What is it about the spring season that makes it so appropriate for cleansing and rejuvenation? New growth, transformation, and regeneration! We can use these forces of renewal, revitalization and rebirth to great benefit for the body, mind and spirit during a spring cleanse. The month of April according to many spiritual traditions is an invitation to release what does not serve us anymore, and to reconnect with the emergence of a new life.In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spring and Fall seasons provide the best opportunities for deeply detoxifying and cleansing different harmful toxins that have accumulated in the physical, and emotional energetic body over the past months and years.
We live in a sea of toxins. Many of us have exposure to strong pollutants every day, even on the “paradise island” – we cannot avoid them. Toxicity is a serious concern for all of us. We are witnessing the increase in electromagnetic pollution, industrial chemicals, and pesticides, resulting in contamination of all types. It comes to us through our food, water, and the air we breathe.
Even breast milk from American women is contaminated with more than 100 industrial pollutants, and chemicals, including pesticides, brominated fire-retardant and heavy metals.
When the body is overburdened with external stressors and internal toxins, stagnant blood and/or excessive fats, drugs, and alcohol, symptoms may occur such as allergies, headaches, nausea, irritability, foggy thinking, estrogen dominance, muscle tension, skin eruptions, itching and fatigue. Additionally this increased toxic load puts a tremendous burden on the liver and other organs, and can lead to chronic disease over time.
Periodic physical cleansing creates a foundation for long-term health. The benefits of cleansing are numerous:
- weight loss
- glowing skin
- increase in energy and mental clarity
- reduction of physical symptoms
- revitalized organs
- breaking unhealthy habits
The emotional and spiritual benefits of cleansing gives a new motivation and a clearer vision of values and priorities.
How does the body detoxify?
Our bodies are already engaged in an automatic process of eliminating toxins. The lymph, the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, gastrointestinal track, skin and blood continually eliminate wastes.
In TCM, spring is related to the wood element and to the liver and gall bladder. As such, the liver is the focus of the spring cleanse, and is in need of a little help along the way. Your help!
The liver loves nourishing green food, and the body responds with vitality when fed with organic, vibrant food, filled with enzymes. Your body also knows when you feed it with “not so supportive” food. You know what they are – foods that have strong inflammatory potential such as processed foods, highly salted or sweetened foods, red meat, alcohol and stimulants, and let’s not forget dairy, and sugar to name a few. If you do not know the foods to which you might be sensitive, kinesiology testing, or lab work can assist you.
There are many different ways to engage in cleansing. Make sure you choose a detox program that fits your constitution, and your needs.
A cleanse can be as short as 3 days, or as long as 21 days; 10-14 days is optimal for most individuals. Whatever detox program you choose, start with a preparation phase, followed by a middle segment that is more intense, and end your cleanse by repeating the preparation phase.
A clean diet is the most critical component of any detoxification program. Increase fibrous, nutrient rich foods like fruit and green vegetables, and boost your liquid consumption. This can be in the form of water, herbal teas, vegetable soups, broth, and lemon sweetened with stevia.
In my clinic, I use supportive, detoxifying herbs or homeopathy to assist in the process of cleansing. The Liver/Gall Bladder flush is also done at the appropriate time during a program, maximizing the process of elimination.
Dry-brush exfoliation helps to promote circulation, and detox the lymphatic system. Exercise, saunas and Epsom salt baths can promote natural elimination of substances through the skin. Please refer to my website for a holistic detoxification program; I will be happy to answer questions.
Make your cleansing personal: Lifestyle changes are vital. Read food labels, become familiar with food additives, buy organic if possible or even grow your own! Your diet should be clean and nutritious.
Nourish yourself by taking time to be in nature, smell the flowers, and breathe the sunshine. Meditate again, get a massage! Find a friend that can support you in your cleansing journey. Clean your closet. Release emotional toxins by communicating, and expressing your feelings in an appropriate way. Start something new.