ayurveda, blissful living, health and wellness, stress reduction

Gentle Detox: How to Get Starte

The toxins in our body can be removed through a very gentle process. Some of my clients ask for the deepest detox process that I have to offer, which is called panchakarma, a deep Ayurvedic detox for the body, mind and spirit.

Some other clients might prefer to start more gently. Any level of intensity will be extremely beneficial and will protect your health year-round, especially in the fall.

Beyond Food

During the detox you’ll forego foods, substances and habits that don’t serve you.

Prescription or over-the-counter medications, environmental toxins, processed or fast foods, alcohol or anything that puts unusual stress or strain on your nervous and digestive systems all cause liver overload.

Eliminating the wrong kinds of foods (too many sweets, breads, heavy foods) and the amount of time we spend in front of the TV or on our electronic devices can all assist your gentle detox efforts. In fact, I suggest that you eliminate as many toxins as possible during the detox process – and yes, television, video games, excess computer use and cell phone use are all toxic to the body.

What My Detox Includes

In the gentle detox I include nourishing foods, herbs, and self-care techniques to rejuvenate body and mind. A simple program might include a specific diet. Of course in Ayurveda we include a yoga practice (asana) and self-massage (abhyanga).

I advise doing nasal irrigation, so you might want to invest in a neti pot; do some structured, focused breathing (pranayama) and carve out time for self-reflection. It’s a great time to buy a journal and jot down what you’re feeling. You might also want to reflect about what influences you want to keep or let go of in your life.

Which relationships are in harmony with where you are right now, and which are no longer mutually beneficial and have become toxically draining or stressful? It’s a great time of the year to let those go.

Optimal Health Step 1: Slow Down

Slowing down will help you reduce stress from mental over-activity, multitasking, dealing with your kids, technology over-load on the go-go-go – all of which is taxing to the mind and nervous system. These stressors can lead to a host of health issues including adrenal fatigue, insomnia, indigestion, unwelcome weight gain and for women, irregular menstrual cycles. Slow down a bit!

Optimal Health Step 2: Use Food as Medicine

Nourish your body with healthy, cleansing foods. When you work with me you’ll get guidance based on your specific dosha. At the heart of Ayurvedic dietary programs is a recipe called kitchari, a simple dish of rice and mung beans.

Used widely throughout Asia, this dish prepares the body for purification. It’s easy to make and digest and provides well-balanced proportions of protein, carbohydrates and fat. It’s also tri-doshic, which means it benefits any dosha. A natural anti-inflammatory, I recommend eating it twice daily.

Adding ghee (clarified butter) lubricates the digestive tract and facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body. I also suggest adding any of three Ayurvedic digestive tonics: herbs called amalaki, vivitaki, and haritaki. They have antioxidant properties and also act as a mild laxative, further enhancing detoxification.

Optimal Health Step 3: Practice Yoga Asanas

The heat and twisting from different yoga sequences I create specific to my clients’ dosha help remove toxins from their lymphatic system tissues and in the digestive tract.

Optimal Health Step 4: Engage in Self-Study and Journaling

Ask yourself why you’re doing the detox and how it will affect your life on a deeper level, then note the answers in your writing-104091_640journal. I encourage you to contemplate not only what you want out of your life but also what you feel compelled to give back.

A great way to end the program is to review your notes about how you felt along the way. What sabotaged or enhanced your detox process?

Did you gain energy and vitality? What happened when you temporarily changed your daily routine and viewed yourself from a new perspective?

How did your detox go? Do you feel refreshed? Share your detox stories in the comments below!


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