Spas do more than offer relaxation. They also have your best health in mind. Whether you have one hour, one day or a whole week to spa (sign me up!) – or if you simply want to use these ideas for your own healthy lifestyle, spas are an inspired source for healthy habits that naturally detoxify body and mind.
Sweating is good for you. It boosts circulation, releases toxins and cleanses the skin. While steam and sauna can feel as though they deliver the same results – a sweaty, hyper-relaxed you – sauna can be even more effective when it comes to detoxing. Saunas surround you in dry heat so by the time your skin feels damp, you’re actually perspiring and releasing toxins, not providing a backdrop for steam to condense on. Infrared saunas take the concept one step further, using a specific wavelength that is cooler and penetrates more deeply. This enables the body to heat from the inside out, encouraging a greater level of detoxification, potentially including heavy metals. All sauna and steam practices do however have heaps of benefits – increased circulation, improved oxygenation and a lift for the lymphatic system’s removal of toxins from tissues. Hello glow of good health.
Massage not only feels good, it’s amazingly good for you. It increases circulation, reduces tension, and helps keep muscles fluid. The oxygenation of fresh blood helps repair and rejuvenate your being from the inside out. Add in the fact that the hands-on nature of massage directly aids the lymphatic system with the removal of toxins from tissues and muscles and you’re that much closer to appreciating massage not just as a relaxing luxury but also as a detoxifying must.
A heart-pumping workout boosts circulation and oxygenates the blood, sweeping out the bad while delivering fresh nutrients to your tissues, organs and entire being. Exercise also helps clear the mind of toxic thoughts and emotions and is an unquestioned contributor to overall cognitive health. If you’re doing an actual detox, gentle exercise is in order – strenuous activity will divert energy away from the body’s cleansing process and give you poorer results for both efforts. Instead, go easy and stretch, walk, do tai chi or practice gentle yoga to help balance the removal of toxins and renewal of your entire system.
- Healthy food
Spas serve healthy food for a reason: Healthy food is what fuels optimal mental and physical performance and function. Eating whole foods, mostly plants (thank you, Michael Pollan), is the best tactic for getting all of the vital nutrients you need for your body – including your digestive system – to function at its best. You will feel and see the difference. If you’re trying to cleanse – or maintain a cleanse, choose foods that support healthy digestion and elimination, supply plenty of free radical-eliminating antioxidants, and that help purify the blood. Take a look at this list for some key ingredients that support your body’s natural detox mechanisms.
If there is a thread to spa “success,” water is it. Adequate hydration makes exercise easier, massage more effective and enhances elimination. Spas place urns filled with water everywhere for a reason. They also jazz it up for a reason – the more beautiful and flavorful, the more you’ll want to drink (a good idea to take home). Consuming eight glasses of pure water each day is a great baseline goal and the easiest way to extend a spa visit (or pretend you had one). Your skin – and your whole body – will thank you for it.