Water is a powerful energy balancer. Water treatments have been used for centuries to help heal illness and to keep healthy people well. They are so good at balancing energy that most people who begin to experiment with hydrotherapy techniques are astounded by what they can do. During a two-day detox, they can help with the elimination process enormously – after all, this is the prefect time for long, relaxing soaks in the bath to soothe your mind and encourage your body to get on with its job.
Dr Douglas Lewis, whilst head of physical medicine at John Bastyr College Natural Health Clinic in the United States explained: ‘Hot water produces a response that stimulates the immune system and causes white cells to migrate out of the blood vessels and into the tissue where they can clean up toxins and assist the blood in eliminating waste’.
Hot and cold water applied alternately to the surface of your skin stimulates circulation and spurs good lymphatic drainage, also helping your body to eliminate wastes quickly. Hydrotherapy is also fun.
epsom salts bath
Epsom salts baths are an old and potent practice for eliminating toxins through the surface of the skin. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfate molecules have an ability to extract excess sodium, phosphorus and nitrogenous toxins from the body. This is why athletes use them to relieve muscular pain. Magnesium sulfate dissolved in water creates a static, unified, electrical field, and immersing your body in it helps to create a magnetic balance. During your apple fast, taking an Epsom salts bath helps speed up the detoxification process and minimizes any aches, pains or fatigue which sometimes come with rapidly eliminating stored toxins from the body. Epsom salts are also wonderful during periods of prolonged stress and when you are feeling overtired.
Take two cups of household-grade Epsom salts (available from the chemist), pour them into the bath and fill with blood-temperature water. Immerse yourself for 20 to 30 minutes, topping up with warm water when necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature. Get out of the bath and lie down for 15 minutes – better still, take an Epsom salts bath just before you go to bed.
the heat bath
Saunas can be a great help during a detoxification regime, as artificially induced perspiration is one of the best means of deep-cleansing the body. However, most of us don’t have a sauna at home. You can get a similar effect – in terms of the elimination of waste through the skin and deep relaxation – by taking a carefully regulated hot bath, provided your tub is large enough for you to immerse all of your body except your head in it. Make sure your bathroom is warm and comfortable – have candles for soft lighting, play some relaxing music, and put your towel somewhere so that it will be ready-warmed for you when you get out.
The temperature of the bath is crucial. It needs to be kept at about 105-110 degrees F (40-43 degrees C) – just a few degrees above normal body temperature. Hotter than this can be over-stimulating to the body. You can use a simple thermometer to check the temperature every five minutes and keep topping up with hot water to bring it back when it starts to fall. Lie in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes with just your head sticking out. Then get out, quickly wrap yourself in a big towel (or a cotton sheet if you prefer) and lie down and relax, covering yourself with a blanket, for another 20 minutes.
A real blitzguss needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home – especially if you have a handheld shower which you can direct on different parts of your body.
Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. The process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This is particularly good done just after skin brushing. Your skin is so fresh and clean after being brushed that it fairly zings in contact with warm water. The quick burst of cold water will make it zing again and get the circulation going a treat.
If at any time you feel uncomfortable using any hydrotherapy technique, stop immediately and try again another time. Never force yourself to ‘suffer’ if any of them cause any tension either in your body or your mind.
One of the oldest, and for me one of the most decadent, natural treatments is walking barefoot on dewy grass. The treatment was traditionally used to strengthen immunity, stimulate intestinal functions, act as a counterirritant for the chest and throat and relieve headaches. It is good to use during a two-day detox not only because it is stimulating to the whole system, but also because of the sense of clean freedom it gives you. If you are not in the habit of going barefoot, begin gradually. Start by simply rubbing the feet with a wet cloth for a minute or two then put on socks and shoes and walk about. After a few times try walking on dry grass and then on wet grass – first thing in the morning in the summer is just wonderful. Take the treatment whenever you get a chance – in the garden, in the park or in the country. Bare your feet to the elements and you’ll reap the benefits.
By the way, bathing your feet can help with a headache, too. Half fill a bath with cold water. Then, making sure you are well covered so your body doesn’t get cold, walk about in it with bare feet for three minutes. Immediately afterwards, put on warm socks and lie down for ten minutes. You might feel silly doing it, but it really can help, and it gives you the same lift as paddling in the sea.
Water is not the only thing you can bathe in. Of all the nature cure treatments, the air bath is the simplest. It involves removing all your clothing and allowing fresh air to circulate around your body for a few minutes. It is believed that exposing the body in this way even for only ten minutes can increase metabolism temporarily by as much as 50 percent, no bad thing when you are trying to eliminate wastes. Certainly it makes sense to regularly give your entire skin surface a chance to breathe unrestricted by clothing. The easiest way to take a regular air bath is to strip down while you do your morning or evening toilet. Make sure you open a window in the bathroom so that there is fresh air. If you need to turn on a heater in the room do, although cool air on your body for a few minutes can have a positive, stimulating and strengthening effect. This is yet another technique you can use after your two-day apple fast to tone your skin and help keep that feeling of being fresh and alive that comes after a detox.