If you’re reading this, you’re likely a bit of a health nut. So at this time of the year, you’re also likely accustomed to voraciously reading up on the latest spring detoxes. Though if you’ve landed here with us on peakpilates.com, the best kept detox secret may be right in front of you. You can ignite your spring detox with Pilates just as powerfully as any other method.
Here’s why: Pilates combines two essential ingredients to help your body expel toxins. (We’ll leave you guessing as to what they are for just a moment…)
First, a bit about toxins. In our contemporary society, toxins can be found everywhere from your living environment to food (e.g., mercury-laden foods, processed sugar, alcohol). We all know that health problems can result when the body experiences toxic buildup from any or all of these sources. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, bloating and even depression. And while your lymph system, spleen, gall bladder, kidneys, stomach, intestines, bladder and colon work fastidiously together to rid these toxins, there are steps you can take to ensure they function optimally.
This is where we return to perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of Pilates and its ability to detox your body.
The integral connectivity between breathing and Pilates specific spinal movements sets your body in motion to cleanse—from the inside out. Consider the deep flexion, extension and rotation of your favorite spinal movements or the flexion of abdominal work. All of these movements massage your internal organs and increase fluid flow through your body, which in turn traps toxins to then carry them out of your body. Combine these movements with the breath, and the results are truly remarkable.
Let’s explore the detoxification that occurs in the lymphatic system as a result of Pilates... The only way the lymph nodes can pass toxins is by breathing and muscle movement contraction. In fact, in a scholarly article by Professor Rashid Bhikha of Unani-Tibb at the School of Natural Medicine at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa), he notes, “Yoga and Pilates provide movement necessary for maintaining optimum lymphatic flow. When lymphatic flow is in good state, detoxification is carried out in a proper manner and this helps the body get rid of toxins which can cause multiple health problems.” 
Yet even after health problems ensue, detoxification through Pilates is still possible. A recent breast cancer study found that Pilates exercises combined with associative breathing created sufficient intermittent external muscle pressure on the lymph to facilitate lymphatic flow, reduce lymphatic load, and promote a healthy immune system.
Pretty simple yet quite effective. Go science. Go Pilates.
So if you are indeed hopeful for a new and improved YOU this spring – sans the doldrums and the toxins of a long year – get moving with your favorite Pilates flexions and breathe right through them. You will surely be humming a purer tune soon.