Image -The benefits of infrared sauna.
DIY Detox’: Cleanse, detox and alkaline both your internal and external body – without changing your diet.
This is the time of year when many of us have a little freak out about our weight, skin, insomnia, energy levels, mood or whatever your Achilles heel is. It doesn’t just happen that we get out of whack – it takes much dedication to eat and drink too much and move your body as little as possible for a few weeks or more on end.
[private]Jokes aside, I know many people really do freak out in January, which is why ‘FebFast’ is so popular, and you’re unlikely to pick up a magazine in January without most articles and editorial focusing on weight loss, detox, new years resolutions, new year/new you kind of thing. I myself write many of these articles for different publication in January. However this year I wrote about prevention rather than resorting to extreme measures in January – like starvation. I suggest that we don’t pig out and let it all go in December, just because it’s the festive season, and then pay for it for the next couple of months. Here’s the link to a recent article I wrote for ‘Nourish’ magazine called Holiday-Proof Eating’.
So now that it’s January, it’s too late for prevention and we are now in damage control. I will post 2 more Blogs this month related to superfoods, detox and reducing chemicals in your life, but for now I thought it might be a good idea to look at other ways we can eliminate toxins from our body, besides talking food and alcohol.
By removing some or all of these harmful toxins, we allow our ‘organs of elimination’ to work more efficiently, detoxing the free- radicals (the bad guys) and the waste in our bodies without over-loading them, thus causing a burden to our major organs of detox – the liver and kidney’s.
Detox’ begins in the colon, then the liver, and then the other organs, then our blood and skin. Everything that has been gathered up by the liver and by your cholesterol is dumped into the colon and most of it is expelled through your bowel movements (ideally). If it stays too long in the colon (more than 24 hrs after eating), it is then reabsorbed contributing to a toxic, acidic system.
A good cleansing program should always begin by removing the waste in your colon, the last portion of your food processing chain. If you attempt to clean your liver, blood, or lymph system without first addressing a waste- filled bowel, the toxins will only get recycled back into your body. See ways to do this below.
Below are some age old remedy’s that will help alkaline your system, and detox’ your temple, thereby improving your digestion, your skin, mood, mojo, sleep, reducing weight and help put the b-b-bounce back in your bootie.
Happy New Year everyone.
In love and wellbeing,
DRY SKIN BRUSHING
What: Using a soft bristle brush with natural fibres, brush dry skin for a few minutes before you get in the shower. Ideally do this daily for a few minutes, but it’s ok to do it 3-5 times a week. And sometimes I do it in the shower, especially if I’m short on time.
Why: it reduces cellulite, tighten skin, improves blood flow, stimulates lymph glands (an elimination channel) allowing better drainage, exfoliates – thereby removing old dead skin cells, boosts circulation, increases the release of toxins via the skin, promotes tighter and smoother skin and encourages new cell renewal. Helps release fatty deposits under your skin’s surface. Assists the eliminative capacity of your body’s organs. Rejuvenates your cells. Strengthens your immune system. Increases muscle tone. Improves skin texture. Helps prevent premature ageing.
How: Use a natural fibre brush on dry skin and use circular motions, always towards the heart. Start on the soles of your feet moving upwards. Don’t brush too hard, before showering. For cellulite, stay on the area for a few minutes.
What: An ancient Ayurvedic natural remedy for improving health. It involves the use of pure oils to pull out. It’s a great habit to get into first thing in the morning before you do anything else. It feels a bit weird at first but you’ll quickly get used to it, plus once you see and feel the results – you’ll be a convert.
Why: Whitens teeth, detoxifies, makes for clearer skin, improved energy. It helps to pull out damaging bacteria, fungus and other harmful organisms from your mouth, teeth, gums and throat.
How: Use about 1tbsp coconut, olive, hemp, pumpkin seed or macadamia oil – some people like to use ghee but I’d rather not use animal products. Swish for at least 5 minutes (up to 20) then spit out into a paper bag, or in the garden. For a more intense detox, add a drop of an essential oil like tea tree, peppermint, lemon or eucalyptus. I usually make up a 100ml bottle of coconut, pumpkin seed and hemp oils then add a few drops each of one or all of the above oils. (Put it in a wide mouth jar in the cooler months and use a spoon to get it out, as the coconut will solidify.
INFRA RED SAUNA
What: Infrared saunas help your body release a number of toxins, including heavy metals like mercury and lead, and environmental chemicals.
Detoxing – Infrared waves matches the frequency of the water in our cells, causing toxins to be released into the blood stream and excreted through sweat.
Skin Purification – Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores and increasing circulation, resulting in healthier skin.
Immune support – Increase in body temperature, which boosts the production of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Weight loss – Infrared therapy helps eliminate excess moisture, salt and subcutaneous fat from the body.
How: It uses up energy to burn fat because at 43oC fat becomes water soluble and can be dissolved and disposed of by sweating. Increased blood circulation caused by sweating stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built up toxins and waste. If you were new to infrared saunas, I would recommend starting out with 4-minute sessions at 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly working your way up to 15- to 30-minute sessions.
What: Colonic irrigation is a procedure that removes waste material including toxins gathered in the bowel over time/years. It is also known as ‘colonic hydrotherapy’ – a method of hydrating and toning the large intestine. Many since Hippocrates believe that disease begins in the colon so having a healthy colon is critical to good health and wellbeing.
Why: I tend to do this at the beginning of a detox/cleanse, so I know many toxins are being removed before I start. Colonics are known to improve your digestion – specifically by reducing nausea, IBS symptoms, bloating, bad breath, constipation and diarrhea; help to remove parasites, strengthen immunity, improve your skin, stimulate weight loss (don’t do it for this reason please), reduce allergic reactions, help reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue, prevent infection, increases nutrient absorption, and potentially improve sleep and decrease headaches.
How: It’s really important to seek out an experienced practitioner. Asking a friend for a referral is probably the best way, but if this isn’t possible, then when you call the potential clinic be sure to state it is your first colonic, so would like to know exactly what the procedure involves, and the cost. I wouldn’t recommend having anymore than 6 treatments over a month, and it’s not a good idea to have them often, so probably do a course like this once a year, then perhaps one or two at the beginning of each season. That’s how I tend to do it anyway. The first couple of treatments probably aren’t going to be fun at all, but after the water has softened the faecal matter then the ‘release’ flows easier.
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
What: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube.
Why: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-known treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving – but lately hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used to treat other conditions like serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat –
- Anemia, severe
- Brain abscess
- Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Crushing injury
- Deafness, sudden
- Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
- Non-healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
- Radiation injury
- Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
- Vision loss, sudden and painless
The evidence is insufficient to support claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bell’s palsy
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Sports injury
How: Firstly, find a health spa or clinic that has it’s own chamber. (I have one a few minutes away from home. When I found out was overjoyed, as you can imagine.) You lie down dressed, in a sealed chamber (with a see- through lid) and well, relax – for 40 minutes. You feel pretty incredible afterwards.
What: Negative ions are abundant in nature, especially around waterfalls, in the ocean, at the beach and after a storm. They are widespread in mountains and forests.
Why: They release endorphins, our feel-good hormones. Indoor air that has a higher concentration of positive ions can lead to Sick Building Syndrome or even symptoms usually associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Studies suggest that air with an overall depleted ion count (positive and negative) or an abundance of positive ions and a lack of negative ions, does not promote a healthy environment and should be treated as polluted air.
The degree to which negative ions contribute to overall wellbeing and health is scientifically proven. They help to
– neutralise free radicals, (the bad guys)
– revitalise cell metabolism
– enhance immune function
– purify the blood
– balance the autonomic nervous system, promoting deep sleep and healthy digestion.
Negative ions are present in the air we breathe in and they are also present in our bodies. Normal ion counts in fresh country air is 2,000-4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. At a large waterfall you might find over 100,000 negative ions. Polluted air such as in large cities might have less than 100 ions. Indoor air also has concentrations of positive and negative ions just like the air outside. A well ventilated home will have similar concentrations of air ions as the outdoor air. Normal outdoor air (unless you are at the ocean or in the country) will have slightly more positive ions compared to negative ions. Indoor air can receive a higher negative ion count through simple things like showering or having a water source like an indoor fountain or an artificial negative ion generator. The air can also become positively charged or have an abundance of positive ions through pollution and static electricity in your home. Polluted air with a high particulate count of dust, synthetic building materials, synthetic carpets, synthetic furniture, synthetic fabrics and clothing, plastics and urethane finishes all greatly upset the normal ion balance. The air will become statically charged, thereby attracting the negative ions and subsequently depleting or absorbing them. The end result will be indoor air with a depleted supply of negative ions and an oversupply of positive ions.
Negative ions stimulate defense cells in our bodies, which support resistance to disease. Negative ions enhance our mood, stimulate our senses, improve appetite and sexual drive, provide relief from hay fever, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, allergies, migraines, even post operative pain and burns. The body is better able to absorb oxygen into the blood cells, oxidize serotonin and filter airborne contaminants.
The most important benefit of negative ions is that they clear the air of airborne allergens such as pollen, mould spores, bacteria and viruses. Besides that they also clear the air of dust, pet dander and cigarette smoke. Negative ions perform this function by attaching themselves to positively charged particles in large numbers and negatively charging those particles. As a result, these viruses, bacteria and pollen spores become too heavy to remain airborne and are thus prevented from entering your breathing passage where they can make you sick. In other words, negative ions form a protective circle around you.
How: The most obvious way is to get outside into nature. Bush walking, camping, finding a beautiful waterhole and/or waterfall to hang out in, or even just walk around your neighbourhood, assuming the pollution isn’t terrible. Have you bare feet touch the earth as often as you can (this is called ‘earthing’), gardening is wonderful, get in the ocean and wade, swim or surf. Internally, get some indoor plants, and an ‘ioniser’ is another good way to absorb the positive ions. I have one that I can add essential oils to it and it also has a soft night light, so it’s great to leave in the bathroom or kids room overnight. ‘Salt lamps’ are great way to encourage negative ions in your home and/or workplace. I have a few scattered around my place, but be warned – they tend to melt a little in humidity, so you’ll need a plate under them. Try to be mindful about how many chemicals you’re bringing innot your home. Use natural hair, body and cleaning products, and try to buy your food as chemical-free as you can afford or have access to.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (The Elixir of Life)
What: The vinegar must be raw, non-pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. All other vinegars are acid forming.
Why: This Elixir helps to oxygenate the cells, improve circulation, balance your pH, normalize thyroid function and metabolism, rid the body of lactic acid and calcium deposits, increase circulation, absorption, and assimilation of vitamins and minerals.
How: Make a simple mixture of vinegar & (optional) raw honey. You can add some clean water if you like. Some people like to mix them together in the morning and drink it like this – a straight shot of vinegar and a shot of honey. Or try this ancient formula – Mix 1 cup of the apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of honey (can use less or more honey, depending on your taste) and have 3 tablespoons spread out throughout the day. Or dilute it in more water or in tea – it won’t weaken its potency – and drink it all in one day.
What: Lemon juice and clean water. Try to do this most mornings
Why: Over time it will start to flush out toxins, balance you pH levels, help weight loss, boost immunity and improve digestion
How: Squeeze half a lemon into ½ glass (preferably) warm water, and a little honey if you like. Drink it all day and you can add the smallest pinch of Himalayan Crystal Salt.
What: Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Commonly called Epsom salt, taking its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay
Why: An effective laxative, which draws water into the bowels, helping to ease constipation and bloating. Other ways to use it to detox’ below
Hangover: A great way to expel toxins caused by the breakdown of alcohol in the body. Dissolve 1 tsp in water and drink. You can also dissolve 1 cup in a bath and soak
Foot Scrub: Dissolve about 1 tbsp in some eater to make a paste. Get rid of dead skin to allow toxins to be eliminated easier
Weight Loss: It’ll help to reduce a sluggish bowel thereby promoting a flatter tummy, reducing skin puffiness and cellulite
Greasy Hair: Dissolve about 3-6 tbsp (depending o the length of your hair) in about 1/2 cup of your natural shampoo. Work it into the roots whilst your hair is still dry. Rinse it out with apple cider vinegar
Face Scrub: use 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tsp epsom salts, 2 drops each of pure essential oils like lavender, orange or rose.
What: This clay has been used for thousands of years around the world as an important healing and detoxification substance
Why: Contemporary science proves bentonite clay’s ability to gather and eliminate bacteria, fungus, mycotoxins, enterotoxins, pollutants/ contaminants and heavy metals. It works in air, water, soil and body environments to naturally cleanse. It’s used for both internal and external detoxification
How: A healing drink, foot soak, face mask, toothpaste or bath. (See below)
Mix together 1 tbsp of liquid Bentonite Clay and 1 tbsp whole psyllium husks (not powdered), and then add a bit of pure water to make a paste. Fill the glass up with water and stir then drink quickly before it turns into glugg. Chase with another glass of water. Do this for a few days to 6 months before you start to cleanse. Drink on an empty stomach. Don’t eat for one hour before taking the drink and one hour after drinking it. This is very important! The bentonite clay needs to absorb toxins and the psyllium husks need to scrub out the corners of your intestines all by themselves. Food will interrupt their work. One must drink lots of warm water while doing this bowel cleanse – to ensure that you don’t get constipated. Remember that warm water stimulates peristalsis (the bowels) and cold water doesn’t. Drink at least 2 litres of clean, warm water a day.
This simple DIY detoxifying foot soak combines the benefits of bentonite clay, epsom salt, apple cider vinegar and essential oils for a nice detox & stress relief. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add 1 cup epsom salt, 2 tbsp clay, 1 cup apple cider vinegar and a few drops of an essential oil like rosemary, lemon, or really any 100% pure oil you have. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, rinse and lightly scrub with a pumice stone or course washer, then rinse again. Say hello to soft, clean feet and goodbye a whole lot of toxins and rough, old skin. If you’ve got time, give yourself a pedicure after as your feet and nails will be nice and soft.
Mix together1 tbsp bentonite clay, 1 tbsp coconut oil and enough lemon juice to make a wet paste. Adding 1 tsp raw honey – as an anti-bacterial agent – is optional. After cleansing your face and neck apply the mask in a thin and even layer. I like to use a fan brush to help do this. Leave it on for bout 15 minutes until it dries. If you want to leave it on longer then pat your face with a damp washer to wet your mask. If it gets too hard and dry it can start to pull moisture out of your face. Wash off with warm water then tone and moisturize to finish.
2 tbsp bentonite clay
2-4 tbsp clean (filtered or boiled water that has cooled)
4 drops tea tree oil
5 drops liquid stevia or xylitol
10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
Small pinch of sea or Himalayan salt
Method – Combine 2 tbsp of water with clay in a non-metal bowl and mix well using a wooden spoon. (The clay should never come in contact with any metals.) Add tea tree oil, stevia and 10 drops of peppermint essential oils. Mix well.
Add pinch of salt, mix well and taste. Add additional stevia, peppermint essential oils (one drop at a time), and water (2 tsp at a time) to taste and texture.
The flavors will meld together over time, so wait 48 hours before checking and adjusting the flavour.
Store toothpaste in a glass jar with a lid.
The toothpaste will dry out over time if left uncovered. To rehydrate, simply add a little water
To make lemon toothpaste, reduce tea tree oil to 2 drops, and substitute lemon essential oil for peppermint essential oil.
To make orange toothpaste, do the same this as above but use orange essential.
½ cup bentonite clay
½ cup Epsom salts
A few drops of sssential oils
Place them all in the bath under the running tap. Emerge and stay there for at least 15-20 minutes. I have been known not to get out for hours…and hours.