It’s that time of year again where everywhere you look there’s a new cleanse or detox tempting you to clean up and clear out your system. With so much conflicting information available, it can be difficult to decide what’s right for you.
The first thing to do is try something that resonates with you. If you see something that gives you a tight feeling in your stomach or makes you a bit queasy, don’t do it. No matter how great the latest guru says it is. Tune in to your internal wisdom. The term “gut feeling” isn’t just a cute saying. Our guts provide validation for things that will and will not work for us. And that applies to everything – not just food.
Now that you know you have an ally in the form of an internal GPS system, how do you go about choosing a detox? Well for one thing, food isn’t the only option when it comes to cleaning up our bodies. Good health starts when there’s balance in all the major areas of your life – nutrition, relationships, environment, finances and career.
Here are 5 different types of detoxes to noodle over.
Pick one and try it. If it works – great!
If not, try something else. Variety is, after all, the spice of life!
Contrast Shower. Try your own at-home version of an old naturopathic hydrotherapy practice (my husband rolled his eyes at me when I told him I was doing this one!). When you take a hot shower, follow it by rinsing with cold water for 60 seconds. The “contrast” stimulates circulation, your immune system and your ability to detox via your skin which is considered the biggest organ of your body in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The blast of cold water will tighten your pores, and you’ll feel invigorated and ready to start your day. This method really wakes you up on a cold winter morning! Try it for a week or two.
Detox Your Surroundings. De-cluttering and organizing your environment can help clear up stagnant energy and free you physically and emotionally. Let go of the mounds of paper, clothes, shoes and household items that you no longer use. This creates space and helps welcome in new energy. Try cleaning up one room at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed. You’ll love how it feels to walk into a space that’s physically and energetically cleared of clutter. If you don’t have a lot of time, set a timer for 30-45 minutes and see how much you can get done. You’ll be surprised!
Fever Baths. Add one cup of Epsom salts to your evening bath to soothe, relax, and detoxify your body. Adding a few drops of lavender, rosemary or eucalyptus essential oils also helps with the detoxification process. You can also increase the benefits of the bath by drinking 2 to 3 cups of hot tea while soaking to work up a sweat. When you stimulate sweating, it helps the body release toxins.
Spend Time in Nature. Take a break from your routine of being inside your home, office, or car, and venture out to your favorite place in nature or a new place you have always wanted to go. Bring a journal with you and start listening to your body. Record what it’s telling you or write down all the things that come into your head that have been bothering you. When you return home, tear the pages into tiny shreds and recycle. You’ll feel instantly uplifted. Surrounding yourself with nature and all its negative ions (which act positively on your mood) will help you de-stress and tap into the inherent wisdom of your body.
Wake-Up Drink. Drinking 1 to 2 cups of hot filtered or spring water with the juice of half a lemon upon rising is an ancient Ayurvedic practice. You can also add two pinches of cayenne pepper or raw apple cider vinegar if you like. The lemon stimulates your digestion and prepares your stomach for food. Cayenne is known to enhance circulation and blood flow.
Cleansing your body and your environment is not only good for your health, it’s good for your soul. You’ll have peace of mind, sleep more soundly, be more productive and your mood will improve. And more importantly, as each of us becomes an example of good health and healthy habits, we can inspire others to make healthy choices to improve their lives.