Is Your Body Ready for a Detox?
While it has been proven that making dietary changes to “cleanse” or “detox” the body creates a perceivable change, diet and lifestyle are only one part of the bigger picture. The body has its own self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms, which means it also has its own self-detoxifying mechanisms. When we consider the body’s natural ability to detoxify, 5 systems come to mind: liver, kidneys, digestive tract, lungs, and skin. All of these systems will eliminate things from the body, but only if they work properly.
Although we want these systems to function properly all the time, this proper function is even more important at the beginning of any kind of cleanse or detoxification program. What makes every aspect of our body function properly? The answer is found in what Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathic Medicine, called the 4 rivers of life: nerve, artery, vein, and lymphatic (NAVL). In other words, if all parts of your body have a proper nerve supply, blood supply, venous drainage, and lymphatic drainage, then you will have health in all parts of your body. Combine this with proper diet and lifestyle and you’ll have no issues at all! The problem is that obstruction to the NAVL is extremely common and is the cause of disease. Luckily, this obstruction can be cleared with manual therapy techniques applied by an Osteopathic Manual Therapist.
As an example, let’s consider the blood supply and nerve supply to the liver. In the figures below, you will see where the sympathetic nerve supply and the blood supply to the liver take their origin. Both of these areas need to have motion and symmetry in order for the nerves and arteries to do their job. Note that the portal vein is considered as blood supply because it is bringing nutrient-rich blood to the liver for processing.
As you can see, there are key areas in the body that have an important relation to the liver. If these areas do not move (are “stuck”) or if that part of the body isn’t properly lined up, the health of the organ will diminish. This is because an obstruction to the NAVL is created by the lack of motion, this lack of motion being caused by muscles and ligaments that remain contracted (never relax).
An Osteopathic Manual Therapist knows how to identify the problematic areas and restore motion and symmetry gently and effectively. This ultimately clears the obstruction to the NAVL and allows for the proper functioning of all body systems.