Yesterday I told you that there are three primary ways to approach detoxification. Since some of my favorite detox methods fall in the third category I mentioned, Non-Nutritive Supports, I wanted to give you a quick introduction to this category today. Non-Nutritive Supports (NNS) are just what they sound like – ways you can support your body’s ability to detox other than adding or eliminating foods from your diet.
NNS tend to work through a few basic mechanisms:
- Reducing Stress
- Improving Circulation
- Pulling Out Toxins
When it comes to detoxifying, stress is not your friend. Stress spikes your body’s production of cortisol (the primary stress hormone), and shunts your body into fight or flight mode. (As I noted in my TEDx talk, this makes the world look like a very hostile place!) When you drop into fight or flight mode, your body stops doing everything it doesn’t absolutely have to and channels all of your energy into the systems you need to protect yourself or run. (Remember the live-today-or-tomorrow-won’t-matter discussion?) When we intentionally reduce stress, we free our bodies’ limited supplies of energy to flow back into detox-related processes like digestion and elimination. Stress reducing NNS can include everything from mindful breathing and yoga to meaningful connections with friends to walks in nature or spiritual meditation.
Activities like yoga and walking also serve to improve circulation. Our bodies were never intended to be stagnant; without proper circulation, blood, lymph, and other important bodily fluids can’t be efficiently and adequately filtered or renewed. This leads to toxic buildup, and reduces our bodies’ ability to complete a huge variety of critical tasks ranging from digestion and detoxification to thinking and healing! Later in this series we’ll look at some other awesome NNS for circulation like Dry Brushing, exercise and massage.
Fortunately for us (and our poor overworked livers!), our bodies can use multiple pathways to shed toxins. NNS that pull toxins out of our bodies through our skin can provide invaluable alternatives when our internal elimination pathways are blocked or overloaded. Prime examples include sweat (via saunas or exercise) and soaking (full body or feet) in epsom salts, baking soda, an ionic foot bath, or other solution that actively pulls toxins out of the body through the pores of the skin.
Do you have a favorite NNS?