Reset your health with these unconventional detox methods
For many people, the new year inspires ambitious goals to detox the body and reset your health after the whirlwind of the festive season. A detox is certainly a fantastic way to remove both environmental and internal toxins from the body, which we are exposed to daily.
We are all too familiar with the fad juice cleanses and fasting plans aimed to help clear our bodies of toxins, reset our liver and aid with digestion, but what we often overlook when it comes to detoxing is our mind and skin! We swear by taking a holistic approach to detoxing and ensuring we take care of our physical health (both internally and externally), as well as our mental health.
Enter, the Mind, Body, Movement Detox method. As we know, the body and mind are all connected, and when one area is lacking the other will be affected too. This unconventional detox method focuses on the person as a whole to achieve long term health and vitality. Read on to discover how to reset your health with the Mind, Body, Movement Detox method.
Detoxing the mind
Mental and emotional ‘toxins’ often go unattended to, and even unnoticed. So many of us tend to focus on our physical health while neglecting our mental health, forgetting that the two are connected! Poor mental health can affect your ability to make a healthy decision and fight off chronic disease (Dr Oberhue, 2019), and can lead to serious health conditions such as:
- Weakened immune system
- Heart disease
- Chronic fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Gastronomical problems
The health of your skin is also connected to your mental health. Conditions as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne are commonly triggered by stress. Stress can also have an overflow of other implication such as hormonal imbalances, weight gain, digestive problems and premature ageing!
With the mind-body-skin connection aside, it’s so important that we take time to look after our mental health to avoid stress, fatigue, unhappiness and feeling overwhelmed. In the excessively fast-paced world we live in, slowing down may sound counterintuitive, but it may be just what we need to do look after our health and wellbeing.
One of our favourite ways to detox the mind is through a digital detox. According to a 2017 study, the average Australian is spending 9.4 hours per day in front of a phone, computer or tv screen! Studies have also shown that Australians are spending more time in front of a screen than they are sleeping (only 7.3 hours on average), as well as eating, commuting, working and exercising combined!
Not only does this much screen time mean excessive exposure to blue light (you can read more on the effects of blue light exposure here), it also contributes to stress, disrupts your sleep, affects your work/life balance, can have negative impacts on your in-person communication skills, and is linked to mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.
A great place to start when trying to cut down your screen time is to turn off all digital devices (phone, TV, laptop and tablet) at least 1 hour before bedtime. It has been shown that exposure to blue light disrupts your circadian rhythm (i.e. sleep-wake cycle) and makes it difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day. It has also been shown that digital technology increases your alertness at night, which can trick your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake when you are actually trying to sleep.
We are all aware of the impact that social media can have on your mental health. Logging out of your social media accounts for one day a week and taking the time to focus on the present can do wonders for your mental health and clarity, as well as your relationships!
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Meditation is a tried-and-true method for improving your mental health and clearing the mind. Meditation has been proven make us younger with a 2011 study finding increased production of telomerase following intensive meditation (Jacobs et al, 2011). Telomerase helps to rebuild and lengthen telomeres after cells divide which is critical for curbing the ageing process. Short telomeres increase ageing in the body and are associated with age related diseases.
It has been shown that meditation can:
- Improve your mood
- Reduce stress
- Increase productivity
- Improve sleep
- Improve relationships and self-compassion:
- and can even benefit those with anxiety and depression.
A great place to start with meditation is 10-20 minutes first thing in the morning. If you are a real beginner, there are so many wonderful, guided meditations and resources to get you started. Apps such as Headspace and Calm are ones we have personally tried and can vouch for. Pop on our Bloom of Youth Infusion Mask to get even more anti-ageing benefits!
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Journaling has increased in popularity in the last few years, with so many gorgeous gratitude and mindfulness journals available on the market today. Journaling has been proven to manage anxiety, reduce stress and help some people cope with depression. It is a fantastic way to detox the mind by helping you to understand your thoughts and feelings more deeply. It has been shown that journaling can help the brain to regulate emotions, provide a greater sense of self-identity and can foster creative growth (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2018).
Detoxing the body
It is a common misconception that detoxing the body must involve green juices and fasting, but, this is not the case! There are so many wonderful, unconventional ways to remove waste and harmful toxins from the body.
Fibre is a powerful cleanser and effective detoxifier, but is often overlooked by us when we embark on a detox or fast! Fibre has the ability to sweep our colon of toxins and excess hormones which may be wreaking havoc with our skin, energy and overall vitality! Our founder and naturopath Anna recommends making it a priority to consume at least 30 grams of fibre daily but if you are keen to do a bit of a fibre flush, devote 4 days to consuming a blend of psyllium, chia, bentonite clay and flaxseed meal daily! It is as easy as popping 1 teaspoon of bentonite clay, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal, 1 tablespoon of Gut Replenish Powder, 1 teaspoon of psyllium husks and 1 teaspoon of chia. Add 250 mls of water, stir quickly and drink this twice a day for four days. Drink plenty of fluid on these days and consume plenty of fibrous foods for maximum benefits – you will feel lighter, less bloated and your colon will thank you for taking a bit of a load off!
Traditionally used in ancient Chinese medicine to encourage the flow of energy through the body, Gua Sha is one of our favourite unconventional methods for detoxing.
Gua Sha involves scraping a tool (such as our Beauty Tool) across the skin's surface, and has so many benefits for both the skin and body!
Gua Sha has been shown to stimulate the lymphatic drainage system, which is responsible for removing toxins from the body through the skin. The Lymphatic system relies on the movement of the body to get it working, and Gua Sha is a wonderful method for stimulating the systems natural process. Gua Sha can be used on the entire body, including the face to promote detoxification naturally.
Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing involves using a dry brush to gently scrub away dead skin cells and increase circulation. The lymphatic system, which is responsible for catching waste and toxins relies on muscle motion to improve circulation and can be stimulated through dry brushing.
Once a week, before showering, gently scrub your skin in an upwards, circular motion with a firm bristled brush for 5-10 minutes. Wash away dead skin cells in the shower and follow with your favourite moisturiser.
Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurveda tradition that involves using a device to gently scrape and clean the top layer of the tongue. Tongue scraping removes bad bacteria from the mouth, which may prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath and dental decay, making it a great way to improve your oral health.
Detoxing through movement
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Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) is one of our favourite easy yet unconventional ways to detox the body. It is known that exercise is beneficial for both mental and physical health. In terms of helping to detox the mind, exercise has been shown to improve sleep, relieve stress, improve mood and increase mental alertness.
The body’s detoxification systems (Lymphatic system, Integumentary system and Excretory system) rely heavily on movement to promote their natural functions. The movement of muscles acts as a ‘pump’ for the Lymphatic system and stimulates the movement of waste through the bodies filtering systems (liver and kidneys) and out of the body through the excretory points (the skin and the urinary system).
One of the most important excretory points for detoxification is the skin! Sweat is responsible for removing 30% of the bodies waste. Sweating it out through regular exercise, or in a sauna will help to encourage the removal of harmful toxins and waste from the body through the skin. Always shower after excessive sweating to prevent the excreted toxins from absorbing back into the body.
Diaphragmatic breathing also promotes the function of the Lymphatic system, and when combined with slow and controlled movement (e.g. yoga), can greatly enhance the lymphatic systems detoxification process.
The Mind, Body, Movement detox should not be a “once-a-year” venture! These practices can be incorporated into your daily life along with a healthy diet for inside-out health and vitality.
Oberheu, A., 2019. How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health. Point Of Blue. https://blog.bcbsnc.com/2019/05/mental-health-affects-physical-health/
Baikie, A., Wilhelm, K., 2018. Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Cambridge University. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/emotional-and-physical-health-benefits-of-expressive-writing/ED2976A61F5DE56B46F07A1CE9EA9F9F
Jacobs, T., 2011. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators - ScienceDirect