Detoxing is very trendy in our world. People are looking for a way to get all the “bad stuff” out. We’ve got a cultural assumption that if we just get rid of all these faceless, nameless toxins, that we will be these apple cheeked, well rested people with endless energy, sex drives like teenagers, and five star digestion.
Food is the most common way that toxins and chemicals can enter our body. Seeing our bodies as a whole organism and what we are taking IN in every capacity is important. Health has a broad definition and includes our emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, and social health.
Many of you have had me needle a point right next to the corner of your mouth. This point is called ‘Earth Granary’. It is a point on the Stomach meridian that relates to being able to receive nourishment. This is a broader concept than just receiving nourishment through food. When I use this point, it’s an invitation to the body to make conscious choices about everything you consume.
We all can get caught up in life and obligations and our “schedules.” I had to put that word in quotes because New York is the busiest place I’ve ever lived in my life. If you are reading this and you don’t live here, I know you don’t feel left out because you probably sleep better and get outside more than all of us!
The busy-ness itself creates this autopilot, checking off the list, adrenalized, rushed atmosphere where we forget that we actually have choices.
Do you remember that you have a choice? You don’t have to eat crappy food simply because you’re in a rush. You don’t have to hang out with someone you don’t even really like just because your other friends are going. You don’t have to go out if you don’t want to. You’re not going to miss out.
You are given a choice at every moment in every day. How do I want to feed myself today? What kind of music do I want to listen to? Do I want to dress for comfort or to impress?
You actively curate your environment by choosing what you touch, what you listen to, what you look at, what you smell and what you taste or what you say. You always have options. Engage with your five senses to consciously create your surroundings for maximum health.
Look: Take a media fast
I don’t watch the news or read the newspaper regularly. When I watch the news or read the paper, all it does is create anxiety in me. Let me tell you what you will see on the news so you can feel safe skipping it for a week: Someone was brutally murdered, someone did something horrible to an animal, the economy is awful, people are mad at the President, certain social groups are still marginalized, there is a war, and we are all going to die because we ruined our planet. Oh, and the worst storm we’ve ever seen is coming. Done. There is the news for the last 75 years. Please feel free to excuse yourself from being barraged with extremely negative, unhelpful, un-encouraging messages for one week. Extra bonus: Check out of Facebook for a week. You know why.
Smell: Clean your air
New York and L.A. regularly compete for the #1 worst air quality in the U.S. Some of this air actually makes its way into our sweet homes. There are some beautiful, hardy houseplants that are kind enough to act as natural filtration systems for us. These can exist with minimal light and will create lovely clean air for you. The Peace Lily can remove acetone, formaldehyde, benzene and alcohols making it perfect for the bathroom. The Areca Palm is the best for overall chemical removal. The rubber plant, the pothos, and the English Ivy are also great.
Listen: Clean up your relationships
What do you hear from your partner, friends or family? Complaints, rants, gossip? You can expect when you spend time with them that they will want to spend time talking about how awful or dysfunctional everything is. This is like existential slime. Even if we aren’t buying it or participating in it, it takes some of our precious energy to deflect this negative energy and to clean our thoughts after we part ways with these people. Take note of how you feel after you spend time with people Energized or drained? Inspired or fatigued? Choose wisely as to which relationships you nurture.
Speak/Breathe: Take out the metaphorical trash
One of the most powerful ways to burn away undigested material, old pain, old thoughts, old hurts is through a yogic breath called Breath of Fire. You can do it for two minutes a day (if you are not menstruating or pregnant) and it’s highly effective for detox! I will not explain it myself. I will invite you to watch a how to video from inspirational speaker Gaby Bernstein: Click HERE to try this exercise now!
Touch: Go green with your household cleaning, beauty products, and linens
I’m sure you’ve heard that the skin is our biggest organ. If you imagine that every inch of our body has pores that are open and receptive, it makes sense to make sure that everything that comes in contact with the skin is non-toxic. There are amazing “green” cleaning products that are just as effective as traditional ones. Choose these to clean your house, and wash your clothes and dishes. Be mindful with your shampoos, lotions, and makeup that it is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. Choose organic cotton for sheets and towels.