There is only one good reason to cleanse heavy metals from your body: so it can heal.
You would not believe how much damage heavy metals can do. In the first place, they are all neurotoxic, which means they wreck havoc with our nervous system. They are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, trichotilomania, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, migraine headaches, insomnia, and Parkinson’s disease. They are also implicated in brain fog and many other mental conditions including depression, anxiety, autism, AD/HD, obsessive compulsive disorder, mood swings and many more.
I believe that cleansing heavy metals out of the body, along with intense nutritional rejuvenation are the keys to avoiding cancer and all the other age-related diseases that are on the rise and increasing at exponential rates on the planet.
Once ingested, heavy metals can’t be metabolized or eliminated through normal means. Once they are in your body you can’t get them out unless you make a conscious, concerted effort to do so. Removing them takes time, effort, and costs money.
Like minerals, heavy metals are natural components of the earth's crust and we need to ingest some of them in trace amounts to survive. Because they leach into our water supply, they are taken up by the roots of plants and incorporated into their structure. Some plants concentrate more of them than others, and plants that are grown in soils that are rich in specific metals concentrate more of that particular metal.
Since this is a natural process, why is it that we need to be so concerned?
It is because the amount of metals we are now exposed to is hundreds of times higher than in the past. This is due to several factors: pollution, manufacturing practices, pharmaceuticals, modern dentistry, various industrial products, fertilizers, pestacides, herbacides, and fungacides that contaminate the environemnt. In short, it is not only in the plants we eat, it is also in the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, the amalgams that dentists put in our teeth, the insecticides we spray on the ants in our houses, the over-the-counter and prescribed medications we take for common ailments, and in the pots, pans, and foils we cook and wrap our food in. Consequently, our bodies and the bodies of the animals we eat, including farm animals and fish, have become concentrated warehouses of heavy metals.
Because they bioaccumulate over a lifetime, many people now suffer from the effects of heavy metal toxicity.
Even infants are now being born with heavy metal poisoning, for the fetus inherits 75% of the mother’s toxic load before birth. Recent research indicates that there are as many as 280 toxic pollutants in the cord blood of newborn babies. Any woman contemplating getting pregnant should do an effective heavy metal cleanse for at least six months before conception. Fathers should, as well, for heavy metals alter our genes. There are some doctors that believe that one of the many causes of our rising autism rate are pollutants, including heavy metals, inherited from the mother that effect the infant's brain. Lyme disease is also implicated in the rise in autism, as it can also be inherited from a mother who doesn't even know she's got it. As parasites feed off of corruption, they love disturbed flesh and are therefore attracted to the places in the body where heavy metals reside.
Like Lyme disease, which has been called "the great immitator", the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include all the diseases known to man, but heavy metals particularly cause diseases related to the nerves and brain.
Because heavy metals attach to the receptor sites of minerals, they can also be responsible for mineral deficiencies.
Since minerals are essential to human health and well being, and orchestrate literally hundreds of metabolic functions, to be deficient in any one of them can create a whole host of mysterious symptoms that can masquerade as numerous diseases. Once metals have replaced minerals, it doesn’t matter how many supplements one takes to resolve the deficiency, it simply won’t be resolved until the metals are removed.
One cannot talk about heavy metals without also discussing petrochemicals and other pollutants, for the two of them work hand in hand.
Heavy metals can land anywhere in the body, but they seem to be attracted to locations within the body that have already been contaminated with environmental pollutants.
It is upon these compromised tissues that many different microorganisms take up residence and begin to thrive. These microorganisms, or parasites, if you will, create havoc within the immune system. Like any parasite, they receive sustenance from their host, which they eventually kill. Lyme disease with its numerous co-occurring infections is a prime example of this.
Many of these microorganisms are viruses that cannot be killed with antibiotics. Even many parasites either can't be killed with antibiotics, or else need such a long course of antibiotics their side-effects and cost become prohibitive. In order to get rid of them and heal any degenerative disease, one must detoxify their body of heavy metals and environmental pollutants, and then rejuvenate the body with a nutrient dense high quality diet. If you are not inclined to use antibiotics, I list several strategies for ridding yourself of parasites on the Lyme disease page. I also include links to other websites where you can obtain additional information.
When you tackle hard to kill parasites, it is important to seek out a holistic healer who is knowledgable about how to safely rid the body of the co-occurring infections to deal with the microorganisms. Once the body is no longer burdened with substances that destroy life, and is given the building blocks of healing through nutrient dense foods, and the microorganisms are destroyed, it can accomplish its task of healing in what can seem like amazing and miraculous ways.
Heavy metals will also accumulate in areas of the body that have been disturbed by past trauma.
This trauma can be physical, such as the trauma caused by accidents, or by repeated illnesses such as recurring infections. The trauma can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle in which one repeatedly ingests, injects, imbibes, rubs on, or inhales a substance that is life destroying rather than life enhancing, such as cigarettes, alcohol, car exhaust, or a variety of over the counter, prescribed or recreational drugs, lotions, and body products.
In holistic medicine, it is believed that the trauma leading to physical disturbance can also be emotional, for unresolved psycho/emotional pain produces a resonance that alters the way human cells and ultimately specific organs function. The metaphysical view is that each organ symbolizes specific emotional functions. Whatever the organ does physically is a symbolic representation of its emotional counterpart.
For example, the heart is the organ that feels grief, loss of a loved one, or abandonment, and all other issues related to love. If you have ever lost someone you love, you will feel it physically as a weight on your chest which has impact upon your heart and immune system, for the thymus is located direcly under your heart.
Our digestive tract is where we feel what it feels like to “digest” our reality. An unhealthy relationship that’s “stuck“ might be felt as chronic indigestion or constipation. Fear of the humiliation of being tongue-tied when one is asked to speak or sing publicly can be experienced as diarrhea or “butterflies“ in the stomach.
The liver, of course, is the organ of anger, rage, resentment, and lack of forgiveness. In fact, any emotion that is toxic and needs to be processed and released can get stuck in the liver if one is not doing the inner work to release it. The more these toxic emotions accumulate, the more compromised the liver becomes. This is not just a metaphysical idea, it is a physical fact. That's because all emotion is a biochemical event. The chemistry that comes along with painful emotions like anger, rage, resentment, fear, hopelessness, hurt, shame, self-pity, etc. all get processed in the liver. When these emotions become chronic, the chemicals related to the production of that emotion create toxic overload.
Painful, traumatic experiences in childhood have a huge impact upon us.
The younger we are when trauma happens, the bigger the impact, for it can disrupt the functioning of our developing brain and alter the way we think forever. Unfortunately, early on-going trauma creates a fight or flight response to life, rather than one of love, understanding and forgiveness. When this is a person's orientation, their life will become an endless round of conflicts that are never resolved. Dr. Klinghardt says that the type of heavy metals retained and where they are stored in the body is directly related to specific traumatic experiences from chidlhood. When the metals are removed, these traumas resurface as emotional outbreaks reflective of the original traumatic experience. It is best, therefore, to process these emotions as they occur so that the original trauma can be resolved. This will allow the body to more fully release the heavy metals stored in the tissues. (Klinghardtneurobiology.com) See the food sensitivity page for more information about how to process and release emotional trauma.
Unfortunately, because most people do not know how to process their emotions and resolve their feelings, many people do the next best thing, which is to numb their emotions with a toxic substance like pharmaceuticals, recreational drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. These toxic chemicals also get processed in the liver. Add to this the heavy metals which should not be in our environment in the first place, but are because of legal, but what I consider to be immoral manufacturing practices, we create a situation in which the body cannot detoxify itself. In addition, when we are disempowered and numb, we become apathetic, which means we are easily taken advantage of by others. In the disempowered, the result of being taken advantage of produces more hopelessness, rage, shame, etc., and a greater desire for more numbing. This might be symbolized as a stagnant liver that can no longer do the job of detoxification.
As we ingest, inject, inhale, rub on, and imbibe heavy metals and other environmental pollutants, they migrate to the places within the body that have been either physically and/or emotionally compromised in the ways just described. When they migrate to the brain, which represents our consciousness and all the beliefs we hold, they become another polluting factor along with all the other negative, inaccurate, or limiting beliefs held within the mind that already traumatize us.
All of us who live on planet earth at this time are being polluted all the time.
Because we are constantly being bombarded with polluting agents of both the physical and emotional variety, we must develop ways to protect ourselves. We do that by constantly choosing to evolve our consciousness so that we can become more loving and more powerful, and by processing all of our unpleasant emotions so we can release them. With a healed consciousness, we make healthier lifestyle choices. We also take the time to learn about detoxification techniques that can not only help us heal and release past emotional pain, but teach us how to remove heavy metals and environmental pollutants from our body. In short, we become committed to spending the money and doing the work of creating positive change.
According to Sherry Rogers in her book Detoxify or Die, there are many substances that can be used for heavy metal detoxification. The most common ones that can be purchased over the Internet without a doctor’s prescription are EDTA, DMPS, DMSA, which are FDA approved pharmaceuticals. However, like all pharmaceuticals, they can have side-effects. Personally, they aren't my first choice, but do work for people who can tolerate the side-effects.
More natural products that can also be purchased over the Internet are DL Methionine, branched chain amino acids, chitosan, activated charcoal, Recancostat, zeolite, and yellow dock. High quality magnesium, silica, and malic acid taken in combination will eliminate aluminum over time. Other good nutrients for detoxification are NAC, cysteine, CoQ10, OPC, alpha lipoic acid, silymarin from milk thistle, calcium D-glucarate, glycine, glutamic acid, choline, l-ornithine-l-aspartate, l carnitine, DIM, IndolPlex, as well as multiple mineral chelates, enzymes, and vitamins.
Dr. Klinghardt says that OSR with Phospholipid Exchange is excellent as this combo chelates just about everything. It also crosses the blood/brain barrier, which removes heavy metals from the brain. He says chlorella and cilantro are good too. The OSR and Phospholipid Exchange are purchased separately at http://biopureus.com/ and must be mixed together into a paste before placing in your mouth. They are quite expensive but well worth it. Dr. Klinghardt actually has an excellent detailed protocol for removing many different kinds of heavy metals. In addition, he mentions the importance of saturating your cells with adequate minerals and lipids, as cells that are poorly nourished are more vulnerable to heavy metal poisoning. The Eniva Cell-Ready minerals, Vibe and The Omega 3-6-9 oil are good choices as they are completely absorbable and free of additives and fillers.
Dr. Klinghardt also reports that psychological factors and early childhood trauma are also an important consideration when it comes to detoxification, for unhealed trauma will cause the body to hang on to toxins, or merely redistribute them.
One of my favorite chelators is zeolite, which is a volcanic ash that is especially formulated to remove heavy metals. Zeolites are natural volcanic minerals with a unique, complex crystalline structure. It’s honeycomb framework of cavities and channels (like cages) works at the cellular level attracting heavy metals and harmful toxins. In fact, because it is one of the few negatively charged minerals in nature, zeolites act as magnets drawing toxins to it, capturing them in its cage and removing them from the body. I also eat lots of cilantro by blending the fresh plant into my smoothies and take additional chlorella tablets when I drink my smoothies. Along with saunas, these three natural protocols have worked well for me in removing most of the metals in my body.
For those of you who aren't sensitive to pharmaceuticals, or who want a more mainstream pharmaceutical drug, Dr. Nicola McFadzean uses a different protocol for chelating heavy metals.
He says that 100 mg of DMSA can be given once every three nights, along with alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, and NAC. He says this is gentle and effective, but must be taken over several months to see a positive result. If you use this protocol, he says to remember to always take high quality minerals when chelating to replace any that have been removed with the heavy metals. (See the July, 2009 issue of the Townsend Newsletter for more details.)
Dr. Mark Hyman, MD says on his blog on mercury chelation to take 100-250 mg of DMSA 3 times a day for three days. Then take eleven days off. Repeat this cycle for 6 months. He says it is also good to take intravenous glutathione, vitamin C, antioxidants, phospholipids, and B vitamins if you can find a doctor who will give them to you. To view his blog presentation on the subject, go to http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/mercury-toxicity.
In her book Detoxify or Die, Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD gives another protocol. She says to take one heaping teaspoon of Vitamin C powder, 300-600 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid, and 400-800 mg of glutathione in the form of Recancostat. She says this is a good all-purpose formula for detoxifying many environmental pollutants, as well as heavy metals like mercury. She says this is a good formula to take once or twice a day as it revs up both phases of detoxification, but it only works best after the main bulk of heavy metals have been removed. To do that, you may want to add DMSA in the schedule described above by either Drs. Mark Hyman or Nicola McFadzean. You can buy DMSA, or a more natural product like Zeolite over the Internet without a doctor’s prescription.
No matter what chelator you choose, it will work slowly over time. When thinking about ridding your body of heavy metals, you must think in terms of one to two years, with a maintenance dose that lasts a lifetime. I like zeolite because it is so easy to take. No pills with fillers and extras. Ten drops three times a day does a pretty good job at chelating the metals over time, as well as other environmental toxins. If you do this along with sweating, the process is greatly accelerated.
Sweating is another way to get heavy metals and other environmental pollutants out of the body.
The best way to do this is by taking a daily sauna. Exercise can also make you sweat, but I've read that this is not as effective as a sauna. I’ve also read from many sources that infra red sauna’s are best, but since the goal is to make the body sweat, I believe that anything that accomplishes this goal will do. It is important to shower immediately after sweating as the heavy metals will simply be reabsorbed through the skin if you let your skin dry before showering. It is also important to replenish the body’s supply of electrolytes both before and after sweating as sweating also causes mineral loss. The Eniva Cell-Ready minerals or the Vibe would both make excellent supplements for this purpose.
Since I use sweating as one of my modalities for cleansing heavy metals and had no room for a manufactured sauna, I decided to make my own. Therefore, I went to the hardware store and bought four heat lamps in which I inserted infra red bulbs. I set this sauna up in a small bathroom by clipping the lamps to various cupboards and plugging them into a power strip. I also have a small floor heater with a fan that circulates the heat. Although it doesn't get to the required 120 degrees, the 110 degrees it does get to is still quite effective. I generally sweat for at least an hour a day four times a week. Afterwards, I do some streatching and weight lifting while still in the heated room. I then hop into the shower, scrub off the metals with a bath brush and soap, which also accomplishes lymphatic cleansing, and prepare for my day. It works pretty well. If you have a larger bathroom, you might need to buy more heat lamps or section off a part of your bathroom with a shower curtain or sheet that hangs from an extension rod to concentrate the heat. The goal is to raise the temperature enough to sweat, so whatever it takes to heat the room is what it takes.
While camping in a hot climate one summer, I discovered that a small dome tent placed in the sun makes an excellent sauna. By 11 A.M. that tent was so hot it would cause me to drip with sweat much quicker than my bathroom sauna did. For those of you who live in a hot climate, this could be a very cheap solution, as a small dome tent costs less than $30.
Any time you cleanse you should drink a lot of water. It will not only keep you hydrated but will aid the detoxification process as well.
To summarize, my heavy metal cleansing regime involves taking about 4 saunas a week in my home-made sauna, with additional high quality minerals, Vibe, zeolite, and some nutrient dense herbal teas. According to my hair analysis, this regime is definitely reducing my toxic load.
How are heavy metals measured in the body?
One of the best tests you can take is a hair analysis, for metals accumulate in the hair.
A hair analysis is simple and can be done without a doctor’s prescription. However, analyzing the results aren’t so simple. Therefore, it is important to invest in a hair analysis that comes along with an extensive summary of the results. For this reason, the cost of hair analysis varies widely. Generally, the better the summary, the more costly the analysis. However, there are books on the market that can teach you how to read your own analysis, which can be an invaluable aid in helping you understand the results. Nutritional Balancing and Hair Analysis by Lawrence Wilson, and Hair Test Interpretation by Andrew Hall Cutler are both good and can be purchased at Amazon. Click here for a website that has an excellent, highly informative hair analysis. If you can't afford an expensive test, even an inexpensive test will give you lots of information. Doctor's Data provides a test for $45 that comes along with a good summary of results.
There are many things that can be learned from a hair analysis. Not only are heavy metals measured, but also minerals and the ratio’s of specific minerals that must be kept in balance. Hair analysis can provide an energetic analysis of the body and give indicators of glandular activity, liver and kidney function and carbohydrate tolerance.
Tendencies for over thirty common health conditions can be identified through hair analysis, often years before they develop. Hair analysis can identify your metabolic type, which will help you to choose a diet and supplements that are right for you. It can reveal numerous causes to a single condition and give indicators about what to do about it.
Because so many emotional problems are related to heavy metal accumulation in the brain, hair analysis can also predict emotional patterns, such as depression, anxiety, AD/HD, violent tendencies, mood swings, phobias, and even addictions. In this way, one can be given clues that indicate whether one’s emotional problems are due to limited beliefs, traumatic events from the past, or to biochemistry, which will help you decide what to do about it.
All this invaluable information comes from a tablespoon of hair cut close to your scalp that is analyzed in a laboratory and then summarized by an expert in the science of hair analysis. It is best to do an analysis before beginning a heavy metal cleanse, and then once again after six months to make sure the cleanse is doing what it is supposed to be doing. By using the hair closest to the scalp (pubic hair can also be used) one gets a reading of one’s present internal environment, and not the environment that was present months or even years ago, which would be the case if a long haired person sent in a sample of hair cut at the end.
No matter what kind of health problem you have, cleansing is bound to at least help the condition if not heal it. When you cleanse and then rejuvenate the body with a high quality diet, everything works better. If nothing else, you will know that you have done your best to rectify past insults and that your healthy lifestyle is no longer adding insult to injury. If you have been able to clear the metals and improve your mineral content and ratio’s, all that’s left is a lifetime of maintenance. Unfortunately, due to the polluted conditions on our planet, cleansing will need to become a lifelong routine that is engaged in consciously.
For a list of metals, the symptoms they produce, and sources of contamination, click here.
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