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You don't need a fancy cleanse to detox

The word "detox" has become a bit of a buzz word lately with many intriguing cleanses on the market. From fiber pills and green shakes to bottled juices... there is no shortage of options. Sure, these cleanses can be extremely helpful at supporting the body temporarily, but what if I told you there was a better way?

We live in a toxic world, and that is a fact. Along with external toxins, we are constantly breaking down and removing waste from the body. There are many ways in which we detox, and these are intelligently programmed to be working in the background every moment. By learning to support our own pathways of elimination, we can decrease our total toxic load, creating space for a better functioning immune system and decreased levels of inflammation and infection.

Five main pathways of elimination are:

- Lungs

- Liver

- Colon

- Skin

- Kidney

To support the lungs, we must make sure we have clean air to take in. Indoor air purifiers I recommend: Air Oasis and Air Doctor. Spend time in forests, sipping in the pure air and acknowledging the sacred exchange of CO2 and O2. Diaphragmatic breathing helps the body detox through the lungs. Also consider breathing techniques such as paced breathing and/or Wim Hof method.

The liver is our powerhouse organ of elimination, working to clear out exogenous and endogenous waste. Think about liver supportive foods such as beets, artichoke, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, milk thistle, burdock, dandelion, etc. Limit known toxins (EWG is a good resource for hidden toxins in food and cosmetics), alcohol and refined sugars/ processed foods. My favorite way to support the liver is through Castor Oil Packs- which are applied topically (see for excellent quality castor oil and abundant resources).

Once waste is processed by the liver, it travels through the colon to be eliminated from the body. If we are constipated or bowels are sluggish, the body will recycle toxins/ waste bringing them back into circulation. Hydration is key here and I recommend adding electrolytes such as LMNT brand throughout the day. Some of us may need to adjust fiber in diet to support the microbiome; prioritize colorful fruits and veggies (skins included). Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, naturally pickled veggies and cultured foods are all great sources of pre- and probiotics. Exercise/ movement supports daily bowel habits and supplements such as magnesium and triphala, can be helpful as needed. For those who require additional support, coffee enemas are great support for the colon and liver.

By far our largest organ of elimination is the skin. Believe it or not you release toxins from this wonderful organ when you sweat! Exercise is a great way to move things through the surface, but for most of us (and depending on what time of year) it may be necessary to support further. Epsom salt baths, hot tubs and sauna therapy are all great ways to accomplish sweating (bonus if you dry skin brush prior to support the lymphatics). There are even some great infrared sauna blankets on the market, like the Higher Dose Sauna Blanket. You can actually train your body to be better at sweating (and likely need to if you don't sweat well). I'll also remind you to be mindful of what you put on your skin, such as lotions, cosmetics, shampoo, etc.

Last but definitely not least is the kidneys, which filter waste from the blood to be excreted through urine. Water intake and quality of water are important to consider; I like the Berkey filter for water purification (there are many other options out there). If using reverse osmosis water, consider adding minerals. Aim to drink a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces a day and add lemon juice, pink salt or electrolytes to optimize hydration.

Part of every treatment plan I create takes these pathways into consideration... after all, we are all just big donuts (as one my professors in med school once proclaimed). From mouth to anus there are pathways in place to support the body in maintaining homeostasis and remaining resilient in an otherwise toxic world.

What are you doing daily to support your body?


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