1. Sweat it out.
Whenever I’m feeling the need for a good cleanse that helps to not only detox my body but clear my mind, I head to the sauna for one of my favorite rituals: a 45-minute hot/cold experience that leaves me super-focused. I learned how to do this at a resort spa years ago, and it’s one of the best things I’ve applied to my lifestyle. Since I don’t have the time or money to visit a spa on a weekly basis, this is something I do at my fitness center on a weekly basis. First, I spend 15 minutes in the sauna, then rinse off under a cold shower and drink a glass of water. I do this as a circuit three times and end up feeling immensely refreshed and detoxified. Other good ways to sweat it out? Any form of exercise that you enjoy.
2. Soak up the heat.
Did you know that infrared sauna treatments can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and aid in weight loss? Those are some of the health benefits reported by The Journal of American College of Cardiology. And, according to the experts at Sunlighten, makers of at-home infrared saunas, infrared sauna treatments have also been clinically shown to help detoxify the body and provide pain relief. (For those who love their gadgets, the Sunlighten Signature line features a Blaupunkt sound system with MP3 player compatibility and an ergonomic backrest.) These saunas are also energy-efficient and run on less electricity than your average hair dryer. Keep an eye out for their new mPulse Infrared Sauna Series debuting in March, which will be the world’s first biofeedback sauna—tracking heart rate, calories burned, and core body temperature data and sending this data wirelessly to a wellness website for personal use (www.sunlighten.com/mpulse).
3. Take a bath.
Take time out and immerse yourself in a nice warm bath with a detoxifying bath blend. I’m a big fan of Dr. Singha’s Ayurvedic Mustard Bath (www.drsingha.com), which comes in handy packets that I don’t travel without. I also love the bath oils and Thermal Spring Salts from Kneipp, (try the balancing Lavender or energizing Spruce, www.kneippus.com). Another favorite is the Detox Duo by Dr. Dennis Gross. The set includes botanical- and vitamin-rich Purifying Bath Salts and an Antioxidant Enzyme Buff that exfoliates nicely (www.mdskincare.com). After bathing, apply an organic oil to your entire body. Amrit Organic offers some excellent certified organic oils; try the Organic Sesame Oil that’s a topnotch conditioner for your skin and known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. (www.redcherrygroup.com)
4. Try a tonic.
Dr. Steve Arcuelo from ChicagoHealers.com created this detoxifying and immune-system-building Scallion and Ginger Tonic cocktail: First, combine 1 bunch of chopped scallions, 6 coin-size slivers of fresh ginger, a splash of Shoyu (a high-quality soy sauce), and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and reduce by half so that you’re left with 2 cups. Drink both cups while hot. If you’re feeling under the weather, he recommends soaking in a very warm bath after you finish the tonic, followed by a sound night’s sleep bundled up in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Says Arcuelo, “The scallion promotes sweating, which helps to rid the body of toxins and fight off viruses, while the volatile oils in ginger warm the body, helping the body to sweat, break a fever and eliminate toxins. Ginger is also a metabolic enhancer and body-cleansing herb.”
5. Head to the spa.
Many spas offer really good (and discounted) special packages at this time of year. From January 3rd to 10th and January 17th to 24th, Red Mountain Resort & Spa in Utah is offering a detoxification program geared to not only improve your mind, body, and sprit, but also to provide products and support for a complete 28-day detoxification program. The eight-day, seven-night program is gluten-free and includes everything from acupuncture to personal nutritional consultations to lymphatic drainage treatments and classes such as a Detoxification Yoga workshop and Detoxification Cooking class (www.redmountainspa.com).
6. Make it mud.
Mud has long been used to draw out toxins and impurities. Try a weekly at-home facial mud mask. I recommend the Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment from Eminence (www.eminenceorganics.com). It’s a clarifying, stimulating, and detoxifying treatment for all skin types, but if you’re sensitive to cinnamon, do a patch test first (they also make a good Blueberry Detox Firming Peel for at-home use.) This is a good time to book a mud wrap at your local day spa. Sharon Ronen, founder of Skin Haven WellSpa in Los Angeles (www.skinhaven.com), offers a Black Baltic Mud Wrap. “It kicks up circulation to flush out toxins, bacteria, and other impurities, and the mud enhances cellular function and imparts firmness and uniformity to your skin. It’s a very stimulating treatment, and the client is wrapped in several layers to enhance the detox process,” she explains.
7. Expand your mind.
Best-selling author Debbie Ford’s, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse (Harper One), aims to show you how to purify your mind and thoughts and gain inner peace by “cleaning out the container of your own consciousness.” According to Ford, “Most New Year’s resolutions don’t work because if we don’t cleanse out the toxic emotions and experiences from our past and get honest about the present, we will be stuck with the same old thoughts, patterns, and regrets and end up with the same results.” In the book, she walks you through an intense three-part process that includes simple daily exercises, cleansing rituals, and prayers (www.amazon.com).