How to Detox from Wildfire Smoke
With the recent fires in our beloved Columbia Gorge, covering our city with smoke and toxic irritants, the whole body clinic team at Root previously sent out a public health alert on what to do naturally and at home to mitigate the effects of our smoke-filled skies. Still, folks are now dealing with the lingering effects which can sneak up in a variety of ways even weeks after initial contact - many have reported feeling sluggish, fatigued, experiencing headaches, nausea, emotional imbalance and/or throat and respiratory discomfort. We've put together a detox guide to help you best support your health now that the rains have returned and the smoke is beginning to clear - with intent to rebuild your immunity before cold and flu season.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine is highly effective for the treatment of lung health. Whether it's cold or flu, or lung irritation from particulate matter such as smoke and ash; acupuncture, cupping, and herbal medicine can help immensely. Several acupuncture points on the body along the chest and back can help stimulate lung health, reduce phlegm, and relax muscles that can become tight as a reflex from irritation of the air passages. Cupping also serves as an excellent therapy to expand the lungs, reduce wheezing, coughing, asthma symptoms, and restriction of breathing. Both are also helpful to alleviate sinus congestion, headache, and eye and throat irritation, as well as aid the lungs in their process of expelling harmful smoke particulate that is trying to find a home in your body. Studies show a marked uptick in cardiac and respiratory medical admissions during a wildfire event, as well as several weeks after, and also relatively higher numbers of cases of pneumonia and other lung diseases in the cold and flu season following a wildfire event.
Single herbs and herbal formulas also serve to help nourish the lungs, enhance their function, as well as provide the gentle moisture needed to help expel particulate that might be aggravating their tissues. These can be used during the event, but can also be used to help restore the lung after harm. One particularly common, but powerful, formula is mixing Huang Qi/Astragalus with Gou Qi Zi/Goji Berries, which can be found in any bulk herb store. Simmer a light handful of astragalus in 1 quart of water for 20 minutes, strain, and then add a light handful of goji berries while the water is still hot. Let it steep until cool enough, and drink throughout the day. You can leave the berries in the tea and snack on them. Both herbs serve to enhance lung qi and function, but also provide nourishment and moisture/yin to relieve the dryness that the smoky particulate causes, as well as give it a carrier to expel it from the lungs.
For a limited time post-wildfire:
Call us to book a series of 3 acupuncture treatments at reduced, whole body health pricing (20% off).
Experience the transformative nature of tea and medicinal herbs by bringing the best of Mother Nature's medicine cabinet to your cup. The herbalists at Root Tonic & Tea currently recommend Detoxification, Throat & Lung and Urgent Care to help support you. Sample them here at Root in our tea lounge or purchase to take home – they support your body's natural detoxification process to make you feel clear and fully functioning again.
Hydrotherapy: Detoxing with a Therapeutic Bath
Water is one of the most cleansing substances on earth - just witness the fresh rainstorms that have cleansed the air and helped to diminish the wildfires and smoke in our local environment. What better way to do the same for your body than with an energetic bath – to rejuvenate our minds, bodies and souls.
Wood smoke particles from wildfires have an inflammatory effect on the body and, depending on your body’s ability to detox, may accumulate in our system. Therapeutic baths containing epsom salt, (also known as magnesium sulfate - actually not a salt but a pure mineral), help the body release many of the toxic compounds we hold in our tissues.
For the next few weeks, combine a therapeutic bath with a sauna session and tea to help facilitate your body’s detoxification process.
Cranial Sacral with our Chiropractic Physician
Cranial sacral therapy is a gentle method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system, a system comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Your cerebral spinal fluid bathes your spinal cord and brain and is constantly working to protect and flush toxins out of your nervous system. If you have a blockage in the pumping of your cranial sacral system, you may not be functioning optimally. This may make it hard for you to process the extra toxins in the environment that were introduced to your body.
Using a soft touch, cranial sacral practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. Cranial sacral therapy complements the body’s natural healing processes. It can help boost your immune system and balance your autonomic nervous system. It may also support an attitude shift towards a sense of wellbeing. Cranial Sacral therapy does no harm when practiced sensitively and respectfully by a trained practitioner.
Book your complimentary new patient exam with our Chiropractic Physician at our Northwest location, including complimentary cranial sacral therapy.
Yoga is a powerful practice to cleanse every organ in the body as well as the mind. Movement classes at Root are geared to both beginners and seasoned practitioners alike and we’re here to help you find a class you love, including Tai Chi, Nia, pilates, and MELT.
The Power of Intention
Cleansing is not only about what we are or are not putting into our bodies - it’s also about making time to connect with nature, incorporate daily movement to stimulate detoxification and emotional clarity, commit to a balance of work and rest, while holding the intention to restore and balance the mind, body and spirit.
Naturopathic Advanced Detox
If you’re plagued by issues like chronic fatigue, digestive issues, poor sleep or even exposure to heavy metals, we encourage you to meet with our naturopathic physician to discuss a more intensive detoxification program.
All of our clinicians offer complimentary 15-min initial consultations to discuss your wellness plan.
As we transition into fall, our bodies naturally welcome change. We encourage our mind, body and spirit to adjust to a different tempo, temperature and temperament. At Root, we are currently developing our seasonal detox offerings to assist you in letting go of whatever is no longer serving you and getting into the rhythm of the season.
If you would like to receive more information on our fall programming, please send us an email through the form below.
You're invited to stop by our Northwest location for a complimentary detox shot drink (carrot, ginger, turnip, apple, celery, dash of cayenne) from Root Café. And, as always, drop in for hot cup of tea from Root Tonic & Tea at either location.
Your friends at Root Whole Body