People often plan to detox after Christmas and the holidays, but opening the detox pathways before you do is essential.
If your detox pathways aren't working correctly and you start dumping toxins, you could end up very sick. Getting ill is often preventable.
You may have heard of the term 'detox reaction' or 'healing crisis'; this happens when people jump into detox too soon (without taking the precautionary steps of preparing the body's pathways).
Your Organs of Elimination
The organs of elimination are also known as 'emunctory' organs or emunctories. They include your skin, respiratory system, digestive system and urinary system.
Let's also include the lymphatic system, which plays a significant role in detoxification and waste removal.
Ensuring good function of the emunctories will help you to detoxify better. Better detoxification helps to eliminate toxins that can harm you (if left to recirculate and settle in the body).
Your Skin - Sweating
You eliminate toxins in your skin via sweat. If you have difficulty sweating, this could be a problem that you may need to seek medical advice for.
Chronic lack of sweat is called 'hypohidrosis' and may negatively affect your health. Hypohidrosis may cause hyperthermia, stroke and death.
Other factors that may decrease sweat are:
- Autonomic disturbances (ANS dysfunction)
- Autoimmune disorders
If you have no trouble sweating, you might like to try the following things to encourage a good sweat session:
- Sauna or steam room
- A detox bath (find my detox bath blog here)
Your Skin - Dry Body Brushing
Dry body brushing is a gentle yet effective way to help eliminate toxins and boost the lymphatic system, exfoliate the skin, boost energy and vitality, increase circulation and help to break down cellulite naturally.
The best time to do it is before a shower (or bath). Grab yourself a body brush, and you're good to go! Start from your feet and, with sweeping movements, go upwards toward your heart. Brush your entire body but avoid sensitive areas such as your decolletage and face.
Note: Before starting this practice, ensure you have no contraindications. Dry body brushing is not recommended for people with psoriasis or sensitive skin.
Your Lymphatic System
Jumping on a mini trampoline (also known as 'rebounding') for a few minutes daily can significantly boost your lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system (LS) should be talked about more! Lymph fluid is one of the significant interstitial fluids (blood is the other).
Your blood carries the oxygen and nutrients, and the lymph carries the waste. Think of it as your body's garbage disposal. If it functions well, your body can detoxify adequately and be healthy.
If it is not working well, your body may build up waste (toxins), affecting how you detoxify, which is not good for your health.
Keeping lymph stimulated is vital to the well-being and needs to be discussed more. Today, we will share some ways for you to improve your lymphatic system:
- Rebounder (mini trampoline)
- Dry body brushing
- Castor oil packs
- Lymphatic drainage massage
- Removing processed foods & toxic oils*
*Vegetable/seed oils. Read our vegetable oil blog here.
The Digestive System
The digestive system comprises many organs, glands and body parts, but this article will focus only on the organs that relate to detox.
The organs are the liver and the colon.
Your digestive system was designed to take in and break down food, fuel your body, break down waste and allow you to function. If your liver is sluggish (common after the festive season) or you're not eliminating via a bowel movement, that needs to be addressed.
I love castor oil packs for helping my liver and a healthy bowel movement. The other practice I participate in weekly is a coffee enema.
Coffee enemas are known for their healing benefits as they encourage/stimulate the liver to detoxify. If you've never done an enema, work with an experienced practitioner for guidance.
It's not difficult to administer yourself; once you know how you will always know how. I love doing a coffee enema once a week and usually on the weekend when I have time to relax.
What is an enema?
An enema is a simple type of colonic (colon hydrotherapy) that you perform on yourself from home. It involves an enema kit, filtered water and organic coffee (or other healing tonics).
You fill the enema bag with the water and coffee, insert the tip into your bottom and lay on your back to take in the liquid into your bowel. Once you feel full and ready to "go", you sit on the loo and let go of the liquid.
The liquid may encourage a bowel movement, and dry, compacted fecal matter (stuck to the intestinal walls) loosens up by the water and releases.
The company here in Australia that I use and recommend for enema supplies is Happy Bum Co.
Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil is an age-old remedy and a very powerful (yet gentle) way to encourage detox. Using a castor oil pack on your abdomen or liver each night during sleep will help alleviate constipation, encourage lymphatic drainage, strengthen immunity, improve bowel movement and more!
If you still struggle with constipation after using castor oil packs for a week, try adding more animal fat (such as tallow or ghee) to your diet and magnesium citrate. Both of these things can be wonderful for constipation.
If you are not eliminating stool daily, you are constipated, which is not good for detoxification or overall health.
When choosing castor oil, use an organic one stored in an amber or blue glass bottle. If the bottle is clear, there is a chance the oil will be spoiled.
If you aren't peeing much (urinating) or your pee is pungent, you are probably not drinking enough water. Eight glasses of filtered water are recommended daily to stay hydrated and detoxified.
Add a pinch of Redmond Real salt to your water if you are sweating or the weather is sweltering.
On the other hand, if you are peeing too frequently, this could also be a problem worth looking into. Abnormal frequent urination could mean urinary tract infection, diabetes or many other issues.
They say "breath is life", but breath is also detoxifying. That may be why it's essential.
When you breathe in oxygen, you get O2 into your lungs, cells and lymphatic system. On the other hand, if you breathe shallowly, you're starving oxygen from where it is needed.
If you need help breathing correctly, many videos on Youtube can guide you.
Summary of Opening Detox Pathways
Skin: Sweating, dry body brushing
Lymphatic system: Rebounder, castor oil pack, acupuncture, guasha, castor oil packs, cupping, lymphatic drainage massage, removing processed foods & toxic oils*
Respiratory: Breath work, sauna, steam room
Digestive: Castor oil packs, enemas, sauna
Urinary: Hydrating with adequate H2O
This article is strictly informational and not intended as health advice. Statements made have not been evaluated by the TGA and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent. One should always consult with their trusted health professional before adding a new supplement to their diet.