We're entering the season of "bikini-ready, beach body" hype, and with it often comes talk of detoxes and cleanses. The appeal is undeniable: "What quick fix can I employ to drop the junk I've been consuming since October?" Ridding our bodies of the built up toxins from life and less-than-stellar eating habits is totally intriguing. Who wouldn't want to do that? Get outta here, toxic buildup! The truth of the matter, however, is that detox doesn't just happen inside a vacuum, meaning it is not without consequences, especially when executed improperly. Two main issues with standard detoxes and cleanses are that 1. There are so many random pre-made programs out there with very little guidance and poor ingredients. Anyone can just grab and go without really knowing what they're doing, and 2. They fail to take into account the foundational work that must be done first to support healthy detox pathways.
What do I mean by healthy detox pathways? Our bodies are made to detoxify naturally. The liver's key function (amongst so many--it really is a super organ) is to cycle toxins and package them up for the body to eliminate. If, for example, the liver is overtaxed and undernourished, it won't be able to do its detox job properly. This is just one key area where detox could go wrong. Other important detox pathways include proper digestion and elimination (i.e. if you're only pooping once every few days, your body is not getting rid of toxins adequately), proper lymphatic flow, adequate kidney function, sweat gland secretion, proper hydration, and quality sleep. All of these and more are vital body and lifestyle factors that contribute to adequate detoxification. Dysfunction in any of these areas will lead to an impaired detox system. When we jump into a strategic detox or cleanse with any of these factors offline, we could be doing more harm than good. This is the far less glamorous side of detox.
Fortunately, our bodies are also made to heal, and with some gentle, restorative daily practices, you can ease your body into an ideal state of detox naturally. These practices work with your body rather than against it, and encourage a healing, long-term way to detoxify daily vs a quick 30-day "fix" that will shock your system and leave you more taxed than detoxed.
Each item is linked for further reading and education. Let's get to it!
Daily Detox Tools:
- Drink water with raw apple cider vinegar or lemon 30 min prior to meals to encourage good digestive juices
- Castor oil packs : Placed over the liver, this can even be done while watching tv and is a great gentle detox
- Stay properly hydrated: Drink plenty of clean, filtered water to encourage healthy flow of all body fluids
- GET ADEQUATE SLEEP!!! This is when your body really recharges and quality rest is vital for all body systems
- Clean up the skin/haircare products you use. The stuff we put on our skin everyday is chock full of all kinds of chemicals that your body has to deal with somehow, and it really builds up and can take a negative health toll over time. Using pure, straightforward products lessens that load tremendously
- Infrared Sauna therapy: Promotes healthy sweating to clear the pores and encourage natural detox
- Rebounding : Think small trampolines from the 80s! This gentle bouncing encourages lymph flow
- Dry brushing : Encourages skin cell turnover and promotes healthy lymph flow
- Hot/cold shower combo : Also great for healthy lymph flow and inflammation management
- Coffee enemas : Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like. You can do these at home with a special kit, but it's certainly easier if you can find a local practitioner who does them
- Unplug: Spending too much time on our devices disconnects us from the world around us, but also inhibits adequate sleep when used too close to bedtime. Consider putting a cap on your electronic usage and opt for other mind-enriching activities instead
- Mental detox: Our thoughts impact our health in huge ways. Detox from negative self talk by practicing gratitude, mindfulness, speaking kindly to yourself, giving grace, and focusing on the good
- Eat a whole food, nutrient-dense diet. When the focus of your nourishment is on quality eats, there's less to worry about in the detox department, because you're giving your body what it truly needs to thrive in the first place. You can learn more about how to do that and where to start here.
While this list of gentle daily detox tools is by no means exhaustive, it's certainly a great place to start! Incorporate any or all of these tools to encourage a healthy detox system that is supportive of your overall health.
What's one thing you do daily to detox from the stressors of life? Let me know in the comments below!
In loving health,