Twelve Ways to Naturally Promote Detoxification - Part II
There are numerous methods to insure internal detoxification--some more complicated and requiring equipment--however, the following are practical suggestions that can easily be added into daily life to support your natural detoxing ability. There can also be great value in more strenuous detoxing, such as colonic therapy, fasting, coffee enemas, deep tissue massage treatments, etc., but they should be ideally supervised by a health professional and preceded by the general suggestions below:
1. Adequate Rest: Physical stress produces increased cellular waste and reduced immune capability. Resting restores immunity and enhances your liver's detoxifying abilities. Ideally, in a healthy state, we rarely require more than 7 hours of sleep. Thomas Edison got by, supposedly with 4, but he took frequently 15-minute naps throughout his day. When you rest, wearing an eye-mask can allow you a deeper rest, as light exposure makes sleep less restful. Additionally, make sure that your room is dark and cool. Cool air will keep blood from pooling at your skin surface (particularly the face) and can reduce superficial dreaming, thereby allowing you a more restful sleep.
2. Good Diet: Eat whole natural food, organic whenever possible, low in fat, low- acid-forming, low-sodium and avoid overeating to insure that you are not adding to the toxic load you may already carry. Excess sodium can constrict kidney filtering and in some cases, promote fluid accumulation (edema). Consuming fiber from whole grains, beans, and vegetables daily promotes regular eliminations, bonds to certain toxins and keeps intestinal functions strong.
3. Change Your Water Quality: Consider purchasing a carbon-block water filter. Of all the systems on the market, carbon blocks seem to be the most reliable, affordable and capable of removing 98% of most impurities. Initially I used to promote alkalized water, but after several years, decided that it was too much of an artifice for me, as well as a poor filter. I would suggest that if you want alkalinity, make your diet more alkaline instead of focusing on electrically alkalizing your water.
4. Herbal Support: Milk Thistle, a powerful liver-specific antioxidant is also known as, Silymarin. It has been shown to protect against liver damage during times of oxidative stress, such as after poisoning, or in cases of extreme liver toxicity. In animal studies, a standardized potency preparation of silymarin demonstrated a strong protective effect against poisoning from the Amanita (aka deathtrap) mushroom. Amanita poison, known to be highly toxic to the liver and is related to increased oxidant stress. Milk thistle concentrate diminished the toxic effects this mushroom would have normally had on the liver. Another popular herb used to help liver detox function is Dandelion root, used for cleansing and often appears as a recommendation within many culture medicine recommendations. A traditional Italian drink is roasted and dried dandelion roots ground into a powder and made into a tea. Mix it with a pinch of chickory for a hearty finish to a meal!
5. Daily Exercise: Moderate, consistent exercise can enhance immunity, promote greater circulation, stimulate intestinal movement, help discharge carbon wastes via respiration, and adds to overall positive emotional states. Get moving!
6. Skin Brushing: Skin brushing aids the discharge of toxins through the skin and promotes good circulation. Practiced with a hot hand-towel, dried vegetable gourd brush or soft natural bristle brush, it can be done easily once daily just before a morning shower. Do this to dry skin (instead of in the shower) to help the exfoliation process.
7. Breathing Practice: Any activity that increases your exhalation can be effective for helping to discharge carbon dioxide. Singing, chanting, reading aloud, and breathing exercises all qualify as 'exhalation therapies.' Some of the standard yoga “full breath” exercises are especially recommended, since they also emphasize the exhalation.
8. Intestinal Rubbing: As a part of a brief morning stretching routine, deep rubbing of the intestinal pathway can help stimulate bowel function. Beginning from the right inside hip area of the abdomen, use the fingertips of each hand to rub in a counter-clockwise (in circles to your left) motion on the colon. The pattern can be done in this order: rub in small circles up the ascending colon (right side), across the transverse (beneath the rib cage) and down the ascending (left side). Then, in a small circle rub about one and one-half inches from your navel in the same direction. Finish with a general free-for-all rubbing. Ideally, there should be no pain when you press your intestines. If so, you may have mild inflammation and need some dietary adjusting.
9. Massage: Deep tissue massage benefits not only blood circulation but the movement of lymph through tissue and into nodes, as well as the body's inner energy core. The value of touch, or even passive muscle movement, has tremendous energetic healing potential. Some practitioner’s focus their practice on “Lymphatic Drainage,” where this technique emphasizes a deep directional rub on the neck area (front and back), shoulders, beneath the collar bone, breast and underarm area.
10. Sauna: Heat exposure benefits lymph and blood circulation. Some circulatory and lymph therapies, such as salt rubs (vigorously body-rubbing with salt to "draw out toxins") and body brushing, to strong frictional massage, can beneficial in combination with sauna heat. If you enjoy steam baths, find out about if the water source is filtered. Chemicals that are added to municipal systems become discharged into the steam, which you end up breathing! Make certain to check with an appropriate health-care practitioner about your personal tolerance for external heat therapy. Infrared heat is especially beneficial for its ability to enter deeper into the skin at low temperatures to avoid elevated heart rates from the higher temperatures of standard sauna heat.
11. Emotional Expression: As another form of "inner toxicity," suppressed emotions nurture their own brew of poison. Well documented as a chief stress source, holding in feelings that we want or need expression is plainly not health-enhancing. Get some emotional support!
12. Become Toxin-Savvy: The less exposure we have to external toxins, from food and environment, the more effective our biochemical systems can become in their continuous process of internal housecleaning. Read product labels, avoid long, physically stagnant periods in front of machines, check for Radon levels in your home, make sure you surround yourself with eco-friendly home products, filtered water, quality air filters and keep your windows open for medicinal breezes. Educate yourself about natural options to chemicals that exist in hygiene and household cleansing products. Becoming toxin-savvy means to make healthier choices in what you put into your mouth, apply your skin and in the air you breath.
 Wilhelm, H - The effect of silymarin treatment on the course of acute and chronic liver disease - Zeitschrift fur Therapie -
Vol. 10, no. 8, pp.482-95, 1972