Detox baby steps: dry brushing & hot/cold plunges

Chances are you don’t necessarily have the time or the fortitude to do a hardcore ‘cleanse’ (which seems to be the latest buzzword) but keep in mind that doing just one or two extra little things a day can really add up and the cumulative effect of all those ‘little things’ can be quite significant.  I often find myself saying that since I don’t have time, for example, to lift weights for 20 minutes then why bother at all because 5 minutes can’t make an impact; but, I’ve come to learn that 5 minutes are better than zero minutes.  Just like if you have a lousy breakfast, it’s easy to tell yourself that you may as well not bother to eat nutritiously the remainder of the day because you already screwed up breakfast when, in fact, eating a lousy breakfast with a healthy lunch and dinner each day puts you much further ahead than if you just ate three lousy meals a day every day.

If this seems logical to you, then read on because you’ll learn about two very simple, quick & inexpensive things you can easily do every day to stimulate your lymphatic system which helps remove toxins from your body.

About 3 years ago I started daily skin brushing.  I think I first read about it in a book by Paul C. Bragg and Patricia Bragg (as in Bragg Amino Acids) called The Miracle of Fasting.  I’m not in total agreement with everything in the book, but it contains a great deal of GOOD and useful information.  Skin brushing is done when your skin is dry, before or after showering.  I prefer to do it right before showering and try to do it daily because it’s great for improving circulation and the Braggs claim it ‘helps purify lymph so it’s able to detoxify your blood and tissues’ while removing ‘old skin cells, uric acid crystals and toxic wastes that come up through skin’s pores’.  That’s all very nice, but I have to confess that my main incentive for doing it is to help prevent and eliminate cellulite (plus, it feels REALLY GOOD)!  You can technically use a towel or a dry loofah sponge, but I recommend using a natural-bristle brush with a long handle.  These are easily found at drugstores, health food stores and department stores.  Here’s a link to the one I use from a company called Elemis, which is made in Germany and I love it (check eBay, too, because nordstrom sells this for around $40 but I know I paid much less):

Here’s how it’s done:

Using long strokes, start with your feet and work upward, working toward your heart.  Do your entire body, gently in areas of thinner skin (e.g. stomach) and with a little more pressure in areas of thicker skin (e.g. back).  The whole process should only take a few minutes.

If you haven’t read it already, please consider this amazing book: CLEAN: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself  by Alejandro Junger, M.D.  Dr. Junger, originally from Argentina, is a cardiologist in New York City who is also extensively trained in Eastern medicine.  He has a unique and compelling perspective regarding allowing your body to rid itself of toxins.  Here’s the link from amazon:

Dr. Junger not only recommends skin brushing, but he suggests you ‘follow this with a hot-cold plunge or shower’.  I don’t have time for just a plunge so I follow with a shower, but turn it into a ‘hot-cold plunge-shower’.  This simply means that I turn the water to as hot as I can tolerate for a minute or so, while I wash my hair, then turn it to as cold as I can tolerate for a minute while I rinse my hair and wash my face. Then I go as hot as I can again and lather up, shave my legs, etc., then do a final cold round to rinse.  This whole process boosts your circulation and detoxification because, as Dr. Junger describes, ‘your skin is your largest organ: it contains miles of arterioles and venules that are filled with blood.  These vessels relax and dilate with heat and contract with cold.  When this relax/contract pattern happens, your skin pumps almost as much blood as your heart.’

So, in about 7 minutes, you’ve just given yourself what you would have paid about $150 for at a spa!  Add $100 for the optional seaweed treatment….stay tuned for that recipe.

Join the Conversation


    1. Thank you so much-sorry for the oversight! Just read CLEAN Gut recently and have been recommending it; it’s the best simple, yet comprehensive explanation of gluten intolerance I’ve read. Btw, r u the same Jenny that posted the avocado chocolate mousse recipe on the Clean program blog? If so THANK YOU! My kids & husband love it.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.