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Her Addiction Story Made Me A Better Therapist

There was a lady that was injected with heroin repeatedly at the age of 12 so that she could be high and prostituted by her mother.  Her mother would force her to have sex with older men to earn money for her heroin addiction.  Twenty years later, I was this woman’s therapist and she was on methadone maintenance trying to maintain sobriety.  I remember my insides feeling like they were on fire as I internally raged against this mother for sending her daughter down this path.  She was repeatedly raped from age 12 to age 16 and when she finally ran away, she had a full blown heroin addiction.  

When she was first admitted to a detox unit, I watched her on her knees at the toilet throwing up for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.  Her nose was running, her body had chills and cold sweats.  She began picking and scratching her neck and her eyes were watery.  As I tried to complete initial paperwork with her, she kept excusing herself to the bathroom because of her upset stomach.  She was put on methadone to help with her symptoms, but it was not working during the initial week.  

Up until this point in my career, I struggled with understanding heroin addiction.  Even though, I was deeply invested in helping people heal, I did not know the full impact of heroin addiction until I walked with this young lady through her withdrawal process.  We talked everyday except Sundays.  She would tell me every symptom that she experienced.  She would talk to me about her "drug dreams".  She would dream that she was high and wake up with her mom's ex-boyfriend on top of her and then, she would wake up again and realize that was a dream also.  The role of trauma significantly impacted her addiction.  How can you face reality when the reality is that you have been a prostitute since 12?  

Her story moved me in such a way that I began teaching her to see herself as more than an addict, and more than a prostitute.  I was fully present in every session with her.  We laughed together, and there were times that I cried with her, even when she tried to minimize certain stories, like having all of her teeth knocked out while tricking on her own.  She cursed like a sailor, and had a great sense of humor.  She'd been through so much and was still able to love, laugh and trust.  What she taught me that clinicians and therapists must get to know the person, because we are treating the person, not just the addiction.  We are working with the whole person. 

I worked with her for over 6 months in inpatient and she was able to maintain sobriety at least a year after that, but now I do not know where she is.  I pray that she is well.   

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3 Ways to Detox Without Fasting or Juicing

LET'S Take a Look at some easy ways to detox

1. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is also known as "kavala" or "gundusha" and it is the ancient Ayurvedic method that is used to improve oral health.  

How to do it?  The process involves taking a tablespoon of oil (usually organic coconut oil or organic sesame oil) and swishing it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes and then spitting it out in the sink.  The oil will be very cloudy and you make notice particles of debris or food in the oil.  This is the toxins and debris that you are spitting out.  Be sure never to swallow the oil.  During the process, suck the oil in and out the spaces between your teeth to improve gum health. 

Benefits:

Photo Credit: motherearthliving.com

Photo Credit: motherearthliving.com

  • Kills germs that cause bad breath.
  • Whitens your teeth.
  • Detoxes the body through the mouth.
  • Gets rid of plaque and fights gum disease.

 

 

 

 

2. Dry Body Brushing

Dry skin brushing is a simple technique that involves using an all natural body brush to brush the skin.  The process will not only exfoliate the skin, but also detox the body and stimulate circulation. 

How to do it:  Before showering or bathing, strip, take the brush and lightly brush your  skin in these directions. 

Photo Credit: www.beautynskincare.com

Photo Credit: www.beautynskincare.com

Benefits:

  • Increases circulation.
  • Gets rid of stretch marks.
  • Tightens skin while losing weight.
  • Exfoliates the skin leaving it softer so that lotions and oils can be absorbed.
  • Improves the overall appearance of aging skin.
  • Helps with cellulite. 
  • Cleanses the lymphatic system. 

Look below for even more awesome benefits.

Drink Fruit Infused water 

Fruit infused water is a great way to hydrate the body and to flush or detox the body.  First, the health benefits of H2O are numerous.  The cells need water to survive and drinking plenty of water helps you to achieve and maintain healthy hair, elasticity in your skin and a clearer complexion.  Add some specific fruits to your water such as cucumber and lemon slices and you get a refreshing detoxing drink that will keep you hydrated!

How to do it? When I decide that I need a flush or after a long weekend of eating junk food, I get a cucumber and slice it into thin slices.  Next, I grab a whole, organic lemon and slice that as well.  I fill up a jar or my 24 oz. plastic water bottle with spring water and add the lemon and cucumber slices plus a few mint leaves.  This is then placed in my refrigerate to cool and marinate for a few hours (sometimes even overnight).  I drink this drink throughout the day and as the water gets lower, I will add more lemon, more cucumbers and more water. 

Photo Credit: www.glutenfreebaking.com

Photo Credit: www.glutenfreebaking.com

Benefits:

  • Keeps you hydrated on warm days.
  • Gives you energy.
  • Helps with your digestion.
  • Clears out toxins from the GI track. 
  • Helps you to shed a few extra pounds.
  • Reduces inflammation.

 

 

Click the picture below to get additional water detox recipes! 

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