Woodford Files – my big fat summer detox sure wasn’t pretty

When I look back over the past few months to what I did on my summer vacation, I realize what a grand adventure life can be. It all started on July 7. This was the day that I celebrated the one year anniversary of my quitting smoking. Yes it’s embarrassing to admit that I was an addict for over 30 years (and not just a lightweight either – on a good day I kept my habit down to a pack a day; on a bad day it was a pack and a half). But nothing good comes of keeping a secret like that forever.

Needless to say, the cigarettes were a constant assault on my health, and I knew that if I kept it up I’d be a goner. As luck would have it, in May of 2012 I heard about an 84-year-old woman who had kicked her 65-year smoking habit at a Mississauga clinic. I was so impressed that I decided – if she can do it, I can too.

So on July 7, 2012, I attended my first session with Lana Marconi, the ‘quit smoking guru’ who runs the clinic in Mississauga. Her success rate is high because she uses some very effective tools:

1) Tapping, 2) EFT, 3) Ho’oponopono, 4) Motivational CDs, 5) Laser acupuncture, and 6) a cigarette substitute. After attending the requisite five sessions, and feeling quite disoriented for about a week, I found that the demon smokes had finally lost their grip on me. I was free at last.  For more information visit: http://www.drlana.com/

I’m sharing this now because my journey points to something that I’ve rediscovered many times over – the therapies and products offered by the natural health and alternative medicine community are powerful, and sometimes they can even save your life.

At the one year mark I realized that even though I was now smoke-free, I was still at elevated risk for cancer and heart disease due to the inflammation that had built up in my lungs and liver. In fact, just living in an urban environment with its pollution from cars, buses, trains, and industry can cause the inflammation that is a precursor to disease. So I undertook my next phase of evolution by starting on two new things:
1) A melanin-rich, cancer-preventive, cleansing herbal tea made from Chaga – a fungus that grows on birch trees;
2) A constitutional homeopathic remedy – this type of remedy is prescribed by a classical homeopath, and is a deep acting customized prescription, intended to initiate vibrational cleansing.

After taking the tea for a month, and the homeopathic remedy for a few days, a mighty healing crisis erupted. My entire upper body broke out in an angry red rash that was so horrific I looked like a character from the “Night of the Living Dead”. It drove me crazy for weeks, as I stayed up many nights scratching it ‘til it bled, and sloshing it with chilled chamomile tea to ease the itchy redness. Eventually the top layer dried out and turned into scales that flaked off, and then another layer of itchy redness emerged from beneath the scales. It was as if my hot, inflamed lung tissue was erupting out through the skin so I could see how much “heat” had accumulated in there over the years. This is what inflammation looks like when it comes out.

Fortunately, natural health strategies came to the rescue once again, this time in the form of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When my acupuncturist saw the ‘rash from hell’ gripping my chest, she immediately started me on a course of aggressive acupuncture and bitter herbs to clear the “toxic heat.” So a cleansing process that had started with one herb and homeopathic remedy continued its trajectory with the aid of ancient Eastern strategies. This is a reflection of the two-pronged approach that is sometimes needed for detoxification: 1) Use a natural medicine to pull toxins out from deep within the tissues into the bloodstream, and 2) Use a second set of tools that can usher the toxins out through the bowels and kidney such that they leave the body without causing any further harm.

Now it’s three weeks later and the rash has subsided to the point where I can at least sleep at night, although it still ain’t pretty.  But that’s okay. The most important outcome of this exercise is that the herbs and homeopathics (aided by the heat of summer) were able to draw a deeply buried pocket of inflammation out to the surface of the body where it could be cleared. If it had been left buried and covered up, as would have been the case if I resorted to cortisone and steroids to clear the rash, that hidden inflammation would have started to wreak havoc in the body. Bringing inflammation out onto the surface can get real ugly, but once it’s cleared up and gone, the body is lighter, cleaner, and stronger as its toxic load is reduced.

So in the end, I’m left feeling very grateful to all of the dedicated professionals working in the wholistic community who make their products and services available for our well-being. I shudder to think where I’d be without them.

Julia Woodford