01 Apr At long last Spring is here!
Wendy Reichental and Giovanna Daniele
Giovanna, at long last Spring, is here, a time to awaken our senses and emerge from our long slumber. Spring represents a re-birth of sorts, not only with flowers blossoming, but it provides us with an excellent reason to start anew, and create a clean slate. There’s no better time for a refresh, whether that’s in simply getting a new haircut or colour, or in pursuing something more meaningful. It’s a season that beckons us to get outside and connect with people and nature. There is something about Spring that inspires us to shed our personal toxins and negativity. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try reflexology and detox, and rejuvenate – mind, body and soles!
GD: You are so right Wendy. Spring is a wonderful time to take a deep breath and kick start your detoxification system. It’s also true that during our long colder winter months, our bodies have been harbouring more toxins, largely because of our organs being affected by inactivity. Our immune system has been on high alert all winter, – and that can leave it in a depleted state come spring. Detoxing the body through our feet is a first step towards renewing our immune system and giving our body a burst of energy. Another positive outcome is that it helps remove not only the cobwebs leftover from winter but detoxing your body can help improve your mental clarity. It’s a beautiful gift to give yourself, especially during the season of spring.
Giovanna, the million-dollar question is, how does reflexology work to jump-start our internal spring cleaning and rid the body of toxins? Can you give us a brief explanation?
GD: No simple task Wendy! But basically, the key to detoxifying the whole body is improving the blood flow. In reflexology, we work the feet, which, as you know, have over 7,000 nerve endings per foot, and each reflex area on the foot corresponds to an organ, gland, or part of the lymphatic system. Stimulating these reflex points can relieve the body from stresses and tension, which consequently will induce deep relaxation and transport the body into a parasympathetic state. When a reflex area is worked, this allows the blood vessels to dilate, promoting increased blood flow to the entire body. Or we can think of it this way: when the body is in a constant state of stress, the blood flow is compromised and the organs cannot perform optimally. Conversely, when there is an increase in blood flow, the detoxing organs, including the colon, urinary tract, liver, lymphatic system and lungs can function at their peak.
So, when you work specifically to detox the body, you are focusing on specific reflex areas related to elimination like the colon, urinary tract, liver, lymphatic system, and the lungs? You are not only helping the body to unblock the energy pathways that have been clogged with toxins, are you also increasing the efficiency of these organs?
GD: Exactly! In addition, eliminating these toxins from your body brings you back to a state of homeostasis, restoring balance. And when we feel in sync, it further optimizes the functioning of the organs by improving blood flow to them, and increasing lymphatic fluid movement. All of this contributes to maximizing your body’s ability to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally.
How would we know if we have an accumulation of toxins in our body?
GD: When we think of toxins, we need to acknowledge that there are many toxins in the environment, just pollution alone can cause an accumulation of toxins and energy blockages in our bodies. A buildup of toxins in our body would reveal itself in a variety of ways, usually with symptoms related to headaches, sinus congestion, general or specific pain, and digestive system issues, to name a few.
Are there things we can do naturally to further enhance this feeling of releasing toxins from our bodies?
GD: Absolutely! Though having regular reflexology sessions will re-energize and recharge your body with more long-term results, there are definitely additional things you can do to shake off winter’s draining grip. Simply getting outside for even 20 minutes to savor a spring day and letting your soles run along the grass has been proven to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and produce the feel-good hormone serotonin. Walking barefoot puts your skin in touch with the ground (grounding), and this improves your immune system, re-energizing sluggish immune cells and the good hormone serotonin prods the liver to break down and release trapped toxins. Equally, tending to a garden and having some exposure to the sun can boost your mood and increase energy levels.
Another valuable practice which really aides with eliminating toxins from the body and improving your overall health is drinking more water. Water cleanses our bodies of toxins and helps to fuel every cell in our bodies.
All great tips, Giovanna. I might just add one more that I like to do every Spring and that involves not only getting rid of accumulated toxins but to purge myself of unnecessary excess stuff and items that are cluttering up my home. I will go through the entire house and see what I can donate. The feeling of decluttering my home and life is one I find truly liberating, even though it might not be as satisfying as a relaxing reflexology session.
GD: But it doesn’t have to be one or the other, right? All these practices pulled together will set us on the right path towards eliminating toxins, igniting a newfound energy and feeling healthy.
Agreed Giovanna! No matter what you decide, take advantage of this time of year to spring clean your life, relish the warmth, plant your flowers and sow the seeds of kindness and hope.
“Spring is painted in daffodil yellows, robin egg blues, new grass green and the brightness of hope for a better life.” ― Toni Sorenson