Detoxification need not be something to dread as an expensive, complicated and exhausting ordeal. A few quick daily habits can flush out physical and emotional toxins gently and easily. Air, water and a brush are the magical trio that encourage a healthy body, sparking mind and balanced emotions.
Breathing usually is not something we think about since it comes so naturally. But a majority of people really don't breathe correctly, especially in our fast paced world. The breath tends to be constricted, shallow and stressed. This style of breathing deprives us of much needed oxygen -- contributing to brain fog, fatigue and accumulation of toxins. But this problem is easily solved with a bit of awareness, intention and a breathing technique called kapalbhati -- "sparkling mind" in Sanskrit. The first breathing habit to cultivate is awareness of the breath. Most people only breath from the upper portion of the lungs, but we really need to draw air in fully with the diaphragm. Take a few moments through out the day to breathe deeply. By taking in more oxygen, tissues are effectively detoxified, the mind is clarified and the nervous system is calmed -- leading to positive emotional states. Next, the kapalbhati practice. Here are the instructions according to Pure Inside Out:
"Sit in a comfortable position with spine erect…Breathe normally for about a minute. Once composed, you can begin. First, exercise the diaphragm by exhaling suddenly and quickly through both nostrils, producing a "puffing" sound. Don't focus on inhalation. It will be automatic and passive. This exercise should be done in three rounds, each consisting of 11 strokes (for the beginner)."
Drinking water seems like such a basic action, yet dehydration is common. Drinking 2.2L of water (approximately 9 cups) will flush out toxins throughout the day -- helping to ease the stress put upon the kidneys and liver. It is particularly important to drink plenty of water first thing in the morning as toxins have accumulated during the night. Adding the juice of half a lemon is even better as it helps to support the liver. Chinese medicine believes that the liver is the seat of anger while the kidneys are associated with fear -- balancing these organs is important for emotional health. Purified water is crucial otherwise we are simply trading one toxin for another. Reverse osmosis is the most reliable form of water purification since it is one of the few methods that removes fluoride.
Dry skin brushing is another economical and easy way to detoxify. Dead skin cells are sloughed away, the lymphatic and immune system are stimulated while toxin harboring cellulite is reduced. A wide, long-handled natural bristle brush is all that's needed. Begin with dry skin and brush in upward strokes toward the heart. The feet are a good place to start. Brush the legs, arms, back and abdomen. It takes only 5-10 minutes to brush the entire body. Make sure to enjoy a hot shower afterwards, drink a big glass of water and breathe deeply. Your happily purified body will thank you.
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