Extra Credit for the Tao to Wellness Elimination and Detox Program
Embarking on our Elimination and Detox Program and want even more? Aside from the diet change and new supplement regimen there are a few more things you can do to get the most out of the program.
With the exception of drinking more water, you don’t need to do any of the following, you are still getting full Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification, while resetting your body completely. That being said, if something perks your interest below, we recommend jumping in!
Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon
In Chinese medicine, the liver loves the taste of SOUR, that means it’s a taste that supports the liver and its functions.
ACV, which is very sour (and spicy), is magic for the liver. Ancient cultures often used apple cider vinegar to purify the blood. Many studies show a regular intake of ACV lessens inflammation, stimulates circulation, diminishes cholesterol, aids in detoxification and helps with the overall health of the liver. The unique acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively. They are also equipped to fight bacteria, fungus and Candida. Adding lemon, again sour in taste, creates a synergistic combo.
For the purposes of the detox, we recommend up to a shot of ACV with lemon in a large glass of water each morning. For some, a shot is just too much, so do what you can. This is contraindicated in cases of GERD.
In the past, acupuncture was an optional add-on to our program but as more and more people were joining the detox and not local to our Berkeley office, we decided to make it a separate service this year. Of course, we are biased when it comes to the wonders of acupuncture, but we realize it’s not for everyone, some people will never get used to the needles! That aside, if you are local or have an acupuncturist in your town, we highly, highly recommend it! When your body is going through these phases, acupuncture is a wonderful support for cravings, fatigue, anxiety, regulating the brain chemistry (when it’s missing dopamine), harmonizing the digestion with this new way of eating, relaxing the nervous system and assisting in cortisol regulation so you get a good night’s sleep. And if you’ve never tried acupuncture before, maybe this is the perfect time to try something new. If you are in Berkeley and would like to make an appointment with us, click here. In our experience, acupuncture is best done in those beginning days (Day 1-4) while your body is adapting and when we enter the main part of Phase 2 (Day 8-14)
Mindful Eating and Meditation
So often we are rushing when we eat, we eat while driving, walking, at our computer, in front of the TV, etc. Now is a great time to experiment with a new practice. Slow down and really enjoy your meal. Here is a wonderful article from our friends at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, “Seven Tips to a Mindful Eating Practice”. Also, Christina is a teacher on Insight Timer and has a mindful eating meditation there, first download the app here and find her by searching Christina M. Martin.
Drink More Water
Water is essential to the human body, it does so much from regulating body temperature to lubricating joints to getting rid of waste through sweat, urine and feces. So it makes sense that for a detox, you’ll need a lot of water! No less then 72 ounces per day during this detox is ideal, that’s equivalent to 3 large mason jars. A tip is to down 1 mason jar (24 ounces) when you wake up. Not only does it re-hydrate from the night, but with 24 ounces down, you’ve only got 48 left to go and somehow that seems totally reasonable.
Taking a teaspoon of coconut and/or sesame oil and swirling it through the mouth for 15-20 minutes, then spitting it out can reap many, many benefits. It’s amazing for oral hygiene. It also reduces inflammation in the gums. Some sources say it can improve the digestion as well by activating digestive enzymes. Interested in learning more about oil pulling, check out Emily’s article here.
Like acupuncture, this is another modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cupping is the act of creating a vacuum, by way of fire or suction, so the cups pull on the tissue or fascia of the muscles creating a rush of blood flow to the area for healing to occur. It’s mostly not painful, but rather just tight and it almost always leaves a mark. Maybe you’ve seen photos of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow or this one of Michael Phelps. Cupping is wonderful for pulling toxins out of the muscle and resetting the area’s blood flow which is why it’s so good for pain.
Regular Sauna or Infrared Sauna
A nice hot sauna opens the pores, promotes sweating and detoxifies the skin. Many gyms have saunas these days and infrared saunas are popping up everywhere as a drop in service. This is contraindicated in cases of high blood pressure.
Cold Showers or a Cold Plunge
Cold showers or a cold plunge if you have access to one is also very beneficial, ask all the Wim Hof enthusiasts! Cold plunges are known to increase baseline dopamine for a quick mood adjustment, combats inflammation, improves circulation and stimulates the vagus nerve.
Using a dry brush is beneficial for detoxifying the skin and lymphatic tissue. The technique is simple, brushing from the ends of all four limbs towards the heart, be sure to get the backs, tops and inside of the arms and legs. It’s usually done prior to your shower and the brush is relatively inexpensive, click here for one we like.
Epsom Salt Baths
Not a lot of research has been done on the validity of Epsom salt baths, however its main ingredient, Magnesium Sulfate is imperative in order for the liver to conduct Phase 2 detoxification. So we recommend them! Plus it provides you some time for relaxation and meditation. We love Dr Teal’s, available in most drug stores, Target and Amazon.