Do you secretly cringe at the thought of detoxing? Foul tasting drinks, rabbit food and a total ban on most of the food you love? Well, there are other ways to go about detoxing which don’t involve food. Your body has the ability to release toxins through more channels than just your digestive system. Sweating, breathing, physical movement and pressure on the body and the use of certain substances all help your body to excrete waste.
Here is a list of some of the ways you can detoxify your body which do not involve food:
1. Breath of fire
This is a breathing technique designed to help you expel waste from your body though your breath. It releases toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous linings, blood vessel and other cells. Besides detoxing your body, it also expands the lung capacity and increases vital strength.
To conduct the breath of fire, sit cross legged on the floor with a straight spine. Close your mouth and only breathe through your nostrils. Take a deep breath in and then release. Take another deep breath, hold, and then breathe out in short, full bursts by contracting your diaphragm to force the air out (like when you think a bug has flown up your nose and you are trying to clear it out). You do not need to consciously breathe in, your body naturally sucks in air after each breath out. There is no set tempo for your breaths, but aiming for one breath out every three seconds is probably a good starting point for beginners. Repeat for one minute, then take in a very large breath, ensuring your lungs are completely expanded. Hold that breath in for 10 seconds, and release. Repeat the whole process up to six times.
For a great start to the day, try the breath of fire when you first wake up. Tissues are a good idea for this one.
2. Salt bath
Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. There are many different types of bath salts out there and most have several benefits besides the detoxing effect. Check out Ilo Organics (iloorganics.com) for a cool range of organic bath and shower products. Or, if you have some Epsom salt at home, you can use that. Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate. The magnesium is said to release stress and relax the body. The sulphates help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. For a detoxifying bath, add two cups of Epsom salt to the bathwater and soak for at least 20 minutes.
Not only do most massages feel A-mazing, but they also help you to remove unwanted products from your system. They do this by improving circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system. I liken a massage to the process I used to employ to get bubbles out from under the contact, when I was covering books for school with a ruler. Massages physically push the stuff you don’t need in your body out of the areas it has been accumulating.
4. Oil pulling
This is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that is becoming more popular in Western society as people recognise its benefits. It involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (coconut oil is great) in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.
Yoga cleanses your body in numerous ways: through breath; massage (different positions force parts of your body onto the floor to massage your organs and muscles); sweat and meditation (which allows you to recognise and release toxic thoughts). In addition, yoga stretches allow you to open up areas in your body where you store stagnant (for example, in your shoulders if that’s where you store stress). This also helps to release toxins. For those who aren’t already yoga fans, you can see now how effectively it detoxes the body and makes you feel great - "why it is pretty bloody good" in other words!
6. Cardio exercise
This helps your body to remove waste in two ways: firstly, it increases your energy levels so that your body is charged up enough to release the waste. Secondly, it forces you to sweat which releases toxins through the pores of your skin.
7. Colonic irrigation
Yeah, you might want to see a professional with a good reputation for this one. In a nutshell, colonic irrigation clears out the intestinal tract so that it can function as efficiently as possible. They say that the average person has a shitload (get it?!) of built up waste material attached to the intestinal walls which, in turn, prevents our bodies from receiving all the nutrients in the food we eat.
8. Drink more water
This one is simple. Drinking more water flushes the system of toxins.
9. Get some fresh air
Instead of spending time in places where the air is full of pollutants such as smog, spend some time in nature. Doing so gives your lungs a rest from being bombarded with the bad stuff so that it has a chance to remove the in-situ toxins from your system.
10. Get more rest
The kinder you are to your body, the more chance it has to function properly and remove toxins naturally.
Do you have any favourite non-food related ways of detoxing?