What are the cleanse or detox benefits? Or is it simply another form of starvation diet?
Seasonal cleansing has been a tradition in many cultures for thousands of years. Both Ancient Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda recommend cleansing at the change of seasons for optimal health.
In Ayurveda, the main seasonal times for cleansing and detoxifying the body are spring and fall. These are the most significant shifts in our outer environment which affect our inner body.
First of all…
A cleanse can simply mean simplifying or looking after yourself; reducing the excess in food, drink, activities and stimulation. Cleansing provides your body with time, space and the right nutrients to support your body’s natural detoxification systems.
A detox cleanse can be as simple as being mindful of what choices you make. Watching what you eat, when you eat it and what you do, watch or listen to while eating. It can be cutting out unnecessary stimulation to give your mind time to think and process the day.
Go deeper into your detox by offering the body very simple food to nourish the body without creating excess work for the digestive system. Foods and spices that support the body’s natural detoxification process are consumed to boost these activities within the body. Gentle yoga, meditation, massage and breathing practices are done to help release toxins from the body’s tissues.
Are you experiencing or feeling…
• Tired and sluggish
• Aches and stiffness through the joints or muscles
• Heavy and weighed down either physically or mentally
• Bloated, gassy or digestive discomfort
• Skin irritations, rashes or acne
• Dull skin, dark circles or puffiness under the eyes
• Mental fogginess
• Emotionally irritated; quick to anger, impatient, overwhelmed
• Frequent colds and susceptible to disease
During the change of season our body has stored excess energy from the previous season. For example, during the winter our body stored excess mass to help keep us warm. As the temperature rises this excess mass turns into congestion and mucus in the body which gets released as colds and allergies unless we take the time to clear it out.
In the fall we carry excess heat and energy from the summer. This excess heat gets aggravated by the fall winds and variable weather patterns and manifests as irritability, skin rashes, and digestive discomfort.
By taking the time to make the switch we help boost our body’s natural detoxification systems. This not only boosts our body’s immune system but provides greater clarity and ease for the upcoming season.
During a seasonal cleanse you connect with what your mind and body need and start or return to the habits that help to keep you feeling balanced, focused and aligned with your purpose and values.
The detox cleanse benefits often come not from the food you eat but the mindset you establish during your cleanse.
By reducing the toxic load that your body needs to work at to eliminate you free up extra energy for the things you love to do. We are exposed to toxins every day in what we eat, apply to our body, and in the air we breathe. By supporting and boosting the enzymes your body needs to eliminate these toxins you’ll feel energized long after the cleanse is over.
A cleanse is a very conscious way of looking after ourselves. Not just through our food choices but also through gentle movements, breathwork and massage we support and stimulate the flow of the lymphatic system. This lymphatic system is responsible for clearing away all disease from our body.
The effects of the cleanse apply to reducing or eliminating overall brain fog plus the space we take during the cleanse helps to boost creativity. During the cleanse you’ll have extra time and space to perhaps uncover the answer you are searching for in a problem or situation.
Aches and stiffness are caused by inflammation in the body. This inflammation can be caused by working our muscles (think after a strenuous workout) or through the foods we eat and the toxins our body is working to dispel. Reducing the common inflammatory foods that we eat, being gentle in our movements and thoughts, and giving the body the rest it needs will lower the inflammatory response within the body.
What we see on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on inside. If your skin is appearing irritated it’s a sign of excess heat and inflammation within the body. If your skin and hair appear dull it’s a sign of excess congestion within the body. As we eliminate the internal disorder you’ll notice the difference from your new lustrous hair to your radiant skin and even to the tips of your fingernails.
Food cravings may be caused by a diet deficiency or poor micronutrient absorption. They may also be caused by mental stress. During the cleanse you improve your bodies ability to absorb nutrients plus reduce the mental chatter and stimulation to help you uncover what you are truly hungry for.
Often a cleanse is simply a re-boot to the habits we know are good for us. Overtime our good habits start to slide and less than optimal habits take their place. By sticking with the cleanse habits for a couple of weeks we remind our mind and body what really feels good and prepare ourselves with the routines to keep us healthy in the upcoming season. Often to each season has its own habits so making the switch during your cleanse helps you get on track with mother nature.
When our minds and bodies are feeling overloaded and out of sorts with the new season it leaves us feeling ungrounded and irritated and less able to go with the flow of what life throws at us each day. Creating space both within the body and within our routines helps arm us with patience and trust to handle the difficulties of our day.
Now were are going into that woo-woo yoga realm but seriously… all the junk that your body is storing is weighing you down. When we release the extra “stuff” that we carry around we allow ourselves to shine brighter. Think of it as clearing away the layers of dust and grime off a mirror so that the real you can be seen.
This might in the end be the biggest gift of a cleanse.
Each time you go through a cleanse give yourself permission to relax and say no. This has been a key benefit for me each time I do a cleanse. There are so many pressures and requests on our time. Going to bed early every night seems impossible but during a “cleanse” with a finite time limit we can say – so no to the outer demands and just take time to nourish and support ourselves.
Even if we can’t sustain these healthy daily habits afterwards, just having this gift of time will help to create better boundaries.
Instead of thinking of a cleanse of a period of going without and starving yourself, approach your next cleanse with the intention of really deeply nourishing and taking care of you. The detox cleanse benefits go far beyond your belly and radiate outwards to all areas of your life. When you find what truly matters to you and can take away the excess everything becomes simpler and clearer.
Because YOU are worth it!
Comment below what your past cleanse experiences have been – the good and the bad!
Are you are ready to clear away the junk from the last season and let your radiant self shine through? If so join us on the next Flourish Spring Cleanse or Fall Cleanse
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