The snow is gone, the grass is green, and we are spending our weekends doing Spring clean up in our homes and yards. The leaves get raked, the storm windows come out and screens go in. Maybe the house gets a fresh coat of paint, and all the stuff (junk) we accumulated over the winter gets thrown out or organized. What we are missing in our “Spring cleaning” routine, though, is Spring cleaning our bodies.
Spring is the perfect time to add more cleansing or detoxifying regimens to your self-care routine. In Chinese Medicine theory, we say the season associated with the liver is Spring, and the liver is the most important organ of detoxification. The liver not only filters and cleans the blood, but also removes toxins we are exposed to from our food, environment and stress.
Signs your liver may need some help detoxifying include:
- brain fog
- menstrual cramps digestive imbalance seasonal allergies
- poor sleep
While the quickest way to more efficient bodily detoxification would be an assisted detox with a knowledgeable health provider, there are ways to improve elimination of toxins each day. Here are a few to get you started.
1) Warm lemon water or just more water!
An oldie, but a goodie. Drinking warm water upon waking aids digestive function and rehydrates the body. If you aren’t pooping, you aren’t eliminating toxins, period. The lemon juice stimulates bile production which helps to aid the function of the liver and lymph system. Also, if you find the only water you drink during the day is from brushing your teeth, this a huge problem. Water aids toxin removal through urination and defecation. Drink more water!
2) Breathing techniques
A large portion (around 70%) of the body’s toxins are removed through the breath. If we aren’t breathing correctly, we aren’t detoxifying. Taking a few moments each day to pause and be more in tune with our breath does great things, not only for detoxification, but also for lowering the body’s response to stress. Focusing on breathing from your belly is a great place to start.
I also love the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, and teach it to my patients on a regularly. Learn how to do it here:
3) Foods that aid liver detoxification
Adding foods to your diet that naturally aid the liver’s detoxification process is another easy way to “spring clean”.
These foods include:
- broccoli spinach avocado apples asparagus oats
- brazil nuts
- eggs (pasture raised)
The skin is the largest organ of detoxification. Our pores help remove waste via sweat. Try and break a sweat each day. If you are having a hard time fitting in exercise, try some movement that can include your kids, like pushing the stroller up hills or playing a game of tag. Make it fun!
This Spring, don’t just clean your home and yard, clean your body too! My challenge for you is to include at least two of the above detoxing aids to your routine each day.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home anymore!
About the Author
Stephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutritio
n. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.
Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.