Detox | Part 3

Advanced Detoxification

Dr. Aaron Hartman

July 9, 2024


Curious about my go-to detoxification tools for patients?

First, it’s essential to work with a skilled practitioner when using these techniques. In part 2 of this series, I discuss how clean water, air, food, and nutrients support detoxification—basic lifestyle changes most people can adopt without a practitioner.

The tools below are more advanced, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re healthy enough to use them. Always consult with a practitioner and your personal doctor before trying any of these methods.

Advanced Detox Strategies


Among its many other benefits, fasting also promotes detoxification. It actually ramps up phase 1 detoxification, which pulls toxins out of the tissues so that, in phase 2, we can eliminate them through sweat, stool, urine, etc. As we’ve discussed in previous posts on fasting, it’s important to be sure that you’re healthy enough to fast.

While the best results from fasting come from a 3–5 day water fast, most Americans aren’t currently healthy enough for even a 24-hour water fast. However, intermittent fasting, 16:8 time-restricted eating, keto-flex, and fasting-mimicking diets can improve metabolic health and are safer for most people. It’s essential to consult with your practitioner to determine which method is right for you, allowing you to start at an appropriate level and build from there.

Go Deeper

If you’ve heard whispers about the transformative power of fasting but haven’t yet ventured into this realm, now is the perfect time to explore the ancient wisdom and modern science of fasting. Explore: The Power of Fasting


Recent data from Scandinavia highlights the health benefits of sauna use. I personally use an infrared sauna at home and recommend them because they’re accessible, easy to use, and can be used frequently. However, most research on sauna use focuses on traditional heat saunas, which are typically around 180 degrees and commonly found in gyms.

Saunas help detoxify certain solvents and chemicals through the skin. Additionally, new research shows that saunas stimulate the production of heat-shock proteins (HSP), which your body produces when its core temperature rises.

It’s important to consult your healthcare provider to ensure you’re healthy enough to use a sauna.

Vibration Devices

For those unable to engage in regular exercise, vibration devices provide a practical alternative for maintaining health. These devices stimulate muscle contractions and improve circulation, similar to the effects of traditional exercise. Benefits include enhanced muscle strength, improved bone density, and boosted metabolism.

We have one at home, called the Galileo, which we use with our daughter. Vibration devices are also available in some gyms. While outdoor physical activity is ideal, not everyone is healthy enough to exercise, so vibration devices can be a good alternative.

IV Therapies

You may have heard of IV vitamin C, IV glutathione, or other IV therapies. IV Nutritional Therapy infuses high doses of vitamins, nutrients, and nutraceuticals (nutrients that act like medicine) directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your GI tract. These can be powerful detoxification tools but must be administered by a knowledgeable provider.

Typically, a practitioner prescribes these treatments, allowing for higher doses—such as 20 – 30 grams of vitamin C. Some clinics use IV glutathione to help children with autism detoxify mercury. There is fascinating literature emerging on the benefits of IV therapies.

Go Deeper

RIFM currently offers IV Therapy for all members. Explore: IV Therapy at RIFM

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

HBOT involves spending time in a chamber with oxygen levels much higher than those in the surrounding air. This helps deliver more oxygen to tissues with low oxygen tension, promoting faster healing. Additionally, HBOT accelerates cellular metabolism, aiding in quicker detoxification. This is an exciting concept with many promising applications.

While HBOT is not currently available in central Virginia, hopefully, it will be soon.


Flushes have been used for thousands of years. For example, enemas were practiced in the Middle East as early as the 3rd century BC. While these methods might seem unusual compared to modern Western medicine, they are not new.

The mildest flush I sometimes recommend is a coffee enema, which can increase glutathione by 800% and flush toxins from the GI tract. However, consult your practitioner to ensure you’re healthy enough for this, as adverse reactions can occur. Next is a vitamin C flush, which involves taking high doses of vitamin C to cleanse the GI tract and liver. While there are concerns about kidney stones from high vitamin C doses, I have never seen this and question its validity, though it is mentioned in the literature. Finally, I sometimes recommend a liver flush using large amounts of magnesium sulfate (sourced appropriately) and olive oil to achieve a “liver squeeze” and expel toxins.

These flushes can be very effective for patients needing a rapid, whole-body detox.

Detoxification & Specific Conditions

Autoimmune Disease

In people with autoimmune issues, symptoms can sometimes flare during detoxification. I often recommend supplements like buffered vitamin C or activated charcoal for these patients. These binding agents help to expel toxins from the GI tract, minimizing flares.

Diet also has a significant impact on autoimmune diseases. A paleo diet, which is gluten, dairy, and soy-free, can effectively calm the immune response and reduce toxic burden. People with autoimmune diseases must be careful not to trigger a flare during detoxification and should work with a skilled practitioner to guide them through the process.

Go Deeper

Both autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases involve your immune system (though different parts), and both result from cellular inflammation. Explore: Autoinflammatory & Autoimmune Disease

Neurological Disease

For neurodegenerative issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, ensuring proper digestion during detoxification is crucial. If a detox protocol is followed but the person isn’t having regular bowel movements, it can lead to enterohepatic circulation, where toxins are recycled instead of excreted.

Regular bowel movements are essential to prevent the reabsorption of toxins and effectively eliminate waste. This is particularly important for people with neurological issues, who often experience constipation. Consistent bowel movements are vital for everyone, especially older patients with neurological conditions.

Go Deeper

As the prevalence of Alzheimer’s continues to rise, understanding the disease and how to prevent it becomes increasingly crucial. Explore: Protecting Your Mind— Essential Strategies to Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Gastrointestinal Issues

In many cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, I observe an intolerance to bacteria in the GI tract, particularly yeast. For these patients, I often focus on clearing yeast overgrowth using a sugar-free and gluten-free diet. Herbal remedies can also help reduce yeast overgrowth. I use specific tests to identify yeast antibodies, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida antibodies.

When treating yeast overgrowth, we must be cautious with herbals, as they can cause symptom flares due to yeast die-off. Buffered vitamin C, binders, and lipid therapy can help bind and excrete toxins without causing flares. Sometimes, medications are necessary to address the yeast affecting these patients. This intolerance to gut bacteria is a common issue in inflammatory bowel disease.

Go Deeper

While 5 – 7% of adults in the United States receive a diagnosis, experts estimate that 10 – 15% of the population has IBS. Explore: Overcoming IBS


It bears repeating that it’s so important to work with a skilled practitioner to make sure you’re healthy enough to do any of these more advanced detoxification techniques. Some people may experience a Herxheimer reaction during detox, indicating the need for a gentler approach. Knowledgeable medical supervision is critical to this.


Recognizing the impact of toxic load on our health is the first step towards achieving whole-person wellness. From the 80,000 chemicals recognized by the EPA, many are present in our everyday environments, affecting our food, water, air, and homes. These toxins contribute to chronic illnesses, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular issues. Understanding and addressing our toxic burden is crucial for restoring health and preventing further harm.

Our bodies are naturally equipped to detoxify, but chronic exposure can overwhelm these systems, leading to toxin buildup and associated health problems. By implementing a foundational detox plan—focusing on clean water, food, air, and movement—we can support our body’s natural detoxification processes. Additionally, advanced detox strategies like fasting, sauna use, and specific supplements can further enhance this process but should be pursued with professional guidance.

Take a meaningful step today by starting with small, manageable changes. Begin by drinking clean water, eating organic food, and incorporating regular movement into your routine. These actions, supported by a comprehensive understanding of detoxification, can pave the way to a healthier, more vibrant life.

Remember, you were made for health—embrace this journey towards whole-body wellness and reclaim your vitality.

Further Reading

Detox Part 1: Is Toxic Load Causing Your Health Issues?
Detox Part 2: A Foundational Detox Plan
Detox Part 3: Advanced Detoxification
Coaches Corner: Reducing Our Toxic Load

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