Six Detox Methods To Get You Through the Festive Season

The holiday season takes such a toll on your mental health that anything you can do to unwind and take control is a life-saver. You may have heard of detoxing to lose weight or prevent physical diseases but, if it’s done correctly, a quick detox diet can perk up your brain, as well as the rest of your wellbeing. According to Alycea Ungaro, a New York-based wellness guru and celebrity trainer who works with Madonna and Uma Thurman, ‘There’s a psychological component to a cleanse. It’s a chance to hit the ‘reset’ button.’ So, which detox methods will you try this Christmas?


1. Acupuncture: Enthusiasts swear that this 5,000-year-old practice cures everything from bad skin to indigestion, but it really does the trick if you suffer from digestive issues. A practitioner will tackle toxicity by examining your tongue, as the colour will clue him or her in to how your internal organs are doing. Your acupuncturist will also review your diet, and advise you against overdoing the alcohol, meat, or raw food, after inserting slim needles into the energy lines that run through your body.


2. Charcoal: This detox method is best for removing daily environmental impurities from air and water, says Sophia Banay Moura Deputy Editor for Glamour Magazine. She explains ‘For centuries, the Japanese have used white charcoal to soak up substances, from poison to bad breath; its pores absorb a range of gases and toxins. The technique is landing stateside thanks to Sort of Coal, a line that incorporates the porous charcoal, produced from sustainably harvested forests in Japan and Korea. Products include edible charcoal powder ($25) — it attracts and absorbs intestinal toxins — soap ($30), and water purifiers ($30), which replace chlorine with minerals.’


3. Coffee: I bet you thought coffee was one of the toxins you had to get rid of! In fact, when applied to your skin, caffeine can help to reduce cellulite and aid in lymphatic drainage as it reduces swelling and ups your body’s fat-burning mechanisms.


4. Salt: Again, most people assume that salt is more toxic harm than help, but Moura argues that salt can help with respiratory problems, asthma, flu and colds. She notes, ‘Salt fights bacteria and inflammation and creates a negative-ion environment — the reason a dip in the sea feels great. At the new Halo/Air Salt Rooms in New York City, you can re-create that effect in “caves” full of Ukrainian salt, which is pumped into the rooms in controlled amounts; temperature and humidity are regulated, too. In the lungs, sodium chloride dispels bacteria and mucus. Sessions improve allergies and respiratory ills.’


5. Ayurveda: Dr. Pratima Raichur, a longtime ayurvedic practitioner in Manhattan, says that she can work wonders for your complexion ‘with her holistic approach to health and life.’ Moura points out that Ayurvedic detoxifying facials ‘combine natural and antibacterial ingredients like sandalwood, aloe vera, red clay, and rosemary with a blast of steam to cleanse and exfoliate skin, and pressure-point massage around the nose and eyes clears sinuses and the puffiness that allergies can cause.’


6. Detox Bath: Everyone loves a relaxing soak in the tub, but a nice hot bath – especially if you combine ingredients like grapefruit oil (a purifier and astringent) and rosemary oil (for circulation) – can help you to detox too. Moura comments, ‘Aside from being relaxing, hot water increases blood flow and sweating and dilates the capillaries near the skin’s surface; your body expels the bad stuff and drinks in any herbal oils and salts.’ This is especially helpful in the case of fluid retention and bloating.

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