Detoxing is all the rage these days. Everyone is doing some sort of detox: apple cider vinegar detox, juice detox, no meat/fasting January detox, whole 30 detox to name a few. Many patients ask me what it is, how to do, and so on. There are many different ways and takes on how to do one, here are my tips.
What does it mean to “detox”?
Unfortunately, “Detoxing” is a term loosely used these days including “diet” to short term cleansing of the body. When I refer to detoxing, I want patients to reset their system by incorporating healthy habits that will give you maximum results and, of course, more bank for your buck!
How do I “detox”
You want to detox all your organs so they do not stay congested and cause problems down the line. It’s a good way to cleanse your internal system. Often I see “detoxes” you can purchase, but they’re only working on one or two organ system. For a total body detox you need to concentrate on all your organs. This is what I safely recommend to my patients. We have 6 main organs and we need to ensure they are all getting adequate attention.
Your skin is your largest organ. Yet, it often gets neglected. You want to sweat everything out. Exercising and saunas are best for this removing impurities, waste products that get built up and cause irritations, rashes and acne. Also scrubbing your skin out with a home-made salt or sugar scrub is great for exfoliating and removing dead skin cells. You can make one with 2tsp sugar or rock salt, 2 tsp coconut oil, and 2 drops of your favorite essential oil. Massage it into your skin and voila! I’m also a very big fan of massage therapy as well as dry brushing to help rid excess waste in the lymphatic system. These techniques are also very therapeutic and relaxing to your whole central and nervous system.
Having optimal kidney function is key to a healthy immune system. Excreting your kidney are extremely important for regulating your blood, blood pressure, fluid balance, as well as clearing medications and toxins from your system. Many people are prone to water retention during females’s cycles and after eating food rich in sodium. You want to ensure you’re drinking enough water. And ,if you’re able to, make a green juice with 1/2 cup parsley, 2 celery stalks, 1 tsp lemon, 1 tsp ginger and an whole apple and that will start getting impurities out fast. It’s important to urinate frequently and not hold it in as that can becomes toxic and later possibly become a bladder or kidney infection.
Simply taking laxatives isn’t good enough to clean our your colon. You must ensure you are getting enough fiber in your diet to bulk up your stool and get the necessary impurities out. Plant based fiber is preferable verse processed grain fiber. You should be having 2-3 good bowel movements a day. Many patients are lucky to have one! Magnesium glycinate is a good and safe supplement to aid in cleansing the colon. If you get magnesium oxide or citrate, you could end up with diarrhea instead! You also want to have a good probiotic on board to support your microflora in your GI tract so nutrients can be absorbed appropriately.
Again, exercising is great for this to get air flowing in and out. I also recommend breathing exercises to concentrate soley on the lungs helping them expand and contract. One of my favorite breathing techniques is called the nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). Get into a comfortable seated position with your legs crossing in front of you and your chest and back erect and up. You want to start by placing your right thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger ready to alternate. I prefer resting my 2nd & 3rd fingers on my 3rd eye chakra (in between in my eyes) to stimulate my pineal gland. Start off my placing your right thumb on your right nostril taking 4 long, deep, slow inhales through the Left nostril. You will switch fingers and exhale out slowly and deeply of the right nostril while your 4th finger is on your Left nostril. Then, you will switch and inhale from your right nostril moving your thumb to the right nostril exhaling from the left nostril. This can seem confusing at first, but is very therapeutic for your circulatory system. Breathing techniques are great for getting of impurities in your lungs as well as improving your over all respiratory.
Many people don’t realize that your liver can get congested easily. Your liver helps metabolize and clear toxins as well as some medications. Your hormones detox through this large organ, so does chemicals. I encourage removing environmental, chemical and exogenous hormonal toxins from the body like xenoestrogens. These include teflon pans, cleaning supplies with triclosan, mea & dea and formaldyde, pesticide, pthalates, sulfates, parabens, and aluminums to name a few. Try limiting your alcohol and coffee exposure and instead try milk thistle and dandelion tea to flush out your liver.
Cleansing the heart, requires an emotional detox. Many often forget about this organ until it’s too late. People who are more stressed and depressed more likely to have heart issues verse others. So be sure you clear your energy, mind, body and soul so you can get the year started of right.