AcuDetox clears organs, relieves digestion

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AcuDetox is using a combination of massage, acupuncture and warm caster oil to help relieve constipation. (KABC)

"Detox" has become a big buzzword, especially when it comes to combating digestive disorders. But rather than take an over-the-counter medication or supplement, some people are turning to a few rather unusual techniques to get the body back on track.

There's a new trend called AcuDetox.

It might not look like it, but these people are attempting to tame their stomach troubles with age-old techniques.

"It detoxifies your organs and empties out the bowels," acupuncturist Brenda Smith said.

AcuDetox is massage, acupuncture and a warm castor-oil pack that helps relieve constipation and aid digestion, Smith said.

"Castor oil has been used for thousands of years all over Europe and Asia, so we're using it now for its abilities to diffuse through the skin, where it absorbs into the organs and tissues, which really helps to increase circulation, bring down inflammation," acupuncturist Elisa Angelone said.

Offered at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, Angelone said it actually temporarily upsets the system.

"It creates a mild irritation, which in this case is a good thing because it encourages the movement of fluids, blood circulation, and enhances the immune system," Angelone said.

But Smith cautions make sure your therapist is experienced in this technique.

"You definitely don't want to do it around your cycle," Smith said.

They also need to know how to palpate the liver and stomach properly to assist, not deter, elimination.

Now if you can't stomach the idea of castor oil on your belly, perhaps this will get you going:

"Relaxation and meditation can be very, very helpful, as well as certain techniques that are very specific for stimulating and balancing," said Christina Pabers of Naam Yoga L.A., a kinesiologist who holds a Ph.D. in Chinese medicine.

Praber uses sound and vibration therapy with acupuncture to increase circulation and reduce stress.

"To really stimulate the nervous system, breath is very, very important, because we have sensors in between our rib cage and in our neck that actually monitoring our rate of breath, the depth of breath, the rhythm of breath," Pabers said. "So we have these energy highways that are working and connecting everything in our body and our limbs and our organs and our brain."

These experts feel looking within is better than self-medicating with over-the-counter products.

"This is much more intuitive and gentle," said Angelone. "We're trying to avoid anything that's too abrupt."

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