Found your mojo for 2017 yet? If you are still working through last year’s unfinished business, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. But as you move well and truly into a brand new year it’s time to think about detoxing— unplug from the chaos of everyday life and plug into your body. Wake up and listen, tune into the your body’s quiet messages. And act like your life depends on it!
Pain and discomfort, bloating and irregular bowel movements, fatigue and food cravings, anxiety and sleep problems are so common nowadays but they are NOT normal. The problem is our bodies adapt so well that soon we think it IS normal. We easily pass it off … “I’ve had constipation all my life” or “My mum had a thyroid problem, I have one too”. Health is not about luck, nor is it dependent on your genes. In fact only a fraction of illnesses are genetic—the rest is up to us—how we move, eat, think and act in the world.
Sadly we all have a condition we would prefer not to have. And much of it is due to our toxic environment and toxic thoughts. Toxins—chemicals that accumulate in the body—are everywhere, in soil, water and air. Now more than ever, you are being asked to wake up and question everything you consume from the food you eat, to the products you put on our skin and the water you drink.
What toxins are we talking about?
Food—pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, additives, preservatives, BPA plastics.
Water—fluoride, heavy metals like lead and arsenic, hormones from contraceptive pill.
Household and Personal care products—phthalates, parabens, fragrances.
Not to mention our old faves that we are well aware of, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, damaged fats, gluten.
The body is designed to detox from these stressors every second, every minute whether we are awake or asleep. But it is when the load of stressors and toxins overwhelm the body’s ability to adapt or remove them, that they cause illness, and eventually disease.
How does the body detox?
Kidneys—drinking water (2 litres per day as a minimum) helps the body break down chemicals to make them water soluble so they can be peed out. Invest in a good water filter to remove much of the fluoride, chloride, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses.
Lungs—We breathe in fragrances, road fumes, household chemicals, PVC plastic, weed killers and much more, on a daily basis. Clean up your act and reduce the burden of toxins in and around your home. (To get you started, replace toxin cleaning products with these natural alternatives). Breathing helps your body to remove carbon dioxide a byproduct of metabolism. Release your toxic thought patterns, reduce your anxiety and improve sleep with breathing for just two minutes every day.
Guts—You gotta check your poop, for regularity and consistency. The colon is the major elimination organ and what comes out tells you how well you are digesting and getting rid of waste products. 1-3 bowel movements per day, preferably twice per day, is ideal. Beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods and probiotics have the potential to bind up heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. And good bacteria can also help reduce your excess hormonal load especially damaging estrogens and compete with toxic bacteria and viruses so they don’t get a foot hold. Plant based fibres in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and wholegrains act as a natural broom and sweep them out of the body. Coriander, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage) and sea vegetables (nori, wakame), garlic and onions also support heavy metal and chemical detoxification. Show that you love you guts by moving to a more plant-based diet rich in Vitamin C and other beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and nutrients for daily detoxification.
“I love it! I take 1/2 tsp every morning. No more bloating, candida or IBS. Regular bowel movements and more energy. Woo hoo!”
Linda, Bundaberg Health Foods, QLD
Lymphatics—This is one of the most under-rated detox systems. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. One of the best ways to support the lymphatics is exercise, gentle bouncing on a rebounder, skin brushing and massage. Looking after lymphatics, you also boost the immune system because it transports infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body.
Liver—Along with the colon, the liver is the heavy-weight when it comes to detoxing. Like a big waste recycling centre it receives ‘junk’ from all parts of the body. Provide it with the right nutrients from food and herbs and reduce the burden of food toxins, alcohol and other chemicals, and it does a beautiful job of filtering the blood.
Skin—We forget that the skin is one of our largest organs that absorbs chemicals. Whatever you put on your skin you should be able to put in your mouth. The skin is a great barometer of how your other detox organs are operating. Angry skin, rashes or acne means a blockage somewhere in the liver/gut detox pathways, they are backing up and spilling over into the skin. Dry skin brushing, epsom salt baths, foot soaks with essential oils before bed are lovely self care rituals that pamper the skin and the whole body.
Brain—Our most sensitive organ the brain needs one thing above all else—well apart from water and fuel—and that is rest. At rest, especially sleep, the brain detoxes from chemicals and harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer’s. Cerebral spinal fluid is pumped through your brain’s tissues, flushing the waste from your brain, back into your body’s circulation. From there, the waste eventually reaches your liver, where it’s ultimately eliminated. Early to bed before 11am supports gallbladder and liver detox via the Chinese Meridian Energy System. Waking with a couple of large glasses of water to start your day is a simple way to enhance the flow of energy and wastes through the large intestine.
So with a clear, motivated mindset, choose one area of your life that could do with a shake up. We all know deep down what our what major health issues are and if you listen carefully to your body, you can often find the root cause. For example, ‘my gut problems started when I suffered from food poisoning on holidays’. Wind the clock back and think when you first experienced the issue and what was going on in your life.
Then find a support team—it could be a personal trainer, a health professional, family and friends and then create time and space in your daily routine to do that one thing that can change everything. To do this requires a commitment to clearing out the old and cultivating the life you want. This requires time and space and a life less cluttered.
“We need to uncomplicate life, and get OFF screens more often. There are WAY too many distractions, ‘busy tasks’ and information overload that takes us away from what really matters. We need more quality connection with people and those we love.” ~Avalon Darnesh, Visioning 2017
Let’s create space for a few practices to declutter, detox and supercharge 2017.