At this time of year there seems to be a natural urge to look into our health. This is usually prompted by the change of season as the environment around us comes out of the cold stagnancy of winter and we realize that somehow, instinctively, we do not seem to have what it takes to keep up with the change. Rather than feeling well, given the change into spring, we are lagging behind, or perhaps just not feeling optimal. As always, the change of season will be a tricky time for most of us. If we were not taking care of ourselves in winter, by slowing down as nature would have liked us to, then the transition will be more challenging.
We are told that this is the time for a cleanse, a fast or a detox to free up the life force that has been buried deep inside, waiting to emerge. While in theory the concept of a detox sounds reasonable given all the toxins that we are exposed to in this day and age, in reality this common approach has many potential drawbacks and health hazards that we should be aware of. By nature, a cleanse is designed to give us a quick fix! As with everything else, there is a time and place for this too, but an educated approach is the best.
Detoxes and Cleanses Should be Customized For Each Person
As most of you would be aware by now and having worked with me for some time, medicine has to be tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of the individual. Any approach that goes against this basic principle could pose serious health hazards. When it comes to detoxing, people often embark on a regimen that they might have come across on the internet, or through a friend, or at a health food store. On the surface, it all sounds natural and holistic; what could possibly go wrong? A lot!
It is true that after a cleanse, a fast or a detox you might feel generally lighter and possibly more energetic. This, however, comes at the expense of the life force. Every round of detox will deplete the body a little in the hope of better health afterwards. It takes energy for the body to go through a detox. On top of the energetic toll that a detox can take on the body, people are embarking on the adventure while carrying on full time work, family life and the general fast pace of modern life. Moreover, many of modern detox programs that have been conveniently packaged for us into a kit tend to run for up to a month or two. The shorter ones, for 10-14 days, are more reasonable except that they tend to use stronger natural herbs and remedies to make up for their shorter span.
Sure, we hear of many success stories after detoxification. It is important to know why some people would feel great after a cleanse while others would experience an overall deterioration. Generally, the more robust, strong and energetic a person, the more likely it is for them to notice the positive effects of a detox regimen. Even these people would be gambling if they are simply going for the carpet-bombing approach of a general cleanse without understanding the true nature of the cleanse, the true nature of their health concerns and ultimately the main reasons behind their health concerns in the first place. For the more sensitive, weak types and those with more delicate constitution, the cleansing approach will be potentially detrimental as their life force is already in a fragile place.
Detox and Cleanse Tips
The first round of a cleanse can often make you feel really good. You would then want to repeat the same in the hope of feeling even better and stronger, except that it will often be an elusive mirage. If you are having the urge to detox and feel lighter, you may consider some of the following general recommendations:
- Know your constitution first and foremost.
- Know why you are experiencing some recurring health issues. Know the roots.
- Know your life circumstances and your life journey up to now.
- Simplify your circumstances when and where possible. This is cleansing on its own.
- Declutter! This is the perfect time of year to get rid of excess belongings that are no longer serving you. Delete old conversation texts on your phone. Delete emails that you no longer need.
- Simplify your diet for two weeks. Avoid dairy, sugar, gluten, rich and heavy foods, alcohol, processed and spicy foods. This alone will amount to a cleanse.
- Drink more water.
- Rest your soul and body.
- Avoid over stimulation of your nervous system. Stay away from electronics starting 3 hours before bed.
- Meditate a couple of times daily, each time for 5 minutes or so.
- And, of course, a couple of acupuncture treatments, which by balancing the system is already doing a cleansing job!
Collectively, the above measures will constitute a natural and gentle cleanse without compromising the life force.