Healthy Living Tips to Support a Cleanse
The following practices can further assist your body's natural detoxification process.
Your body is always naturally detoxing — the liver, skin, lymphatic and digestive systems (to name a few) all play critical roles in this process. What we eat can enhance (or disrupt) the efficacy of this biological work, and the following healthy living practices can further assist it. Consider adding a few to your Cleanse or post-Cleanse routine to enhance the results:
This self-care practice, which involves stroking the skin with — you guessed it, a dry brush! — helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, supports immune function and can improve your skin's appearance. Learn how to start an at-home dry-brushing routine here.
This ancient ritual reportedly helps your body eliminate chemical waste through the skin by causing you to sweat. (And yes, exercise can also accomplish that — with a lot more work). Think about how fevers work — overheating stimulates the metabolic processes that inhibits the growth of bacteria. So in that sense, sweat is cleansing. Infrared saunas are able to do this at a lower temperature because they use infrared light to heat the body from the inside out. All that said, few studies have been done to support the claims of detoxification, so take this tip with a grain of salt (plus you’ll need some sodium after all that sweating!).
DISCLAIMER: Sauna use is not safe for everyone. Check with your doctor before using and also follow safety protocols. Using a sauna while sick is not advised.
Time-restricted eating is another way of saying intermittent fasting, which can be done in a number of ways. Often, it means eating all meals within a certain window of time, with your last meal of the day ideally taking place at least two hours before bed. (Read more about intermittent fasting here.)
In addition to giving your digestive system a rest and prompting healthy weight loss, time-restricted eating may help enhance the production of certain detoxifying liver enzymes and it activates autophagy, a waste removal process where damaged cells are eliminated to make room for new, healthy ones.
Time-restricted eating may not be right for those who are struggling with chronic fatigue, infertility, an eating disorder or other conditions. As always, check in with your healthcare provider to ask if this practice could be helpful for you.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Not only is a massage relaxing and stress releasing, it can also help move the extra fluid that drains from tissues and cells towards the lymph nodes, where it gets filtered. At this point, waste (bacteria, toxins, errant cells and more) is flushed out of the body via urine and bowel movements. Lymphatic drainage massage can alleviate common symptoms like puffiness, bloating and sinus congestion.
There are many amazing benefits to moving your body including the way breaking a sweat can help your body rid itself of toxins (the skin is a large detoxification organ!) and the movement itself (especially in an up and down plane, such as jumping on a mini trampoline —often called rebounding) helps move lymph fluid around. Unlike how the heart pumps blood through your system, there is no one muscle directing lymph fluid. Certain yoga poses such as twists, also helps support the digestive system and move waste downstream.
Note: If you are cleansing and feel a bit tired and run down from the process, rest until your energy returns. You don’t need to push yourself when your body is already busily resetting.
While this may seem obvious, it pays to emphasize the important role sleep plays when you're cleansing. Many of the body’s detoxification processes (including the brain) work hardest while you sleep. Quality shuteye is also critical to maintaining a well-functioning metabolic system. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol, which cues the body to store fat for energy and spurs an increase in sugar cravings. Poor-quality sleep can even mess with the health of your gut microbiome.