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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Detoxification Therapies for Immune System Health

Nov 27, 2020 09:45AM ● By Sheila Julson

It’s typical to start a detoxifying body cleanse from the inside out through dietary changes, juicing and supplements. But there are ways to also detox from the outside in, through therapies such as ionic foot baths, lymphatic drainage, infrared saunas and herbal body wraps. These therapies, designed to help eliminate impurities from the body, can help improve the immune system and thus ward off viruses as we head into winter.

Infrared sauna: Sweating is one of the body’s natural cleansing processes. Heat from infrared sauna therapy can safely penetrate the skin to produce a deep, detoxifying sweat. Unlike traditional saunas that use heat from steam to warm the air, infrared saunas employ far infrared light, which mimics the sun. Because temperatures in infrared saunas are generally lower, they can be more comfortable than traditional steam rooms.

In addition, heat from infrared saunas can also warm and relax joints and muscle tissue, which can provide relief from fibromyalgia, arthritis, and neck and back pain. Infrared sauna therapy can be used alone or paired with other wellness modalities.

Ionic foot detoxification baths: Noted as a gentle and relaxing way to cleanse the body, ionic footbaths work by quickly creating millions of negatively charged ions, which help to neutralize acidic tissue in the body. Positively charged ions attach to the negatively charged toxins, neutralizing them and allowing the body to discard them through hundreds of pores on the bottom of the feet. The ionic foot bath also alkalizes the blood and tissue, which can restore healthy pH balance.

The ionic foot detoxification baths are believed to clean the liver and kidneys, resulting in a strong immune system, less fluid retention and improved memory. It can also reduce inflammation, leading to relief from chronic headaches, menstrual cramping, arthritis and more.

Lymphatic drainage: The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to carry a clear fluid called lymph toward the heart. The lymphatic system has many functions, notably helping rid the body of toxins and waste. Lymphatic organs play an important role in the immune system and rely on proper flow of the lymphatic fluid. Lymph nodes can be become enlarged and swollen when lymph fluid is blocked, leading to toxic buildup in the body.

Lymphatic massage helps balance function in the lymph system by encouraging the flow of lymph fluids. The massage therapist uses light pressure and long, rhythmic strokes to release stored or blocked toxins in the lymph system. Lymphatic massage may also help improve the circulatory system.

Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (ELT) is another gentle, non-invasive technique to stimulate the proper flow and drainage of the lymphatic system. The device uses a combination of vibration, light and electrical waves that help simulate flow by causing the dissociation of proteins that have become trapped under the skin. Once released, stagnant lymph will begin to flow naturally. ELT also keeps lymph liquefied, allowing it to move more freely through the system.

Activities such as rocking in a rocking chair and jumping on a rebounder or small trampoline also help to move lymph more freely through the lymphatic system.

Body wraps and Alpha Capsule: Herbal body wraps use botanical creams designed with plant extracts such as sage to help detoxify the liver and kidneys—the filtering plants of our body. Some spas compliment detoxifying wraps with myo-pulse computer technology that “reads” the tissue and interprets the body composition. The machine responds with precise levels of electro-stimulation for maximum cellular cleansing.

The Alpha capsule, first used in Sweden, has 12 preprogrammed treatments, including detoxification. The Alpha Capsule uses aromatherapy, ionized air, vibration and infrared heat to eliminate toxins and boost the immune system.

There have been only a small number of studies done on detoxification therapies, and while some have shown to have a positive effect on the immune system, research is ongoing.

Sources: A Therapeutic Effect, 313 D Primrose Ln., Mountville, 717-285-9955,; Aqua Blue Wellness Center, 2435 Old Philadelphia Pike, Smoketown, 717- 656-8615,; Body & Sole Reflexology, 1821 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, 717-201-7616,; Health by Design, 352 E. Main St., Ste. 100, Leola, 717- 556-8103,; Nutrition Works, 543 W Franklin St, Womelsdorf, 610-589-5182,; The Spa at Willow Pond, 1487 Old Lancaster Pike, Sinking Spring, 610-406-5733,

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.