I believe that medicine’s potential is much more than the version we see in the world today. A doctor should be an educator with the goal of bringing patients to a place of deeper understanding of who they are in the world. To me, medicine is ultimately about self-empowerment through self-knowledge and growth.
Whether you are facing a major health challenge or are thinking in terms of prevention or even performance optimization, the basic principles are the same. Working at a healthy foundation is your move, and it is powerful. And detox is a great place to start. Let’s review some helpful principles.
It’s a fact of being human that the outside world challenges us. The toxification / detoxification balance is as timeless and as basic as the day/night rhythm and has been part of our physical existence for far longer than the modern era. No doubt modern life ups the ante, exposures surely are more complex than ever and we need to take special steps to support our detox pathways. Let’s dive in.
We are exposed to toxins from
in the air we breath
in the water we drink
the food we eat
skincare, household and cleaning products
the thoughts we think, what we listen to and watch, mental and emotional toxins
If you’re awake you are getting toxic. Consciousness is one and the same as toxicity, actually. But it’s controlled and beneficial toxicity and part of the swinging contraction and expansion cycle that makes up our core.
Our body has important processes that counter our inevitable exposure. These have been built up over our evolution. The ways we get exposed point to the main organ regions in our organism that help us detoxify:
Colon and Liver
Emotional body, soul life
What happens if we aren’t in balance with our intake and clearance of toxins? We can get symptoms and illnesses, of course. The list is as long as you can imagine. In other words, no symptom or illness complex won’t be helped, at least in part, by starting with a foundation of supporting detox and recovery.
The first basic principle is to be smart about toxin exposure. There is so much that we must face and overcome that is beyond our choice. Limiting the exposures we can control is a smart step. This is somewhat individual but there is a basic universal approach depending on your aim: low sugar, no drugs or alcohol, no caffeine, no processed food, no gluten, no dairy, clean water, unrefined salt (not too much, not too little), healthy movement, and good amounts of quiet time.
Special look to the skin
Let’s turn our attention to the skin.
Do you know dry skin brushing? A firm, bristled brush is swept across the skin, from toe to head. Both the skin and brush are completely dry. It’s exfoliating, supportive of circulation, and energizing. Due to its irritating nature, it isn’t for everyone or all skin conditions but done carefully can enhance detox.
Now to washing: the detox bath.
It’s as simple as washing regularly and smarter.
Showers are somewhat of a compromise. A soak is more detoxifying. The idea of a detox bath is instructive. Let’s review.
There are two phases to a detox bath: the first part is to soak for up to 20 minutes in the hottest bathwater that is comfortable. This helps pull toxins to the surface of the skin. Exercise also does the same as does a sauna. As the water cools, the second phase is to soak in the cooled water which serves to expel the toxins through the skin. Cold water may also be added to the tub during the final phase.
The contrast of a very cold bath after a hot bath (hydrotherapy) is great for overall organ function, including mental health, and reducing pain. Simply allowing your bath water to get cooler is a good approach for detoxification.
I like the version of a detox bath where tepid water (between 70 and 80 degrees) is applied over 5-15 minutes as tolerated to the sitting regions, from the thighs to the belly button. The picture is sitting in a tub with feet and chest out of the water. A soak to the sitting regions and cool water washings are applied to the legs and chest.
Foot baths are a great alternative if you have less time or the weather is hot.
Baking soda, mineral sea salts, seaweed, and apple cider vinegar each have their unique attributes and benefits and can be added to the bath. Some recommend rotating bath additions.
I’m a full-on proponent of the detox lifestyle, no matter who you are. But, be in touch with your inner guidance — realize you are your best teacher. What works for you will be different than someone else.
You can’t outsource your health. Claim it for yourself.
Why? You really, really are worth it. And the extent of truth that lives in that statement is incomprehensibly massive.