When people think of going through detox, they often conjure up images of drug-addicts or smokers going through a painful period of ridding their bodies of poisons. While I plan to share some gentle, healthful detoxification methods with you, I will note that most of us do indeed have accumulated poisons in our bodies that are the result chemicals that we eat, and toxins in our air, water, and environment. The comparison to drug addicts is an apt one, because many of us are indeed addicted to foods and chemicals that we consume daily, which we would do well to be rid of.
The body’s major systems and organs of detoxification are the skin, liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, the circulatory system, and the lymphatic system. They are designed to flush toxins out. Yet, because our bodies are exposed to far greater toxic loads today, and because of our modern diets, these organs and systems are overwhelmed and undernourished – they just can’t do the job as originally designed. They need our help.
The benefits of detoxifying cannot be overstated – detoxing improves and supports immune function, which allows us stay free of inflammatory disorders, immune challenges, and general lack of well-being. Detoxing reduces the inflammation that our bodies are riddled with, and which is responsible for much sickness and chronic pain. Detoxing allows for an alkaline environment within the body that is unfriendly to cancer growth. Detoxing allows organs like the liver and stomach to function far better, leaving you feeling lighter, and giving you increased energy. Detoxing will easily have you shed unnecessary water-and-fat retention, and allow you to achieve a healthy weight. Detoxing will allow you to combat both fatigue and insomnia. And finally, detoxing will actually allow your brain to work better, letting you think clearly, get more work done, and enjoy your leisure time more than ever.
While everyone could stand to do some major detoxifying with practices such as a Liver Cleanse (as detailed in the book Do You Have the Guts to Be Beautiful?), there are also minor changes that you can make to implement significant detoxification in your body every single day.
1. Drink. Water, of course. This does more than help you detox – proper hydration is fabulous for the body on many levels. Be sure to drink at least three liters (or more than 12 cups) of water each day, and more than that if you’re overweight, exercising vigorously, or are sick. The healthiest water is distilled or reverse osmosis water with added minerals. And if you can’t be with the water that you love then love the water you’re with.
2. Fast. Believe it or not, skipping dinner gives your body valuable time to detoxify, and the energy that it would otherwise spend processing a large meal can then be spent on making enzymes that tag and remove chemicals through your body, especially your liver. The ideal meal to skip is dinner: breakfast is important if you’re busy and active, but skipping dinner means that your body has at least 15 hours to do this important work. In an ideal world, all of us would eat our last meal of the day before 3 or 4 pm, and let our bodies detox each night. But even doing it occasionally has benefits. Start by skipping dinner one night per week, and see how you feel. Add more days if you find yourself feeling under the weather, if lots of people around you are sick and you’re trying to avoid the colds-and-flus of the season, if you’ve had a particularly unhealthy meal (or three), or if you just need some extra energy and immune support.
3. Soak. Take a hot bath with several hands-full of sea-salts for 30 minutes. Add some Epsom salts as well if you have muscle soreness or fatigue. While you’re at it, you might as well enjoy the experience; light some candles, play your favorite music, or read a book. Relaxation is important for overall health, and a useful part of detoxifying, plus it just feels good. Use exfoliating gloves after the half hour bath to exfoliate dead skin cells that have been loosened nicely by the soak. You can also do a foot soak with sea salt while watching television or reading, and toxins will be drawn out through the skin of the feet.
These three simple steps can help immensely in your body’s ongoing fight against toxins.
There are many other things – large and small – that you can do to detoxify, and spending a week totally cleansing the body is something that all of us could benefit from. Consider attending my Women’s Detox and Rejuvenation Retreat, August 7 -14 , focusing on detoxification and weight loss. This retreat was previously titled Weight Loss to Wellness, but considering that Toxic Waste Loss is actually what we’re focusing on, we decided to change the name. For those of you who do not have weight to lose, you’ll lose lots of stress, tension, and toxins instead, and leave with a much-strengthened immune system and greater energy.