Did you know that there are simple and effective healthy lifestyle and detox hacks that you can include in you daily life? Our bodies are wonders of nature that constantly renew themselves and work relentlessly to detox. But we can do our bodies a great favour when we support them with a few simple health and wellness practices. Some of them just take a few minutes and after a while become a very natural part of your routine.
Drinking a glass of fresh lemon water early morning on empty stomach helps you to boost digestion and the lymphatic system, preparing the body for the food intake and helping to eliminate toxins first thing in the morning. Even though lemon tastes acidic, it is alkaline-forming when digested past the stomach. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm (or room-temperature) water and drink it slowly, about 20-30 minutes before you have your breakfast.
Tongue scraping is an ancient practice in Ayurveda – one of the oldest healing systems in the world – that is becoming more and more common. Simply by gliding a tongue scraper on your tongue a few times, starting at the back of your mouth and moving it forward, you are eliminating debris and dead cells that can build and leave a coating on your tongue. If not removed, this bacterial coating can be a culprit behind bad breath.
Another Ayurvedic daily detox practice is oil pulling: swishing oil in your mouth for dental care and detoxification. Oil pulling can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, avoid bad breath and it has a whitening effect on your teeth. It is even supposed to help cure skin conditions like acne and eczema, sinus congestion or headaches. The oil pulling helps to draw toxins from the blood through the mucous membranes in the mouth.
Do the oil pulling in the mornings before eating. Take 1 tablespoon of organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil into your mouth. Swish it around like a mouthwash and pull it through your teeth. You can do chewing like movements to stimulate salvation. You can start with 5 minutes (especially if you find the taste or sensation of the oil unpleasant) and gradually build up to 20 minutes. Time passes quicker when you engage in other activities during the oil pulling such as showering, putting on clothes or preparing breakfast.
Once the oil has become saturated with debris and toxins, it will become whitish and develop a thinner consistency as it is mixed with the saliva. Spit the oil either in your garden or in a paper towel to discard it in the trash. Do not swallow the oil and do not spit it into the sink as it will clog the pipes. Rinse you moth with warm water after the oil pulling and brush your teeth.
Nasal Cleanse (neti) is one of the Yogic cleansing techniques (shat karmas). A special pot (either ceramic or plastic) is filled with warm salt water and inserted into one nostril while you bow over a sink. The water will then flow out the other nostril, helping to relieve sinus congestion, expel dirt particles, dust and pollen (good for allergy sufferers) and clear the nasal passages. Switch to the other nostril after half of the water has flown through.
After applying it a few times you will become used to this practice and become familiar with the positioning of the pot and the head so that the water can easily flow through. You can buy the pots in Yoga shops, pharmacies or health stores. You can even buy pre-measured salt packets for an easy use. For your own mixture, mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 2 cups of water, stir it well and fill it in the neti pot.
Dry Skin Brushing
Brushing your skin is a great detox tool to boost circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, exfoliate the skin and energize the body. The skin is one of the mayor detox organs of the body and we can assist it with this daily practice, best done in the morning before you have shower. Use a brush with natural bristles, which you can buy at health food stores or online. Start with the limbs and brush towards the heart with stokes or circular movements. The pressure should be firm but not painful; avoid scrubbing as this might pierce the skin. Exclude any sensitive areas such as genital area, face and wounds or varicose veins. For best results, brush 5-20 minutes. You will feel invigorated afterwards and your skin will be slightly pink after brushing.
Bathing can be very soothing, nurturing and relaxing. You can create your own beautiful bathing ritual with candles, aroma oil diffusers and soft music. For a salt detox bath, we recommend soaking in the tub for 20-30 minutes in the evening. It helps to open your pores, balance pH levels, expel toxins and your body will absorb magnesium which assists in relaxing the muscles, lowering stress hormones and promoting restful sleep. Take a salt bath at least once a week.
For a full tub of water add the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
- ½ cup of baking soda (aluminium-free)
- 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
Besides a healthy diet, exercise and moving your body is another important foundational pillar for health and wellbeing to keep your body strong and flexible, but also to keep your cardiovascular system in great shape.
The deep breathing during exercise will help to empty the lungs of unneeded carbon dioxide and allow for a fresh breath of more oxygenated air to nourish all your cells. At the same time, with a better circulation of blood and lymphs, you will feel more alive whilst helping the liver and lymphs to do their job of detoxification. Many toxins will be eliminated through your skin by sweating during exercise and your digestive system will work even better with consistent exercise.
If you haven’t exercised a lot before, start slowly. Instead of doing a workout once a week for 90 minutes, schedule several shorter periods of time during the week. Dancing, swimming, martial arts, trekking, bouldering or Yoga are great ways to move your body besides than just working out at the gym. Keep your workouts balanced and find easy, practical ways to include regular movement into your life.
Massages or other forms of Bodywork
Pamper yourself regularly with massages or other forms of bodywork. Massages will help you to relieve muscular tension in improve circulation, especially when you do lots of exercise or feel stiff from a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Choose a trustworthy massage therapist who is able to adjust the pressure and massage technique to your individual needs. Besides traditional forms of massages, there are various holistic treatments available that help you to keep your body and mind well balanced such as lymphatic drainage, reflexology, acupuncture, shiatsu, chiropractic sessions and other healing modalities such as Reiki, chakra clearing or sound healing.
Getting enough Sleep
Did you know that most of the body processes for restoration and renewal happen in periods of rest? A good night’s sleep is necessary for our health because our cells repair themselves more rapidly during the night. And since you are not taking any meals during sleep, your digestive system gets a break and the digestion and elimination processes can catch up. Sleeping is also a natural “detox” for our minds, so that it can sort and integrate the experiences from the day.
Declutter your Space
Take time regularly to detox your physical environment. Are there stacks of mail, receipts, newspapers and notes on your desk that hold you back from working with clarity and focus? Is your closet filled with clothes that you haven’t been wearing in the last year? Are there material things that you have collected over years but they do not have any value and meaning for you any more? Take regular inventory of all that surrounds you in your home and work space. Let go of anything unnecessary and decide what is really important for you to keep. Keep things in order and keep your home clean. This will free up space both in your physical environment but also on a mental and energetic level.
Are your ready for a deeper dive into detox and like to commit to a thorough cleanse for body and mind? Have a look at one of our 5 detox programs at Udara Bali, Yoga, Detox & SPA.