallstone and other stone flushing programs
  • Drugs (can be prescription or otherwise)
  • Removal of other environmental agents like aerosols, airborne chemicals, paints, fragrances, industrial chemicals, electromagnetic artificial radiation
  • Means of weight loss
  • Promotion of health

If you’re looking to clean up your habits and achieve better overall health, there are many ways and means to cleanse. It’s important to take it at a reasonable pace and seek guidance and coaching for best results. However, it’s crucial to keep safety as the number one priority, as not all programs are guaranteed to work for everyone.

It’s important to take it at a reasonable pace and seek guidance and coaching for best results.

To help you get started, here is a list of good ways to change your habits and kickstart your clean-up journey:

  • Fasting or time restricted eating (tre)
  • Food restrictions with use of only whole foods, preferably organic and less eating
  • Chewing slowly to at least 30-50 times per mouthful
  • Colon cleansing with high fiber; careful enema program (if there is much constipation or excessive gas/flatulence; must proceed with caution)
  • Use of herbal preparations and other combination formulas
  • Exercise in higher intensity
  • Sauna, especially near-infrared
  • Chelation
  • Activated charcoal
  • Meditation
  • Massage and lymphatic drainage
  • Chanting, singing
  • Chakra healing

clock, plate and fork, intermittent fasting

Fasting Different Ways Can Have Positive Effects

Fasting is a dietary practice that involves abstaining from food for a certain period of time. This eating pattern has been associated with numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, weight loss, improved blood sugar, enhanced energy, hormone rebalancing, better sleep, reduced cravings, and potential improvements in skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

Additionally, fasting has been shown to have positive effects on mental health, with some studies suggesting it may help improve mood and cognitive function. Overall, incorporating fasting into your lifestyle may be a great way to improve your overall health and well-being.

Time Restricted Eating (TRE)

Time-restricted fasting is a great way to discipline your eating habits and better control insulin levels, which can help reduce cravings and swings in blood sugar. If you’re new to time-restricted fasting, you may want to start with a shorter fasting period and gradually work your way up to longer periods. Here are some popular fasting schedules to consider:

  • A. 12:12 – Eat within a 12-hour period and fast for 12 hours.
  • B. 10:14 – Eat within a 10-hour period and fast for 14 hours.
  • C. 8:16 – Eat within an 8-hour period and fast for 16 hours, which can help initiate autophagy (cellular cleaning and renewal).
  • D. 6:18 – Eat within a 6-hour period and fast for 18 hours.
  • E. 4:20 – Eat within a 4-hour period and fast for 20 hours.

By gradually increasing the length of your fasting periods, you can reap the benefits of time-restricted fasting and improve your overall health and well-being.

Full Day Fasting

Full-day fasting can be a challenging practice, but it can be done with care. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice a week can be a good way to start.
  • Fasting for 3 days in a row can be more challenging, but it can also provide more benefits.
  • Any longer duration of fasting should be done with proper coaching and guidance to ensure your safety and well-being.

Remember, fasting is not suitable for everyone and should be approached with caution. If you’re considering full-day fasting, it’s essential to listen to your body and seek professional guidance to ensure that you’re doing it safely and effectively.

When practicing time-restricted eating, it’s important to note that while some people may be able to reduce their total caloric intake, others may end up consuming higher-calorie foods and not actually eat less. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you choose healthy, whole foods to eat during your eating window.

If you decide to fast for any amount of time, it’s essential to drink water or stay adequately hydrated. Your body cannot function without proper fluid intake.

What is the Meaning of Autophagy?

Autophagy is a biological process involving the enzymatic breakdown of a cell’s damaged or unnecessary components. The word “autophagy” comes from the Latin words “auto,” meaning self, and “phagy,” meaning eat. Essentially, autophagy is the body’s natural recycling program.

During autophagy, a cell component called a lysosome collects debris from the cell’s cytoplasm and uses it for energy. This process is a means of cellular “cleansing” and is essential for the survival of an individual.

Autophagy is triggered when there is an absence of food energy from the digestive tract, typically around the 16-hour mark of fasting. At this point, the cells of the body start utilizing everything they can to nourish their inner contents. The liver detects that the blood sugar is reducing and stimulates glucagon to release glycogen, which sends glucose to the brain and other organs to maintain a source of energy.

Meanwhile, the cells are cleaning up and reusing amino acids that have been recycled in the autophagy process. All systems are being used to keep the person alive and ready to function.

However, autophagy dysfunction has been detected in certain conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease, hereditary spastic paraparesis (lower limb paralysis), and likely some cancers. Ongoing research is being conducted to explore the benefits and possible risks of autophagy.

detoxing vegetable juices

How Often to Detox?

The body is constantly working to maintain balance and homeostasis, including cleansing itself. You can support this natural process by getting good quality sleep, maintaining a regular eating schedule, spending time in the sun for at least 10-30 minutes daily, working out, socializing, meditating, and more. Time-restricted eating can be practiced daily and is safe to do indefinitely.

It’s important to adjust your schedule to include daily exercise and work up to more intense routines as your health allows. Chelation may be necessary depending on your metal loads. You can visit the Blue ‘Heal’ building at the Wellcome OM Center and check with Mary at Integrative Healing window for more information on a painless way to check your heavy metal and nutrient contents. IV infusions for cleaning up metals and increasing your nutrient/antioxidant/immune building capacity can be done weekly, biweekly, monthly, or on other time schedules according to your health needs.

Other cleansing methods, such as sauna, flushes, massage, and more, can be done as often as your schedule will allow. Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and seek professional guidance to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself safely and effectively.

Why You Need to Change Now

The environment is becoming increasingly toxic due to a variety of factors, including chemicals, GMO foods and products, lab leaks, EMF radiation that is intensifying by the minute, pressures from the pharmaceutical and medical industries (such as injectable mRNA materials and direct drug marketing), negative energies, and destructive and dangerous international movements.

It’s important to be aware of these issues and take steps to protect yourself and your health. This can include practicing healthy habits, reducing exposure to toxins and radiation, seeking out natural and organic products, and staying informed about current events and developments.

Final Remarks

Life is precious, and our personal sovereignty is something that cannot be lost. It’s essential that we take care of ourselves and each other, especially since we can’t always rely on a system that itself needs major detoxing.

Remember, we’re here to help, and we all have a role to play in creating a healthier and more sustainable future. Please take care of yourself and others, and welcome to a community at WellCome OM that prioritizes wellness and self-care.

The information provided in this discussion is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are under specific care for your health and wellness, please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes. The opinions expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect those of the viewing audience.

References & Recommended Reading

  1. Ajmera, R. et al. “8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science”.; Nov. 22, 2022.
  2. “Detoxes” and “Cleanses”: What You Need to Know.
  3. Mercola, J., D.O., EMF*D: Wi-Fi & Cell Phones: Hidden Harms and How to Protect Yourself; Hay House, USA, 2020.
  6. Simpson, L. Detox Kitchen Vegetables. Bloomsbury, Publishing, London, USA, 2018.
  7. Taylor, F and Krohn, J. The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification. Hartley and Marks, USA, 1996.
Dr. Maria Scunziano-Singh, MD, NMD, DipABLM