Friday, February 10, 2006

Colon Cleansing

by: Sandra Kim Leong

Detoxification programs have long been used to help with many illnesses and conditions. Colon cleansing and colon hydrotherapy are two of the most popular detoxification therapies, and many swear by these alternative treatments for improved energy, health and vitality.

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The colon is a long tube in your body that helps with the end of the digestive process, eliminates the residue of digestion from the intestinal tract and helps eliminate waste and toxins from the body. If the colon is not working properly, toxic waste and matter builds up in the body, causing fatigue and illness. Other symptoms of a “clogged” colon can include sluggishness and constipation, as the inner diameter of the colon becomes constricted with built up waste. Skin irritation, moodiness, gas and diarrhea can also be symptoms of a clogged colon.

Cleansing the colon can be essential for good health. Colon hydrotherapy cleanses the entire length of the colon by flushing the organ with filtered water. A sterile tube is inserted into the rectum and filtered water is used to irrigate the colon. As the water is cleaning the colon, an evacuation tube carries the waste away. Years of debris, toxic matter and mucus can be removed quickly and without lingering side effects.

This treatment is far more effective than an enema because it cleans the entire colon. Enemas clear the bottom half of the colon but don’t reach the uppermost portion effectively. In order to achieve maximum benefit of a clean colon, the entire organ must be flushed.

If you are suffering from constipation, lethargy and you’ve noticed that your skin doesn’t look as good as it used to, give your body a boost by trying colon hydrotherapy. You keep your skin and the outside of your body clean, so why not do the same for your insides? Do consult a licensed professional if you are convinced and wish to try out colon hydrotherapy.
About The Author
Sandra Kim Leong publishes information on detoxification and cleansing. Her site includes information on colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing, detox diets and juice fasting. Please visit
http://www.detox-cleansing.com/.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Twelve-step Program

A twelve-step program is a fellowship which aims at the recovery of its members from the consequences of an addiction, a compulsion, or another harmful influence on their lives, with the help of the faith-based Twelve Steps. Also the specific program of recovery that is applied within such a fellowship, is called a twelve-step program. The fellowship, a bond of loosely organized, autonomous groups, functions on the basis of principles, formulated in the Twelve Traditions. Synonyms are anonymous program and A-program; the original twelve-step program is Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A).

Characteristics

All twelve-step programs follow some version of the Twelve Steps. Members meet regularly to discuss their problem(s) and share their victories.
One of the most widely-recognized characteristics of twelve-step groups is the requirement that members admit that they "have a problem". In this spirit, many members open their address to the group along the lines of, "Hi, I'm Pam and I'm an alcoholic" — a catchphrase now widely identified with support groups.

Attendees at group meetings share their experiences, challenges, successes and failures, and provide peer support for each other. Many people who have joined these groups report they found success that previously eluded them, while others — including some ex-members — criticize their efficacy or universal applicability.

The Twelve Steps

These are the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol; that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knawledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
(Sources: Alcoholics Anonymous)
Other twelve-step groups have modified the twelve steps slightly from those of Alcoholics Anonymous to refer to problems other than alcoholism.

History

The first such program was Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which was begun in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, known to A.A. members as "Bill W." and "Dr. Bob." They established the tradition within the "Anonymous" twelve-step programs of using only first names. The Twelve Steps were originally written by Wilson and other early members of AA to codify the process that they felt had worked for them personally. The Twelve Steps were essentially a rewriting of the 6 steps of the Oxford Group with whom Wilson had contact. This "codex" is the book Alcoholics Anonymous, often referred to as the "Big Book."

The Twelve Steps were eventually matched with Twelve Traditions, a set of guidelines for running individual groups and a sort of constitution for the fellowship (e.g. AA) as a whole.
Many other programs since have adapted AA's original steps to their own ends. Related programs exist to help family and friends of those with addictions as well as those with problems other than alcohol. These programs also follow modified versions of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and include groups like Al-Anon/Alateen, Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Nar-Anon.

One organization which is often confused with an "Anonymous" twelve-step program, due to the intentional similarity of its name — but is not one — is Narconon. Narconon is a branch of the Church of Scientology, presenting Scientology doctrine and practices as a therapy for drug abusers. Narconon does not use the Twelve Steps, and is not related to either Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or to Nar-Anon, despite the similarity of names.

Relation to religion

A primary belief of members is that their success is based on giving up on self-reliance and willpower, and instead relying on God, or a "Higher Power". Critics of these programs, however, often hold that this reliance is ineffective, and offensive or inapplicable to atheists and others who do not believe in a salvific deity. Other critics see forms of authoritarian mind control in the 12 step approach. However, Neo-Pagans tend to view the 12 steps as a tool of empowerment so they do not share these concerns over giving up self-reliance and willpower. Nor do they view the 12 step approach as a form of mind control; they view it a ritual, a set of actions, which is used to help bring about a desired goal. Proponents of twelve-step programs argue that many atheists have been helped by the program and that one's higher power may well be the group itself.

The role of religion in twelve-step groups is an argument of significance in some parts of the United States, where the criminal justice system has held out group participation to inmate addicts as a condition of parole or shortened sentences. Governments in the U.S. are disallowed under the First Amendment from granting privilege to religious belief. Thus, if twelve-step groups are religious (which some people believe a reading of the Twelve Steps makes plain) then this condition is unconstitutional. Members of twelve-step groups commonly attempt to finesse this conflict by making the semantic distinction that they are "spiritual, but not religious." The growing presence of Pagans in 12 step programs, however, would indicate that the 12 steps are spiritual in nature, not dependent upon a specific religion or family of religions, and can be useful for anyone regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.

Some critics — again, particularly atheists and humanists — also question directly the idea of giving up on self-reliance, which can be seen as a form of idealized despair. Secular alternatives to twelve-step programs, such as Rational Recovery, are for this reason in many ways opposite to the twelve-step process. Others, such as YES Recovery, acknowledge a debt to the twelve-steps movement but do not have a culture of belief in God. Neo-Pagans, who do not have a culture of a belief in God, view the 12 steps as means to increase one's personal freedom by eliminating their addiction and their addictive behaviors, and helping them to avoid causing harm to others.

There are many different ways of interpreting the intent behind twelve-step programs. There are those who argue strongly for a relatively literal adherence to program literature (often referred to as "Big Book Thumpers"), and then there are those who advise "take what you like and leave the rest" and advocate a much more liberal approach. (Note: The phrase "take what you like and leave the rest" cannot be found in the Basic Text of AA or any other A.A. literature.) Two books that look at the twelve-step literature from a more liberal point of view are The Zen of Recovery by Mel Ash and A Skeptic's Guide To The Twelve Steps by Phillip Z. Another book, "The Recovery Spiral: A Pagan Path to Healing" by Cynthia Jane Collins, looks at the 12 steps through a Pagan perspective.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Drug Rehabilitation

From Wikipedia

Drug rehabilitation is an umbrella term for process of medical and/or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and so-called street drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or amphetamines. The obvious intent is to enable the patient to cease their previous level of abuse, for the sake of avoiding its psychological, legal, social, and physical consequences, especially in extreme abuse.

Many drug rehabilitation programs attempt to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug free method. In particular, patients are generally encouraged or required not to associate with friends who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step program
encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without a culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol complete abstention rather than attempts moderation, which may lead to relapse are also emphasized ("I don't want a drink, I want a hundred drinks.") Whether moderation is achievable by persons with a history of abuse remains a controversial point but is generally considered unsustainable.

There are various types of programs that offer help in drug rehabilitation including : residential treatment (in-patient), out-patient, local support groups, extended care centers, and sober houses.
Drug rehabilitation is sometimes part of the criminal justice system. People convicted of minor drug offenses may be sentenced to rehabilitation instead of prison, and those convicted of driving while intoxicated
are sometimes required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

DETOX

Detox, short for detoxification, in general is the removal of toxic substances from the body. It is one of the functions of the liver and kidneys, but can also be achieved artificially by techniques such as dialysis and (in a very limited number of cases) chelation therapy.
Specific meanings of detoxification or detox :
  • A form of drug rehabilitation, used to treat alcoholism or other drug addiction. The process involve absitences to clear the drug from the body, accompanied by social and enviromental support during associated physiological and physiological changes.
  • A class of diets whose underlying assumption is that body accumulates toxins that must be purged, especially after unhealthy periods such as over-eating during festivals. Toxin, in this case, refer to toxic substances - often of undefined nature - from foods, the environment and the body's own wastes. "Detox diet" is a common phrase, as is "I'm on a detox".
  • Forms of complementary medicinee that claim to remove such toxins from the body : for instance, by herbal electrical, or electromagnetic treatments. As the definition of toxins in this and the previous context has little scientific basis, the validity of such techniques is questionable. There is no evidence for such accumulation : the liver and kidneys automatically detoxify and excrete many toxic material, including metabolic wastes.
  • A figurative term of a spiritual, psychological or organisational cleansing, as in detoxing.
  • A process by which a substance is made less toxic.
    source: wikipedia


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