Learning to Play your Biggest Organ Part 1
Detox, Cleanse, Fast! The three trendy words I hear all the time when people are wanting to start getting healthy. No matter the word we use to describe the removal or minimizing of exposure to toxins I believe it is more than just a trend and is really a necessary step in our quest to return to our bodies and mind to a healthy baseline. How can we expect to get off to a healthy start when our body is still full of toxins, affecting our ability to absorb nutrients, think clearly, and produce, use and store energy amongst the other harmful effects of being loaded with toxins. What is the focus we think of when beginning a detox? Well, if you drink a lot chances are you're thinking of a liver detox. If you've been eating a bunch of greasy, processed, unhealthy food, you're most likely looking for a colon cleanse to stop you from spending half of your day clenched up sitting on the toilet. What's the common factor between these 2 types of cleanses? They both focus on cleansing Organs, the vital pieces in our body that influence and allow us to function as human beings.
What comes to mind when we hear the word organ? Heart, Liver, Kidneys, Lungs, Stomach, maybe Mclovin? But if I were to ask you what you're biggest organ was would you be able to answer correctly? I'll give you a hint, It's care is a Multi-Billion dollar industry and it's a cause for a lot of stress and tension throughout history... The Skin!
Weighing in at around 8 pounds, our skin does so much more than present us to the world, It's also our first line of connection and therefore defense against our external environment. It protects us against extreme temperatures, sunlight, harmful chemicals and infections while also manufacturing vitamin D and keeping our brain in touch with whats going on in our environment.
How has the neglect to recognize our skin as an organ affected our approach to living a healthy life? Just think of the many products your skin comes in contact with daily. As a bald male I don't have to worry about the majority of things women do(or people with hair), but a brief list of what I still use is,
- Soap (body and dishes)
- Shave Cream
- After Shave
- Laundry Detergent
- Lip chap
- Deodorant (I'd hope)
We constantly hear about how our food is loaded with toxins and how that affects us but rarely stop to think if our household items and beauty care products might be producing a similar result.
The toxins such as phthalates, parabens and glycol esters found in cosmetics and household cleaning products are recognized as being Endocrine or Hormone disruptors. This means they have been shown to interfere with the function of our hormones, also known as the chemical messengers of the human body. These hormones are not only in charge of every stage of growth and development but also play a lead role in our appetite, Bone/muscle strength, mood, and our production, use and storage of energy. Stop to think for a second how these not only affect your daily life, but also your performance and results from maintaining a consistent gym and eating routine. Strength coach Charles Polinquin has also mentioned that the increased incidence of injuries in his High Level athletes was due to these environmental toxins. Of these environmental toxins there are some which we'll have a hard time minimizing without drastically changing our life. Say air quality if you live in a big city.
When it comes to Skin Care and what we put on our skin all it takes is a bit of information on what products to avoid and finding a place that sells the alternative. It's quite easy to turn to a place like amazon(where I order my african black soap) incase you live in the boonies or don't want to make that much of an effort yet. If you're a DIY junky like me making your own products is a must and just as easy! And the best part is you make them specifically tailored to your needs. Certain things I outsource due to time and my skill set but whenever I can create something customized for myself I jump on the opportunity, Whether it be a simple meal or growing Kombucha aliens in my kitchen in the form of SCOBYS. I made the perfect winter moisturizer recipe for my ashy skin and the best toothpaste I've ever used with my favorite ingredients, Cacao powder, Cacao Butter and Activated charcoal (Yes it is chocolate toothpaste... I'm an addict). Coconut oil is also always a great option for moisturizing.
Instead of using products that disrupt our hormones and devoid our skin of anything beneficial let's switch to items that fuel our skin and aid it in maintaining the proper balance needed to fight off bacteria and all its other vitally important jobs. Lets view our skin Like the massive organ it is and start to put some thought and care into what we let come in contact with it. Having beautiful looking skin is a by-product of giving the skin what it needs and therefore we should first focus on fueling our skin like our body and watch it tighten brighten and lighten!