Spring Cleaning for Your Body
By Dr. Michelle Robin, Johnson County LIVING WELL Magazine
Ah, spring! Everything around us is fresh, releasing the old and bringing forth the new. As the days get longer, brighter, and warmer, we open the windows, and do a thorough cleaning and decluttering of the house and the yard. Spring is a great time to refresh the body as well. The best way to do this is to detox.
The body is masterful at self-healing and self-renewal. However, to be efficient it needs to be free of toxins. The body naturally rids itself of toxins in three ways: urine and bowel movements, sweat, and breathing. So what do I mean by toxins? Our body gets cluttered just as our homes do. You take in toxins through what you eat, drink, and breathe, as well as what you put on your skin. Some of these toxins you knowingly consume by eating processed foods, drinking sodas, alcohol, smoking, and taking drugs (pharmaceutical or otherwise). However, many toxins that are cluttering your body are unknown. You avoid processed foods, but you still get pesticides from your fruits and veggies. You drink water or tea but it is unfiltered or contains caffeine. You keep your skin moisturized but you can’t pronounce 95% of the lotion ingredients. And you can’t help but breathe the air. You keep your house clean, but use harsh chemical products. We also hold onto negative emotions that can be toxic to our bodies.
Even though you can’t avoid coming into daily contact with all toxins and you certainly can’t prevent them entirely, you can help your body speed up the detoxification process. What can you do? Practice clean eating – eat as organic as possible and whole foods, which also give you great fiber (25-35 grams per day). Limit your processed food intake. Limit your over-the-counter or pharma drugs. Drink plenty of filtered water and cut out the caffeine and soda. Practice deep breathing – it will oxygenate the blood, push out carbon dioxide, and help release stuck emotions. Increase physical activity, work up a good sweat. Yoga is excellent for both the breath work, physical activity, and even releasing stuck emotions. Take an Epsom salt bath that draws out toxins. As you run out of cleaning supplies replace them with earth friendly versions. Pay attention to the labels on skin care products; replace with natural or pure versions as you run out.
Everything mentioned above is good practice to keep your body as toxin-free as possible on a day-to-day basis. I also encourage you to do a detox program at least once or twice a year. There are several simple detox programs from which to choose. You can learn about them online, at a health food store or from your health care provider. A very simple program that I recommend to many of my clients is a three-day veggie, fruit and liquid diet. On days one and three you eat only vegetables and fruit (mostly veggies), raw or cooked. On day two you only consume liquids, like a mineral or vegetable based broth. Throughout all three days you drink a lot of water and naturally decaffeinated tea. It is simple and yet effective, especially if this is your first detoxification effort.
There are a few more complex things you can do to assist your body. These include using an infrared sauna, getting colon hydrotherapy, or taking supplements to balance the flora in the digestive system. Your health care or wellness provider can talk with you in greater detail about all of these options, and you should never engage in these kinds of practices without their guidance.
Your body is in constant renewal as part of the natural world. Keep it free of toxins and give it the care and support needed to flourish!
Dr. Michelle Robin, founder and CWO, Your Wellness Connection, P.A., is the author of Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life. Her latest book, The E Factor – Engage, Energize, Enrich: Three Steps to Vibrant Health, releases in May 2012. She may be reached at 913-962-7408 or email email@example.com. www.yourwellnessconnection.com.