10 Ways to Detoxify Your Bodyby
Deborahann Smith edited by Brian Bartholomew D.C.
Feeling sluggish or
out of sync? Having skin problems, aches and pains, or digestive
problems? Straying from your healthier habits lately? It might be time
for a detox.
10 Ways to Help Your Body Detoxify
Practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world — including ayurvedic
and Chinese medicine systems — detoxification is about resting,
cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and
eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients,
detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to
maintain optimum health.
The body has its own natural healing system and Detoxification greatly enhances this system.
How Does Detoxification Work?
Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood and body. It does this mainly
by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are
processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the
kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is
compromised, impurities aren't properly filtered and every cell in the
body is adversely affected producing dis-ease.
A detox program can help the body's natural cleaning process by:
1) Resting the organs through fasting;
2) Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
3) Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin;
4) Improving circulation of the blood; and
5) Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.
Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of individual cells, the smallest units of human life.
How Do You Know if You Need to Detoxify?
Because of toxins in our environment and food everyone should detox at least once a year. A
short detoxifying program is generally safe; in fact, scientific studies
show that a detox is beneficial for health. However nursing mothers, children, and patients with
chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis should use caution.
Where Do You Begin?
First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee,
cigarettes, refined sugars and poly un-saturated fats, all of which act as
toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also,
minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
Another deterrent to good health is stress,
which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system.
While these hormones can provide the "adrenaline rush" to win a race or
meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down
detoxification enzymes in the liver. So it's a good idea to detox
stressful life situations along with detoxifying your body. Yoga, chiropractic and meditation
are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your
physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring.
1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice, quinoa and organically-grown fresh
fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli,
spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion
root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea or squeezing a
quarter to an eight of a lemon in your water.
3. Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver
compound that drives away toxins especially heavy metals like mercury
4. Drink at least 2 quarts or half your body weight in ounces of
water daily preferably lemon water and or water from a reverse osmosis
5. Breathe deeply
to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
Count your average breaths per minute, 12-20 is normal, if you are in
the high 20's or 30's you are panting like a dog and not allowing your
body to de-toxify properly.
6. Transform stress
by emphasizing positive emotions, changing out any dis-empowering thoughts with healing, empowering ideas.
7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes,
allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30
seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
8. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.
9. Dry-brush your skin or try detoxifying patches
or detox foot spas / foot baths
to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.
10. What is the most important way to detoxify? "Exercise," says
Bennett. "Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day." Also try qigong
a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises
specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other
exercises with specific health benefits.