Assisting the Cleansing Process
Are you jumping into a cleanse this Spring? If you are considering it or have joined one or doing your own, CONGRATS! If your still on the fence, NOW’S THE TIME!
Doing a cleanse, whether your doing all liquids or all raw foods, there are a few things to consider. It’s more than JUST what you are putting in to your body. You have got to take care to make sure you are assisting in the release of what needs to COME OUT!
What do I mean by that? Well, there are “7 Channels of Elimination” to maintain as you cleanse. There’s the bowels, blood, skin, kidneys, lymph, lungs and liver. These are the places the toxins will be taking an exit out of your body!
Just as when you are doing Spring cleaning in your home, you would never start dusting and mopping and not have a ways to get all the gunk out of your house, you don’t want to start moving toxins into your system without giving them a clear and open pathway to be removed. Otherwise, you will create bigger problems than what you had when you began.
So how do we clear the pathways?
The bowel gets rid of toxins from the digestive system and the liver. It’s critical to keep the bowels moving especially while on a cleanse. If they are allowed to back up you will be reabsorbing toxins, let alone feeling “plugged up”. If you are doing a juice only cleanse you may want to do daily enemas to keep things moving along. If you are doing smoothies or raw foods, you may still need 1 or 2 enemas a week.
Regardless of the cleanse you are on, drinking lots of water is very important. General guidelines for water is half your body weight in ounces and day, so if you weigh 160 lbs you should be drinking at least 80 ounces of water. If you are active and exercising or using steam or saunas you need to increase the amount of water you are consuming.
The blood transports toxins through the body for elimination, so good circulation is critical for cleansing. While cleansing, gentle to moderate exercising is beneficial. If you have the energy you CAN do more but don’t allow yourself to get overly tired. Going for a walk, doing yoga or rebounding are good ways to get the blood circulating.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body! It releases more toxins, via sweat, than the kidneys and bowels combined! I am a huge advocate of body scrubs and dry brushing for this reason! Dry brushing and body scrubs will assist dead skin cell removal and open up clogged pores, which in turn will allow your skin to release toxins through perspiration more effectively.
What you put ON your skin is also very important! Your skin releases toxins AND absorbs. So a good rule of thumb is, “If your can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!” However, not all skin care products will taste that great...think salt scrubs or essential oils etc. Choose organic when possible! A simple body scrub recipe is simply 1 cup salt or sugar 1 2-3 tbls coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil if desired. Easy as that! I recommend scrubbing once a week and I often do them every other day. Dry body brushing can be done every day. Coconut oil is a great and nourishing daily moisturizer too!
The kidneys are the filter for massive amounts of blood, they remove toxic substances and maintain the body’s water balance. Drinking plenty of fresh, flitered water assists the kidneys in doing their job. Include Dandelion leaves in your juices, smoothies and salads as they have a diuretic effect and stimulate the kidneys.
The Lymphatic System
The lymph system moves wastes and toxins from the cells and the circulatory system to the organs of elimination in the body. The lymph system carries the immune cells. The lymphatic system can get sluggish due to it not having a “pump” of it's own so it depends on movement of the body to keep it flowing well.
Exercise it so important for this purpose. One of the best ways to keep the lymph system in tip top shape is rebounding. A rebounder essentially is a mini trampoline. The bouncing movement really gets this system moving as it creates a pumping movement of the muscles. Rebounding is also an incredible overall exercise for the body! Spirulina has been shown to improve the function of immune cells as well.
Deep breathing is another, and one of the best ways, to remove toxins from your system! Deep breathing also increases the flow of lymph. You actually release 70% of your toxins from the lungs! Learning how to breath properly however, is critical. Proper deep breathing removes carbon dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and improves overall blood quality. Breathing also increases assimilation and digestion of food by improving oxygen to the stomach and digestive organs. One of my favorite books on proper breathing techniques is Conscious Breathing by Gay Hendicks.
Time saving tip: Start the day with Dry Brushing, do yoga and focus on deep breathing, “pranayama”, then have your green juice after your practice.
The liver is responsible for over 500 functions including converting destructive toxins, as well as hormones, into less harmful substances that the body can eliminate. The liver receives blood and lymph and carries toxins away. Milk Thistle is a fantastic herb to help regeneration of the liver. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage all help detoxify the liver so include them in your juicing protocol. Cruciferous veggies also are abundant in cancer fighting chemicals!
If you are using enemas during your cleanse, a coffee enema will assist even more liver detoxification.
Nurturing yourself while cleansing
While on your cleanse take time to nurture your entire being, body mind and spirit. Use this time to heal on deeper levels. Journal about your experience, your emotions, how your body feels, the challenges etc. This is an amazing way to see your progress as well as other places in your life that need attention.
Make this time a healing and enjoyable time. When you feel like resting, rest. When you feel like exercising, exercise. When you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like getting a massage, get one! Allow yourself this time to take care of the most important person in your life...YOU!
If you are considering a cleanse, I suggest hoping onto the http://www.Cleanseamerica.com program that I will be doing starting April 9th with Paul Risse, Penni Shelton and Linda Heflin MD have put together!
In love and health,
Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC