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Detox Yourself

Sometimes you just know you've overdone it! Your mind is sluggish, your body feels uncomfortable and your energy levels are close to zero. It's time for a detox. This weekend cleanse is gentle and safe (yet still effective) and offers your body a rejuvenating break.

Caution: Don't detox when pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating or with a cold or infection. If you have any medical problems, check with your doctor first.

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What You'll Need:

  • Seasonal salads, fruits, and vegetables
  • Herbal tea: thyme, ginger, peppermint
  • 10 pints (6 liters) of mineral water
  • Six lemons
  • Essential oils: rosemary, plus chamomile, pine or juniper
  • Epsom salts (or mineral bath)
  • Natural bristle brush with long handle
  • Plenty of towels
  • Candles, inspirational books, music

Find out how to have a relaxing Friday at home.

Eat a light diet throughout today in preparation for your weekend. Cut out tea, coffee and heavy proteins and fat. Drink at least 3 pints (2 liters) of unchilled water. Eat a light supper of salad (with a little olive oil, garlic, lemon and cider vinegar dressing). From now on, only drink fresh water (warm or room temperature), herbal tea or ginger tea.

Skin brushing
Before you go to bed brush your skin -- make sure it's dry so brush before a bath. Skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and encourages the expulsion of toxins.

  • Brush your feet, toes and soles and then the front and back of your legs (use long, smooth strokes). Always brush upwards and towards the groin.
  • Brush your buttocks and lower back (as well as you can) using upward strokes.
  • Brush your hands and arms towards your armpits.
  • Brush across your shoulders and down the chest towards the heart (avoid your nipples).
  • Brush the back of your neck with downward strokes.
  • Using a circular, clockwise motion, brush your abdominal and stomach area.

Now have a bath to which you have added two drops of rosemary oil. Gradually add cool water until, over a period of about half an hour, the water is quite cold. This further stimulates the lymph.

Detox side effects
These side effects show you are getting rid of toxins. If you have any concerns, see your doctor.

  • A headache
  • More, or smellier, sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling unusual emotions
  • A dry mouth
  • Spots, pimples or rashes
  • Constipation

A Saturday of purifying and renewal awaits you.

Today, follow a strict mono-diet by eating, or drinking the juice of, one type of fruit or vegetable: grapes, apples or carrots. Taking small amounts throughout the day, make sure you chew thoroughly and sip your juice slowly -- be conscious of every mouthful.

Start the day with a mug of hot water and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Get out in the fresh air and take a good walk, noticing the world around you.

The detox breath
This powerful breathing exercise will help you eliminate the toxins you are releasing and strengthen and tone your entire system.

Caution: Do not use if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, epilepsy, hernia or if you have any ear, nose or eye problem.

1. Inhale slowly and deeply. Don't overstrain in any way.

2. Exhale briskly, as if you were sneezing. As you do, become aware of your abdomen, which will naturally tighten and flatten as you exhale.

3. Inhale naturally and exhale briskly again.

4. Continue this cycle for as long as you feel comfortable. It is very energetic so you may not be able to manage more than a minute to begin with. Do it regularly throughout your weekend and notice how you improve.

5. When you finish, return to normal breathing. Notice how you feel.

Follow this exercise, if you can, with a Turkish bath for a steam and massage or else go swimming. You could try a bodywork or massage session: MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) is particularly useful while detoxing as it supports the lymphatic system. But any massage will do you good (ask your therapist to use detoxing oils if you're having aromatherapy).

Epsom salts bath
Before turning in for an early night, you're going to have a thorough skin-brushing session and then an Epsom salts bath. This induces lots of perspiration so you can sweat out lots of the toxins you are starting to release.

Caution: Avoid this bath if you have heart trouble, are diabetic, or feel tired and weak. Instead, you can substitute a mineral bath such as a Moor mud bath.

1. Dissolve about 16 oz (450 g) of Epsom salts into a warm bath -- it shouldn't be too hot.

2. Get in and relax for about 20 minutes. Visualize all the toxins coming out from your pores and dissolving in the water. Drink a hot herbal tea (thyme or peppermint) to increase the sweating and replace any fluids you lose.

3. Get out carefully as you may feel lightheaded. Don't rub your body; just swathe yourself in large, warm towels and go to bed, making sure your feet are wrapped up warmly. You'll probably go straight to sleep.

Detox your life
This evening, write down how you could detox your life -- rather than just your body. What is toxic in your life? Any people? Your work? Your home or the place where you live? What changes would ease your toxic load?

Prepare for a Sunday of complete cleansing.

During the night you've sweated so sponge yourself down with warm water or shower. Vigorously rub your body dry. Your skin may well be tingling. Drink a cup of hot water with squeezed lemon. Eat fresh fruit salad or, if the weather's cold, stew some fruit (apples, pears plus sultanas, raisins) in a little water instead.

Get some exercise and for lunch eat another fruit salad (mixed seasonal fruit) topped with plain live yogurt. Eat slowly, with awareness, tasting every mouthful.

Detox meditation
Repeat the detox breathing this afternoon and then spend some time in meditation.

1. Sit either on a straight-backed chair or on the floor.

2. Check your body to ensure you aren't holding on to tension, especially jaws, shoulders, legs and buttocks.

3. Now focus on your breath. Don't try to change it -- just be aware of it. Notice how you breathe in and how you hold the breath for a moment before exhaling. Then another pause before you inhale. It's a four-step process.

4. Follow your breath like this and if your mind starts to wander, don't be angry -- just gently bring it back.

5. Imagine you're exhaling toxic thoughts and emotions from your body and mind and inhaling new, exciting energy and possibilities.

6. When you feel ready, return your focus to the breath.

7. Now become aware of your body -- of your buttocks sitting on the floor or chair; of your head balancing on your neck; of your shoulders relaxed and heavy.

8. Now become aware of the world around you: the sounds, the temperature. Slowly and gently open your eyes and return to normal consciousness.

9. Sit for a few minutes. Drink water before getting up.

Eat your evening meal early, around 6pm. A simple bowl of steamed vegetables with herbs, spices and garlic to taste (but no salt). Make a dressing of a teaspoon of olive oil and lemon juice (plus ginger and garlic if you like) and pour over the steamed vegetables. Allow it all to mix together for a few minutes. If you're ravenously hungry, add a portion of boiled brown rice or a baked potato.

Take it easy and pamper yourself this evening. Light some candles and burn an aromatherapy oil (juniper, chamomile or pine). Curl up with a good book or listen to music.

Check in with your body and see how you feel. Are there parts of the detox you might continue? Give up coffee for good? Drink the hot water and lemon every morning? Devote 20 minutes a day to meditation? Even small changes will help your body feel better.

Drink water
Make sure you drink your 3 pints (2 liters) of water through the day. Try to drink it hot as warm water is supposed to shift toxic matter better than cool water.

Cider vinegar bath
Again, plan to get to bed early. Skin brush thoroughly (you should be expert by now). Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm (make sure it's not too hot) bath. Get in and relax for about 15 minutes. This bath is deeply detoxifying. Pat yourself dry and go to bed.


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