Often at this time of year, there seems to be a natural urge or desire 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, 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 seasons will be a tricky time for most of us. If we have not been taking care of ourselves in winter by slowing down as nature would have liked us to, then the transition would be more challenging.
It is against this background that the popular culture would have us believe that it is time for a cleanse, a fast or a detox so as to rid the body of the offending toxins and free up the life force that has been buried deep inside, awaiting 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 potential health hazards that one should be aware of. By nature, a cleanse is designed to give us a quick fix! As with everything else, there is 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 individualized and tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of the person. Any approach that goes against this basic principle, could potentially pose serious health hazards. When it comes to detoxing, often people 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 often after a cleanse, a fast or a detox, one might feel generally lighter and possibly more energetic in best case scenario. However, this comes at the expense of one’s 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 this type of 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 that go up to 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 health 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 some 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
Often, the first round of a cleanse can make one feel really good and result in a state of high. One would then want to repeat the same in the hopes 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 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 couple of times daily, each time for 5 minutes or so.
- And, of course, 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.