As the Earth becomes increasingly polluted, and our environment becomes more synthetic, toxicity is accumulating within the cells and tissues of our own bodies.

The result is that we are witnessing an alarming upsurge in chronic disease. Every year new diseases arise, and it is growing harder to define them or to pinpoint causes. Since no one can say for certain that this trend has anything to do with toxicity, most doctors cannot see the need for us to detoxify our bodies. I have been learning about detoxification by dietary means, by studying overseas and adding ideas gleaned from many years of scientific investigation.

It is vitally important for all of us to develop our awareness of toxins in the environment, and I believe passionately that the detoxification of our own bodies is the first essential step towards decreasing pollution on the planet as a whole.

It has been observed in numerous cases that almost any chronic disease condition will respond favorably to dietary detoxification. But controlled detoxification requires a long-term commitment to eating in a manner which will allow the body to release toxins slowly and naturally. Hurried detoxifying by means of severe fasting can overload the body's elimination systems and create nutritional and emotional stress.

Toxins must be released slowly and gently, and we need to rea1ize that the body takes time to adapt to new conditions. But as we adapt, it is important that we continue to enjoy the food we eat, or we will not want to continue the process. We need to be gentle, not only with our bodies, but with our emotions as well, finding ways to satisfy our food needs on every level--while at the same time keeping the detoxification process going.

Every one of us is an individual, with different types of toxins built up through our widely differing lifestyles. For some people, the most important dietary detoxification procedure may be the adoption of a vegetarian habit with the avoidance of all fat, while for others the avoidance of meat may be somewhat less important than quitting salt. There are no hard and fast rules, and every Individual will find that their body has unique responses.

The first step is to decrease the amount of toxic material coming into the body. This is important because if we try to detoxify the body while toxins are still rushing in from the environment, we will be pushing and pulling in opposite directions. So we need to look at cleaning up our environment--whether we are surrounded with plasticizers, formaldehyde, or synthetic petroleum derivatives.

We also need to look at food additives and the use of pesticides. My reluctant conclusion is that, no food additive is ever safe. ("Reluctant" because I hate telling people that they need to quit eating their favorite supermarket ice cream!) In the artificial laboratory environment in which additives are tested, perhaps a level of safety can be found. But the global environment at present exposes us to some 50,000 different agricultural chemicals--if we add another one to an already highly toxic situation, it may significantly add to the incidence of environmentally-induced illness. For some people at least, each new additive is likely to be the last straw to break the back of their health.

Perhaps one of the most insidious causes of nutritional toxicity is the use of additives which are actually well-established nutrients. There is no government in the world that could possibly legislate against the use of nutrients in food! But as a result of the phosphates artificially added to our sodas, it has been observed that the phosphate intake of Americans has doubled over a 20-year period, upsetting the balance between calcium and phosphate in the blood. There is evidence that this could be one of the most significant factors in the osteoporosis epidemic that is sweeping the nation.

And who would have thought that common salt could be another factor in the osteoporosis story? I have found plenty of scientific papers which suggest this. I have also found well-documented evidence that too much salt in the diet could also play a part in the development of hypoglycemia and diabetes--and it may even be involved in cancer growth, not to mention hypertension and arteriosclerosis.

No one can tell us we have to make dietary changes--or else! We have to learn to respect the evolutionary nature of life manifesting through our bodies, trusting the body to tell us what it really needs.

Or health itself is the means whereby the body gently teaches us what we need to know. Real change can only come from deep within. Meditation can teach us to listen and experience Nature flowing through us, creating an increasing sense of harmony with the whole of life on this planet.

Griselda Blazey, Ph.D. teaches a course often Detoxification Classes. Teacher and student mediate the classes together, sharing experience of dietary changes in an atmosphere which is safe and non-judgmental.


By Griselda Blazey

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