While most people associate cleanse and detox with pain and suffering, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. In fact, there are may ways to achieve a whole body cleanse without painful symptoms. Sometimes, something as simple as drinking enough water is enough to flush out toxins at a faster rate so they don’t settle in our fat cells and make us sick.
You’ve probably seen a good number of different cleanses out there. Whether that’s a crash diet, juice fasting, or eating cabbage soup for two weeks, sometimes we just don’t have time or wherewithal to undergo such a feat. And while I am not saying something as beneficial as juice fasting is bad for the body, the detox symptoms from doing so just might not fit into our schedule, depending on where we’re at in our lives.
Why We Need To Help Our Detox Organs
Some people claim that detoxing and cleansing is a myth, and that our detox organs are more than capable of removing impurities. While this is true to a certain extent, our bodies were not designed to deal with the poor food choices we make, chemicals we choose to be around, and environments we live in.
More often than not, our detox organs (the liver, kidneys and intestinal tract) are overburdened by the amount of impurities we ingest (whether that is through the food we eat, air we breathe or substances we put on our skin). When our detox organs are stretched to their limit, they don’t function as good as they should, and so instead of being filtered out of our body, toxins find their way into our bloodstream and burrow into our fat cells. This is when problems start to arise. As toxins continuously build up in our body as a result of poorly functioning detox organs, we start to get sick, and develop diseases.
This can be reversed, however, as long as you take a few simple steps to start removing the impurities from your body. A whole body cleanse doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
20 Simple Ways to Achieve a Whole Body Cleanse
Here are 20 ways you can help painlessly cleanse your entire body:
1. Drink More (CLEAN) Water
Water is vital to every cell, organ, system and function that goes on in your body. You can think of water like the river on which our good health flows. Drinking adequate water is believed by doctors to help reduce systemic inflammation and help those with chronic joint problems like rheumatoid arthritis. Without enough water flowing through our systems to carry out wastes and toxins, we would drown in our own toxic metabolic wastes. Even slight dehydration can wear down our body and organs – so make sure you drink enough water (3-4 liters a day at best).
While water may be one of the best ways to cleanse to body, if you’re drinking tap water, you are doing your body a disservice. Try to drink filtered water (I love the Big Berkey Filter), spring water, or reverse osmosis.
2. Stop Using Chemical-Based Products
Another great way to stop bogging your body down with toxin overload is by reducing your use of the very products that contain them. Chemical-based products enter the body through inhalation or by entering the skin and into our blood stream. The good news is that there is an alternative for every chemical-based product mentioned below. Google is your best friend when it comes to finding out (or use my search bar above to find alternatives to a majority of these products).
Chemicals that enter the body come from:
– Pesticides and herbicides (those used on food, and those used for lawn care)
– Laundry detergent
– Dryer sheets
– Fabric softeners
– Dish soap
– Paint (used on your walls, or for arts & crafts)
– Tap water
– Air fresheners
– Cigarette smoke (first, second and third-hand)
– Scented candles
– Lotions and serums
– Household cleaners
– Soap and other toiletries
– Perfumes, colognes and body sprays
– Processed foods
– Mercury from fish
– Gasoline vapors (exposed to more in the city)
– Hair and nail salons
– Bug sprays
– Plastic storage containers
– Mattresses made with toxic materials like PBDE
– Plastic drink bottles
– Non-stick cookware
– Dry-cleaned clothes
3. Green Juicing
You don’t need to do an entire juice cleanse to appreciate the benefits that a green juice has to offer. To make sure my detox organs are working in tip-top shape I always include at least 1 liter of green juice a day in my diet. My go-to green juice consists of 1 long english cucumber, 1 whole bunch of celery, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 lemon (peeled), 4 inches of fresh ginger root and 2-3 green apples (all organic of course).
I also love juicing dandelion greens (yes, the ones growing in your back yard), as they are one of the best herbal remedies for aiding the liver in detoxification. Dandelion greens are packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They’re also a natural diuretic, which helps the kidneys filter out excess sodium in the body.
4. Purify Your Home Air
Did you know that indoor air is about 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air? One of the major sources of indoor air pollution? Carpeting. It traps dirt, fleas, dust mites, lead, and basically anything that travels from the outside to the inside. Indoor air can also become polluted if you live close to a major thoroughfare, if your windows are open while your neighbors are spraying their poisonous lawn chemicals, if you burn candles, or just basic degradation of wall paint over time.
One of my favorite ways to purify in-home air is with a machine called Intellipure. Intellipure is a high-quality air filter that has been proven to capture 99.99% of all particles as small as 0.007 microns in size. The heavy duty commercial-grade gas and odor filter eliminates most gases and the patented DFS (Disinfecting Filtration System) technology removes 99.99% of harmful viruses, fungi, molds, and bacteria. The result? Pure, fresh, healthy air.
The technology used to build the Intellipure is even used in hospitals, medical clean rooms, government buildings and military applications.
So instead of clogging up your lungs and allowing ultrafine particles to enter your system, let the Intellipure do the work instead.
5. Spend Time Outside
Spinning off the point above, spending time outside is super beneficial not only for your lungs, but your entire body. As a bonus, go to a nearby forest to soak in those loving nature vibes. Nature therapy has actually been shown to help lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the chemical released when we are stressed, and stress puts a lot of pressure on every organ in the body. Whether you have time for 5 minutes or 30, any amount of time outside (particularly in a green area) can seriously help your body cleanse.
6. Get Your Lymph Moving
The lymphatic system is often overlooked when it comes to cleansing the body. Remember the last time your kitchen sink clogged up and started smelling really bad? This is what happens when we don’t take care of our lymphatic system. A congested lymphatic system can lead to serious illnesses and chronic disease. Fortunately, moving the lymphatic fluid doesn’t take a lot of work. Whether you want to invest in a high-quality rebounder or dedicate yourself to some dry skin brushing, moving the lymph is quite simple. Yoga, stretching, swimming, and dancing are also great at circulating the lymph fluid.
If you decide to do some dry brushing, the next best thing you could do to stimulate your lymphatic system is by undergoing some hydrotherapy. It isn’t as scary as it sounds. All you need to do is stand in the shower under hot water until you feel hot, and then turn the water to as cold as you can stand for about 30 seconds. Repeat this 2-4 times, ending with cold water. This is not only good for your lymph, but your blood circulation, too.
8. Sound Therapy
We are constantly bombarded by loud noises and disturbances – especially if you live in the city. As a result, our ears become desensitized towards higher pitched sound frequencies. Sound therapy helps to restore sensitivity in the ears, so that we can help increase our energy and reduce our irritability to certain sounds. Below is an example of sound therapy for you to enjoy.
9. Stretching Routine
Getting yourself involved in a simple stretching routine every day or every other day is a great way to stimulate the lymphatic system, relax your nervous system and reduce cortisol levels in the body. Gentle stretching helps increase circulation in the body, and also stimulates the release of toxins. It also feels incredible, and will ensure you don’t end up stiff and unable to move as you age. I wrote an article on 10 basic stretches that every beginner should know. Check it out!
10. Intermittent Fasting
One of my favorite methods of whole body cleansing is intermittent fasting. It essentially follows the rules of ensuring you have a 16 hour time slot between feeding times. So, for example, you stop eating at 7pm and don’t eat again until 11am. I really like intermittent fasting, because the morning is when we are in elimination mode. During this time, our bodies are focused on releasing toxins and cleansing. When we wake up and eat a heavy breakfast, the ability of our body to cleanse dampens quite dramatically. One of the best ways to break a fast is by eating fruit for breakfast or making a delicious green juice. This way, you’ll continue to cleanse and replenish the body until your next big meal.
Aromatherapy not only makes your home smell good, but it makes a positive impact on your mental, emotional and physical well-being. You can diffuse essential oils in your home, or you can choose to inhale them straight from the bottle. For example, inhaling lavender or chamomile essential oil can help reduce anxiety levels, and stress (which, as mentioned above, can help alleviate stress on our internal organs like those that assist in detoxification).
12. Take Space from Electronics
Free your mind of the chatter, gossip, and useless information on TV and social media. Turn off the television, phone, tablet and any other electronic used to distract your mind from anything other than yourself. Allow yourself to sit with your thoughts in silence. Giving yourself space from electronics can also reduce the amount of electromagnetic radiation you’re exposing yourself to.
13. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the time when our bodies undergo repair and detoxification. Your body does this while you’re asleep, because the energy needed to perform such a task is more available. You aren’t digesting, thinking, or moving. This gives your organs the chance to clear themselves out. In fact, people who don’t sleep well are often sicker than those who do sleep (due to ineffective filtration). Make sure you get at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night, and make it be before 11pm!
14. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a great way to achieve a whole body cleanse. Our mouth is the home to many bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites – all of which produce toxic by-products. Their toxic waste solidifies in our body, which can later manifest as disease and illness. Oil pulling helps to target these foreign invaders at the site of entry (the mouth), and prevents them from doing any further damage in the body. This gives our body (particularly our detox organs) a load of relief, as they not longer have to eliminate the by-products they produce. All you need to do to oil pull is put about 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swish for 20 minutes. Spit out in the garbage can (not your drains – it will clog them), and then brush your teeth.
15. See A Reflexologist (or DIY)
Reflexology is like a combination of massage and acupressure. If you massage a certain area of your foot for long enough, you can help stimulate different organs of the body. This works, because the nerves that end in our feet, actually connect up with different organs in the body, before they reach the brain. By massaging certain points in the foot, you can actually help release toxic build-up in our most crucial detox organs like the liver and kidneys. You can see a reflexologist, or you can do it yourself by using the chart below and doing some self massage. You can also use a lacrosse ball by rolling it underneath the foot.
16. Take an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is essentially a mineral compound called magnesium sulfate. It has a variety of uses, but one of the best is its ability to detox the body, reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery. The sulfate component of epsom salts is an important mineral involved in liver detoxification. When we sit in a bath full of epsom salt, a process called reverse osmosis occurs – salt and harmful toxins are pulled out of the body, and magnesium and sulfates enter the body. You should sit in the bath for at least 40 minutes so that the first 20 minutes can assist in pulling out toxins, and the last 20 to aid the body in mineral absorption. The general rule of thumb is 1 cup of epsom salts in a bath full of water.
17. Get Enough Sun
Vitamin D deficiency is a rising problem in the United States, and contributes to so many health problems. A study by Dr. Zine Kechrid and colleagues found that vitamin D supplementation in rats dramatically increased the amount of the antioxidant, glutathione, in the liver (1). The liver is a major site of detoxification and antioxidant activity, so improving this function by adding a little more vitamin D in your life is crucial. You can get vitamin D from a supplement (make sure it is vitamin D3), but the best source is from the sun. Just 15-30 minutes of sun early in the day before it gets too hot is plenty!
18. Go to a Sauna
Sauna’s help penetrate deep into the body and gently elevate our surface temperature. This helps to activate many of the body’s major functions (like our metabolism, for instance). Far infrared saunas are among some of the best, with toxin elimination rates as high as 17%. Compare this to about 3% by sweating in a traditional sauna, or while out in the sun. Regardless, all saunas help increase circulation, as well as boost the immune system.
19. Eat More Herbs
Another simple way of assisting in a whole body cleanse is to eat more herbs! Herbs are by far some of the most powerful plants on the planet. Some of the best herbal cleansers include things like milk thistle, turmeric, ginger, garlic, peppermint, basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley and dill.
20. Take Deep Breaths
If you want to increase oxygenation of all the cells in our body, try practicing intentional breath work. Higher oxygen levels in the body help promote the creation of white blood cells – the blood cells that help fight off disease and illness. Oxygen is also transferred to detox organs of the body like the liver, kidneys, colon and lymphatic system. When you practice deep rhythmic breathing, the diaphragm expands. It relaxes the body and massages the lymphatic system, which helps in the elimination of toxins. Take a few minutes of your day to focus on your inhalation and exhalation. Inhale until you feel a belly full of air. Hold for 2-3 seconds, and then exhale slowly until all the air is expelled.
If you want to go even further with your cleanse, you can do the following:
1) Swap out 3-4 meat-based meals every week with a plant-based one.
2) Start taking Shilajit every day.
4) Start foam rolling.
5) Eat organic, or avoid the dirty dozen list.