Yep – it’s detox time again! These first few months of the year see a spike in gym memberships, detox kit sales and appointments with personal trainers, boot camps, nutritionists and naturopaths as we emerge from the year-end revelries laden with resolutions and a few extra kilos. It’s also always a busy time for this meditation teacher in both course enrolments and private energy sessions. There’s no doubt that most of us seek to step into a new year setting the gears aright, for a cleaner, clearer launch.

The turn of the annual year is filled with celebrations of family, friends and the blessings of the passing year, a kind of a stock-take and circling back to familiar ground and tribe. It’s a beautiful and important time. For many modern families, the season is expressed in time together and usually in the form of far too much food, heavy traditional meals, wine and partying. It can be filled with a lot of unstable energy too. The return to childhood memories, family homes, exposure to the needs of different people, and contemplations of another year passing can whip up quite a bit of energetic dust, so to speak.

The instinctive priority of most people is to address their physical detoxing first and there is merit in this. When our physical aspect is lighter and operating healthily and in balance, it impacts our emotional and mental states, bringing clarity. However to stay the course and achieve this and to find balance and stability through our entire system – physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual we need to approach the detoxing from an energetic perspective as well.

Detoxing the physical through energetic and spiritual practice is possible; but I have found that it’s easier to start from the ground up. Accessing inner practice is easier with a clear physical system. I have also learnt that there are six sure-fire physical things I can do at the same time as clearing out my diet and toxins from my system that vastly amp the process and clear my energy body as well. Not surprisingly they all come from far more ancient roots, and are best explained through 5000 year old Ayurvedic medicine, which is regarded to be the planet’s oldest healing science. But these gorgeous natural systems are easily incorporated into a busy modern routine and they are definitely worth experimenting with. I suggest taking one at a time and trying it for around two weeks to observe the results. Apply them mindfully and with a happy vibe of self-compassion and self-healing. Whilst these are physical actions you can take as part of a physical detox, they have a direct impact on clearing and raising the energy body and when done with this intent, they are immediate and measurably effective. I now employ them all, all the year round as I have observed the difference they make, not only to my physical health, but also to my energy body and therefore my inner spiritual state and practice – they are all, after all, aspects of the one dazzling human system.

1. Amp the energy breath with a Neti Pot

A Neti Pot is a small pot, much like a little teapot, specifically designed for nasal irrigation. The solution used is purified water and salt. You can buy plastic Neti Pots from most chemists, but for me the more traditional ceramic pots garner a better energy in the water and the practice (I tend to be arching against plastics generally these days). You can buy pre-made saline satchels to add to the water, which are very handy, or also pots of neti salt that can be added to pre-boiled, then cooled-to-tepid water.

The actual process is very simple, and once you get used to it, feels fantastic. It requires you to lean over your basin, gently insert the pot nozzle into one nostril, tilt the head slightly forward and to the side and allow the water to run through the nasal passage, and sinus cavity and out the other. Once half the pot is finished, swap sides. It takes a little practice to get the tilt and breathing through the mouth right, but once you have it, you can feel the benefits of the practice immediately. It flushes out irritants like pollens, dust, smoke etc.. and thins out mucus. This typically leads to less congestion and easier breathing through the nose, which is also essential for entering deep states of meditation through breath work and this is when the body’s cells and chemistry start to regenerate. A Neti Pot acts as a booster for your body’s own natural operations.

Physically, regular use of a Neti Pot is proven to treat and defend against chronic sinus infections, bacterial sinus infections, rhinitis, allergic reactions, viral upper respiratory infections, irritant-based congestion and rhinitis due to pregnancy. It’s one of the very few natural remedies allowed during pregnancy.

But it’s the energy-amp it creates in the breath which is what makes it a fantastic practice. It bathes the microscopic nerve endings that line the nasal cavities and sinuses, the cilia, and makes them work better. And it is the gentle, rhythmic, balanced nasal breathing of all meditative breathing practices that stimulates the cilia to send nerve impulses to the brain that calm and balance brain waves and the activity of the central nervous system. Neti Pot usage cleanses the mechanism for the energy breath and therefore your breathing not only boosts immunity and the physical system, but it also cleanses the energy body, releasing blocked energy and increasing the intake of vital life force through breathing. It aids in entering deeper meditative states and staying connected to broader energy fields – like those in your healthy detox foods and the environments where you are exercising. In addition to breathing easier through their noses, many Neti Pot users also report a better sense of smell and taste after a Neti Pot session which provides amped sensory stimulation and enjoyment – also wonderful vibrations for raising the energy body and accessing natural pleasure and awe.

2. Lift mood and release low vibe energy through Oil Pulling

This super easy and very enjoyable practice has been used for centuries as a traditional Indian remedy and preventative measure. It’s simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut oil) around the mouth for ten to twenty minutes, then discarding the oil. A good organic coconut oil has its own antibacterial and anti-viral characteristics and it literally sucks the toxins out and restores the entire oral environment into balance. It is done as soon as you wake, as toxins concentrate in the mouth during sleep and meal digestion over night. We now have a plethora of wisdom on the gut/brain/body-chemistry and heart connections and I have personally found that aside from being a really feel-good practice, it definitely lifts my mood. It generally amps the energy body and is also proven to treat tooth decay, kill bad breath, heal bleeding gums, prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation, whiten teeth, soothe throat dryness, prevent cavities, heal cracked lips, boost the immune system, improve acne and strengthen gums and jaws. It’s a winner on so many important counts and the effects of it are immediate.

It’s important to give the oil a good determined swish through the mouth for at least ten minutes. Ensure it moves up between cheek and gum, all over tongue and I even swish it through teeth. I always give the oil a little gargle too before discarding. Another reason why this practice feels so good and has such a preventative power can be explained in Ayurveda. Each section of the tongue is connected with the function of different organs such as kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, colon and spine etc… and these are critical in the detox and feel good process. Our ability to eliminate toxins efficiently from our physical body, is directly related to our energy body releasing low vibration energies. That’s why so many spiritual practitioners will experience a spontaneous short-lived cold or fever when working on an energy release process. If the low vibration state is long-held or sticky, the body will respond to release it. When our organ functions are working well, we can eliminate energetic blockages more readily.

My tip is to keep your jar of good organic coconut oil and tablespoon in your bathroom ready to go when you wake and just adopt it as an easy waking habit. It’s also lovely to do to prepare for dawn meditation. Its gentle natural effect on the system allows you to gather your awareness and enter a beautiful meditative start to the day, without jolting you into being fully awake and in operating mode. It allows you to put the dawn energy window to use in beautiful ways. Just divine!

3. Amp the energetic function of the skin through Dry Skin Brushing

Along with most of the internal organs, our skin is also an organ of elimination. It is estimated that one-third of our body’s daily impurities are excreted through the skin. Dry Brushing keeps the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. Dry Brushing exfoliates the build up of dead skin cells and stimulates sweat and oil glands. This has a number of wonderful effects. The first and most obvious one is smoother, glowing, healthy skin. It helps keep younger skin free from breakouts. Dry Brushing increases the skin’s ability to absorb oxygen and other nutrients into the body and it works to cleanse the whole physical system by releasing excess stress on other detoxifying internal organs. Dry Brushing also increases blood circulation, which helps to contribute to healthier muscle tone and better distribution of fat deposits, reducing the appearance of cellulite. (Always a winner!)

On an energetic level the increased cleansing of toxins generally lightens the system and releases more bio-energy for use in meditation and inner practice. Our skin is one of our main physical systems that triggers with our intuition. We have all had the skin ripple or ‘goose-up’ when we become aware of a spiritual movement, coincidence or encounter worth exploring. If the skin is free, vital and sensitive to energy, it serves us more reliably.

It’s worth finding a dry skin brush with a long handle so you can reach the much- neglected back skin. The basic method is to start at the extremities and work the skin in firm small circles up towards the heart. I move from fingers up arms towards heart focusing on fingers, palms and back of hands, forearms, upper arms and elbows. Then I brush from soles and tops of feet, calves, shins, top and back thighs, towards heart. I dry brush abdomen, stomach and breasts with rotating sweeps towards the heart and towards alternate sides of the waste and similarly buttocks, lower, mid and upper back. I usually do this when I return from my morning run before I jump in the shower. In my experience Dry Brushing brings an immediate increase in vitality and mental clarity and it feels fantastic.

4. Energetic extraction and protection through Mineral Salt Bathing and Scrubs

Otherwise known as ‘Balneotherapy’, soaking the body in a Mineral Salt Bath is one of the most relaxing, restorative and energetically potent practices you can adopt. A bath by its nature is a singular activity in a space where most distractions are reduced, i.e a bathtub. It is highly sensual, especially if we make the experience a sacred and beautiful act of self-care – with oils, candles and maybe some soft music. Aside from a myriad of physical health benefits from regular salt baths, salt is also a potent agent to use for spiritual practice. Along with the extraction of toxins, salt baths also extract dense, low vibe energy from the system and seal the energy body from ‘picking up’ low vibe energy from others. I subscribe it regularly to students who are particularly sensitive to the energy of others, or who are losing energy to a situation or relationship that is out of harmony. I use Mineral Salt Bathing during busy periods of holding energy sessions for others.

On a physical level, Mineral Salt Bathing is evidenced to relax and de-stress mind and body, regulate stress hormones and reset hectic brainwave activity. Through the process of dermal absorption, the skin also soaks up minerals from the salt that are critical for our health and vitality. Epsom and Himalayan salts are rich in calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Through a process called reverse osmosis, a salt bath will also extract toxins through the skin, greatly increasing the benefits of any detox dietary measures. Regular Mineral Salt Bathing reduces inflammation, which in turn eases joint aches and muscle pain. Mineral Salt Bathing before bedtime is shown to increase length and quality of sleep. The salt also has anti-bacterial and antiseptic qualities that are useful in keeping skin clean, regulating body odor and easing eczema, acne or psoriasis. The salt creates a protective layer on the skin that reduces loss of moisture and dry skin. It also reduces bloating and water retention, eases bites and blisters and increases blood circulation. Those with weak or poor heart function should always consult their physician before engaging in regular Mineral Salt Baths due to the extra activity of the circulatory system that the baths trigger.

My Extraction Bath recipe is simply a cup of Epsom or Himalayan Salt, a cup of bi-carb soda and ten drops of lavender oil. It’s best to soak in this water for at least 20 minutes and ensure you thoroughly rinse the skin and bathtub afterwards. We release a lot of low vibe energy through the Chakras in the feet, so if you do not have access to a bathtub, a foot soak with the same extraction recipe is also very effective, as is a dry salt scrub with it before a shower, however regular soaking produces the best effects and benefits, and quickly.

Adding different essential oils, crystals and fresh herbs to the water for different effects is a beautiful way to keep the practice interesting and to observe your energy system’s response to different high-energy tools.

Some basic, easily sourced but very effective essential oil additions are:

  • For relaxation, stress relief, toxin and low vibe energy extraction: lavender, clary sage, bergamot, angelica
  • For aiding sleep and promotion of dreaming: lavender, chamomile, cedar wood (my favourite), valerian
  • For aches and pains and revelation: peppermint, clove, rosemary and thyme
  • For circulation, opening the heart-space and nurturing gratitude: orange, jasmine, grapefruit, lemon, rose and frankincense (another favourite)

The signature energy of water is programmable. So the most effective ingredient to get the most out of Mineral Salt Bathing is your intent. Use the time when preparing the bath to clarify and express the intent for the bath – whether this be to release, restore, protect or generally treat your physical and energy bodies with love and to honour their majesty. Sounds a little woo-woo? Get into the habit and just experience the result!

5. Increase flow and lightness through Sweating

Sweating generally gets a bad wrap in modern society. Multi-billion dollar industries based on stopping or curbing sweating keep us paranoid about body-odour and looking shiny. Moving to an equatorial country at the same time as entering perimenopause four years ago cured me of that brain-washing once and for all. I had no choice but to embrace sweating. But the truth is that sweating is essential to healthy body function and a clear energy body and the sweat of a well, healthy, balanced body smells beautiful. It’s musky, sweet and sexy and our smell is one of our major ways we communicate subliminally.

A good daily sweat has a similar effect on the overall energy body, that a good cry has for the heart – it creates space and expansion and releases dense, constricted energy from the system. There’s a surrender involved in allowing the body to sweat unabated, which is a useful state for release. When we sweat, we thirst and this movement of water through the entire system also brings with it a state of flow and healing, which, when connected with consciously, then demonstrates in our life field. And as with all these beautiful energy detox practices, regular sweating has enormous health benefits for our physical aspect. Sweat has an antibiotic effect and helps heal wounds. It releases toxins from our system, both naturally produced and also environmental such as chemicals and pollutants. Dedicated exercise and water drinking flushes the system more effectively, improving organ function and preventing the onset of stagnant, solidifying illnesses, like kidney stones. Regular exercise produces more sweat glands, which help release from the skin grit and grime that holds the bacteria in place that produces body odour and acne. The more we sweat, the better we smell and look. Over the last few years I have embraced regular running and all symptoms of perimenopause have reversed. My regular menstrual cycle has returned, hot flashes vanished as did chemistry-induced mood changes. I sleep deeply and well. My skin changed texture, finer and softer and I haven’t been sick, at all.

Adding kinetic energy to your inner practice amps it considerable. For me it is running at dawn that has become a potent and effective way to clear stagnant unhelpful energy and to raise my inner state to hold higher vibrations of love and service. I start and end each run with an intent-setting meditation and I dedicate the effort and the sweat to the demonstration of that intent. When I do this, the manifestation is quickened.

6. Lose your Shoes to ground and find your spirit-rhythm

There’s a lot circulating across media channels lately about the importance of walking barefoot on the Earth for grounding, calming and presence. But similarly to sweating, the modern take on walking barefoot is not so positive. It can be perceived as dirty, even risky. Obviously where we choose to go barefoot is important, but the research tells us that the wilder the place, the better, both physically and energetically for the system.

We now have scientific measurement of changes that occur in the human system when exposed barefooted to the earth and all of them are amazing and very good for both body and soul. Some, but by no means all, are a marked drop is the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream, and therefore reduction in feelings of anxiety and stress as well as reduction in inflammation and pain. Regular barefoot walking in the wild has been shown to directly effect our cells. Red and white blood cells counts rebalance for greater immune function, and it increases the surface charge of red blood cells, reducing clumping in the cells and therefore heart disease. Exposure to the Earth and in particular the Earth’s negative charge, resets our circadian rhythms and other biological processes, therefore improving sleep and the process of getting to sleep.

But it’s the impact on our energetic circuitry induced by the wilderness that makes barefoot walking, and green-time generally, essential to spiritual health. We are by nature beings of both the earth and energetic realms. Our thoughts, feelings, energy vibrations and awareness, when aligned with the body and Earth become powerful spiritual forces for transformation. Spending time directly exposed to the wilderness connects these aspects within us, as the wilderness itself connects these aspects within it. A tree is both earthed to the soil and transmutes the energy of light into growth. Spiritually, we operate the same way. The wilderness brings our entire system, physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual, back into alignment. It brings us into presence, baths us in beauty, the rhythm of cycles and a constant reminder that all things move and change.

The sun always returns after the storm, the spring after the winter, the dawn after the night. This is the human state and the nature of life too. When we sit calmly with this truth and simply flow with it, we find freedom, gratitude and joy, and these are the greatest forces to amp our vitality and love for life.

For more information on any of the practices listed, how to engage with them spiritually and where to source items contact Dani at [email protected]

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  • Danielle Van de Velde

    Meditation Teacher and Spiritual Guide

    Dani Van de Velde is the founder and principal teacher of The Meditation Teacher in Singapore. She is a qualified meditation teacher with over twenty years of personal practice and over ten years teaching experience. She is also a Usui reiki Master and Healer. Dani helps others understand and master the art of meditation and inner practice through private coaching and courses and tailored programs for schools and organisations. She is also a popular speaker at networking forums and workshops, a writer and holds regular spiritual guidance and healing sessions and retreats in Asia, US and Australia. Dani is a member of the Meditation Association of Australia and the International Meditation Teachers Association, recognising the standard of her teaching and program development. Dani’s teaching is experiential. She draws from techniques and wisdom of numerous world traditions, current research into neurology and cellular biology, and her own experience. Her focus is on enabling others to understand and work with the design and function of their mind/body/energy system, and engage in transformative inner practice for self-healing and intuitive living.