Detox, Inflammation and Ageing
This newsletter is about the observed benefits of my recent six-week detox and more generally the ageing process and how we can navigate it most efficiently. I decided to detox my body to promote a substantial systemic rest, cleanse and regeneration process. I wasn’t starting from behind the eight-ball in regards feeling tired, unwell or toxic. I didn’t have any particularly stubborn chronic symptoms that required attention. Therefore what I experienced didn’t involve energy recovery, or symptom relief, as do most detox clients, because it was not an issue in the first place.
What I did note was:
The whites of my eyes became clearer/brighter; my skin had an enhanced shine to it, which people commented on; a heightened sensitivity to caffeine and this has led to my avoiding coffee even more than previously: a heightened sense of taste, especially to sugar and salt.
More importantly, the potential for localised inflammatory responses to be triggered has been considerably reduced. This was evident in my hands. I have been massaging for nigh on thirty-five years now, which means much accumulative joint wear and tear. I previously noticed that if I engaged in some hours of organic gardening on a weekend, using a spade or hoe for example, that my hands would be affected for the thirty six hours following. The small joints in my hands would ache, having become inflamed by the activity. This would make massaging very painful. Much to my delight, this has not happened despite some very heavy gardening activities since my detox. This is a wonderful gain, especially given the demands of my occupation and a potential legacy of a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis (OA), given that my mother suffers advancing OA in her hands.
This detox-related effect is notable. Why? Because it is becoming evident that inflammatory processes are the very groundswell of so very many degenerative disease processes in our bodies. As such I would say that the ageing process is one context where such inflammation plays a major role.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, an energetic impediment to optimal functioning and quality longevity is called ‘stagnation’. This can be a stagnation of qi, blood, food, phlegm or various fluids. In modern day parlance, inflammation would be seen as an aspect of stagnation. Consider the idea that many of the limiting or constraining aspects of the ageing process as seen in changes to physical mobility and flexibility, sensory and cognitive functioning, digestive capability, energy levels and mood or emotional balance, are impacted upon more by ‘stagnation’ processes, than by some aspect of ‘deficiency’.
My experience certainly lends credibility to this idea, as my body has improved primarily through the de-stagnating effects of the detox. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be utilized to deal effectively with problems emanating from stagnation.
My advice, regardless of whether you are attracted to the idea of an annual detox or not, is to proactively attend to your own ageing process. Do your body and mind a huge favour and invest in a monthly therapy session involving both acupuncture and an ever-evolving consultation process. It is evolving because on a daily basis our bodies and minds are subject to change. We need to track change, respond and adapt to it. Diet can also be adjusted to influence inflammatory states so that every meal counts.