The word "detox" is so commonly used these days. It is further glamourised by celebrities who credit their glowing skin and perfect bodies to it. Detoxification or detox means eliminating toxins from our body. Let's face it - we are living in a highly toxic world. Air pollution, consumption of junk food, aerated water, preservatives in food and various other factors lead to a steady accumulation of toxins in our body. These toxins are poisonous, and over time our immune system weakens and our bodies become more susceptible to illness. Hence, it is important that we rid ourselves of these harmful toxins to revitalise our system.
Do not get deterred by the expensive detox treatments offered by the spas. There are simple things you can do each day to detoxify your body without fretting about the money. Water, the most easily available and natural resource, is also the fundamental detox agent accessible to man. Yet, we tend to overlook its importance in our day to day life. Drinking it, bathing with it or even sweating it out, expels toxins naturally and effectively.
Listed below are three free and completely safe water detox methods:
Hydrate your system
As you may have already read in this issue's cover story, most of us drink less water than what our body optimally needs. If the body is not sufficiently hydrated, the cells will draw water from the bloodstream, thus burdening the heart. Even mild dehydration prevents the kidneys from effectively purifying the blood. Minor health conditions such as constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nosebleeds, urinary tract infections, coughs, sneezing, sinus problems and headaches may develop as a consequence.
Make a conscious effort to drink the requisite amount of water and watch your health improve. Great skin, greater immunity, less cellulite, comfort from aches and pain, and a re-energised body are the bonuses you will get to enjoy.
Tip: Each morning, before you do anything else, mix the juice of half a lemon in hot water. Sip slowly, giving your body at least 30 minutes to digest the warm lemon water before having coffee, tea or breakfast. It helps detoxify the liver and is also high in vitamin C.
Sauna and steam baths
The sauna or steam bath goes way back into history. The "Hamam" or the "Turkish Bath" as its known today has survived thousands of years. Today it is widely believed that a sauna bath, which encourages the production of sweat, cleanses the body of toxins. It helps in opening the skin pores. Steam relieves contracted muscles of our body leading to a feeling of wellbeing. People with insomnia or sleep disorders benefit because sauna is effective in inducing a good, long and relaxing sleep.
Research conducted at the University of Munich considers it as a supportive activity to alleviate bronchial asthma, bronchitis, catarrh [inflammation of a mucous membrane] of the upper respiratory tract, coughs, hoarseness, expectoration [particularly with the assistance of essential oils] non-acute rheumatic complaints and restricted or painful movements of the joints.
The correct way to have a sauna or steam bath would be to shower before the session and not stay for more than 15-20 minutes at a time in the sauna. Cool off with cool fresh air and water without shocking the system [avoid shivering]. Never start a fresh session or change from one bath to another unless your body has cooled down properly. Doing so could overtax your circulation.
Tip: Natural honey has been known for ages for its health-improving properties and skin-enhancing effects. Rubbing honey over your skin during sauna or steam bath multiplies its positive effects, because skin pores open and the skin becomes more receptive.
The main function of a detox bath is to help your body, through an internal thermal reaction, to eliminate toxins and excess fat.
Hydrotherapy exclusively uses water to ease pain, increase mobility, relieve symptoms, and generally improve the overall functioning of the body. It encompasses numerous techniques using hot or cold water, and sometimes alternating both, to stimulate body responses.
Realising its therapeutic benefits, Louis Kuhne of Leipzig made the "friction sitz bath" an intrinsic part of his hydrotherapy cure. He healed hundreds of diseases and ailments using it in the late 19th century, even those that traditional medicine had pronounced "incurable".
According to Kuhne, body heat [generated by movement, digestion, stress and shock] pushes deposited fat and toxins outside the stomach and intestines to the periphery of the body where they can no longer be eliminated. The Detox Bath's working principle is to refresh the core area of the body [groin] for 10 minutes daily or more, depending on your initial condition and the results you seek to achieve. This process creates a vibration in the fascia [interconnecting tissue covering all internal organs], which accelerates toxin and fat elimination.
The powerful therapeutic benefits of this technique derive from the following:
- It targets the groin area: One of the highest nerve-concentration areas in the body. Hence it has a positive effect on mood, sleep and energy.
- This area also houses main arteries, and the technique greatly boosts blood circulation, elimination and digestion.
- It directly stimulates the root chakra, which governs sexual energy and reproductive organs. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle, and has been used by Louis Kuhne to treat impotence. It is also beneficial for low libido and menopausal symptoms.
Mahatma Gandhi too practised Kuhne's bath and recommended it in his book "Key to Health".
Tip: Use hot and cold water alternately to boost immunity and circulatory systems. They reduce muscle strain and soreness, and refresh your skin.
The three powerful water detox methods mentioned above, have proven to be extremely beneficial for safe and effective elimination of body toxins. So, the next time you choose water over coke, coffee, tea or other beverages remember you actually will be helping your body to detox.
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