Detox for Body & Mind
Those who live in cities, whether small or big, are constantly exposed to a wide variety of stimulation. Every stimulation creates a reaction which if not dealt with properly, will be stored in the body as stress which affects our body and mind. Most of us don’t have any practice to flush out the stress we accumulate on a day to day basis.
This is why, a regular detox helps tremendously in many ways. Weight loss is the most popular consequence, but it is not the only one. It also helps to boost the immunity, increase energy levels, improves skin and hair, slows down ageing and more important than anything else, it removes brain fog and facilitates clearer thinking.
Detoxes can be about 3-4 days long, or longer, lasting up to 21 days sometimes. Don’t do anything drastic. If you have never fasted before, take things easy. It is important not to push your body. The whole point of the exercise is to let the body get back to normal, and this is not going to happen if we get stuck in a mind-over-body attitude. Try to listen to the body deeply and do what ‘feels’ right. Use your judgment, of course – if you feel like eating chips, you know it is not your body but your mind that’s talking.
One of the best options to do a detox is to start on a full moon and end at the new moon. This will ensure you have the support of the energies on the planet as well and the body will find it much easier to flush out everything it doesn’t need.
Drink a good amount of water. Copious amounts of water are not good for everyone. Whatever amount of water you are used to drinking daily, drink a little more than that. Make sure that the water is warm as much as possible. If you want to take it a step further, you could make herb teas or infusions.
- You could start your day with the juice of half a lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water.
- Place crushed ginger at the bottom of your flask and fill it up with hot water. Drink this throughout the day to heal your digestive system. Contrary to popular belief, ginger is good for healing acidity issues.
- Boil water with a variety of herbs. Cumin, coriander, turmeric and fennel are very good for the bowels. Boil them in some water and fill it up in a flask. Sip all day. In Kerala or in Ayurveda stores it is easy to find a herb mix to boil your water with.
You have several options. Coriander-mint juice, cucumber juice, carrot-apple-ginger juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, orange juice, etc. Go with what your body demands and don’t overdose on anything. No matter which juice you take, make sure to make it yourself and use honey if you want it sweet. No salt, sugar, and no packaged juices. Tender coconut water is also great for fasting as it contains a day’s requirement of minerals. It is also rich in bio enzymes, b-complex and potassium.
What to Eat
Decide how far you want to go. If you are used to fasting regularly, you could even do just a water or juice fast. If not, go easy and stick to fruits or raw food. Nuts, seeds and dry fruits soaked overnight are also very good. If you are loathe to eat only raw foods, you could go on a khichdi diet, eating only simple mung dal khichdi for all three meals. If all this sounds too hard, replace just your dinner with salads and fruits – if you can, have an early dinner around 6:30pm, or atleast, make sure that you eat no cooked food after sunset.
Oil massages are very good for increasing circulation and nourishing the body. Those with dry skin should use sesame oil, those who have anger issues should use coconut or olive oil, and those who are overweight can do dry massage, without oil. The dry massage is also an option for others if you’re short on time, although using the oil is much more beneficial. Wash it off with a paste of besan (gram flour powder) mixed in water or even better, powdered mung dal mixed with water.
Detox The Mind
If possible, avoid newspapers and television during this time as they are the biggest source of damaging stimulation. Fasting can sometimes bring up emotional issues as well, and practicing deep listening will probably help you ensure that you allow things to come up and leave peacefully. Do not try to suppress your feelings at this time.
Resting is important during this phase. Sleep 10pm to 6am if possible as this timeline helps to ensure minimum toxins in the body. If you feel tired during the day, see if you can relax a bit. Sometimes fasting may bring up physical reactions like a bit of headache, and this is completely fine.