Is your body toxic? Here’s what to doYour body has a natural ability to get rid of harmful substances through your organs which include the liver, kidneys, stomach, bowel and the skin. Sometimes the demand on these organs is too much. Your body was not designed to cope with the abundance of toxins that are now part of modern Michele Wolff     During detoxification, toxins are cleared from your body. It is important to support the body with healthy food and water as a lot of toxins sit in the fat cells and lymph underneath your skin. As they mobilise into the blood stream you want them out of your body with minimal impact. This involves neutralising toxins through the liver and helping their removal out of the bowel and via the kidneys, lymph and skin.

     When you change your diet and lifestyle and make better choices, this reduces the intake of toxins and helps toxins to eliminate through your organs. Most people regularly service their cars and clean the pipes; it’s time to treat your body to a service. It can seem overwhelming at first until you plan, organise and decide to start. It’s a bit like cleaning out your garage of rubbish that’s built up over years, and it feels really good to get rid of it.

     As your energy increases through detoxifying, your motivation to keep up the good habits will increase. If you can’t start, just do one small thing to make a difference to your health and commit to it for 100 days. Then start with something else, this time you may find you can do more than one thing and build on it in a way that you can achieve something good for your health. You may cut down from four cups of coffee a day to one, or have brown bread instead of white, go back to butter instead of margarine, have fruit for snacks instead of biscuits, walk to work or climb the stairs instead of taking the lift.

     Whatever you choose, make it real and achievable for you – so you can feel proud of the changes you’ve made rather than a failure. You might like to plan what you will do over 12 months and then look back and see what you have achieved.

Avoid recreational drugs
The three most commonly used recreational drugs in the Western world are caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. These can have harmful effects, putting a load on your liver, and they take valuable nutrients out of your body, making you more susceptible to acidity which leads to disease. Aim to stop them or at least cut back. Green tea has very low caffeine and is high in antioxidants and is a better alternative. Dandelion tea in moderation is a good alternative to coffee and is excellent for liver cleansing and moving your bowels.

Reduce toxins and help your organs to detoxify
The liver plays a big part in detoxification and if you need extra support you may need herbs from your health practitioner. Your naturopath may use herbs like Shisandra, St Mary’s thistle and globe artichoke to help your liver cleanse effectively. They can also do iridology and various insightful tests. A lot can be done with diet, like using lemons in water, consuming dandelion tea and bitter greens. Lifestyle support for other organs includes Epsom salt baths, saunas, hot and cold showers, colonics, skin brushing, deep breathing, meditation and gentle exercise like walking, yoga and tai chi.

     Intestinal gut permeability also plays a role in detoxification. Increased gut permeability allows for increased absorption of toxins, which are processed and removed by the liver, which puts more demand on liver detoxification. Impaired gastrointestinal integrity can be improved with dietary support including prebiotics, probiotics and fibre.

     The sulphur in garlic and onions helps liver detoxification also: selenium in Brazil nuts and garlic, B vitamins in brown rice and quinoa, butter, carrots, lemons, nuts and olive oil for A, C and E; tahini, seaweeds, sardines and yoghurt for calcium and protein foods for amino acids.

     Stress has a huge impact on all diseases including bowel disease. Immunity is lowered and precious magnesium and B vitamins are excreted, which causes more stress.

     Take as much out of your life as possible and avoid situations that make you feel stressed. Take half an hour a day to do something that really relaxes you and feeds your soul. Talk to friends to ease worries. Stress has a big impact on health, and it’s important to relax for long-term recovery and to prevent disease. Aim to reduce your workload and resolve conflicts. You can do a variety of things to help relaxation such as yoga, visualisation, deep breathing, meditation, counselling, personal development, tai chi, qi gong, massage, exercise, bathing in essential oils and magnesium salts, music, reading, art and gardening. Make your home a relaxing place and watch less TV, especially the news.
Clean up your environment
The most common pollutants you need to get rid of to detoxify your environment are those around your home. Have a look under your sinks and get rid of toxic cleaning products. You can clean effectively with bicarbonate of soda and or vinegar. You can also use special cloths that require no cleaning product. Have a look in your bathroom cupboard and remove deodorants with aluminium and chemicals, perfumes, chemical moisturisers, cleansers, harmful first aid products, toxic make-up, hairspray, soaps, washing machine detergents and shampoos. There are a lot of healthy choices now at health food shops, online and through your health practitioner. You can use essential oils like rose and jasmine for perfumes, organic and natural make-up, natural deodorants or bentonite clay with a couple of drops of essential oil. Coconut oil makes a great cleanser and moisturiser.

     Put some Epsom salts or cactus plants around your computer to help absorb EMR. Switch off your wifi.

     Avoid solvents and petrochemicals, and air your house daily leaving the windows open as much as possible. Have the window open slightly at night so you are breathing fresh air. Fans are wonderful ionisers for the air; invest in ceiling fans or overhead fans. Take electrical equipment out of your bedroom and use organic cotton or bamboo sheets.

     If you live in the city, see if you can get to the countryside at weekends for fewer car fumes, and environmental pollutants. There’s nothing like nature and fresh air to renew the mind and body.

Drink pure water
Water is the basis of all life on the planet as well as the most important building block of living organisms. Studies show that drugs entering waste water have an effect on the environment and ultimately you. The quality of your life is connected to the quality of the water you drink.

     Water is an easy and economical way to start detoxifying your body. You need 33ml of water per kg of body weight on a daily basis and are likely to need more while cleansing.

     Look into water filters. The best are those that take fluoride and chlorine out. You can also drink bottled water, though think of the environment with all that plastic, and avoid BPA in some plastic bottles. Warm water is absorbed into your body more easily, but is not good if it has metals in it. While many people are dehydrated, be careful not to over-hydrate because when you do this you will pee out important minerals.

    Boiling water condenses heavy metals and makes them more absorbable.

     You can send a sample of your water to a laboratory for testing if you do not know about your plumbing, or see a naturopath who has testing equipment.

     Tank water can also be contaminated with lead paint or lead flashing from the roof, microbes and air pollution.

     Ozone (03) is a natural, colourless gas with a fresh odour. Nature creates ozone in the air after a storm and this is the fresh smell you notice. Ozone is used to sterilise food, rejuvenate hair, skin, the scalp, for cancer and other medical treatments. Ozone can be made using an ozoniser and adds an extra cleansing quality to water.

Exercise greatly benefits the digestion and elimination. It is one of the key factors in preventing constipation. Getting fresh oxygen for your blood and using your lungs is important for healing. Aim to do at least half an hour a day. While you are cleansing avoid strong exercise as you need to conserve energy to cleanse and revive your body.

     You can do gentle movement like walking, trampolining or use a small lymphaciser (fantastic for detox), yoga, tai chi, swimming in sea water and gentle dance. If you have not exercised regularly, start with five minutes daily and build up by five minutes a day until you get to 30 minutes a day.

Skin brushing
The skin is the largest elimination organ and is connected to the circulation and lymphatic system (your glands that carry toxins, excess fluid and waste from your cells away from the blood). You make new skin every 24 hours and the health of your skin relates to your blood, lymphatic system and liver.

     Skin brushing removes the top layer and helps to release acid waste. The skin needs to eliminate and is usually covered in too many clothes.

     Get a pure vegetable bristle brush (do not use nylon) and before you get into the shower each day, brush your skin starting from your feet moving up your body. Brush your entire body (except your face) in any direction. Your skin will tingle a bit at first and as you get used to it you can brush a little harder.

Lymphatic and other massage
Unlike your heart, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and relies on movement to get it working. If your lymphatic system is not working effectively, waste and fluid builds up in your tissues and then the cells can’t take up nutrients and oxygen properly. Often your body will swell and the glands, predominately under your neck and groin, will swell. The lymphatic system also helps fight off infections.

     When I was working in hospitals, often people who were in a coma or needed a long period of bed rest had lymphatic problems, where their legs and arms would swell with fluid. They had to wear tight stockings, have appliances around their limbs as well as physiotherapy to help pump the lymph. This happened because they weren’t moving.

     In countries like Belgium, lymphatic massage is prescribed for life for women who have had breast cancer. They have found that those who have it regularly have great survival rates and the cancer doesn’t come back.

     You also have lymphatic nodes within your digestive system, so any help for your lymph will stop those nodes becoming overloaded.

     Using essential oils like lemon, lime, may chang and rosemary help the lymph. You can use a carrier oil like Medical food for cancer patients Extensive research with publications in more than 30 peer-reviewed medical journals Must be recommended by a health practitioner pharmacist – check on website or show this ad to your own practitioner almond oil and, for every two millilitres of carrier oil (almond, avocado, grapeseed), add one drop of essential oil and then massage it into your body. So therefore, you can add ten drops of essential oil to twenty millilitres of carrier oil.

     Other massages are also beneficial like Swedish, Thai and remedial massage.

The lymphatic system runs close to the circulatory system and is vital for transporting wastes and excess fluids away from your cells. It is also important for immunity. A small rebounder or lymphaciser is fantastic exercise for your lymph and moves waste though your bowel.

Sufficient sunlight is critical for good digestion. Light on the eye signals the pituitary gland to produce hormones which are essential for the gut. At least 20 minutes of sunlight a day on your forearms and face or equivalent body surface is needed. Vitamin D from sunlight helps happy hormones in the brain. If you feel happy there is less stress on your digestion. Dr. Johanna Budwig has found that “electron rich foods act as solar resonance fields in the body to attract, store and conduct the sun’s energy in our bodies”.
     Eating some raw food, getting out in the sun and allowing the sun to reach the eyes by occasionally removing sunglasses will help vitamin D and absorption of vital energy from the sun.

Saunas are wonderful for detoxification. It is best to go into a far infrared sauna as these have more power at pulling out toxins like heavy metals. They are more economical and induce two to three times more sweat than other saunas and were first developed in Japan. They help pump out toxins at a cellular level rather than through the blood.

     These saunas pull out toxins that are 4cm deep and stored in fat. Pesticides, plasticisers and some pharmaceuticals are man-made chemicals which the body can struggle to get rid of. They are fat soluble and are largely stored in the fatty tissue under the skin. Saunas have been proven to be very effective in removing these types of toxins. As you sweat you will release toxins from your skin and lymph. It is ideal to have one every day during detoxification. Make sure you drink plenty of filtered water to stop dehydration and to replace the water you lose. If you have a medical condition that is affected by heat like high blood pressure, menopause and adrenal exhaustion, avoid saunas.

     Ideally stay in the far infrared sauna for 45 minutes if you can, at 50°C. If you exercise beforehand it helps mobilise the toxins even more. These saunas substantially increase lymphatic drainage. Make sure you towel off or shower to prevent toxins reabsorbing.

     Drink half a litre of water before you go into the sauna and keep up electrolytes lost in sweating with coconut water, adding a teaspoon of Celtic salt to a litre of water or a pleasant vegetable juice.

     Make sure your mineral content is high before and after the sauna, e.g., vegetables juices.
Hot and cold showers
These are fantastic for the circulation and to move the lymph. Get under a warm shower then turn it to cold for 15 seconds, it will make you take deep breaths and shiver a bit. Then turn the shower back to warm, then warmer still as long as you can tolerate it. Then go back to cold as you did before. Repeat this until you have done cold five times, finishing on cold.

Epsom salt and bentonite baths
Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate and they help toxins move out of the skin as well as relaxing the muscles. Bathing in Epsom salts and/or bentonite clay once or twice a week will help your body with elimination. Bentonite clay draws on toxins like a magnet and is very good for helping to remove heavy metals.

     Turn off the phone, light some candles, put on relaxing music and dim the lights. You can add up to six drops of lavender, chamomile and/or geranium oils to the bath or into an aromatherapy burner with water for added relaxation. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea or water and lemon juice to sip by the bath. This will create the scene and you can’t help but be relaxed.

     Add half a cup of salt or clay to a warm bath and relax for 20 minutes. It is best to do this before bed.

     If you have psoriasis or eczema you are better with clay.

     Epsom salts are very cleansing but bathing in them too often can be depleting; so another choice is magnesium chloride. This is more nutritive and feeds the body with magnesium and is useful for tired muscles and stress. It has a less cleansing effect than Epsom salts.

Castor oil packs
Castor oil penetrates deeply into the skin because of its light molecular weight – as a result, tissues and even organs can benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps the liver, abdominal pain, constipation, detox and improves digestion.

     Coffee enemas work exceedingly well to overcome inflammatory aches and pains. People with cancer find it amazing for pain relief. The action of coffee rectally is very different from oral ingestion. These enemas remove circulating toxins that overburden the body, by dilating bile ducts (gall bladder) and by cleansing the liver.

Other enemas that are useful: adding to water in an enema bag:
Bentonite clay – 2tbsp. draws toxins out of the bowel and cleaves onto metals.

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