Spring Cleansing and Detox
The phrase “spring cleaning” may evoke images of our house, closets, pool, air filters—but how about the body? After a few months of wearing more clothes and eating more to keep warm, spring is a great time to purge built-up toxins from the body. Detoxifying the body allows us to start the spring off feeling cleansed, more energetic and rejuvenated.
The excretory system and the lymphatic system are responsible for moving and removing toxins from the body. The five major organs in the excretory system are: lungs, kidneys, large intestine, skin and liver. The lymphatic system is a combination of tissues and organs that help protect and fight infection and remove toxins from the body. It contains lymph nodes, vessels, ducts, fluid and a few organs including the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus. The natural process of detoxification happens through respiration, perspiration and evacuation, i.e. breathing, sweating and going to the bathroom. Anything that we do to increase these normal functions will help cleanse the body.
There are many ways to detoxify the body. Some can be done at home and some are done in a clinical or a spa setting. At-home remedies can take quite a while to complete and revolve around a healthy lifestyle. Of course eating healthy, organic foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber is a major part of that. Drinking plenty of purified, alkalized water is a must. Juicing fresh veggies and some fruits is another way to take control of daily cleansing. Detox herbal teas is an inexpensive, easy cleansing idea.
Another at-home cleansing method is consuming zeolite or bentonite clays. Activated charcoal and apple cider vinegar also help clean toxins from the colon and liver. Colloidal silver is another supplement that has many benefits, including detoxification. Exercise and manual labor will help get the body into natural detox mode. Activities that raise the body’s temperature and make us sweat will help the body naturally rid itself of some toxins—so go out and run, bike, work in the garden, have sex or go to a qigong or Bikram yoga class. Deep breathing is simple and helps clear the lungs and calm the brain, relieving toxic stress.
Healthy, non-toxic skin can also be achieved at home. Dry brushing the skin before showering will help exfoliate the skin and achieve better circulation. Alternating hot and cold showers improves circulation, therefore helping to detoxify. Epsom or sea salts in a warm bath helps draw out toxins. Whenever possible, use natural skin and body care products that don’t contain harmful chemicals and preservatives. Many essential oils have medicinal and emotional benefits as well as components that stimulate the body’s detoxifying organs.
Professional clinics and spas perform numerous services that may be hard to achieve at home. Hydrocolon therapy is one example. A good massage or reflexology session, salt scrubs and body clay masks are much more relaxing when someone else is doing all of the work.
There are many kinds of body wraps that can help detoxify the internal and external body. When looking for this kind of specialty, there should be a few components to the wrap. Just sweating is not enough to remove heavy metals and other nasty, unhealthy substances from the body. When finding a local spa or clinic to perform a body wrap, some questions to ask include: Do they use a motion therapy to increase circulation and blood flow?; What herbs or other products do they use to draw out toxins (clay, other minerals, seaweed or something else)?; How are they going to heat up the body to “sweat things out”?; Are they going to provide a mineral or nutritional supplement to help the internal body get involved?; How long will the process take?; How long will the effects last? If it sounds like a quick service and a quick fix, be wary.
Far infrared saunas, ionic foot baths and chi machines are great tools to utilize in the detoxification quest. Air and water purifiers will help remove some of the toxic chemical load in the environment so the body doesn’t have to work as hard to filter everything out. Quality products do make a big difference.
Debbie Shaw is the founder of Alternatives in Health Care Detox Therapy Spa, one of Tucson’s oldest health care centers. She is a board-certified chiropractic assistant and a licensed aesthetician, with many specialty certifications. She offers many of the mentioned products and services in her spa-like clinic. Connect at 520-275-4510 and DetoxTherapySpa.com. See ad, page 11.