I attended a seminar Friday on detoxification…that is, removing toxins from the body. There are essentially 3 categories of toxins: environmental (auto, air, and pesticides), lifestyle (artificial food additives, alcohol, caffeine, meat-treated antibiotics, various cosmetics/body products, cleaners, etc), and endogenous toxins (originate within the body from metabolic processes like turning food into energy).
Possible symptoms of toxic overload include: brain fog, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, puffiness, inflammation and headaches.
Due to the toxins that surround us daily, it’s important to incorporate detox practices into your routines. Here are just a few:
1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. The liver cleanses while asleep. Between 10pm – 2 am is when the body naturally goes through its major detoxification process. The horizontal position encourages blood to go to the liver versus when we’re upright.
2. Nourish your body with organic foods that are free from pesticides, herbicides, additives, etc. Eat plants (especially broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, olive oil, garlic, berries, omega fatty acids), get adequate protein and make sure you eat foods with fiber.
3. Elimination…Bowel movements at least once a day are necessary for detoxing. Fiber assists in this process.
4. Hydration…Drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered water each day. Avoid plastic water bottles (these bottles are heated then filled with water which allows the plastic toxins to combine with the water inside).
5. Exercise and SWEAT! Exercise gets the lymph moving and sweating flushes out toxins.
Note: The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Its main function is to transport lymph (a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells) through the body. Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continual loop, lymph flows in one direction, upward toward the neck (this is important to know for the next detoxing practice).
6. Dry Brushing…ok this might sound a little strange but bare with me. Dry brushing involves brushing the skin (yes dry) with a natural bristle brush to stimulate lymph flow. It encourages detoxification by increasing blood circulation and promotes lymph flow and drainage. It also provides smoother skin, boosts circulation, and invigorates the body. This a a great routine to add to a morning shower. Start at the feet and hands and brush toward the heart. Do this prior to showering.
7. Deep breathing (belly breathing)…Deep breathing helps move lymphatic fluid and this practice is a great way to manage stress. Stress is a big factor that affects the congestion of the lymph system.