A detox doesn’t have to be a complicated, expensive or difficult process. Actually, there are ways you can detoxify your body in less than 5 minutes with nothing more than a spoon or sponge. No matter how careful we are with our diet and lifestyle choices, there are still many toxins in our environment which accumulate in our bodies. So just as you regularly clean your house and your teeth, it’s important to regularly clean out your body. During my recent stay at The Sanctuary in Mexico, I learned 5 ridiculously easy and cheap ways to detox that I have started doing for myself and think you’ll love too.
WHY IT’S DETOXIFYING: This simple ayurvedic* hygiene practice removes bacteria and toxins that accumulate on the tongue overnight, to prevent you from ingesting them again. It also stimulates and cleanses the digestive tract and the vital organs, through acupressure points on the tongue. So not only is it good for oral hygiene, it also supports the natural detoxification of your entire system.
TIME NEEDED: 30 seconds
WHEN: First thing in the morning
EQUIPMENT: a stainless steel (metal) spoon
HOW: Open your mouth and use the spoon to scrape your tongue from back (as far back as comfortable) to front in long firm strokes, rinsing the spoon in between each stroke. Do this until your tongue feels free of coating, then rinse your mouth with clean water and spit.
WHAT I THINK: It was amazing to see how much gunk came off my tongue sometimes! I often have strong morning breath, and tongue scraping already feels like a big help with this. I have also noticed how the thickness of the coating on my tongue is an indicator of the quality of my diet and lifestyle choices. Plus, this is just so incredibly easy and quick to do, and requires no daily preparation or reminder, since it’s first thing in the morning when I go to the bathroom anyway. I just make sure to always have a spoon near my bathroom sink, so I won’t forget. Easy!
*Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old science of healing which originated in India.
WHY IT’S DETOXIFYING: It’s called oil pulling because the oil actually pulls toxins out of your mouth. First, the oil mixes with the saliva, and lipids in the oil pull out toxins from the saliva. As the oil is swished around in the mouth, it continues to absorb toxins. It is also believed that oil pulling stimulates the lymphatic system and aids in the transport of toxins away from vital organs.
TIME NEEDED: 10-15 minutes, but you can do other things at the same time.
WHEN: On an empty stomach, such as before breakfast or a few hours after a meal.
EQUIPMENT: high quality (cold-pressed, extra-virgin) coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil
HOW: Simply put about a teaspoon of the oil into your mouth and swish it around in your mouth. DO NOT swallow it, as it will be accumulating toxins. Once the oil and saliva start feeling thicker (about 10-15 minutes) in your mouth, spit it out – never down the drain or toilet, only in the garbage bin – then rinse your mouth with fresh water and spit.
WHAT I THINK: I had heard about my friends benefiting from oil pulling, not only for general detoxification, but also to eliminate tooth decay and aid digestion. I love how easy this is, and that I can do other things while I am swishing the oil in my mouth. I like to start swishing soon after I wake up (after tongue scraping), so I can do my 20 minutes of swishing while showering, getting dressed and/or making breakfast.
Dry Skin Brushing (& Wet Skin Sand Brushing)
WHY IT’S DETOXIFYING: Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and also is detoxification organ, like your liver, kidneys and colon. Brushing the skin helps keep the pores clear of debris and dead skin which can get in the way of your body excreting toxins through the skin. Like oil pulling, skin brushing is also thought to stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps to move toxins through the body.
TIME NEEDED: 3-5 minutes
WHEN: Before a shower
EQUIPMENT: Natural bristled brush or loofa
HOW: Rub the loofa over your skin across your entire body. It is recommended to work in this order: lower limbs, upper limbs, back, then abdomen – always moving in strokes towards the heart. Brush until your skin is rosy and slightly tingly. Always shower or rinse after you dry brush to wash off the dead skin.
WHAT I THOUGHT: I found the loofa to be very rough and painful on my skin, so I couldn’t do it for more than 15 seconds before I decided it wasn’t for me. Maybe I just need to try a softer loofa, like the ones for washing your body in the shower.
ALTERNATE OPTION: However, I found a fabulous alternative for anyone who has access to a beach. Do your skin brushing with wet sand! Kaiya and I have been doing this several times a week as it is so much fun, feels great – like an expensive spa exfoliation treatment – and when we swim into the ocean to wash it off, our skin feels baby soft.
Far Infra Red Sauna
WHY IT’S DETOXIFYING: Once again, the skin is the largest organ for detoxification, and this is usually done through sweating. However, this type of sauna works better than others because the Far Infra Red heat waves match the frequency of the water in your cells, causing toxins to be released into the blood stream and excreted through the sweat. So not only are you sweating out water, but also plenty of fat soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulphuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid. This unusually high concentration of heavy metals & other fat-soluble toxins is not found in the sweat from normal exercise.
TIME NEEDED: 15-30 minutes
EQUIPMENT: Far-Infared Sauna
HOW: Take off your clothes, turn on the sauna and sit in it for awhile, getting sweaty. Start with about 10 minutes the first time or two, then you can stay in the sauna a bit longer each time. It’s recommended to drink a large glass of water before and after your sauna, and rest for a bit afterward if needed.
WHAT I THOUGHT: What a great excuse to sit and do nothing. My friend uses her sauna time to read, but because I was all sweaty I didn’t want to read, so it was the perfect chance to meditate, rest, or think without distraction. The heat felt quite good too. After a 20 minute session, I was a tiny bit woozy when standing, so I rested for 15 minutes afterward – this time reading :).
WHY IT’S DETOXIFYING: Toxic fecal waste called mucoid plaque builds up on the wall of your colon over time, just like plaque builds up on your teeth. Not only does this intestinal plaque become more toxic over time, but it also blocks up the intestinal tract making it more difficult to eliminate waste through normal bowel movements, or poos. The water from the enema loosens that hard debris from your colon walls and flushes it out of your body.
TIME NEEDED: 15-25 minutes
EQUIPMENT: enema bag (or jug) with attached hose and nozzle; toilet
HOW: Fill the bag (or jug) with water, all the way to the top and pinch the hose with your fingers or a clothespin to stop the water from flowing yet. Hang the bag up on a towel rack or cabinet handle (or put the jug on the bathroom counter).
Kneel down, lower your head toward the floor, and insert the nozzle in your anus. Release the pinch on the hose and allow the water to flow into your colon. If at times it feels too intense or pressure builds from the water flow, simply pinch the hose and wait a minute, then let it flow again until the bag (or jug) is empty.
Then grab your book, sit on the toilet and let it all come out. This part takes about 10-15 minutes and often stops and starts a few times, so just relax and wait until nothing more comes out.
WHAT I THOUGHT: This is by far my new favourite detox method. I should have been doing this years ago! I felt absolutely fantastic afterwards – light as a feather, no more bloat, clear-headed and cleaned out! I did 4 enemas my first week, and now will aim to do it about 2-3 times per month for maintenance. After almost 40 years of eating (plenty of suboptimal food too!), I figure there is plenty of build-up of old toxic waste in my colon. Hail the enema! And I get in some reading time while I’m sitting on the toilet :).
Judging by the popularity of our video of Brad getting a colonic, many of you are realizing the importance of detoxifying your body regularly!
Have you tried any of these detox methods? Tell us about it in the comments below – what did you think?
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