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The art of detoxification has become a popular practice, with the term “detox” becoming a part of our vocabulary and culture. Today, detox programs and treatments exist for every aspect of our lives: the food we eat, the time spent on our digital devices, and how we treat our skin and hair.
Detoxing your body is one of the best ways to remain healthy and keep your skin and hair looking and feeling its best. Spring is when the world wakes up after winter and everything is in bloom; it’s the perfect time to focus on health and wellness, so you, too, can blossom and grow.
Many of the products you see in stores for detoxing your body are easy and affordable to create at home. Baths, massage oils, and body scrubs all contain a few simple ingredients meant to cleanse and refresh your skin and body, boost circulation, and relax your body and mind. Relaxing your body will help you get a good night’s sleep, which allows your body time to rebuild.
The following at-home treatments can easily be added to your skin and hair care routines and should be practiced monthly for best results. They focus on three effective methods of body detox: bathing, body scrubbing, and dry brushing.
Since many people only need to focus on a short-term detox to get their lifestyles and habits back on course, at-home detox treatments are a great starting point. For others who need a long-term solution or detox plan, consult a medical professional to create a thorough health and wellness regimen.
Dip Into a Detox Bath
An easy place to detox your body is in the bath. Detox bathing is actually an ancient practice; it’s said even the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was famous for her milk baths. Detoxification baths are popular because they’re simple to do and can yield amazing results. Detoxing through bathing helps the body heal more efficiently and improves overall health. Bathing in mineral-rich water can wake up your body, purify your system, and clear and focus your mind.
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The main ingredients for a detox bath are Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and ground ginger. Epsom salts can help to replenish the body’s magnesium levels and draw out toxins. They can be found at most drug and grocery stores. Baking soda is a common kitchen ingredient and is known for its cleansing properties; it can leave your skin feeling soft. Ground ginger from the spice cabinet or grocery store increases circulation and warms your body. Ginger helps your body sweat out toxins, too, but this spice can be an irritant. If you’re sensitive to ginger, you may use less of it or leave it out altogether. If you’re unsure, perform a spot test on the back of your leg or the inside of your arm with a small amount of ginger mixed with water. If your skin becomes red or irritated, don’t add ginger to your bath.
Note: If you’re pregnant or have a medical condition that may lead to a negative reaction to a detox bath, consult your physician first. Also, don’t use detox baths as a form of weight loss.
Massage at Home
We often think of massage as a way to relax and unwind, but it’s also an effective detox treatment. A targeted massage that’s focused on pressure points within the body will help release tension patterns, stress, and may even release toxins that may be stored in the soft tissue of your body. A credentialed massage therapist will have been trained in specific techniques to rid the body of stress and toxins, however, human touch alone is comforting and stress-reducing.
While it’s difficult to give yourself a massage, your partner may be willing to provide gentle touch and help work your muscles toward relaxation. Whether you visit a professional or enjoy a home massage, make sure you drink a lot of water before and after your massage to hydrate skin and muscles and flush out your system. If you want to practice the art of massage at home, here are a few simple steps to get you started:
- Choose a light massage oil, such as sunflower, almond, or light sesame oil. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a bit of aromatherapy.
- Locate a relaxing spot for your massage. A firm, steady surface is best. Beds are too soft and tend to absorb the impact of the massage strokes. A massage table is ideal, but you can also make do with a yoga mat or layers of blankets on the floor. Make sure the environment is relaxing and calm. No bright lights or loud sounds.
- Massages can be relaxing for both giver and receiver. Keep your strokes smooth and flowing, and try to avoid any sudden stops or interruptions. Keep your strokes moving toward the heart. Give and take verbal cues from one another, stay with what feels good, and ask for extra attention in areas that need it.
- Drink plenty of water!
Healthy Circulation Solutions
Stimulating your circulation by using body scrubs, luffa sponges, and body brushes is another effective way to detox your body. Boosting circulation or blood flow helps rid your body of contaminants that can build up over time. Good circulation is important for all ages; it helps to efficiently remove waste products from the body. An effective way to stimulate circulation when bathing is to use an all-over body scrub, focusing on your muscles and pressure points. This will help relax your body and ease tension. Two specific areas to focus on are the palms of your hands and the balls of your feet. When rubbing and massaging these two areas, especially with a body scrub, you’ll almost instantly feel your body relax and release stress and tension.
Dry brushing, another way to increase circulation, can work like a body scrub to rid your body of toxins and boost circulation, but it can be done outside of the tub or shower. It also helps clear your skin of dead skin cells and surface impurities. Dry brushing is done on dry skin and without lotions or oils; all you need is a special soft body brush. These can be found at most natural food shops and pharmacies. The full treatment takes about 5 to 10 minutes and can be done before bathing or before going to bed. Begin by brushing your hands, arms, neck, chest, stomach, and back with smooth, flowing strokes. Move to your legs, starting at the foot and working your way up. Your skin will look better, and you’ll feel better, too.
Detox Bath Tips
- Add a few drops of an essential oil to your bath. Some people like the scent of mint or lavender while they bathe to help relax and energize their bodies.
- Drink water before, during, and after bathing. This helps keep your body hydrated and flushes out toxins.
- You can shower after bathing, but it’s not necessary.
- The Epsom salts will be drying to your skin, so massage a rich body lotion or natural oil into your skin to keep it soft after bathing.
- Keep your towel near the tub so you can wrap up in it immediately. Some people even prolong the detoxification process by lying down for few minutes in their towel after bathing.
- Don’t eat immediately before or after bathing.
- To relax your mind, turn down the lights or use candles to create a relaxing environment.
Discover for yourself the benefits of at-home detox treatments with three different recipes in Body Detox Recipes.
Janice Cox is a bestselling author of several DIY beauty books. Her latest book, Beautiful Luffa, is all about growing and using luffa sponge gourds. Learn more at Natural Beauty at Home.