According to the principles of Ayurveda, spring is the cleansing season. The same way that you spring clean your home, this is a great time of year to cleanse the toxins from your body.
While there are many cleanse programs available, some methods can be intimidating and extreme. The good news is that there are more subtle and gentle techniques that you can use to support your body in getting rid of toxins.
Why should you consider incorporating cleansing techniques in your life?
Your body is an incredible organism that has a natural built-in filtration system to help you get rid of toxins, the harmful substances that have a negative impact on your health. The primary organ that helps to process excess toxins is your liver. Your liver is a powerful built-in filter for toxins, but it’s worth noting that you are exposed to more toxins than any previous generation. This influx of toxins comes from pollution in the air and water, toxic ingredients in beauty care and household cleaning products, electric and magnetic fields from technology, and more.
Some common symptoms of an excess toxic load in your body include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Back pain
- Skin conditions (eg. acne, eczema, psoriasis)
Here are four gentle spring cleansing techniques that will help to take the burden off your liver so that your body will continue to get rid of toxins effectively and efficiently.
1. Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing specifically helps to activate the lymphatic system that resides directly underneath your skin. You can think of the lymphatic system as the stream that helps to get rid of toxins. When you activate your lymphatic system, it helps move toxins more efficiently through your body.
This cleansing practice is best done before you get into the shower. To get started, you’ll need to buy a dry skin brush or glove (look in your local health food store or online). Your dry skin brushing practice will only take about three minutes. Starting at your feet, brush your skin in a circular motion up toward your heart. Work your way up your entire body. Then, using the same circular motion, brush both of your arms—starting from the hands.
Once you are done, hop into a hot shower to experience the full benefits of this gentle cleansing practice. Skin is the body’s largest organ. As you can release toxins through your skin, this exfoliation method also supports healthy detoxification through your skin.
2. Breath Work
There are many breathwork techniques that can help to release toxins from your body. One of the most well-known breathing techniques to help clear toxins from your lungs and respiratory system is Kapalabhati breathing, also known as “breath of fire.” In addition to cleansing your lungs, this form of breathwork also helps to oxygenate your cells, which helps to purify your blood.
3. Greens Powder
While increasing the amount of green vegetables in your diet is a great place to start, it is difficult to get the variety of concentrated nutrients that you’ll find in a greens powder supplement by eating alone. The concentrated vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (such as polyphenols, terpenes, and organic acids) that are found in a complex greens powder are helpful for gently opening up detoxification pathways and supporting liver cleansing. Most greens powders contain sea algae such as chlorella and spirulina, which are phytoplankton from the ocean that have antioxidant effects on the body. Chlorella is rich in chlorophyll, which assists in heavy metal and pesticide detoxification.
Add one scoop of greens powder to a cup of water or a smoothie. Drink your greens powder either in the morning or mid-afternoon as a gentle way to boost your energy levels.
4. Infrared Sauna
An infrared sauna helps to increase your blood circulation and stimulate your sweat glands to help get rid of toxins. They also heat the body from the inside out, raising your core temperature and driving toxins and heavy metals out of the largest organ in your body—your skin. If you are new to using an infrared sauna, start slowly by going in for 10 to 15 minutes. Eventually work your way up to 25- to 45-minute sessions, three to five days per week.
There are many different ways to support your body’s detoxification process. These gentle cleansing techniques help maintain your health and prevent disease. “Gently” press the reset button and start experiencing the many healing benefits of cleansing toxins from your body this spring!
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.
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