detox Nov 20, 2019

Detox Step One: Be Good to Your Spirit

This is the first post in a 20-part series about how to detox your body, life and spirit. Make sure to check out the first post in the series, in which I share my healing journey that led to my becoming a Naturopathic Doctor. You can also subscribe to be notified of future posts in this detox series, and sign up to receive my free 67-page detox e-book.


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Detox Step One: Be Good to Your Spirit - How to Detox Your Stress Levels & Mind-Body Connection with Breathwork  |  #detox #stress #health #selfcare


Everyday the human spirit is ridden with external circumstances that engage the body to respond. When the body fails to efficiently digest or calm the everyday experiences within the body, the body exhibits stress responses which can lead to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Often deep breaths and pauses before responding to the external circumstances can save a lot of time and energy in our everyday expression of life.

When the body is constantly on alert because the mind is in fear state overtime, this can be very disruptive and exhaustive. The body is kept on overdrive, utilizing all available energy to extinguish the fires started by the mind. Eventually the anxieties of our thoughts begin to create internal circumstances where the body has to work double time to keep up with output. This is where deep breathing and breathwork will benefit our health the most.


Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Developing basic breathing techniques may help you create a deeper connection with your body, bringing your awareness away from the worries in your head and quieting the mind.

When we react negatively to circumstances in our reality, the body gets loaded with adrenaline and cortisol. When we get outwardly overly excited for any reason, we expend a lot of energy and put more load on the adrenals. When the body overreacts, the adrenals suffer.




When the adrenals suffer, our thyroid and hormone balance struggle to keep up with supply and demand of energy levels (chi), and these levels become imbalanced.

The area of the brain called the hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining all physiological systems to maintain internal balance. When the mind remains in a reactive state of consciousness, it triggers the hypothalamus to begin to signal for hormone production.

The adrenals are the main glands of stress because they make all of the major hormones involved in stress response and adaptation. During stress, the hypothalamus gets the adrenals to produce specific hormones via two pathways:

  1. Sympathomedullary (SAM) pathway is a direct sympathetic nervous system stimulation of the adrenal medulla to make adrenalin and noradrenalin for the quick, short-term “fight or flight” response.
  2. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis pathway is where the adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation of the adrenal cortex by the pituitary to make cortisol, aldosterone and other corticosteroids for more prolonged stress adaptations occurs.


Adrenaline (epinephrine) is the primary “fight or flight” stress hormone produced in the adrenal medulla in response to stimulation by the sympathetic nervous system. Its effects are short-lived and prepare your body for immediate action by quickly getting more blood, oxygen and fuel to your muscles.

To do this, adrenaline increases heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and circulation of glucose and free fatty acid levels, while dilating blood vessels in skeletal muscles and liver and constricting blood vessels to other areas of the body not essential to the fight or flight response. A jump in adrenaline gives you that panicky, “butterflies in your stomach,” sweaty palms feeling.

Noradrenalin (norepinephrine) is another “fight or flight” stress hormone produced in the adrenal medulla and as a neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system, stimulating alertness and concentration. It is very similar in action to adrenalin but constricts almost all blood vessels, increasing blood pressure.

Cortisol is a stress hormone with the most vast and long-lasting effects throughout the body. Produced primarily by the adrenal cortex in a diurnal cycle (highest around 8 AM high and lowest between 1-4 A) and in response to stimulation via the HPA axis during stress, it is a steroid hormone classified as a glucocorticoid because it regulates blood sugar.

A large portion of cortisol activity in your body is also produced by the enzymatic conversion of inactive cortisone into cortisol within cells, especially fat cells. This is how stress can contribute to fat storage.

Cortisol helps sustain stress response alterations initiated by adrenalin/noradrenalin, including maintaining increased blood sugar. However, it has many other physiological effects and influences the activity of every cell and many of the other hormones.

Among other things, cortisol is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is responsible for the following:

  • Suppresses overall immune function
  • Increases stomach acid secretion
  • Slows digestion
  • Reduces tissue (including bone) growth and repair
  • Increases fat storage
  • Affects memory, concentration, mood and sleep
  • Is essential for proper thyroid function
  • Acts as a diuretic and prevents sodium loss 

These effects are usually adaptive when the stressor is relatively short-lived, but when stress is prolonged or chronic the effects can become destructive. (Medical Physiology, 11th Edition, Guyton and Hall 2006, pgs 365 -414)


There are inherent patterns in our genetics that code us to react a certain way when we are not conscious of them. These patterns stay hidden in our subconscious until we are ready to look at them and receive ownership in the place where we chose this life to learn and grow.

We exist in two opposite poles until we synergize and align with the acceptance of the mind-heart connection creating the whole self. In one pole is the heart that feels and knows truth that brings purpose to life. The other pole is the brain or mind that receives and interprets as well as develops and outputs information.

The heart-mind connection only became a recognized topic of discussion when Doc Childre founded the Heart Math Institute (HMI) in 1991. Since then HMI has started programs to assist people of all walks of life to find the intelligence system within their own heart.

When the heart and the mind are in agreement the soul is at peace.

When we start to know who we are and awaken to the truth beyond what others have made of us, then we can rise to higher frequencies of consciousness.

It benefits our entire being as well as the people around us when we become aware of the thoughts and patterns that do not serve us in our highest purpose: thoughts of fear, worry, doubt and worthlessness or lack of value. As we discussed previously, these thoughts create stress and release adrenal hormones into the bloodstream.

This is why it is essential to create space for yourself to feel the inner you at the core. The more we know about ourselves and who we are, the easier it is to navigate thought patterns, projections, and reflections.

As we grow to love ourselves, we set firmer boundaries, forge healthier relationships and step into our sovereign self. To be sovereign essentially means to be guided by the internal self rather than external circumstances, rules, judgements, realities, etc.

When we empower ourselves to have more control over our mental state and inner self acceptance, relationships are not based on needs or wants. Instead they are built on a common mission with balanced support and cooperation.

Breath is a direct connection to a calm mind. Da Chi/ Prana, which is the energy derived from the air we breathe, is taken into the lungs, where it is synthesized and converted into the energy which is vital for life.

The knowledge that our bodies are filled with life force energy – Prana – and that this is directly connected to the quality of our health, has been part of the wisdom of many cultures for thousands of years, and has resulted in the development of many different forms of energy medicine.

The amount of Chi or life force within us varies from day to day. There is a natural rhythmic ebb and flow in the energies within our bodies – but we absorb Chi in various ways in order to replenish our supply of life force, as we naturally use some each day.

We synthesize Prana from the air we breathe and absorb it through our auric fields. Chi/ Prana/ Ki energy is everywhere; it is the connective force of the Universe so there is a LIMITLESS SUPPLY.

Often in modern culture we forget how to breathe. We forget to breathe into the diaphragm and expand our lungs to optimal capacity.

Forced exhale with an end hold helps correct the 02:C02 balance and restores the system to normal function.

Breath is what connects us to each other. Same Air – Same Breath! Breath is the place where we all meet as ONE. Breath fills the space between matter and is also our connection to source consciousness.

If you enjoy this first step in Dr S’s detox program, make sure to subscribe to be notified of future posts, check out the first post in the series to read the full list of 20 Ways to Detox, and download the free 67-page e-book to learn the entire program in full! 

Dr. S, ND


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