Keep it Moving
By Dr. K. Shane Neifert
Normal bowel function is key to overall health. An old proverb states “Big bowel movement, little hospital. Little bowel movement, big hospital.” Fecal matter contains toxins and wastes. When that remains in the colon for extended periods of time it exposes the walls of the intestines to undue stress and possible impacting leading to diverticulitis or cancer.
Herbalist John Christopher was noted for developing herbal treatments and his ability to help heal many. His approach with each of his patients began with a bowel cleanse program. Following the cleanse, specific areas would be treated. He records that in most cases, the major complaint initially given would disappear after the bowels became regular and the cleansing had been completed.
Dr. Christopher recommended that patients go through a thorough cleansing program that consisted of herbs and dietary changes. His herbal program of cleansing has been used and copied with great success. It includes a series of herbs to initially improve bowel movement, then liver and gallbladder function.
Using products that induce bowel movements through varying actions may become habit forming. Seek for better alternatives such as more water, fruit, and fiber (from whole grains and veggies) and less white flour in your diet. With some individuals there is still a need to stimulate bowel movement. In these cases, herbs are beneficial to accomplish that task. Note that once the bowels begin to move again it will be uncomfortable for a short time; this is normal until balance is found and a bowel movement becomes a routine instead of a chore. Think of a household chore that has been avoided for months; like a teenager’s room. There will be weeping and wailing when they begin to clean. Then there is more complaining, just not as loud or as long. When it is all said and done the teen admits it wasn’t so bad and it does look a whole lot better. Your body may be very similar in that the initial change may be a little rough and difficult yet the change is for the best. After some consistent change, healthy habits are formed and the bowels start to act normally.
There are a few programs of bowel cleansing that I have witnessed good results from. Arise and Shine products have proven the best in my experience at eliminating mucoid plaque. This plaque builds up over time and lines the intestines. This inhibits the proper absorption of nutrients and also causes sluggish bowel movements. It’s essential to support a cleanse with a diet that is more alkaline than acidic. To do this, one must eat loads of fresh vegetables while avoiding acid forming foods such as white sugar, white flour, alcohol, condiments, meats, and most grains (just to name a few). In other words a big break from our normal American diet. This requires a real sense of purpose and self control to avoid sweets and snack foods. Yet the results are usually phenomenal when the plan is followed rigorously.
I am no longer surprised to hear from patients, presenting themselves in my office with arthritis, diabetes, cancer, chronic illness, or any other long-standing ailment, that constipation has existed for much of their life. There is a relationship between the ability to have a normal bowel movement and good health. It is wise to consult your physician prior to beginning a cleanse.