Detox Central

Wow! I’ve completed 2 weeks of this Detox and happy to report nothing. Still doing 2 Arbonne Vegan smoothies a day and 1 veggie-centric meal. I have been switching it up and having my fork and plate meal for either lunch or dinner with my smoothie for the alternate meal. I’m happy to report that I am no longer craving beer or any other alcohol, for that matter. My skin looks brighter and more even in color. I even think my pores are shrinking…but maybe that’s just positive thinking because I feel so good all around!

Detoxing truly does feel great on the body and I love that Eastern medicine uses natural forms of detoxing as ways to treat and cure disease. I frequent Korean spas with their mugwort baths and charcoal rooms and practice facial gua sha, dry-brushing and tongue-scraping at home; all ancient healing techniques for stimulating the lymphatic system, which allows for the body to flush toxins itself. I highly recommend enjoying a Korean Spa (or K-Spa) if you haven’t yet. Not only is it extremely healing, but also very liberating, as most are nude (but nude areas are for all the same gender). Many have a restaurant with amazing Korean food – definitely do it. Lastly, whatever services you get – massage, facial, foot massage – make sure you get the full-body scrub. Trust me on this. You will never feel your skin any softer than after you have been scrubbed down by a sweet Korean woman at a K-Spa. Yes, you will feel awkward the first time, but these ladies do this all day, every day so it’s really just like going in for a mani/pedi and you will love them forever for it.

detox toolkit
the toolkit

There are a couple of detoxing methods that you can do at home; one being gua sha, a Chinese scraping technique used for everything from relieving pain to healing sickness. My first encounter with this treatment was about 15 years ago when I first began traveling to China in my previous career. I often got sore throats that grew into tonsillitis when I traveled due to lack of sleep and lots of new germs. On this particular trip I did not have any antibiotics with me and my tonsils were hugely swollen and painful. I was 3 days into a 12-hour a day, 3-week work trip traveling to various areas of China. I had no time to rest and recover. The housekeeper of one of our business partners in China said she could help me and I was open to any relief I could get! She took a small, flat, white tool that looked like it came from an animal horn or bone and scraped the back of my neck at the nape. It was forceful, but not painful. A few hours later, I had developed a nasty looking bruise where she had scraped, but it didn’t hurt at all. That night I slept great and in the morning I felt 1 million times better! Within 2 days I was completely healed…I didn’t know why or how, but I was a believer! I do not love turning to pills for cures and this was the first time I really saw the healing powers of natural Eastern medicine. Recently, I was reading that the technique of gua sha (the scraping with a piece of bone or polished jade) can also be done to the face to stimulate the lymphatic system and encourage drainage of toxins resulting in clearer, tighter, less puffy skin. I went on Amazon to find a legit tool (a lot are just plastic and claim to be jade or rose quartz so make sure you are getting the real deal). I bought this one; which also had the bonus of a jade roller that I keep in the fridge for an instant am eye depuffer when I remember (mom of 2 boys over here). I watched a couple of youtube vids to learn some basic techniques and got to scraping.

facial gua sha

My nightly routine is to wash my face with Arbonne’s Calm Cleanser, then use coconut or rose water witch hazel (this one is alcohol-free too), followed by Rose Hip Oil + a couple drops of Arbonne’s Skin Oil which helps lubricate my skin for the gentle gua sha scraping. I’ve been practicing this for a few months now and not only does it relax me as I get ready for bed, but I already see more of a glow and less puffy skin, which helps me stick with it.

The other methods of detox I do at home, dry-brushing and tongue-scraping, are both ancient Ayervedic practices originating in India. Dry-brushing has amazing benefits: increases muscle tone, reduces the effects of stress on the body, helps support a healthy metabolism, and enhances circulation all through lymphatic drainage to remove toxins from the body (seeing a trend here?). I prefer to use a natural bristle brush, but raw silk or linen gloves can also be used. It’s very simple to do, best in the morning before showering when your skin is dry and free from oil or lotion. Start at your feet and with a little pressure sweep the brush up your legs towards your heart using circular, clock-wise motions when you get to your ankles, knees, hips, and belly; continue to your hands sweeping again towards your heart and circling your wrists, elbows, and shoulders; ending at the top of your neck. I finish it off with a warm oil massage with this amazing oil from Everyday Oil, using cold pressed plant oils and natural steam-distilled essential oils. It smells divine! I let this habit drop for a while, but in the short time I’ve added it back to my am regime has made such a difference. It’s incredibly invigorating; helping to kick the last of the sleepiness out and leaves behind soft, smooth skin.drybrush

The final detox in my bathroom toolbox is tongue scraping every morning immediately after brushing my teeth upon waking up. The idea here is that toxins will diffuse up from the intestines (from breaking down food) up to the mouth and accumulate on the tongue. Because your body works hard at night while you are sleeping, this is why there is usually a type of coating on your tongue in the morning. Removing this coating can help remove bacteria and toxins from the mouth resulting in fresher breath and proper oral health. I use a simple <a href="http://<a target="_blank" href="">Pure Copper Tongue Cleaner</a><img src="//" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />" data-mce-href="http://Pure Copper Tongue Cleaner""“>tongue scraper – inexpensive, pure copper, and does the trick. I start at the back of my tongue and gently scrape my tongue a few times until the whitish coating is gone rinsing the scraper as needed. This is a great habit to add to your routine as it helps you really see the toxins that your body is expelling. I’ve noticed after a night of drinking beer, there is more to be scraped (mostly because I get more mucous build-up overall from drinking alcohol). Personally, I love getting the visual reminder to eat clean.

In my journey to live a healthier, cleaner life, I enjoy all the available detox outlets we have. We can’t control the toxins in our air, but we can control the food we put into our bodies. Choosing healthy plant-based food + performing detoxing practices leads to good overall health – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Toxins rear their ugly head in many different forms. Remember to love & care for yourself…you’ve only got this one body in this life.

xo, jessica

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