Optimise your detoxification
Our exposure to toxins is inevitable, despite efforts to avoid them. This means we must maximise our body’s ability to detoxify environmental toxins and hormones (both external xenoestrogens and internal hormones), by supporting our organs of detoxification.
Key detoxification organs such as our liver, gallbladder, kidneys, skin, lungs, intestines, and blood must be functioning optimally in order to process and remove exogenous (external) and endogenous (internal) toxins.
There are many ways in which we can optimise our detoxification, from practising detoxification techniques, to nutrition, exercise, supplements, etc.
When we detox, we may experience withdrawal symptoms and a short-term lack of focus and energy which will improve with the correct nutrition, supplements, exercise and detoxification techniques, and as our toxic load lessens.
Practise these detoxification techniques daily or at least weekly if you can.
One third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin. Dry brushing helps to unclog pores and get rid of the toxins which become trapped in the skin, encouraging the circulation of the lymphatic system, our main system of detoxification.
- Buy a natural bristle brush with a long handle so that you can reach all areas of your body
- For about 5 minutes once or twice a day, vigorously brush your skin in the following way:
- From toes to top of the thigh (front and back)
- Groin and buttocks (front and back, from bottom to top)
- Stomach (clockwise)
- Chest (circular motions around your breasts/pecs)
- From fingers to shoulders (front and back, including under arms)
- From top of buttocks to shoulders on both sides of the spine
- From top of neck to chest
- From top of shoulders to chest
- Wash off all the dead skin cells in a hot shower
- Using a sauna, especially an infrared sauna helps detoxification, because you sweat out toxin such as lactic acid, uric acid, heavy metals, hormones and sodium
- Circulation increases in the sauna, and improved blood flow improves blood oxygenation and the excretion of toxins
- Toxins stored in subcutaneous fat are released through sweat
Jumping for 10 minutes on a trampoline or rebounder is one of the most effective ways to boost the lymphatic system, as well as blood circulation, encouraging the circulation and excretion of toxins.
- Have between one and three bowel movements a day
- Your urine should be almost clear if you’re drinking enough water (may vary with vitamin intake)
- Sweat regularly and profusely with exercise and the use of steam baths or saunas
- Practise deep breathing
Nutrition and beverage for detoxification
Eating the right foods and beverages and avoiding the wrong ones, are all essential ways to support your body’s ability to detoxify.
The only way that toxins can leave your body is through urine, stool, and sweat, which all require proper hydration.
- Staying hydrated and drinking a minimum of 2 litres or good quality water a day is essential for detoxification
- Drink spring or filtered tap water as unfiltered tap water can be contaminated with toxins such as plastics, metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, chlorine etc.
- The most comprehensive and effective water filtration system is reverse osmosis, however it is expensive (but last a long time), and given that it removes all good minerals along with everything else, you may need to enrich your drinking water with additional minerals
- Water in plastic bottles is not ideal as it can leach plastics (such a phtalates and bisphenol A), especially when exposed to heat
Consuming certain foods and supplements can support all your organs of detoxification.
Avoid toxic foods and beverages, which can hamper your ability to get rid of toxins from your environment, and also generate their own toxins.
Other lifestyle techniques and practices to optimise detoxification
Practise the activities below to help support optimal detoxification.
Managing negative thought patterns and beliefs, and engaging in mental therapy can help with toxic thoughts which can affect your ability to detoxify.
When you are detoxifying the body, it is also important to detoxify the mind, as our thoughts and emotions affect our bodily functions.
Daily exercise is important for detoxification as it encourages blood and lymph circulation to remove toxins from the organs and bloodstream. Lymph circulation needs external movement in order to circulate.
The importance of good sleep in the detoxification process is becoming increasingly apparent.
This is due in part to its effect on the glymphatic system:
- The glymphatic system is a recently identified brain-wide pathway
- It is important for the clearance of waste products from the brain including beta amyloid tau and alpha-synucle which accumulate and are present in Alzheimer’s disease
- The activity of the glymphatic system is dependent on the level of mental arousal
- The glymphatic system functions better during sleep resulting in faster removal of toxins
- Evidence shows that humans may have evolved the most common sleeping position (lateral) to aid toxin removal
Xie, L., Kang, H., Xu, Q., Chen, M. J., Liao, Y., Thiyagarajan, M., O’Donnell, J., Christensen,D. J., Nicholson, C., Iliff, J., Takano, T., Deane, R. and Nedergaard, M. (2015). Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain. [online] Science, 342 (6156). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880190/ [accessed 12 Sept. 2017].
Correct breathing techniques help balance our biochemistry, and enhance detoxification.
Correct breathing helps the body maintain a healthy balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- Oxygen is essential for the proper functioning of all the organs of our body, including detoxification organs
- Carbon dioxide is the waste gas, and the correct excretion of carbon dioxide is necessary for organ cleansing
Because the diaphragm is the main pump for our lymphatic systems, correct breathing is vital for the proper functioning of the lymphatic system, which is one of our main detoxification systems.
Walking in nature and fresh air helps to relax the nervous system while improving breathing, oxygenation and circulation, all of which are helpful for detoxification.
A relaxed nervous system and body are helpful for detoxification, because when the body goes into relaxation mode, it allows it to heal, rest, digest, and detoxify.
Breathing becomes slower and deeper, which helps with detoxification, as well as with hormone balance.
The electro-magnetic radiation that we get from computers, phones, and other technological devices can be a burden on our bodies. To optimise our body’s detoxification systems, it is advisable to limit our exposure to EMR.
Furthermore, excessive exposure to social media can be stressful and draining, which can be detrimental to optimal detoxification.
Mind-body therapies such as yoga, qi gong, massage, acupuncture, etc… can all help to balance our hormonal system, our neurotransmitters, our nervous system, boost our blood and lymph circulation, and support our organs of detoxification. As such, they can all support our bodies to detoxify.