Article | Fabulous Women

Spring Clean Detox

Posted on 24/04/2012

If you feel tired, sluggish or a little overwhelmed, read on...

We usually think of January as the time to cleanse our bodies, but a spring clean in sync with nature is even more powerful. In Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the liver, an organ with an incredible capacity for regeneration.

Of course, the easiest detox is not to 'tox' in the first place. Some of the culprits to avoid are: alcohol, cigarettes, white processed grains, white sugar, NutraSweet or Aspartame, fried foods. But we're not all angels. Besides, we can't always avoid things like medication, stress or pollution.

Here are 7 tips to put some spring in your step - a gentle Spring Equinox Detox:

1. Spend time outdoors
Fresh air should keep your energy flowing. Go for a stroll, spend time outside with family and friends, play golf, give your garden a spring makeover.

2. Exercise
The associated increased blood and lymph circulation, deep breathing and sweating will help eliminate toxins. Stretch. Try Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong. Just do something - anything you enjoy, at your own pace (burning calories isn't a priority here).

3. Take a few deep breaths
Breathing itself impacts other body systems (like lymph circulation) and is relaxing. Keep in mind, stress can cause toxic build-up. Find your own way to relax, if you haven't yet. Does meditation work for you? Or just take four deep belly breaths before you go to sleep.

4. Drink water
Most bodily functions need hydration. Water can help flush out toxins, even reduce water retention! How much you should have? Enough so your urine has the colour of champagne (provided you've not had asparagus, beetroot, specific medication or supplements which might distort this reading). Drink small amounts through the day, rather than all in one. Carry a bottle or set reminders if need be.

5. Eat green
Leafy greens are the number one food to detox naturally and improve health. They're packed with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and phytosterols that help detoxify and prevent disease. Choose organic where possible and find your way with spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, dandelion etc.

6. Have complementary therapies
You have many options. Acupuncture can work on your liver points, Manual Lymph Drainage can improve your lymph flow, and even the simplest Swedish Massage is not to be underestimated. Ask your therapist how the treatment can support your detox. Choose what works for you and enjoy the feel-good aspect is therapeutic in itself.

Most of the above is simple and gentle enough to be practiced on an ongoing basis. There's only one addition you might want to make for the time you actively detox. It's on the list of ingredients for most detox programmes:

7. Explore milk thistle
Milk thistle is fantastic. It protects the liver from incoming toxins and encourages it to cleanse when it is overburdened and stagnant, as a result of stress, alcohol, prescription medications, environmental toxins and pollution. It even known for liver disease treatment. It comes as capsules, extract (drops) or tea. Make sure that you follow the dosage advice and check with your medical practitioner if you have a specific medical condition.

Have a healthy, happy spring!

 

Astrid is a complementary therapist based in Surrey. One of her main interests is in supporting her clients to 'detox' or re-set the body to a clean slate, so it can function optimally and make the best of the nutrients it's given. In her work, Astrid applies Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD, Vodder method) and various massage modalities. Her website is www.akana.co.uk, where she also blogs regularly.

Back Author : Astrid Lowe

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