Every year after the holidays I start thinking about my post-holiday DETOX. Maybe it’s the increased amount of red wine I drink in the name of all things Santa (did anyone else get their kid Legos for Christmas? Man that’s a lot of building). Or maybe it’s the holiday cookies I sample after they come out of the oven (I call this quality control and it’s really important to do when you make cookies). Or maybe it’s the fact that the current year is coming to a close, and a new year is about to begin. Either way, on December 26th I start contemplating my detox strategies.
In my younger years I committed to a full on juice cleanse, usually consisting of liquid meals most of the day and fruits and vegetables for dinner. I never felt good doing these cleanses because I was constantly hungry with crazy low blood sugar. My low blood sugar meant I was constantly in a stress response, jittery and grumpy. I usually powered through with my liquid cleanse for a few days, and then congratulated myself on my efforts by eating (and drinking) everything in sight. Not surprisingly, this method wasn’t super detoxifying and usually left me feeling drained and disappointed in myself. As I learned more and more about nutrition and metabolism, I gave up this rollercoaster of intense diet modification and moved on to a more gentle method of supporting my body through detoxification. Below are some of my favorite ways to detox after the holiday madness.
5 Natural Detox Methods
1) Epsom salt baths: Rich in magnesium and sulfate, epsom salts are a great detoxifier. Epsom salts help to flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells. 2 cups of Epsom salts dissolved in your bath (3 times weekly) will give your body a gentle and supportive detoxification.
2) Dry Brushing: We all usually have time for a shower, right? Adding dry brushing to you pre-shower routine can help you detoxify your body. Dry brushing removes the dead skin cells that fill up with the toxins in our environment. When dead cells are removed, skin pores stay unclogged allowing us to detoxify more efficiently throughout the day. You can buy a body brush at any health food store, drug store, or online. Start with your hands and feet and use circular, gentle brush strokes moving up your extremities towards your heart. This method (brushing towards your heart center) also stimulates your lymphatic system.
3) Massage: Need a reason to book a massage in the New Year? Here it is! Massage supports the lymphatic system, the system designed to rid our bodies of toxins. If you find a practitioner who can also perform lymph drainage during your treatment, even better.
4) Oil Pulling: An ancient Ayurvedic detoxification method, oil pulling is receiving renewed attention these days in holistic health circles. Oil pulling has a range of associated health benefits including healthier teeth and gums, whiter teeth, strengthening the lymphatic system and regulating menstrual cycles… to list only a few. The protocol is simple: first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) swish around 1 tablespoon of cold pressed vegetable oil (coconut oil gets rave reviews) in your mouth for 20 minutes. It feels weird at first, but I speak from experience when I say you get used to it. Do not swallow the oil. Spit it into the garbage after 20 minutes and rinse out your mouth. Try oil pulling a few times a week and see how you feel.
5) Exercise: Any exercise that gets your body moving will help with detoxification, however, surprisingly rebounding wins the gold star for optimal detoxification. Did your grandma have a mini trampoline? Mine did, and turns out she was onto something. Rebounding, or jumping on a mini trampoline, is an efficient method used to pump lymph fluid throughout the body. This lymph-pumping exercise is fabulous for helping you detoxify!
I also love the idea of connecting with the earth as a form of detoxification, too. What are your favorite post-holiday detox methods?