By: Belinda Anderson, MindBodyGreen.com
The body is exposed to toxic chemicals every day through food, drink, skin care products, the environment, and household chemicals. Reducing your toxic load is a great step towards your wellness.
Detoxing gives your body a break from the toxic excess that modern life creates; it cleanses your body and makes you feel as if you’re bursting with energy and full of vitality (although maybe not so much in the early stages of your detox, especially if you live a rather toxic life). Detoxing isn't about deprivation or starving yourself. That will do nothing more than leave you feeling lethargic, cranky, and irritable. In fact, during a detox you need to focus on your body’s nutritional needs by feeding it more vitamins and minerals than usual.
Let’s look at eight simple things you can implement into your lifestyle to assist your body to cleanse every day:
1. Have a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon.
Squeeze it first thing in the morning, and your digestion will thank you.
2. Drink plenty of filtered water.
Keep a bottle in your car, on your desk and in your bag, and regularly sip it throughout the day. Aim to drink at least eight glasses every day (approximately two liters), more if you're active and sweating.
3. Grab yourself a dry body brush.
This practice is great for stimulating the lymph nodes and circulation, and for supporting the elimination of toxins. Use it morning or night before you shower. You can brush anywhere from 2-10, minutes depending how much time you have. Begin at the ankles and work upwards towards the major lymph nodes, such as the groin, armpits and base of neck. Avoid using on breasts, genitalia area, sensitive skin, varicose veins, open wounds or inflamed skin. After you've finished brushing, jump in the shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
4. Hot and cold showers invigorate the skin and stimulate circulation.
When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation is directed inward toward the internal organs. As the outside temperature gets hot, the flow of circulation draws the blood outwards towards the surface This has the effect of unblocking stuck flows, increasing the rate of detoxification. Start with the shower comfortably hot for about 10 seconds, then turn to cold, and back to hot again. Repeat as many times as you wish.
5. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing activates our Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps clear our mind, burn fat, speed up our metabolism, and remove toxins from our body. Try this: Take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose, hold for two seconds, then breathe out through your nose or mouth, like you're attempting to fog up a mirror (no huffing, puffing or blowing). As you go throughout your day, be mindful of your breathing.
6. Eat clean, whole foods that are close to nature as often possible.
Fill your plate with the colors of the rainbow: beautiful seasonal fruits and vegetables.
7. Have a look at what’s in your skin care and home cleaning products.
Your skin is your largest organ; what you expose this important gateway to needs to be clean. The products you apply absorb into the skin and enter your bloodstream. The next time you purchase something, read the packaging; if you can’t pronounce any of the ingredients or you don’t recognize them, try to steer clear.
8. Soak in a detox bath for 20-30 minutes.
Add a handful of freshly grated or chopped ginger to your bath, then fill it up with hot water. The ginger will make you sweat, and sweating is a potent way to get rid of toxins. An apple cider vinegar or baking soda bath will provide similar results (1 cup of each). I occasionally combine two or three of these together to really draw out the toxins. Ensure you drink plenty of water during and after your bath, and be aware that you may feel lightheaded when you get out, so take it easy. Do these simple things on a consistent basis and your health and well-being will soar.