Spring Cleaning, Inside and Out
During spring, nature goes through the lovely process of renewal. Cleansing and detoxification is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. Spring cleaning is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins in our thoughts and emotions, as well as our environment. Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of spring cleaning into your life, from the inside out.
Cleansing the Body
Our bodies are exposed to toxins on a daily basis from the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the water we drink, and the products we use. There are several body systems that help us eliminate these toxins such as our liver, our kidneys, our colon, our lungs, and even our skin by sweating. Because of the huge toxic burden, these systems often get overwhelmed and need a little help and support. This is often referred to as doing a “detoxification” or “cleanse”. Modern living can bring us into contact with so many toxins that everyone could use a good detox, especially in the spring!
Detoxification is the process of reducing the amount of toxins that we are exposed to, as well as encourage the release of toxins that are stored in the body. There are a variety of methods for detoxifying the body. Most detox plans consist of resting the body by eliminating solid foods for a short period of time and instead consuming cleansing foods such as special broths, juices, teas, herbs, detox powders, &/or supplements. After the cleansing period is over, a very clean diet is slowly reintroduced.
I encourage everyone to detox at least 1 time each year. Many people can do this on their own; however, there can be several hidden factors that can complicate a detox if undertaken without professional help. I would encourage you to speak with me before undergoing a detox, so we can make sure you do the best one for you and we address any potential issues such as blood sugar issues, heavy metal toxicity, autoimmune disorders, etc. You may still be able to do a cleanse, we just need to adjust it in order to best serve you.
All detox products at Creative Healing Solutions are 20% off for the month of April 2013.
Cleansing the Environment
A clean body will only benefit us for a period of time without the support of a clean environment. There are several sources of toxins in our environment that need to be addressed. The most important is toxins in our food supply. As much as possible, it is important to be eating organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and non-GMO whole grains. It is also just as important to limit your intake of processed foods, as these foods contain dyes, flavor enhancers, preservatives, and other industrial chemicals that are toxic and dangerous to your health. Clean water is also a must, including filtered water in non-toxic containers. Glass is the best storage container for water, followed by stainless steel, and then BPA-free plastic.
Another area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins. Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. Health food stores offer a variety of environmentally-friendly, all-natural household and cosmetic products that you can use instead.
Cleansing the Spirit
One overlooked area of detoxification is our thoughts and emotions. To truly embrace the benefits of a spring clean, we must also look at the mental and emotional environment we live in every day. Chronic stress is one of the most toxic emotions to live with on a daily basis. Not only can it tax the body by stimulating stress hormones and suppressing your immune system, it also taxes your spirit and positive mental outlook. Other toxic emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, and depression need to be managed and released as well. In order to have a healthy body, you must deal with your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. They are all equally important to your overall health. I encourage you to find the things that you can do to gently release negative emotions and embrace your own innate health and vitality. Things like deep breathing, meditation, prayer, massages, walks in nature, taking a bath, listening to soft music, etc, are all easy and effective ways to cleanse your spirit. See some of our other articles for more ideas…walking meditation, mineral baths.
Lindlahr, Henry, and Jocelyn C. P. Proby. 1975. Philosophy of natural therapeutics. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel Co.
Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. 1999. Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Vasey, Christopher. 2009. The naturopathic way: how to detox, find quality nutrition, and restore your acid-alkaline balance. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.