Spring is the Best Time For a Cleanse
Spring brings new growth, transformation and regeneration. As the weather warms up and the days begin to get noticeably longer, our energy also rises from a dormant winter state, and we are presented with a powerful opportunity to renew and revitalize on all levels.
A gentle spring cleaning or whole body detoxification is an excellent way to jump-start this process.
Benefits of Spring Cleaning
Chinese Medicine and other traditional medical systems recognize our close interconnection with nature and the seasons, and draw heavily on these principles to create highly refined healing protocols, including seasonal detoxification. By making an effort to clear the unnecessary clutter and toxins from our bodies and our environments, we can maximize the transformative energy of the spring season to attain greater health, vitality and well being.
Beginning Your Cleanse
The best way to begin a spring cleaning, and optimize results, is to incorporate cleansing and alkalizing foods, nutrients, botanicals and mind-body healing practices, such as meditation, into a gentle program. Whether the cleanse lasts for 3 days, 3 weeks or longer, these tips can help align us with the seasonal transitions and allow healing and transformation to spring forth naturally.
Seasonal Transitions and Your Health
According to the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), every season correlates to different “elements” or organ systems in the body. The winter correlates with the water element and the kidneys/bladder system. From a Western naturopathic perspective, cold weather can put stress on your adrenal and thyroid glands, tends to make the blood more acidic and causes a build-up of lactic acid, which can lead to sluggishness, muscle/joint pain and arthritis.
Shed Pounds and Remove Toxins
Both Eastern and Western naturopathic medical systems agree that the transition from winter to spring offers an ideal opportunity to shed extra weight and gently cleanse accumulated toxins from the body. This excess build up can be the result of numerous factors. Key culprits include unhealthy diet, poor digestion, lack of exercise, winter dehydration, normal metabolic processes and environmental pollution.
In TCM, spring corresponds to the liver and the gall bladder. A gentle spring cleanse effectively supports the liver’s vital detoxification processes, eliminates toxins stored in organs and tissues, helps shed excess weight, alkalizes the body and gets your circulation and energy moving. Additional benefits include improved digestion, reduced inflammation, balanced blood sugar and better immune function.
Detoxifying Your Diet
A cleansing diet is the most critical component of any detoxification program. Animal protein, particularly red meat, should be minimized during a cleanse. Emphasize lighter, organic plant-based proteins that are easier for the body to digest. Below are the critical components of a detox diet which can help improve digestion and enhance detoxification, resulting in greater energy and vitality.
- Eat fresh, organic foods with an emphasis on green vegetables. Vegetables may be juiced, eaten raw, steamed or sautéed in liquid.
- Emphasize alkalizing foods (see Table below); they counteract the tendency to become more acidic during cold weather and promote oxygenation and the release of stored wastes and toxins.
- Consume plenty of pure water, herbal teas and vegetable soups or broths.
- Add fiber (such as flax or chia seeds, psyllium, rice bran, etc.) to your diet to ensure regular elimination that will carry toxins out of the system.
- Eliminate foods that place oxidative stress on the body and cause inflammation, such as alcohol, sugars, processed foods, cooked oils, caffeinated beverages and non-organic foods.
Key Detox Supplements
In my practice I recommend the following supplements during a cleanse and throughout the year to enhance detoxification and combat oxidative stress caused by toxins and free radicals. These supplements offer a wide range of diverse health benefits, and can be used daily to support and maintain vitality, immunity and overall wellness.
- Medicinal mushroom formulas: help to remove toxins and metabolic waste build up throughout the body; support immunity, digestion, vital energy and overall health. I recommend a formula made with a synergistic blend of ten medicinal mushrooms and additional beta-glucans for immune support. This formula is ideal for daily health maintenance, and dosages can be increased during a cleanse for enhanced detoxification and vitality support.
- Modified citrus pectin (MCP)/alginate formula: helps to gently remove heavy metals and environmental toxins from the digestive tract and circulation; combats inflammation; improves cellular health and immunity. This formula has been clinically researched and proven to help eliminate lead, mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals from the body, without affecting essential minerals.
This Can Be an Uplifting Experience
The benefits of a gentle spring cleanse can extend far beyond the physical elimination of toxins, resulting in improved mental clarity and emotional stability, balanced blood sugar, increased vital energy and greater strength, flexibility and stamina.
You can maximize the benefits of your cleanse by taking some time each day to meditate and reflect, stretch or do yoga poses, take a walk in nature and rest. By caring for yourself in this way, you can experience positive transformation on multiple levels, the way the coldness and inactivity of winter gradually give way to new growth, warmth and energy in the spring. A seasonal spring cleanse should be a gentle, life-supporting experience, so relax, enjoy and renew!
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