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The removal of impurities from the body is known as depuration. This is the preferred term for cleansing xenobiotics from the body. The commonly used term "detoxification" means to remove or alter the toxic quality of a compound. Since healing for the toxic person involves removal of the actual xenobiotic from the body, rather than mere alteration of the compound, the word depuration will be used.
There are only two methods of xenobiotic depuration discussed in the scientific literature. Most of the published literature is from one of the Health Med clinics, associated with the Church of Scientology, who are doing the "Hubbard Purification Rundown." This protocol utilizes exercise, high temperature saunas increasing doses of niacin, and electrolyte replacement. They have published several studies showing the benefit of this protocol for reducing levels of PCBs, PBBs, and HCBs. Their studies, along with unpublished data from William Rea MD at the Environmental Health Center-Dallas have shown that sauna therapy will bring about a reduction of the xenobiotic levels in treated individuals.
The only published treatment besides sauna therapy that has shown benefit in treating poisoned individuals is fasting. This has been documented in a study which looked at individuals poisoned by PBB-contaminated rice bran cooking oil in Taiwan. While fasting reduced their symptoms, it increased the level of circulating xenobiotics in their serum. Presumably the elevation of circulating toxins is due to the increased rate of lipolysis in fasting individuals. Thus, the fat-soluble PBBs were released from storage into the bloodstream at higher than normal rates. At that point, it would be up to the liver to clear these out of the serum or they would be redeposited into the adipose tissue. More research is obviously needed on the role of fasting in the treatment of environmental overload.
A successful depuration protocol consists of the following components:
* Exercise--Daily exercise usually consisting of using an exercycle, rebounder or brisk walking to begin lipolysis and diaphoresis.
* Thermal Chambers--Up to three 60-minute "sauna" sessions are done with temperatures at a range of 120-135° F with cool-down periods in between. Glass bottled spring water is given along with electrolyte replacement. While the Hubbard clinics use higher temperatures, individuals will put out more toxins (as evidenced by stronger chemical odors) and will experience less adverse symptoms when the lower temperatures are used. The thermal chambers will increase the rate of lipolysis in the adipose tissue throughout the body. When this occurs, the lipophilic (oil soluble) xenobiotics will be released into the bloodstream. The compounds in the subcutaneous fat pads will be mobilized through sweat, as well as into the blood.
* Constitutional Hydrotherapy--The use of alternating hot and cold applications of water through immersion or at least showers has been used for decades to stimulate the body's own self-healing activity. This also increases the amount of toxin-laden bile dumped from the liver into the intestines. Also assisting the cholerectic and cholegogue action on the liver is a herbal capsule taken daily consiting of Chelidonium, Chionanthus, Taraxacum, Arctium lappa, Silybum marianum and Urtica dioca.
* Colonic Irrigation--Gravity-fed machines are used to gently introduce triple-filtered water into the large intestines, providing an avenue for the toxic bile to rapidly leave the body. Individuals will routinely have "liver dumps" of bile that ranges in color from yellow to red, with occasional gray or brown. The color of bile normally ranges from green to yellow to orange to red, depending upon the amount of time of exposure to bacterial action in the bowel. However, in this situation he believes that it is dumped form the liver and rapidly passed through the small intestines, similar to what is seen in "gastric dumping" syndrome. He is therefore unable to account for the differences in color of this effluent. In some patients with heavy agricultural exposure, he has seen higher amount of fluorescent yellow bile. Hence, the color of the bile may be more attributable to the chemical compounds in the bile than the bacterial action upon the bile. Chlorinated pesticides have been found in this effluent referred to as "bile dumps."
* Constitutional Homeopathy--This has been used primarily as a stand-alone treatment with the use of any other supplements or treatments prohibited. However, it has been found to be a valuable component of this protocol and completely compatible with all the other treatment methods involved. It appears most beneficial in those individuals who need a boost for their vital force to facilitate their moving toward healing, and for those who are stuck in emotional issues that they haven't been willing to look at.
* Body Therapies (massage, shiatsu, cranio-sacral, visceral, spinal and joint adjustment)--These are done as needed for the individual to treat specific musculoskeletal problems and to assist in mobilizing toxins that were stored in the tissues.
This protocol is utilized on a daily basis that usually lasts between 4 and 8 weeks (five sessions weekly). The protocol begins the depuration process which must then be continued once the individual returns home. Most individuals will need to continue regular cleansing (use of home saunas, hydrotherapy, colon therapy and often additional auditing) for up to 12 months after completing their intensive clinical cleansing. When testing for serum levels of OCCs and solvents is repeated along with immune parameters after 12 months, improvements are routinely seen. In addition to symptomatic relief, improvements in the laboratory reports (decrease in serum xenobiotics and reduction in autoantibodies, etc.) is clearly evident.