Detoxing for Body, Mind, & Spirit

By: Kathy Lytle

 Congratulations – You’ve made the commitment to quit smoking!!  One of the most exciting aspects of quitting smoking is reaching the realization that you are an active participant in your recovery process and that there are many, many tools available to you to help you heal your body, mind, and spirit from the harmful addiction to tobacco.  One of the most important and loving things you can do for yourself now that you’ve committed yourself to quitting smoking is to follow a gentle detoxification program that will allow your body, thoughts and feelings to naturally and safely rebalance themselves.  When you assist your body with healing and releasing the effects of smoking you shorten the amount of time that you may experience feelings of irritability, hunger, mood swings, sinus/bronchial inflammation, headaches, and fatigue!  So let’s get started with:

WATER

Water, water, water!!  Quite simply, the only thing we need more than water is air.  Water is vital to our existence.   We can only survive approximately 7 days without it before our brains and bodies shut down and die.  Most smokers have a tendency to live in a perpetual state of dehydration.  The chemicals in tobacco cause blood vessels to temporarily constrict, a reaction similar to dehydration. When dehydration and smoking are combined, the body’s need for water is intensified. Smoking also accelerates how quickly the body metabolizes caffeine and, as a result, it aggravates caffeine’s dehydrating effect on the body.

  • “Every day, we can lose four or more pints of water (about two liters) through our breath, saliva, tears, urine, stools and sweat. The fluid that is lost must be replaced. If you exercise, especially if you exercise vigorously, you will need to increase your water intake by up to 50 percent. On average, you should drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. But if you have exercised, cried, sweated or urinated more than usual, you may need to drink more, even up to 16 glasses per day.”
  • “Think in terms of “preventing thirst,” rather than drinking water “in response to thirst.” Thirst can be an unreliable signal in the early stages of dehydration. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Common signs of dehydration are fatigue, headaches, dryness of the eyes or nasal passages, inability to concentrate, dryness of the mouth, and dizziness. These symptoms, which many people experience daily and may believe are from other causes, may really be the result of lack of water.”
  • “Water not only cleanses inside the body, it cleanses the outside of the body and it can be a soothing therapy for the cravings and irritability that often accompanies changes in your tobacco habit. Soaking in warm or hot showers and baths, swimming in cool natural springs or hot spas, splashing your face with cool water, and soaking your feet in warm water are all recognized as effective tools for reducing stress and cravings. Water simply has the magical ability to make us feel better, inside and out.”

HERBS

Tea time!  Unfortunately the first thing that happens as you start to detox is that you feel even worse than you did before you started!! There is no getting away from this but it’s important to remember two things:  1) “This too shall pass!!” and 2) your body has been protecting you by hiding poisons around your body and when it gets the signal that it can start to let them go the priority becomes eliminating them as quickly as possible. The headaches, tiredness, grumpiness are what you would feel all the time if your body allowed these toxins free access to your systems.  The liver, kidney, and intestines have a hard time during detoxification and it’s important to support them and their natural functions!  Fortunately there are herbs and herbals teas that are specifically designed to not only cleanse and clear these organs but also to help the liver regenerate itself.

Herbal Supplement or Tea

The “What” and The “Why”

DANDELION

Dandelion is a traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body’s filtration system. The leaves are full of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

**  Yogi Tea has a line of “De Tox” teas that are excellent!

MILK THISTLE (aka Silymarin)

The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.

ELDERBERRY

Elderberry is commonly referred to as “Natures Medicine Chest”.  It’s a “blood cleanser”, a purgative and a diuretic.  It is especially supportive in cleansing/clearing sinuses, lungs, kidneys and small intestines.

** Alvita brand has an excellent Elderberry Tea

BURDOCK

Burdock is a common ingredient in dietary supplements and teas that aim to detoxify and cleanse the body of pollution and toxic build-up. Burdock triggers perspiration and increased fecal elimination, promoting the fast removal of toxins from the body, and supporting overall liver, kidney and bowel health.

 ESSENTIAL OILS (AROMATHERAPY)

On an energetic level smoking is a suppression of the breath and therefore suppression of the basic life force in us. Many times we smoke to stop ourselves from feeling certain emotions, usually we associate smoking with stress reduction. On the physical level when we refrain from a toxic substance the body can finally start to process all the poison it has been locking away for years.  At the same time on the emotional level all the emotions that we were blocking and suppressing with the smoke can now start to be processed by the body too.  Essential oils and the practice of Aromatherapy are gentle and healing ways of reintroducing and reconnecting us with our breath.  They allow us to detox our emotions as gently as we detox our bodies.  It’s a way to heal the spirit by restoring mental and emotional balance.

 

The Essential Oil

The “What” and The “Why”

CYPRESS

Very healing blood/circulatory tonic.  Assists with liver/kidney detox.   Also considered a “lung oil” as it opens up the bronchi.  It balances the blood “chi” and assists with confusion and anxiety.

GRAPEFRUIT

Is a stimulant – VERY uplifting!  Good for depression and a renewed “zest for life”.  It’s also a good tonic and stimulates the liver and gall bladder to help produce bile.

JUNIPER

Juniper has an affinity with the Urinary system, it’s a diuretic and detoxifies.  Good for fear and apathy.  It helps clear heavy emotional energy out of the 3rd (solar plexus) Chakra.

LEMON

Is a stimulant and is emotionally uplifting.  Along with LIME, it’s considered a “happy oil” and both are often referred to as an “inner child oil”.  Even though lemon is acidic it has neutralizing qualities when it reaches the stomach and is good for reducing acid.

ROSEMARY

Stimulates ALL body systems:  Central Nervous, Circulatory, Digestive and Muscular.  It’s sometimes referred to as “The Herb of Remembrance” as it stimulates memory and awareness.  It’s helpful to those that are lacking courage, motivation and self-esteem.

THYME

Stimulates both the physical and the emotional body.  Good for respiratory conditions, lungs, coughs, and colds.  It’s also helpful to the Urinary system, kidneys and bladder.  It can help with feelings of exhaustion and in combating depression.

Essential Oils can be used and blended in a variety of ways including “Aura” sprays, massage oils, body lotions and bath salts for soaking in.

THE BACH FLOWER ESSENCES – support for Spiritual Healing

Dr. Edward Bach (1886 – 1935) was a medical pioneer who discovered the link between stress, emotions and illness decades before contemporary physicians began to acknowledge the fact.  Dr. Bach believed that “disease is in essence the result of conflict between Soul and Mind, and will never be eradicated except by spiritual and mental effort.  Such efforts, if properly made with understanding…can cure and prevent disease by removing those factors which are its primary cause.  No effort directed to the body alone can do more than superficially repair damage, and in this there is no cure, since the cause is still operative and may at any moment again demonstrate its presence in another form”…true healing attacks the very base of the cause of suffering.  Bach suggested that the natural state of the human body was to be well.  Only if the defenses were weakened by an imbalance in the personality and the emotions would the agents ever gain a foothold.  This is why he called the imbalances the true cause of disease.  It follows then that there are two supportive ways to approaching quitting smoking:  1) as an addiction and 2) as symptoms of withdrawal.

The Flower Remedy

The “What” and The “Why”

WALNUT

Helps with the adjustment during withdrawal.  It gives protection against the adverse effects of oversensitivity to certain ideas, atmosphere and outside influences.  It allows you to make or adapt to major life changes and to fulfill your ambitions free from the influence of others.

CHESTNUT BUD

Helps with learning from the experience.  Dr. Bach wrote: “this remedy is to help us take full advantage of our daily experiences, and to see ourselves and our mistakes as others do”.  It helps you to observe your mistakes objectively so that you can learn from them and move on.

CRAB APPLE

Helps to cleanse the mind/body from feelings of self-hatred and a sense of un-cleanliness.  Assists with the ability to control thoughts and recognize difficulties and be acceptable again to oneself.  Can see things in correct perspective and help you feel better about the way that you are.

HORNBEAM

Helps to strengthen the will to resist.  Helps restore energy when you are mentally weary, struggling with procrastination and doubt your ability to face the task ahead.

CENTAURY

Helps to strengthen the will to resist.  Helps you take care of your own needs and assert yourself if you find it hard to say no to others.

AGRIMONY

When the addiction is used as a means of escape.  This helps you communicate your true feelings rather than hide them behind a “happy” face…assists with stopping the mental torture behind the “brave” face.

 YOU are essential to YOUR recovery.  Give yourself permission to matter.  Not just in any given moment, but in every given moment BE exactly where you are, and let yourself be there without JUDGMENT.  Be good to yourself.  Be gentle with yourself.  And breathe.  Just breathe!

For more information regarding the materials presented here, including sources & references, please feel free to contact me.

Kathy Lytle

Life Coach & Spiritual Counselor: Flower Essences Consultant, Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, ReUnion Process Facilitator

Kathy Lytle – Copyright © 2008 – 2012

DISCLAIMER:  None of the information here is intended to serve as or substitute for medical diagnosis.  Please consult with your medical practitioner for medical advice regarding tobacco addiction and cessation.