Did you know that when people talk about detoxing or doing a “detox” program they usually end up overlooking one crucially important step?
You might recall me mentioning in my last blog post that in order to experience true detoxification the old waste matter must actually leave the body. People often get so caught up in the food aspect of detoxing that they fail to realize that what comes out of their body is just as important as what goes in!
Here’s the thing, you can change your diet, eat healthier, and drink fresh-pressed veggie juice until the cows come home, but if your body (i.e. bowel) isn’t keeping up with your daily intake then you’re eventually going to become “backed-up” with waste.
Overtime this leads the cells, tissues, and pathways (i.e. intestines) of the body to become clogged and congested. Couple that with the balmy 98.6 F temperature of your body and you can imagine how this accumulated waste can literally bake into your cells and tissues. Now consider years, even decades, of consuming and under-eliminating day-in and day-out and you start to get the bigger picture. Alas, unpleasant symptoms arise and your body starts to break down.
Now before we go any further, I’d like to take a moment to clarify a few important things. You see words like “detox” and “cleanse” are so commonly thrown around without second thought that it’s super easy to lose touch with what it all means.
So let me take a minute to answer a few important questions!
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is the removal of waste (and its by-products), out of the body to the point of “perfect balance”.
What is waste? And how the heck did it get there?!
Waste can be attributed to the leftover residue from foods that never fully left the body, along with the toxins one has been exposed to over the course of their life that have accumulated in the body.
We interface with toxins on a daily basis through the food we eat, water we drink, air we breathe, cosmetics we use on our skin, as well as with those produced internally as a result of normal metabolism. Further by-products are produced as a result of the accumulated waste and include pathogenic bacteria, fungus, viruses, acids, and gases.
How do I know if I need to detox?
The reality is if you grew up eating any offshoot of the Standard American Diet and/or live and breathe in this modern world, you could likely use some help in this department. That includes most of us!
Another great indicator of your toxicity level is by the symptoms you’re experiencing (i.e. skin troubles, excess weight, digestive problems, migraines). How loud are your symptoms screaming at you? The severer your symptoms, the more toxicity you’re likely holding in your body.
Pain is a call for change. Be thankful for these helpful messengers alerting you that something is wrong. Don’t just ignore them or silence them with more medications. Listen to what your body is telling you and be proactive.
What is the goal of detoxification?
The goal of detoxification is too experience ease (without the “dis”), on every level of the body – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When the pathways of your body are open and flowing this is when you experience your best health. This may sound like a pretty lofty goal, but the truth is, it’s our birthright. And the way we were designed to live.
This is why it’s helpful to think of “detox” as a verb, rather than a noun, an action to be considered on a continual and daily basis – not something you do for a few days per year only to revert back to your old unhealthy habits.
Sure, there are certain times of the year such as the change of a new season (particularly spring and fall), when it might make sense to “step up” your detox efforts, however, supporting our body’s ability to detoxify is something we can do every day of the year.
Think of it as a journey with no end-point. This means there’s no racing to the finish line! As you evolve, so too will your diet. And although the path might not always be linear, the longer you stick with it the greater the rewards and benefits you’ll experience. Remember it’s a lifestyle, not just some quick-fix diet, so you can always customize things to make it “workable” for you!
Now, let’s get back to the topic of “waste removal”, or in other words, how to ensure that the garbage is being taken outside where it belongs! When you’re adhering to the detox “diet” tips and principles mentioned in my last two blog posts here and here, it’s important to support your body in removing the waste any way you can. Here are 3 tools to help you!
3 Tools to Support Detoxification
1. Gravity Method Colonics/Enemas
Imagine an internal bath for your colon that can help move years of waste build-up right out your back door. A properly administered colonic by a trained professional is gentle, safe, and one of the most effective methods for cleansing the colon – your primary eliminative organ. I personally recommend the Gravity Method which only uses the force of gravity to control the flow of water into the colon to hydrate and remove impacted waste.
I realize though that these treatments are not always geographically or financially feasible for everyone. Enemas on the other hand, although not quite as effective as colonics, can be self-administered at home with an enema kit that can be purchased from a health food store or pharmacy.
If the thought of colonics and enemas makes you feel squeamish, don’t worry – they’re not as scary as they may sound! I remember feeling the exact same way before my first colonic treatment. And even if it’s something you’re not quite ready for now, you may reconsider trying one or the other later down the road.
Here’s the thing, if you’re not prepared to do colonics or enemas, just be sure not to over-cleanse. This means you probably don’t want to jump headfirst into an extended all-juice cleanse, or take in a diet consisting of more than 60-70% raw vegetables/fruits, since the cleansing nature of these types of diets would likely awaken more waste than your body is ready to release on its own, leaving you constipated, sluggish, and uncomfortable. Remember, if you’re “cleaning your house” but failing to take out the garbage, you’re just reshuffling the clutter around!
2. Move your Body & Sweat
It’s vital to get some form of physical activity each and every day. Not only does it promote blood circulation and increased lymphatic flow (which depends on movement as its “pump”), it also encourages the release of toxins through the skin – our largest organ – as you sweat.
Breathing deeply also promotes detoxification through your lungs, and helps oxygenate the cells of your body. Try taking your exercise outdoors whenever you can to breathe in the fresh air and bask in the nutritive and regenerative power of the sun.
Do whatever you love and feels good to you! Whether it’s fast paced walking, swimming, biking, hiking, light jogging, or sprints. One of the best exercises for detoxification is rebounding on a mini trampoline, so if you’re lucky enough to have access to one jump your little heart out! A larger trampoline also works.
3. Dry Skin Brushing
Along with supporting circulation and stimulating your immune system, dry skin brushing helps clear your pores of dead skin cells and enables your body to push out more waste through your skin as you sweat. It can even breakdown and diminish the appearance of cellulite – an added bonus!
Using a natural bristle brush, start at your feet and work your way up the length of your body with gentle strokes, always towards the heart and lymphatic drainage centres: back of knees, groin and armpits. When you get to your stomach, brush in a clockwise direction to stimulate your digestive system. Be sure to avoid sensitive areas (i.e. breasts and face) unless you’re using an ultra-soft brush.
The whole process should take no more than 5 minutes, and is best to do prior to bathing so you can wash off any debris sitting on the surface of your skin. This practice will leave you feeling energized and invigorated!
And remember, if you’d like to get set up on a detox program of your very own I’m now offering my Spring Special Detox Sessions for a limited time. You can check out the details of these transformative 1-on-1 sessions here.
Happy Detoxing – the right way!