Hot and Cold Showers

Hot and Cold Showers

What is it?

This is a technique that is designed to create movement in the circulatory system by exposing your skin to opposing temperatures.

What does it do?

When the skin is showered with hot water, blood flow to the skin is increased in an effort to keep it at a constant temperature, which is vital for the inner organs. Similarly, when the skin is showered with cold water the blood is driven into the inner body, to help maintain the temperature of the inner organs.

This technique utilises the body’s natural homeostatic drive for keeping the body temperature at a set value. In some people this set value may have dropped and the inner body temperature is actually below what it should be. This drop in temperature will have a negative effect on health because many of the body’s chemical processes depend on temperature in order to work efficiently. It can cause stagnation in cellular growth, cleansing, regeneration, hormonal production: can obstruct the delivery of nutrients and elimination of wastes, and especially disrupt the oxygenation of the body’s cells and tissues. Using external temperatures to stimulate this movement of the blood you can start to enliven the tissues and cells, encourage the removal of waste and literally turn the core body temperature up.

Anything that drives the circulation also drives the lymphatic system too. Which will assist in the elimination of waste and will tone the immune system.

How do I do it?

  • After having showered and washed yourself as normal, turn the thermostat up on your shower to reach a hot temperature (not burning).

  • Allow this water to flow over your body, especially on areas that often feel cold to the touch (usually areas where fat tissue accumulates). Do this for a few minutes. 

  • Then turn the thermostat down to reach a cold temperature (not freezing) and do the same.

  • Repeat this cycle three times, ending on a cold shower.

You can start off with a mild difference in temperature and build up to a strong difference because you will find your tolerance improves the more you do this technique.

How should I feel?

After this technique you are aiming to feel a tingling warmth under your skin, as if you have just been outside in the snow and have entered a warm room with a glowing fire. The idea is that over time, your body will start to generate its own inner latent heat and your core inner temperature will rise to the most efficient body temperature for you (according to most sources it should be around 37 degrees F).

When do I do it?

This technique can be done daily as part of a cleansing and healing program. It can be enlivening and so is often best done in the morning, or anytime you want to feel refreshed.  You are advised to be careful if you have any heart condition or blood pressure problems or pregnant. In which case it is best to only do a gentle shift in temperature, so as not to shock the body and put stress on the heart. 

Hot and Cold Showering is one of the techniques that I integrate into the personalised naturopathic health programs that I create for my clients. For more information about how you can have a health plan created for you click here.

Castor Oil Packing

Castor Oil Packing

What is it?

Castor oil has been used for centuries in many ways to treat a wide variety of health conditions. The oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant. They contain very high concentrations of a special fatty acid called ricinoleic acid which is thought to underlie its healing properties. However castor beans also contain a potent toxin called ricin, which has been used for chemical warfare. There is absolutely no danger of this being present in the castor oil itself though, castor oil is completely safe and is known to help many conditions

  • Castor oil is claimed to treat gastrointestinal and genitourinary problems, all types of infections, and pain and inflammation, and is said to stimulate your immune system;science is also exploring the use of ricinas an anti-tumor agent
  • Advocates claim castor oil is most effective for strengthening your lymphatic system when it is applied topically in a “castor oil pack,” a treatment popularized by the late psychic healer Edgar Cayce.

What does castor oil do?

The benefits of castor oil packs were popularized by the late psychic healer Edgar Cayce, and then later researched by primary care physician William McGarey of Phoenix, Arizona, a follower of Cayce's work and the author of The Oil That Heals. McGarey reported that, when used properly, castor oil packs improve the function of your thymus gland and other components of your immune system. More specifically, he found in two separate studies that patients using abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in lymphocyte production compared to placebo packs.

Lymphocytes are your immune system's disease-fighting cells and are produced and stored mainly in your lymphatic tissue (thymus gland, spleen, and lymph nodes). Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick.

Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. Castor oil is absorbed through your skin and (according to Cayce and McGarey) it increases your lymphocyte count. Increased lymphocytes will speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues, which in turn will promote healing.

How is castor oil used?

There are several ways to use castor oil topically. You can simply rub castor oil onto an affected area of your skin. Or you can soak some gauze or a plaster in castor oil, if only a very small area needs to be treated. For larger or more systemic applications, it can be used as massage oil, which is reported especially effective when applied along your spinal column, massaged along your lymphatic drainage pathways. But the best option is the "castor oil pack." Castor oil packs can be an economical and efficient method of infusing the ricinoleic acid and other healing components of castor oil directly into your tissues. 

What you need:

·       High quality cold-pressed castor oil

·       A hot water bottle

·       Plastic wrap, sheet of plastic, or plastic rubbish bag

·       Two or three one-foot square pieces of wool or cotton flannel, or one piece large enough to cover the entire treatment area when folded in thirds (A4 size-ish)

·       One large old bath towel

How to make a castor oil pack:

  1. Fold flannel three layers thick so it is still large enough to fit over your entire upper abdomen or liver, or stack the three squares.
  2. Soak flannel with the oil, by pouring it slowly over the flannel, making sure it doesn’t drip off the edges. Stop when it looks like the surface of the flannel is saturated with the oil. The oil should be at room temperature.
  3. Lie on your back with your feet elevated (using a pillow under your knees and feet works well), placing flannel pack directly onto your liver (after about 45 mins or more, you can move the pack onto the abdomen or the chest to cover the lungs and thymus and leave there for another half hour or so). Cover the oiled flannel with the sheet of plastic, and place the hot water bottle on top of the plastic.
  4. Cover everything with the old towel to insulate the heat. Take caution not to get the oil on whatever you are laying on, as it can stain. If necessary, cover that surface with something to protect it.
  5. Leave pack on for 45 to 60 minutes.
  6. When finished, remove the oil from your skin by washing with just soap and water, or rub it in or wipe it off with towel. (Be sure to wash the towel by itself, as the castor oil can make other clothes smell and stained with grease if washed together.)
  7. You can reuse the pack up to 40 times or replace it after it begins to change colour. Each time you use it add more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Store the pack in a large zip-lock bag or other plastic container in a convenient location, such as next to your bed (you can also leave it in the fridge).
For maximum effectiveness, apply at least three consecutive days per week for three weeks, having one week off per month (for women stop using castor oil during menstruation, post-menopausal women should have a week off too). As castor oil packing does increase the release of toxicity from the cells, it means that the toxins will be released into the blood stream and will then be filtered out by the liver, and so it is important that you use other techniques, such as enemas, to make sure the toxicity is released from the body completely so it is not reabsorbed or circulated around the body to settle elsewhere.

Be Cautious when Purchasing Castor Oil - As with everything else, you must be careful about your source of castor oil. Much of the oil currently sold in stores is derived from castor seeds that have been heavily sprayed with pesticides, solvent-extracted (hexane is commonly used), deodorized, or otherwise chemically processed, which damages beneficial phytonutrients and may even contaminate the oil with toxic agents. For a good source click here.

Castor oil packing is one of the techniques that I integrate into the personalised naturopathic health programs that I create for my clients. For more information about how you can have a health plan created for you click here.




What are they?

Enemas are an ancient healing technique. It involves allowing a steady flow of pure, body temperature water into the colon. This is an invaluable naturopathic technique that can assist the body’s healing process in several ways. It creates movement in the colon, encouraging it to eliminate waste and stored faeces. The flow of water stimulates the reflex points within the colon, which correspond to other areas of the body and therefor will release stagnation in those areas too. Enemas also stimulates movement and release of mucous from within the lymphatic system and finally the colon will absorb the water from an enema far quicker than water swallowed and so can improve cellular hydration quicker and more effectively.

Why should I do enemas?

·       They can be used when your bowel is showing signs of constipation.

·       They are used to keep the movement and release of toxicity during a detoxification program.

·       They can help cleanse the lymphatic system when it is showing signs of stagnation such as sinus blockage, swollen glands, excess mucous as in colds and flus.

·       Enemas can be really useful when wanting to improve body and cellular hydration.

What do I need to do an enema?

·       A gravity feed enema bag or bucket

·       A two pint jug

·       The fluid that you are going to use for the enema, which is basically pure, filtered water always at body temperature, but will vary depending on the effect you want the enema to have. You may want to reduce the quantity of water used if you are finding the enema uncomfortable. It is sometimes easier if you are submerged in a warm bath to relax abdominal muscles whilst doing an enema or retaining a retention enema.

·       A pillow

·       Something to protect the surface you are lying on from getting wet, just a precaution.

·       Lubrication – you can use olive oil, coconut oil or aloe vera gel.

·       A hook or a shelf for the enema bag to hang/sit on

·       A clock for timing

How do I do an enema?

·       Prepare the enema fluid. It is wise to do a water enema before doing any other type of enema so that you can clear the bowel in preparation.

·       Fill the enema bag/bucket, making sure the tap on the valve at the end of the tube is closed.

·       Then open the tap and let the fluid start to run through the tube, allowing the fluid to flow out until you are sure to have released any air bubbles then close the tap. The bucket/bag needs to be raised to allow gravity to pull the water through.

·       Lubricate your anal area.

·       Prepare the space you are going to lay down on, which can be the floor, the sofa or the bed, wherever is comfortable and make sure it is protected. For the first enema it is probably best to do it in or near the bathroom. Use the pillow to support your head.

·       Insert the nozzle and open the valve. Massage your abdomen gently as the fluid enters.

·       Once the bucket/bag has emptied, close the valve and remove the nozzle.

·       At this point you either release the enema fluid immediately by getting up and sitting on the toilet or you hold the enema fluid if you are doing a retention enema.

When not to do an enema?

·       Do not use this technique if there is a prolapsed organ in the pelvic area or if hemorrhoids are a problem.

·       It is not advised to do an enema when you are hungry.

·       Avoid stimulating enemas (coffee especially) before bed.

Additions of other elements to the enema water can assist in various situations. Here are some examples:

Aloe vera

Why should I use Aloe vera? Aloe vera helps to soothe and calm an inflamed intestinal lining, it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the mucosa of the colon.

How do I use it? Put anywhere from 1 to 10 tablespoons, depending on how strong an effect you want into 2 pints of filtered water at body temperature (it is often best to start with a small amount and build up so you can monitor the results and find what works best for you). Use this as your enema fluid and hold it for 15 minutes whilst massaging the colon and then expel.

How should I feel? After an aloe vera enema you can feel quite calm, refreshed and often feel quite positive.

Coffee Enema

Why should I use coffee? Coffee, when used in an enema has a different effect on the body than when it is being consumed as a beverage. In an enema coffee is absorbed into the live via the hemorrhoid vein. Once in the liver, the pharmacological agent within coffee causes the liver to contract and squeeze out it’s toxic bile, which is then excreted, once the coffee enema is released.

This makes coffee enemas one of the most effective and powerful naturopathic treatments for any detoxification and healing program, as it ensures the release of toxicity and cleanses the liver so that it can continue its role of detoxification with more effectiveness. It is a great pain reliever and is particularly effective for migraines.

You do need to make sure that you are consuming an alkalising diet, full of green vegetables, so that you are ingesting lots of electrolytes: coffee enemas will increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium, which are necessary alkalising electrolytes. If you have adrenal issues, kidney stress be careful not to overuse coffee enemas.

How do I use it? Place a rounded tablespoon of organic medium/dark roast ground coffee into a saucepan (non-aluminium) with half a pint of filtered water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes (lid off) and then sieve off the coffee grounds and keep the liquid for the enema. Add water to the coffee to make it up to about 2 pints of body temperature fluid. I would recommend that you do a water enema first, to clean out the bowel, and then do the coffee enema making sure to retain the coffee for about 15 to 20 minutes, which is long enough for the body’s entire blood volume to pass through the liver at least 5 times.

How should I feel? The effects can vary from person to person. If you are in pain, you will feel relief from it much like a pain killer, if you are feeling foggy headed you will feel clearer and calm, if you are feeling sluggish and stagnant you will feel refreshed and inspired. Sometimes you will have a deep sense of peace and may even want to sleep, or you may feel energised and motivated. Often, in very deep toxic cases, you may need to do another enema the next day to keep the toxicity moving out of the body, but always make sure you are eating and juicing plenty of green vegetables, cutting out stress in your diet.

Flaxseed tea

Why should I do a flaxseed tea enema? These are also good for soothing the membrane of the colon and more effective at rehydration than water alone. These may be useful to you from the start in terms of hydrating your cells and soothing the central nervous system.

How do I do it? Make the linseed tea and then add water to it until you have 2 pints (1 litre) of body temperature water which is fluid enough to pass through the enema tube, if not add more water. Hold the flaxseed tea enema for 20 minutes and then expel. You can even do it before going to bed and if you are experienced with enemas and know your body well, you can even retain it all through the night.

How should I feel? You should feel relaxed afterwards and feel tension, stress and anxiety lifting from you. 

Enemas are some of the techniques that I integrate into the personalised naturopathic health programs that I create for my clients. For more information about how you can have a health plan created for you click here.

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom Salt Baths

What are they?

Epsom salts are a well-known old fashioned nursing technique based on using Epsom salts, a magnesium based mineral salt, magnesium sulphate. 

What do they do?

Typically they are dissolved in a bath of hot water and this combination help to draw out toxicity through the skin. The skin pores open as your body reacts to being submerged in hot water and attempts to cool the body down. This creates movement in the blood, the lymph and promotes toxicity release, which will also be stimulated by the magnesium sulphate in the water. Your breathing may also be affected as the body tries to cool and the toxicity is also being released through the lungs.

The magnesium sulphate is also readily absorbed by the skin. Magnesium is the electrolyte that allows the body’s muscles to relax and so an Epsom salt bath is traditionally used to help relax muscles and ease tension. It is especially useful in children with anxiety and to help initiate deep sleep. 

How do I use them?

  1. Use 1kg of Epsom salts in a bath of water.

  2. Use quite hot water to promote toxicity release, making sure you keep a cold flannel handy to keep the head warm. Soak for 20 minutes.

  3. Use comfortably warm water to promote magnesium absorption and soak for 20 minutes, topping up with hot water if the temperature drops to prevent you from feeling a chill.

Do not use any soap or any other substance so as not to disturb the drawing out or absorption process.

You can follow up this technique with the following:

  •  Add cold water to the bath to bring the temperature down quickly. This encourages your body to produce latent heat, promoting further movement of the blood, improving circulation and can help to raise resting body temperature in cases where one suffers from cold hands and feet or feels the cold in general.
  •  Similarly you can take a cold shower to do the same as above.
  • Going to bed straight after a hot Epsom salt bath, wrapped in a towel, will encourage the body to continue sweating which will keep the lymph moving and the release of toxicity through the skin.

After doing this technique once you will have more of an idea of how it makes you feel and you can then guide yourself as to how often you feel the need for it. As part of a detoxification program and health program you can do this up to three times a week. Do not do this if there is a risk of haemorrhaging, high blood pressure, during pregnancy or menstruation. I also find that it is not useful if you have a headache.

Epsom Salt Foot Soak

This is an alternative way of using the salts. The soles of the feet are an area of elimination for the body and also contain the reflex points and the ends of the meridians of the whole body. It has a lesser effect than the whole body baths but can be used in times when doing the bath is contraindicated, when the detoxification needs to be managed at a slower pace, when there is no bath or it is difficult to get in and out of the bath or is a better use of the salts.

·       Place four tablespoons of Epsom Salts in a footbath (small washing up bowl).

·       Add hot water

·       Place your feet in the bowl and soak for 20 minutes, topping up with hot water if necessary

·       Wrap yourself in a blanket to keep warm and generate a higher body temperature

Where can I get them?

Epsom salts are available from chemists, pharmacists and health food shops. If you wish to buy them in larger quantities and make it more economical you can buy a 25kg bag from ebay or amazon and get it delivered to your door. Click here for a link.

How should I feel?

It is common to feel tired and a little weak after an Epsom Salt Bath, it can make your blood pressure drop a little. Make sure you leave enough time to recover if you are going to do anything else. Wrapping up warm and going to bed is the ideal follow up to this technique. 

Epsom salt bathing is one of the techniques that I integrate into the personalised naturopathic health programs that I create for my clients. For more information about how you can have a health plan created for you click here.

Skin Brushing

Skin Brushing

What is it?

Skin brushing is a naturopathic technique that involves brushing your body’s dry skin from top to toe with a natural bristle brush.

Why should I do it?

  • Our skin is the largest organ of elimination. One third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin and dry brushing helps to unclog pores and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin.
  • It also stimulates the circulation and increases the blood flow to the skin, which will also stimulate the elimination of metabolic waste. This also has the effect of improving the appearance of your skin. It may become less dry looking, flushed, diminish the appearance of cellulite and have a much healthier, youthful appearance.
  • Skin brushing can also be invigorating. It has a similar effect to exercising in that it can oxygenate your tissues and your brain and uplift you. 
  • Skin brushing will also stimulate your lymphatic system, helping it release toxins.

Your lymphatic system consists of hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules that allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.

If your lymphatic system is not working optimally, waste and toxins can build up and cause lymphatic congestion, which is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.


How do I do it?

  • You need a brush with soft natural bristles, like this one. You will be brushing off a lot of dead skin cells and so it is best to do skin brushing in the bath or shower. Both your skin and your brush should be dry for this technique.
  • Start with a soft pressure initially and increase the pressure as your skin gets used to skin brushing. Do not brush over any cuts, wounds or rashes and be careful around bruised areas. Also, avoid your face and other sensitive areas of skin.
  • Begin at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart, work up your body, brushing several times in each area, overlapping as you go. Take care as you brush over more sensitive areas, like breasts. Your skin will become less sensitive the more you dry brush.
  • Apply clockwise brushing movements when you are dry brushing your stomach. You should not use a scrubbing, circular or back and forth motion. When you reach your arms brush from your hands towards the heart.
  • Skin brushing can take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes.
  • Remember to clean your brush with soap and water once a week: leave to dry in a clean, sunny spot to avoid any mildew accumulation on your brush.

When should I do it?

You can skin brush every day or even twice a day, avoiding bedtime as it can be stimulatory. It is best done in the morning, or every time you bathe or shower and can be combined with urine rubbing, hot/cold showering, Epsom salt baths or hot/cold tubbing.

When should I not do it?

Skin brushing stimulates the release of toxicity and will put pressure on the liver and the bowels, as these are the primary organs involved in elimination and will have to be able to cope with the extra toxicity. If you are suffering from any signs of constipation and you are not doing any other naturopathic techniques to address this it is not wise to skin brush. Skin brushing should be part of a naturopathic health program that involves dietary and supplemental prescriptions as well as a range of naturopathic techniques.

Skin brushing is one of the techniques that I integrate into the personalised naturopathic health programs that I create for my clients. For more information about how you can have a health plan created for you click here.

Further Reading:

Dry Skin Brushing; 7 Amazing Benefits - Dr Mercola