Spring Cleaning For Your Body

As we move through these beautiful springtime months, many of us feel inspired to do a thorough cleaning of our homes to freshen things up and let the sunshine and breezes dispel the darker and heavier days of winter (even here in Southern California!).   Similarly, as winter moves into spring, and spring into summer, we can do a cleansing of our bodies from the inside out with a brief period of detoxification at the change of each season, or on a once-weekly basis, and enjoy renewed vitality and energy as we transition through the year.

We are inundated with toxins and heavy metals in our modern world, being exposed constantly to tens of thousands of chemicals in our food, air, water, and products and materials we use on a daily basis.  A recent study showed that the average child born in the U.S. had more than 287 different chemicals in the umbilical cord blood at birth.  The average adult has 1,000 times more lead in his or her bones than did the Inca Indians over 500 years ago.  Since the industrial revolution began, we have poured a truly staggering amount of waste into the environment.  It is, therefore, not difficult to see that all of this toxicity causes, or contributes to, many modern illnesses, including ever-increasing levels of autoimmune disease and cancer, and also that it is not possible to maintain health in today’s world without a consistent detoxification program.

What do we really mean by detoxification, and what is the healthiest way to go about it?  All food, and in fact everything we ingest goes from the intestine through the liver, which is where many of these toxins accumulate.   So the goal in undergoing detoxification, then, is to promote liver health by helping it to function at its optimal efficiency. The actual process of detoxification occurs in two vital phases, during which fat-soluble toxins are changed into a water-soluble product which can then be eliminated by the gut or the kidneys.  Both phases require certain nutrients for this process to occur smoothly and for the liver to remain healthy, such as N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione, vitamin C, and the B-vitamins, among others.

The body also requires a certain amount of protein each day to stay in a positive balance; if we take in less than we need, the body may start breaking down muscle to try to maintain that balance.  Many detoxification programs are too drastic, and they fall short in the required nutrients and proteins that the body needs to be in a healthy state after the detox program is over.  This is why so many regimes leave a person feeling weak and depleted, instead of recharged and renewed.

There are many ways to go about detoxification, but here are a few ideas that can be very helpful:

  • One day per week, use a high-quality protein powder three to four times a day in place of meals or any other food, and consume plenty of fresh, pure water.  The protein powder must contain all the necessary nutrients for the liver as well as 50-60 grams of hypoallergenic protein. 


  • After getting comfortable with one day a week, you can try a three-day detoxification four times a year at the change of the seasons, with the same regime as the one-day program:  protein powder three to four times a day, and plenty of pure water, but this time continue for three days.  If you are comfortable with colonic therapies, you may want to consider getting a treatment or two to help clean out the colon at this time.


  • Use a far-infrared sauna, which allows you to receive the benefits of regular sauna in terms of sweating, but at a temperature that permits you to remain a longer time in the sauna.  You can follow the sauna by taking several charcoal capsules, available at any health food store or online, which will help to bind up toxins in the intestine so they will not be reabsorbed.  For more information on far-infrared sauna, please check out the Articles section of this website by clicking on “Articles”at the top of this page.


  • Use a loofah scrub each day when you shower, and get a water-filtering showerhead to remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water.  Moderately and vigorously scrub your skin until you feel a slight tingling or glow.  The skin is a major organ of detoxification, and by using a loofah you will be helping your skin perform this important function.


I have a  custom-formulated and very high-quality protein powder called Optimum Cleanse that I frequently prescribe to my patients, and that is available for purchase in my office or from my online supplement dispensary:    http://dispensary.davidallenmd.com/proteinpowders.aspx

I’d like to emphasize here, however, that even these moderate detoxification methods are not necessarily appropriate for every person, which is why it is absolutely necessary that you check with your physician before undertaking any detoxification program.  Individuals who are already debilitated or suffering from illness should not undergo any form of detoxification without direct and explicit  guidance from their doctor.  This applies to pregnant women as well.  If you are already my patient, I’d be happy to assess your fitness for detoxification and recommend a regime that will work for you at your next appointment.  If you are not my patient yet, but are interested in getting a health assessment including the best way to detox for you, please call my office at (310) 315-5483 to set up an appointment.



Dr. Allen gives free lectures at the Library three to four times each year, on topics of interest from the cutting edge of integrative medicine.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for these lectures and his other speaking engagements, please email da@davidallenmd.com.