The Importance of Detox: How to be Fully Awake and Heal

by: Ourania Stephanopoulos-Chichura, MD

Many of you know that I have a heart for constantly searching for the truth and root causes of problems. Toxins are often the root causes of the medical problems I see brought by patients to our clinic. Toxins can be present on multiple levels including physical, electromagnetic/energetic, and emotional (which is something I think is often forgotten or passed over).

On a physical level, we encounter toxins from the day we are conceived. The Environmental Working Group study in 2005 analyzed umbilical cord blood samples from newborn babies and found, on average, 200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals present in our children. Chemicals found included fire retardants, DDT, PCBs, fossil fuels, and mercury, to name a few. “Of the total 287 chemicals found in the newborn umbilical cord blood, 180 cause cancers in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause developmental problems….The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination have never been studied.”2 Where are these toxins coming from? Some of the hidden sources you may be encountering daily include mattresses, perfumes, cleaning products, air fresheners, non-stick cookware, plastic food containers, plastic water bottles, cosmetics, antiperspirants, fabric softeners, shower curtains, bug spray, canned foods, dry cleaned clothing, desktop computers and laptops, and BPA-lined paper receipts.

The list of environmental toxins coming into our bodies goes on and on. However, did you know that toxins can also be generated inside of us? When we are unable to digest our food completely, especially animal proteins, the undigested food sits in our small intestine and literally rots, yes rots! The bacteria and yeast can overgrow and produce endotoxins such as putrescine, cadaverine, and indicant, which overwhelm our gut and liver and can begin to enter our bloodstream, leading to skin rashes, brain fog, fatigue, belly pain, gas, bloating, obesity, inflammation and many other symptoms. Moreover, the small intestine is approximately 40 feet long and is not currently evaluated on colonoscopy or routine medical screenings. This toxicity is ongoing and completely under the radar for most Americans. The naturopathic community has taught this for decades and the research is starting to acknowledge this information under the name of “metabolic endotoxemia” with regard to altered gut bacteria and obesity.3

Beyond the physical level, toxins can be encountered on an electromagnetic level through cell phones, wireless internet, satellite towers, power lines, microwaves, “smart meters” on our homes, and metal plumbing. Electric fields are produced whether or not a device is turned on, and magnetic fields are produced when a device is turned on. Another form of electromagnetic field (EMF) toxicity more common to most is radiation, including X-rays, CT scans, microwaves, radiation used in cancer treatment, and radon gas. Ionizing radiation is known to damage DNA and can be a cause of cancer.4 High levels of radon exposure have been shown to cause lung cancer. High levels of certain types of radiation have been shown to cause cases of thyroid cancer, leukemia, skin cancer, and angiosarcoma.

Even beyond the electromagnetic level, toxins can be encountered in our emotions, our words, and how we treat ourselves and others around us. Let me name some of them: fear, guilt, anger, bitterness, self-hatred, lack of self -worth, and feeling powerless. Words have meaning and our bodies hear every word we say.5 Don’t believe me? Think it is fluff? Look at the work of Dr.Masaru Emoto. He was a Japanese author who would photograph snowflakes made from water after negative words were spoken over it and also after positive words were spoken over the water. Look at the difference.6,7

Water crystals under the effect of various words © Masaru Emoto

Look at the beautiful order of the peaceful words or music and the imperfections of the harmful words or music.

Emoto said that water has a memory and that our consciousness, our words, can influence the water. When you stop and reflect that the human body is made up of at least 60% water and as high as 75%-78% in infants and children, how we treat ourselves and others clearly has a huge impact on our individual health, and the health of all of us collectively as a single body. We are much more connected than we realize.

So how do we heal? How do we wake up? The beginning of healing includes detoxification on all levels and replacing the bad with good – positive thoughts, positive energy, surrounding ourselves with community, eating whole foods full of light and grown with care and love, learning what our emotions are telling us and healing old traumas, and finding our joy and purpose. Fill in any deficiency of love.

Below I have made a table of some methods that can be used for detox. Please discuss with your doctor to determine what may be appropriate for you because we are all unique.


Physical Detox Electromagnetic Detox Energetic/Emotional Detox
-bowel support/cleansing

-lymphatic drainage massage

-skin brushing


-green smoothies

-nutrient support

-organic whole foods

-purified water

-fermented foods/probiotics


-amino acids

-liver support

-epsom salt baths

-fasting/fasting mimicking diet

-labs to help detox:

-amino acids

-glutathione level

-CRP for inflammation

-mineral levels

-vitamin levels

-liver and kidney function tests

-indicant level

-heavy metal levels

-environmental pollutant levels

-pesticide levels

-structured water

-homeopathic formulations

-turning off wireless internet while sleeping


-electromagnetic therapy (ex: PEMF, BEMER)


-learning to communicate effectively

-healing any wounds from childhood or relationships

-verbalizing when something hurts us

-speaking goodness over ourselves and others


-giving attention to the positive instead of the negative



With great love,



Ourania T. Stephanopoulos-Chichura, MD, is a native of Ohio and a third generation healer in her family. Her great-grandmother, Baba Devitini, was the local village healer and midwife in Greece where Dr. Nia’s family originated. Dr. Nia has always had a desire to find root causes to medical problems by asking “why?” She attended medical school at KU Medical Center, where she also completed a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine. She is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Nia enjoys time with her patients and feels that her mission is to serve her family and patients through Integrative Medicine. Her vision is to create a space through the Riordan Clinic where all are welcome and can come for healing of mind, body and soul. She is currently accepting new patients at the Riordan Clinic, Kansas City location.



  3. Cani, P. Gut Microbiome and energy metabolism: the concept of MicrObesity. Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29 S4.3
  5. Barbara Hoberman. Your Body Hears Every Word You Say. Words Work Press. Connecticut. 2000