Earth, Air, Fire and Water: The Alchemy of Cleansing and Detoxification Part Two
If our body's metabolism works efficiently and we are not overburdened with toxic exposure or a disrupted microbiome we can stay on top of the daily process of elimination through the normal routes of elimination: the lungs, skin, kidneys, liver and bowels. Many of us however, especially those whose health has tanked, who have had more severe toxic exposure, or who have genetic predispositions that make it more challenging to clear out the garbage, can benefit from ongoing detoxification support.
The most simple way to access earth in the process of detoxification is to get yourself grounded. Grounding, or earthing as it's commonly referred to, helps get the body's physiology into a parasympathetic state which encourages our rest, digest and eliminative functions. Walk barefoot outside on the earth or take a nap outside lying on the ground under your favourite tree. Spend a day at the beach - walking and lying on the sand. You will feel the difference.
Healing clay has traditionally been used for cleansing the body and mitigating the effects of toxins throughout the ages. Using clay packs on the feet overnight is a simple way to encourage elimination. Another simple use of clay is the detox clay bath, or clay footbath. These techniques are simple enough to do at home on an ongoing basis.
The breath is an important medium through which we can support lymphatic and lung elimination, as well as get the body into a parasympathetic state. Deep belly breathing is a simple place to start. For a deeper effect consider breathing techniques such as Ujjayi breathing, Breath of Fire, Kapalabhati breathing or the Buteyko method.
Heat can be put to good use in the process of detoxification. Physical exercise leading to sweating is a perfect example. Some of us don't sweat easily and benefit from the use of an infrared sauna. Infrared sauna is one of the most effective ways to support the elimination of toxins through the sweat that are notoriously difficult to eliminate.
Water, the universal solvent is one of the most important mediums used in the process of cleansing. Drinking plenty of pure water is key. However, sometimes that is not enough and we have to engage the eliminative capacity of the body on a deeper level. If you don't have access to the time honoured tradition of attending mineral spa baths in the mountains, you can create your own version at home in your very own bathtub. Detox baths such as those using epsom salts, baking soda and/or clay are a wonderful and relaxing way to detoxification. If your tap water has high levels of chlorine, explore options to get rid of its toxicity.
Putting it All Together
Some of these techniques of detoxification can initiate the body's attempt to eliminate that may be met by some resistance in areas where your physiology may be blocked. Always start slow with any of these methods to assess your body's ability to tolerate the process. If you run into a problems, seek the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner. There is a way through, slowly, step by step- to a state of increased health, vitality and energy.