Doing Everything Right, But Still Feeling Bad? You May Be Detoxing!

Detoxification after massaageWe live in a world filled with toxins. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. The human body has a natural method for collecting and eliminating these toxins – the lymphatic system.  This network of vessels weaves throughout your body delivering nutrients to your cells and collecting wastes to carry away. With no pump of its own, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of your muscles to move fluids around.

And for the most part, the system works really well, as long as you are moderately active and are not overexposed to toxins. But, if your toxin level is high and your clearing system is having trouble keeping up, you’ll start developing negative symptoms, like body aches, fevers, frequent colds or infections, headaches, fatigue, unusual thirst, or skin rashes.

One of the ways our bodies try to deal with excess toxins is by storing them in fat. That’s why some people feel so crummy when they start losing weight. As the fat disappears, the toxins are released back into the blood stream, triggering toxic symptoms.

So, if you’ve recently started a clean eating regimen, a new exercise routine, begun massage therapy, or embarked on an official “detox” program – know that feeling crummy is (unfortunately) part of the process.

Rest assured, though, because detoxification symptoms, although uncomfortable, are not harmful. And, there are things you can do to reduce the severity of your symptoms and shorten their duration.

Bathe in an Epsom Salt Bath

A super simple recipe for a toxin clearing bath is to fill your tub with warm water and add 1 – 2 cups of Epsom Salt. Mix it up and climb in. Relax for as long as you are comfortable. Epsom Salt is not the same as table salt or bath salts. It’s made of a compound called magnesium sulfate. And when you soak in a solution of it, toxins and excess swelling can be pulled through your skin. This reduces inflammation and can help eliminate toxins from your body faster. (Note: Epsom Salt is not for use in jetted tubs, whirlpools, or hot tubs unless the manufacturer specifically says it is ok.)

Drink Plenty of Water

The lymph fluid that carries toxins away from your cells is made of about 95% water. So drink up! The more water you consume, the better your body will be able to move toxins though your lymph system.  Drink purified water (not straight tap water) throughout the day aiming to get about eight 8-oz glasses in total. If you exercise vigorously, are out in the heat or cold, or are feeling thirsty, drink an extra glass or two. But, you can overdo it… drinking too much water can unbalance your electrolytes. If you feel excessively thirsty despite adequate water consumption, please consult your doctor or naturopath. Extreme unexplained thirst is a warning sign that demands your full attention.

Get Adequate Rest

The process of detoxification is hard work for your body! It’s natural to feel more tired than usual while your body works this hard. Take a guilt-free afternoon nap, sleep a little longer in the morning, and head to bed early (ideally by 9 pm) to give your system adequate rest.

Get Moving

Remember, the lymph system doesn’t have a pump! The only way lymph fluid moves around your body is through the physical movement of the tissues around the lymph vessels. Gentle physical activity is ideal when you are in the process of detoxing – like walking and yoga. You can also visit your favorite massage therapist to get a lymph-drainage massage. This type of gentle massage stimulates the flow of lymph using smooth strokes timed with the rhythm of the valves in lymph vessels.

So, pay attention to your body and be on the lookout for the symptoms of detoxification. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us or schedule an appointment.

Try our Peppermint Twist Detox Massage to refresh and rejuvenate yourself if you are experiencing Detox symptoms!

Sharing Massage With Your Kids

massage is for kids tooDid you know that children can benefit greatly from massage, too?

It’s true! Touch is a universal healer. Without enough human touch during infancy, children may fail to thrive – and even die. Physical touch is a necessary part of our psychological development and emotional wellbeing.

Massage is a natural stress buster. You think kids don’t have stress? Try spending a day as a toddler who knows exactly what she wants but can’t get the words out right. Or a third grader moving to a new school mid-year. Or the goalie on the state trophy contending soccer team.

Massage is known to lower cortisol stress hormones and raise dopamine levels, combating depression and anxiety. Massage can, therefore also help with other medical conditions affected by stress, such as asthma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, eczema, and acne. In very young children, massage is a safe way to help settle upset tummies and get things “moving” again down below. Children battling cancer report that regular massage therapy helps reduce the pain and discomfort related to their treatments.

You can start massage at home on a newborn, as long as there are no underlying medical conditions to worry about. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you if massage is safe for your baby. Right after bath time when they are warm and snuggly is a great time to try some simple massage strokes on their arms, legs, and torso. As your child becomes a toddler, try adding in the hands and feet into the massage. Just remember, if your child becomes squirmy or asks you to stop, please do so. Honor your child’s nonverbal cues and spoken requests. Massage should never be something you do “to” you child. It should always be done “with” you child.

As your child becomes a teen, you’ll probably want to start seeing a licensed massage therapist – especially if he or she is very active in sports. A skilled therapist can help your child overcome growing pains, sports injuries, and clear away inflammation due to any number of causes.

Massage therapy is non-invasive and completely safe for most people – no matter how young or old! If you would like to learn more about sharing the healing gifts of massage with your child, please give us a call. We’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions.