By: Maurine Anderson
From the heavily processed foods that we consume, to the drugs that we put into our bodies, to the complex creams that we dab onto our skin, our bodies see a whole lot of chemicals. And if you think about it, the fact that we expose our bodies to these substances on a daily basis means that they never get a break. But why not take a break from all of the chemicals, giving your body a thorough detox inside-and-out?
You should know before looking into detoxifying your body that your body does several things already to keep itself free of harmful toxins. Your lungs, for example, filter the air that you breathe, expelling harmful substances via exhalation and coughing. Your kidneys, meanwhile, flush out digestive byproducts and mineral buildup, and your liver keeps environmental toxins out of the blood. The intestines are host to bacteria that actually neutralize toxins, and the skin actually helps expel toxins via sweat and blemishes. So rather than approaching a comprehensive body detox with the mindset that you are doing for your body what it can’t do for itself, you should instead approach detox with the goal of promoting better body function. With that in mind, here are multiple ways that you can help along the natural detoxification processes of the body.
Change up your diet.
Changing up your diet is one of the best ways that you can reduce the number of harmful substances entering the body in the first place. There are several approaches you can take to detoxifying your body with diet, and they range from fairly moderate to more extreme. In general, a moderate approach is best, especially as more extreme approaches like fasting and drinking only juice have widely debated results. The overall goal with your diet here is to eliminate highly processed foods that contain solid fats and added sugar, replacing them with pure, wholesome foods like raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and lean, grass-fed meat. Added sugars, artificial sweeteners, dairy, and gluten-filled grains are generally off-limits during a dietary detox.
Drink more water.
It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water to keep your digestive tract functioning at its best. Water helps flush toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are needed. It also happens to promote strong kidney and liver health, meaning that your body can better filter substances and eliminate toxins naturally. One rule of thumb to go by to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of water daily is to multiply your weight in pounds by 2/3, using the resulting number as your guide for how many ounces of water you need every day. If you weigh 120 pounds, for example, then you should aim for drinking at least 80 ounces of water per day.
If you have developed a dependence on or addiction to drugs or alcohol, then you may very well need a medical detox in order to help get your body back to functioning well naturally. As this article about alcohol detox explains, detox in this case is a highly tailored process that requires the assistance of qualified medical professionals to carry it out safely and effectively. It is also usually one of the earliest steps for a recovering addict in the recovery process.
Try dry brushing.
Dry brushing is considered by many to be highly effective for supporting the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins and keep harmful substances out of the bloodstream. Brushing the skin with a natural bristle brush for about 5 minutes before every shower can help stimulate the lymphatic system, which keeps particulate matter such as bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
Take a detox bath.
You can also seize the power of hot water to aid in detoxification. A hot detox bath, for example, will open up your pores, increase sweating, and increase blood flow and capillary action near the surface of the skin, causing toxins to be released more quickly. Some will even add Epsom salt and essential oils to their baths to carry these benefits even further. Spending time in a sauna can also offer many of the same benefits as a detox bath.
Get a massage.
As if you didn’t already need an excuse to go get a massage, a thorough massage can actually help to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems of the body.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice in Chinese medicine that people have turned to for centuries—and for good reason. Acupuncture is designed to bring an individual’s health back into equilibrium, helping the body function at its best. And when your body is functioning at its best, it is better able to eliminate toxins from the body naturally. In addition, acupuncture can actually help reduce many of the side effects that can crop up during thorough detoxification, such as fatigue, lightheadedness, headache, diarrhea, and sleep disruption.
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