Daily Habits for Detoxification
Spring is a traditional time for cleansing the home and body. The blog post Daily Detoxing ~ Dietary Tips gives ideas for how and what you can eat to aid your body’s cleansing processes. Here are some ideas for how to incorporate detox habits into your daily routine. Read through and pick a few that you’d like to try. There are probably some you are doing already so you can give yourself a pat on the back for those. Once the new habits have become second nature, pick a couple more to add to your routine.
- Tongue Scraping – first thing in the morning use a tongue scraper or teaspoon to scrape the tongue to remove any debris.
- Oil Pulling – before eating in the morning swish a tablespoon of coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes until the oil feels thin. Spit it out outside or into a paper towel to avoid clogging the sink. Rinse the mouth with warm water then brush the teeth. Oil pulling is thought to aid removal of bacteria and toxins.
- Get Moving – physical activity gets the circulation going and releases endorphins that make you feel good.
- Hot and Cold Showers – hot showers can be cleansing and relaxing. Cold showers can be stimulating and good for circulation. Try alternating between hot and cold showers to give the circulation an extra boost.
Nervous System Detox
- Breathe – often our breathing becomes shallow when we are stressed or busy. To switch the body into a relaxed state take a few deep inhalations and full exhalations.
- Meditate – meditation calms the mind and nervous system, reduces pain and inflammation, and brings the body into a parasympathetic state in which digestion can take place. Start by closing your eyes and focussing on the breath for 5 minutes. Gradually increase the amount of time you sit. Other methods include mantras and visualisations.
- Stimulate the Vagus Nerve – the vagus nerve is the conduit for information between the gut and the brain. The messages that travel the vagus nerve affect mood, the stress response, behaviour and inflammation. Gargling, singing, humming, laughing and breathing exercises can all stimulate the vagus nerve and switch you into parasympathetic mode and away from stress mode.
- Dry Skin Brushing – before you have a bath or shower use a natural bristle body brush to brush your skin in long strokes up your legs, around your belly in a clockwise direction, up your back and down your arms from hands to armpits. You can also brush your scalp. This stimulates the lymphatic system and removes dead skin cells.
- Castor Oil Packs – applying a castor oil pack along with a hot water bottle to the abdomen for an hour or more can aid detoxification.
- Have a Bath – heat is a good way to detoxify and you can do this in your bath at home. Add Epsom salts or essential oils to enhance the cleansing.
- Essential Oils – different oils have different properties so spend some time selecting those that appeal to you. They can be used in an oil burner, combined with almond oil to create a massage oil blend, added to the bath or inhaled on a hanky.
- Foot Massage – reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying pressure to the feet (and sometimes the hands and ears). The belief is that different parts of the foot correspond to different body parts so applying pressure to those areas can affect the organs and systems of the body. You can also massage your own feet using a massage oil.
- Stretch – stretching keeps muscles and joints flexible as well as reducing the build up of lactic acid in muscles. If you spend a lot of time sitting down get up every hour and do some stretching. This helps keep the blood flowing.
- Daylight – exposure to daylight resets the circadian rhythm aiding sleep. The body also produces vitamin D from the action of sunlight on bare skin. Vitamin D is beneficial for the immune system, blood sugar control, cardiovascular health and bone health. If you can’t get outside every day try a SAD lamp.
- Avoid EMFs while you Sleep – mobile phones and Wi-Fi signals are linked with some types of cancer. Make sure your bed is away from SMART metres and turn off your Wi-Fi router when it’s not in use, especially at night.
- Switch Off – spend some time each day away from technology. Particularly at meal times avoid looking at your screen and focus on the food.
- Go Natural – spending time in nature helps to reduce stress and switches you into a parasympathetic state that is healing. The Japanese call it Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. If you don’t live near woods, the beach, a park or a garden are all good.
- Clean Cleaning – use eco-friendly cleaning products in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Lemon juice, vinegar and soda crystals can be used for cleaning many surfaces.
- Clean Beauty – some skin, hair and nail products can be toxic. Seek out products that use ingredients that are kind to you and kind to the environment.
- Only Connect – these are the words of EM Forster and they apply today as much as ever. Spending time with people you care about and who care for you is vital for mental and physical health.
- Give Thanks – let go of negative thinking and count your blessings instead. Give thanks for your home, your family, friends, work, health, neighbours, nature and the beautiful world in which we live.
See also blog post The Microbiome and Detoxification for information on how the organisms in your gut help with detoxification and elimination processes.