8 Ways to Combat Environmental Stress
Whether from water, soil, food, or the air we breathe, we are exposed to a variety of unseen toxins every day. Frequent exposure to toxins creates an overload in our bodies, which can eventually lead to serious health problems.
Toxins primarily enter the body from the lungs, digestive tract, or skin. Some of the most common environmental toxins that we are exposed to include:
- Irradiation of food
- Heavy metals
- Mental/emotional stress
While toxin exposure is a serious concern in today’s world, there are a lot of things we can do to reduce exposure as well as the effect of toxins on our body. I routinely work with my patients on the 8 areas outlined below to greatly reduce exposure to toxins and improve health and well-being.
Follow your 24-hour body clock
In the old days, we were much more in-tune with our 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm. Devices like computers and cell phones disturb this natural rhythm in the body. When the pineal gland is disrupted it doesn’t release melatonin, and so we can’t get a restful night sleep. People also tend to go to sleep later now and miss out on the repair that happens in the body between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
To be more in-tune with our 24-hour clock, we need to go along with the natural rhythm of the body. Cortisol gets stimulated when the sun comes up, so this is the ideal time to get out of bed. The digestive system starts to slow down when it gets dark, so that’s when we should have the least amount of food. Before bed is when we really need to prepare ourselves for the repair and detoxification process by getting our toxic load down.
Release stuck emotions
How we respond to the stress of life matters. We all handle our stress in so many different ways, but it’s easy to get stuck in the same feelings and be in a constant state of deprivation. For example, if we constantly get angry and are unable to change the situation that led to the anger, we can end up with resentment.
I teach my patients that emotions such as loneliness, regret, and heartbreak need to be looked at like an open wound. The way to heal an open would is to start paying attention to it and looking at all avenues. So each time an emotion comes up, we can respond in a different way. We can take ownership of the emotions and the way we choose to feel.
EVOX is a technology I love because we can get underneath the iceberg of emotions and find out what really is the root cause. I use essential oils and Bach flower remedies along with the EVOX to help ground and release emotions.
Detox your home
I love the mindset of detoxing your home with plants because who doesn’t like to have plants in their home? Plants just need a little bit of water and attention to thrive. Some of the plants I like for removing toxins are:
- Areca palm – Helps to remove common indoor toxins
- Mother-in-law tongue – One of the best for converting C02 into oxygen
- Money plant – Helps remove volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde
Another important part of detoxing your home is to only use natural cleaners, as most cleaning products are laden with chemicals. I love to clean with essential oils, just taking a spray bottle and putting a little bit of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar and then some drops of an oil.
Drink pure water
There are dozens of contaminants in our tap water supply. This not only includes chemicals such as metals and pesticides, but also medications like birth control and chemotherapy. So the first thing I want to mention is to make sure you’re not drinking tap water so you’re not exposed to these harmful compounds that can be very damaging to the mitochondria of the body. Then there’s also the plastic bottled water which isn’t going to be that useful either because it contains thiolate.
Instead of drinking tap water or plastic bottled water, opt for purified water. My favorite is the ionized water which allows your cells to hold on to the minerals a little bit better. We want to drink about half of our body weight in pure water. Additionally, water is easily absorbed through the skin, so it’s important that the water you shower or bath in is filtered as well.
Clean up your diet
When a patient comes into our office, the first thing we do is analyze their diet so it can become a healing diet. We want to eliminate foods that are inflammatory like grains and sugar. Most people don’t realize how prevalent sugar is in our food. For example, a cup of rice has 45 grams of sugar. There is also more than 30 grams of sugar in common foods like cereal and toast.
We work with patients to customize their diets based on their chemistry. But for everyone we see, we work on removing the gluten, sugar, dairy (minimal intake is typically okay), and foods that have no nutrition out of the diet such as processed foods. Instead, these can be replaced with organic foods that are low in carbohydrates.
Along with the type of food, eating too much food or eating at the wrong time can also cause toxicity in the body. I always recommend a 4- to 5-hour period between each meal and snacking on high-fat foods that don’t stimulate insulin. Also keep in mind that thirst often manifests as hunger. So if you feel hungry, a glass of water may be all that you need.
Use a far infrared sauna
One of my favorite detoxification things I love to do and we recommend highly to all of our patients is the far infrared saunas. For my patients that have any kind of heavy metals or have done chemotherapy or those types of things that we want to get out of their system, far infrared sauna is the best and the fastest way to do it.
Far infrared penetrates about 1.5 inches into the skin and literally liquefies the toxins so you can sweat them out. There are gyms and spas now in a lot of places where you can buy a sauna package. We also have it at our practice because we’re all about detoxification and lowering toxic burden on the body.
Take time to meet your personal needs
If you don’t take care of your own needs, no one else will. There are a number of ways you can take care of your needs so that your body is better able to deal with environmental stress. Some of the things I recommend include:
- Massage – I tell my patients all the time to massage themselves. You can put essential oils on the bottom of your feet. This is incredibly beneficial because the entire footprint of your body is on the bottom of your feet—every single organ.
- Exercise – Exercise is another important way to meet your body’s personal needs as well. Weight training and high-intensity exercise really offer the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your muscles and expanding your lungs.
- Prepare meals – Take time out to prepare nutritious, high-quality meals for yourself, because you are worth it!
Get tested for toxicity
When it comes to combating toxic stress, it’s good to know where to start and what may be an issue for you. We have a lot of different testing that we do to determine toxic overload and burden on the body.
For example, the Environmental Pollutants Profile from US BioTek is a great test to just look at all of the toxic chemical compounds, and that gives our physicians and us an opportunity to identify and then be able to give them the right treatment whether it’s EDTA, chelation, or any of the oxygen carbon charcoal that we give people to help the body detox.
The NutrEval nutrient evaluation by Genova Diagnostics is also phenomenal because it really gives us an idea of whether the patient has leaky gut in regards to absorbing their foods. We can find out what’s going on in the gut and also their neurotransmitters and if they’re getting enough essential fatty acids and vitamins. In addition, we can also find out if they potentially have an issue with methylation where their body isn’t detoxing as well and whether heavy metals are a problem.
About Liliana Partida
Liliana Partida is a Certified Nutritionist with 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. An expert in weight loss, nutrition, and emotional healing, she is certified in a number of modalities including Clinical Nutrition, Kinesiology, Destination Coaching, and Aerobic Research. To learn more about Liliana, visit her webpage at the Center for New Medicine.