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919 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511
Telephone: (919) 380-0023

Tackling Addiction: Treating the Cause, Changing the Habit

At the Alternative Health Center of Cary, clients are seen with various addictions, including overeating, smoking, and substance abuse.

Dr. Darlene Holloway, ND

“When it comes to overeating,” explains Dr. Darlene Holloway, ND, “addiction to sugar can be the culprit, but quite frequently, performance pressure, depression, and smoking support and fuel that addiction.

“It is the emotion fueling depression that needs to be examined. Perhaps a client has recently lost a loved one, and they turn to unhealthy eating as a form of diversion and comfort. There are two factors that cause people to overeat: food as comfort, or eating because they’re depressed. In both instances, eating becomes an excessive activity that gets out of hand, and the client simply doesn’t know how to reverse these impulses.

“Our first course of action with these clients,” says Dr. Holloway, “is to attempt to detox. The visual impact of seeing what is eliminated from the body when they have colon hydrotherapy can be mind-blowing. People are unaware of the toxins that are retained in their colons. After detox therapy, we discuss the dangers associated with recirculated toxins in the body and how cancers can grow because of the food we eat, the addictions we hold on to, and the toxins we carry.

“The next step is to provide the tools to change. Most people need to start with simple steps, because major changes are challenging. We may encourage a daily walk to begin the restorative process. Initial steps are a building block to major improvement. We talk about what certain foods do to the body, and how emotions play a role as well. What is the impetus behind their eating, how it began, and how long has it been going on? It’s a different path for each person.”

And there are other options, she points out. “If overeating has been a long-standing problem, then we might talk about going on the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) diet to jump-start the process of change. It’s a very strict diet over a period of 23 or 43 days, employing HCG—a natural hormone that is known to break down abnormal body fat. On this diet, the weight you lose comes from targeting your fat cells, not your muscles. And we have found that, once they start losing weight and feel the change in their bodies, they most often stay on the path.

“If eating is brought on by emotions that began within the last year,” she adds, “we try to un-trigger the emotion. It’s our job to delve into the emotional aspect of their addiction because that’s where many of the problems lie.”

The Challenge of Smoking

“Heavy smokers come to us with an entirely different set of health issues,” notes Dr. Holloway, “many of them involving the respiratory system; they suffer with constant colds and sore throats. Smoking also interferes with the proper digestion of their food. I’ve had quite a few people come in who want to quit smoking and one of my responses to them is that they need to change their taste buds. I know from personal experience what it takes to quit smoking—what I went through, and the changes I had to make in my body’s environment, such as cleaning up my diet and doing a juice fast. We never suggest juices that have carrots, beets, or fruits because they have too much sugar, and I feel that sugar feeds the tobacco habit to some extent.

“The answer lies in cleaning up their diet and changing the pH balance—the measure of acidity or alkalinity in their mouth and body—allowing them to let go of toxins. Then we do a total detox. Tobacco is like drugs. You’ve got to cleanse the body to get rid of it, because when it’s in there, the body wants more of it. Once the body is detoxed and re-nourished, it can finally do what it was designed to do and let go of the addiction.”

The Alternative Health Center of Cary offers a full range of services: ion detoxification, colon hydrotherapy, sports and deep tissue massage, lymphatic draining, reflexology, structural integration, biofeedback, and pregnancy, infant, and Swedish massage/therapeutic massage.

In 2009, Dr. Holloway was named Colon Therapist of the Year by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy, and she remains active as an instructor with the Association.