Cleansing: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Our Full Interview with Dr. Sara Celik, ND

Tell us about yourself…

I’m a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor with 15 years of experience in the health and wellness space. I have spent the last decade in clinical practice helping Canadians improve their health and treating a variety of conditions – ranging from digestive disorders to chronic skin issues and difficulty losing weight. What I’ve learned in my ten years of practice is that we live in an absurdly toxic world and toxins are affecting our health all the way down to our cells.

Toxins can impact:

  • Digestion
  • Skin
  • Immunity
  • The Nervous System
  • Hormones
  • Metabolism
  • And so much more…

As part of the Renew Life team, I am committed to educating and empowering Canadians to improve their health. I speak across the country with one main goal – to share important information about gut health, brain health, and the negative impact of our modern day stressful lifestyle.

My mission is to offer Canadians the knowledge and support that will help them feel their best on the inside and radiate on the outside.

What made you so interested in cleansing?

When I was a student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, I extensively studied botanical medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle counselling. I was in second year at the Naturopathic College when I completed my first cleanse and I couldn’t believe the results that I experienced. I was so profoundly affected by the cleanse in such a positive way, that I decided to devote my life to sharing it with others.

Tell us about your first cleanse experience.

As a young adult, I struggled with terrible skin – I had eczema since I was a young child and severe acne well into my 20’s. My skin was red, inflamed, itchy, and painful. Needless to say, it greatly affected my well-being and self-confidence.

I visited multiple skin clinics and searched for the top dermatologists looking for a solution. After conventional treatments such as antibiotics and topical ointments failed to work, I sought the advice of a Naturopathic Doctor. My ND diagnosed me with dysbiosis (microbial imbalance in the gut) and recommended a 15 day cleanse. I followed my doctor’s orders and started on the program immediately. Within just 10 days, my skin was 90% better. My digestion had greatly improved and to my surprise, I had lost 12 pounds in 10 days.

I had never felt so good in my life … I was full of energy, my skin was glowing for the first time in years, and my digestion was the best it had ever been.

It was because of my own personal experience that I began recommending cleansing to my patients. Whether treating headaches, chronic yeast infections, eczema, IBS, poor concentration, or fatigue – cleansing became the first step in all of my treatment protocols. I found that my patients felt lighter and symptoms resolved quicker when I started them on a full body cleanse before doing anything else.

Why is cleansing important?

With everyday stressors and the toxicity we are faced with in our modern day world, cleansing is absolutely necessary. We are exposed to toxins 365 days per year (hence the recent hashtag #cleanse365) and therefore need to do our part to protect our health.

Each day, we inhale toxins in the air that we breathe. We choose personal care products that are reaped with chemicals and synthetic ingredients. And the typical North American diet, which is high in processed foods, also contributes to our toxic load. Cleansing is more important than ever before because our 7 elimination pathways (lungs, liver, colon, skin, blood, kidneys, and lymphatic system) are overloaded, overworked, and overburdened. By supporting the body’s natural ability to detoxify, we can help reduce internal toxicity and minimize the risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

Why does cleansing have a bad reputation?

The practice of cleansing has been around for hundreds of years. From water fasts to juicing, and laxative herbs, people have been looking for natural ways to cleanse their body for centuries. Unfortunately, many cleanses are aggressive and since they often result in intense trips to the bathroom or cleansing reactions (e.g. headaches, flu-like symptoms, digestive upset, and fatigue), they have developed a negative reputation.

Although many people view all cleanses as equal, they are in fact quite different and affect the body in various ways.

I only recommend gentle cleanses and strongly advise against extended fasting or severely reducing calories. Naturopathic Doctors believe that cleansing ought to be a positive experience that nourishes the body from within. There is no need for messy herbal concoctions made in the kitchen and it is not necessary to follow a strict diet. The most important aspect of cleansing is the right herbal ingredients taken in the right ratios.

Doctors don’t support the concept of cleansing…what would you like to say to them?

Many doctors do not support the concept of cleansing because they believe that the body is designed by nature to cleanse itself. In many ways, I agree with them. However, that being said, in today’s toxic world, the organs of elimination are unfortunately struggling to keep up. We’ve bombarded our bodies with toxins – think about our nutritionally-deficient food supply, poor air quality, chemically-ridden beauty products and heavy-duty cleaning solutions.

Naturopathic Doctors believe that the reason for the increased rise in chronic disease and illness is due to toxicity in the body. By reducing toxin exposure and supporting the organs of elimination, we can prevent disease and reduce uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms. Cleansing ought to be viewed as an empowering solution to our modern day way of life.

How do you know if the root cause of symptoms is toxins or another underlying issue?

We don’t always know what the root cause of a symptom is. As doctors, we need to do a proper assessment, take a detailed intake, and in many cases, run necessary laboratory tests while trying to identify the underlying issue.

That being said, in the last decade of clinical practice, I’ve witnessed patients with all sorts of health problems improve by way of cleansing. In my experience, a large percentage of health issues present when the body is loaded with toxins.

Canadians should be aware that toxins may aggravate or contribute to symptoms, regardless of whether or not they are the root cause.

How many Canadians are affected by toxins?

Every single Canadian is affected. Even with healthy organic eating, we are exposed to environmental toxins that we simply cannot avoid. Each one of us carries toxins to some extent.

Umbilical cord blood that was tested presented with 287 toxins before birth. Pretty scary to think that even an unborn child is affected by chemicals.

“Of the 287 chemicals detected in umbilical cord blood, 180 cause cancer in humans or animals and 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system.” 1

What happens if a person does not cleanse regularly?

If a person chooses not to cleanse regularly (2 – 4 times per year), they will typically experience a worsening of symptoms over time or feel lousy and fatigued.

I cleanse four times per year and I recommend cleansing to my patients as step one in their treatment protocol. Canadians need to do their part in order to protect their health and ensure optimal well-being. Beyond healthy eating and exercise, we must minimize toxin exposure, support a healthy gut, and cleanse 2-4 times per year.

Why should people attend a #cleanse365 lecture and learn about cleansing?

Education and knowledge benefit each one of us. By attending one of Renew Life’s free lectures in your local area, you will not only learn more about the scary impact of toxicity and have a better understanding of why cleansing is necessary in today’s world, you will also receive helpful tools and cleansing protocols that have been designed to support a lifetime of better health.

I encourage every person in the community to make an effort to come out and learn. Without regular cleansing, we are at increased risk of poor gut health, diabetes, weight gain, mood disorders, pain, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, illness, and poor health. Cleansing is one of the best ways to protect ourselves and our families and it all starts with education.

I have been recommending cleansing to my patients for over a decade and I have seen a profound impact in their health and well-being. I am committed to empowering each one of you to enjoy the incredible health journey that you have embarked on.

By attending a #cleanse365 event, you will learn:

  • Why toxins may be the root cause of common health problems.
  • How the brain influences digestion, immunity, and metabolism.
  • The scary impact of toxins and everyday stress on health and well-being.
  • How cleansing solutions can help alleviate common symptoms.
  • How to detoxify without dieting.
  • Simple strategies to achieve increased energy, radiant skin, and optimal digestion!

Happy Cleansing!

About the Author

Renew Life Team

Renew Life Team

Our team of Digestive Care experts is committed to empowering Canadians to achieve optimal health every day. Since 2002, the Renew Life Team has been dedicated to educating the public about digestive health, cleansing, nutrition, and well-being. As leaders in the natural health field, we go the extra mile to ensure we are delivering valuable resources and helpful information to inspire better health and well-being for your entire family.