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The Tao of Detox

The Secrets of Yang-Sheng Dao

Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A practical guide to preventing and treating the toxic assault on our bodies

• Shows how the practices of periodic detox and “rational retox” can counteract the toxic nature of our modern lifestyles, diets, and environment

• Provides ancient Chinese methods and remedies that help the body repair itself

• Includes detoxification techniques, formulas, and exercises that work within 10 days

Despite the wonders of modern medicine, the state of human health throughout the world is eroding at an alarming rate. The long-term accumulation of toxins and acid waste in our bodies--both from the chemically contaminated air we breathe and water we drink as well as the toxins we ingest in the form of low quality food, preservatives, and additives--damages our organs, corrodes our joints and arteries, enervates our nervous system, and inhibits our immune system. Chronic pain and fatigue, hypertension and heart failure, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, indigestion, insomnia, and even acne, are all caused by the long-term accumulation of toxins in our bodies.

In The Tao of Detox Daniel Reid combines traditional Eastern practices and the latest of modern Western thinking to offer detoxification methods that can repair in as little as seven to ten days much of the long-term damage done. He provides breathing exercises, massage techniques, and soft exercises such as yoga and tai chi that help the body to heal itself. He also explains the importance of “rational retoxification,” which allows the careful reintroduction of less healthy substances, and offers ways to counteract those toxins we can’t--or don’t want to--avoid, including alcohol and tobacco. Reid explains that, just as we care for our cars with regular tune-ups, by practicing periodic detox as well as “rational retox,” we can enjoy long and healthy lives and still be able to “eat, drink, and be merry.”


from Chapter 5

Food: Detox Diet and Supplements

What you don’t eat is actually more important than what you do eat during a detox program. The basic dietary strategy for detox is to totally eliminate all acid-forming foods and beverages and to consume only small amounts of a few simple alkalizing items that provide the basic mix of essential nutrients required by the body when it’s in detox mode.


“The longest journey begins with a single step.” The first step in the direction of detox is to abstain completely from eating or drinking anything that produces an acid reaction in the digestive tract and leaves acid residues in the blood and tissues. This step should be taken a week or more before you start your full detox program. Some processed foods, such as refined sugar and starch, as well as many chemical food additives, have addictive properties similar to drugs when consumed in large amounts over long periods of time, and it’s much easier on the body to withdraw these items from the diet gradually, rather than stopping suddenly. Leaping abruptly from a highly acidic state of toxemia into an alkaline state of intensive detox can produce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms popularly known as “cold turkey.” By starting to abstain from all acid-forming food and drink a week or more before implementing the main parts of your detox program, you give your body a chance to adjust incrementally to the rigors of the alkalization and detoxification process.

First and foremost, you should eliminate all animal-source food products from your diet during detox, including meat, eggs, and dairy products. All animal products are extremely acidifying to the digestive tract and bloodstream, and they also produce highly putrefactive protein wastes in the bowels. Cancer cells thrive on animal proteins and multiply rapidly in the highly acidic environment they create in the body, while worms and parasites flourish in the toxic sludge they leave glued to the bowel wall. By eliminating all acid-forming animal products from your diet and taking additional measures to alkalize your blood and tissues, you starve any cancer cells that may be developing in the body and rob them of the acidic environment they require to multiply and form tumors. In light of the pandemic spread of cancer throughout all segments of society today, this preventive strategy against cancer is a primary goal of any detox program.

Animal-based foods require a tremendous amount of energy and enzyme power to digest and process, far more than plant-based foods. If you eat meat, eggs, and dairy products while trying to detoxify your blood and tissues, there is simply no way your body can muster the extra reserves of energy and enzymes it needs to cleanse and repair itself. Rather than using these reserves for detox functions such as dissolving developing tumors, dismantling damaged cells, and destroying dangerous microbes, your body will be forced by your diet to divert most of its energy and enzyme power to digestive duty in order to process the complex proteins and heavy fats in animal foods, and deal with the putrid acid wastes they produce in the digestive tract. This defeats the very purpose of detox and should therefore be strictly avoided.

Another category of food that should be deleted completely from the diet during detox is refined starch, especially white flour products such as bread, pasta, and pastries. These items are highly acid-forming and burn up a tremendous amount of energy and enzymes to process. Moreover, since they provide absolutely nothing of nutritional value to the detox process, they should be totally cut from the detox diet anyway. All highly refined food products that enter the human body stripped naked of their essential nutrients must borrow the missing nutrients from the body’s reserves in order to complete their nutritional profiles so that they may be properly digested and metabolized in the body. Consequently, eating highly refined processed foods actually robs the body of the essential nutrients it needs to support the detox process.

The most hazardous dietary item of all in terms of its acid-forming, nutrient-robbing properties is refined white sugar. Refined sugar, or “sucrose,” acidifies the bloodstream faster and more severely than any other food on earth, and by far the worst offender in this category is the sugary sweet, fizzy “Acid Bomb” known as the “soft drink.” One 12-ounce serving of Coke, Pepsi, and similar soft drinks delivers a sugar fix equivalent to about 9 teaspoons of refined white sugar straight to the bloodstream, instantly acidifying the bloodstream to the extreme point that, without an immediate emergency response from the body, it would kill you in a matter of minutes. To counteract the sudden radical rise in blood acidity that a glass of sweet carbonated cola causes and reestablish viable balance in blood pH before you drop dead, you’d have to quickly drink 32 glasses of alkaline water. Of course, nobody drinks 32 glasses of alkaline water after each serving of a soft drink, so instead, in order to prevent death by acidosis, the body reacts swiftly by drawing huge amounts of organic calcium from the bones and teeth and pouring it into the bloodstream to neutralize the excess acids and quickly restore alkaline balance.

Calcium is the body’s most potent alkalizing agent and one of the most essential elements required for detox. If you consume soft drinks and other refined sweets during a detox program, not only will they continuously acidify your blood and tissues when you’re supposed to be alkalizing them instead, they’ll also drain away all your vital calcium reserves and force your body to leach additional calcium from your bones and teeth to combat the constant influx of acids. This defensive response to excess acidosis in the bloodstream has become one of the main causes of osteoporosis, particularly in America, where people consume an astounding average of 53 teaspoons of refined white sugar per day, much of it in the form of carbonated soft drinks.

About The Author

Daniel Reid has a Master’s degree in Chinese language and civilization, and he studied Taoist practices in Taiwan for 16 years and in Thailand for 10 before moving to Australia in 1999. He is the author of several books, including The Tao of Health, Sex & Longevity and The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing, and the translator of My Journey in Mystic China, John Blofeld's autobiographical account of his years spent in pre-Communist China.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (October 25, 2006)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781594771422

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Raves and Reviews

“Anyone who has grown up in the overfed, over-drugged West will want to keep this book handy.”

– Bill Porter (aka Red Pine), author of Road to Heaven, translator of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching

“Of all the current experts and practitioners writing about traditional Chinese medicine, Daniel Reid is unique in his balanced methods of blending the East and the West. This is a timely book.”

– Chungliang Al Huang, author of Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain

“In this well-written book, Daniel Reid shares with us his heartfelt purification techniques, from ancient Chinese life science to modern science. I recommend this book to those who are on their path of health and well being.”

– Zhongxian Wu, author of Vital Breath of the Dao

"I found The Tao of Detox to be very comprehensive, making it a valuable reference book."

– Dhara Lemos, Lotus Guide magazine, Sept/Oct 2007

"Whether you are intersted in doing a pure fast or something more gentle and customized, The Tao of Detox will provide you the guidelines to create a specific detox plan based on your needs and priorities. Highly recommended!"

– Mystic Pop, July 2008

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