By Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc
The renewed energetic awakenings of early spring make it a great time to prepare your mind, body, and environments for rejuvenation and healing. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage in a gentle cleanse, for a more vibrant and balanced sense of well-being.
Working with Transition
Spring is a transitional season. Nature emerges from an inert, conservative, wintry suspension, into the high activity of summer. A spring cleanse aims to lighten our systems and give us more energy and vitality in preparation for the increased physical challenges and activities that come with warmer weather.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring relates to the wood element, and to the liver and gallbladder. As such, a spring cleanse emphasizes special care for the liver and related systems, including digestion. According to TCM, the liver is also linked to turbulent emotions — mainly unresolved anger and irritability. Many people experience greater emotional balance after engaging in a gentle cleanse and detox program — a result of optimizing our inherent detox and nourishment functions throughout the body.
Maximizing Your Cleanse
Your personal health goals can help determine the intensity of your detox regimen. But remember that it’s important to begin any type of cleanse under the supervision of an experienced healthcare provider who can guide you in the process — especially if you have health concerns or chronic ailments.
Below are some holistic preparation tips to help you get the most out of your spring cleanse.
Planning and Preparation
A spring cleanse can be anywhere from 3 days to 21 days or longer, however, I find that 10 to 14 days is optimal for most individuals. Many people start with a preparation phase, where emphasis is placed on an anti-inflammatory, unprocessed diet; extra hydration and daily exercise. This initial phase can be followed by a more intense cleanse program that adds targeted detox supplements and heat therapies such as saunas and sweats, along with other detox therapies if needed. To complete a cleanse, most people wind down by repeating the more gentle preparation phase for several days.
Diet: However you plan your detox, the foundation of the program should always be a fresh, unprocessed diet that focuses on plenty of organic vegetables, either steamed or raw. Eliminate inflammatory foods including all processed foods, gluten items, dairy, non-organic meats, caffeine and alcohol. Soak and sprout grains, legumes and nuts. For fruits, choose colorful items that showcase their high polyphenol content. Berries are excellent during detox.
Supplementation: PectaClear Environmental Toxin Cleanse formula helps remove toxic metals and environmental toxins from the circulation and digestive tract. PectaClear contains both modified citrus pectin and a unique modified alginate compound, which function synergistically to bind and eliminate toxins without depleting the body of essential vitamins and minerals. This dual action formula offers excellent detox support on its own, or together with ecoDetox Total Body Detox formula, for deeper and more thorough detoxification.*
Hydration: Drink plenty of pure water (and herbal tea); hydration is extremely critical during a cleanse.
Relaxation: During a cleanse, it’s important to give yourself the space to expand, relax and meditate on the things you wish to let go of. This process can help you release toxins on all levels: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. If you can’t take time away from work, try to give yourself a few hours every day to create a sacred space to unpeel the layers of obstructions that may be hindering your health and vibrancy.
Environment: Cleansing and purifying your home, work and other environments is also an important preparation step. Cleaning out the stagnant winter energy, dusting and removing pathogens that may be lingering inside your home, and getting rid of clutter in your surroundings can have profound positive impacts on the health of your body, mind and spirit.
Designating a sacred space for meditation, relaxation and contemplation sends a message to your entire being that your commitment to vibrant health, clarity and other important areas is sincere and profound. See what positive changes will arise when you focus your energy into a sacred healing space for yourself.
Preparing Your Mind For Spring Detox
If you had the opportunity to practice meditation and inner reflection, you’ve likely discovered aspects of yourself that you no longer need to hold onto. So, as part of the cleansing process, it’s always useful to decide what it is you’re prepared to leave behind as you move forward into the new season.
An expansive approach to detoxification uses the cleansing process as a means of increasing your degree of freedom and openness. Take an example from nature: just as the day expands from dawn to dusk and the weather warms with the arrival of spring, we too can allow our perceptions to expand. Meditation represents one of the most profound ways to do this. By engaging in regular meditation, we can embrace those things in life that previously troubled us. Letting go of the afflictive emotions that have so much control over our perception of reality is an important part of cleansing and detox.
When we combine a gentle cleansing process with regular meditation, our mental overloads and afflictive emotions can be released and allowed to dissipate like dew in the morning sun. As we detoxify our body and simultaneously let go of limiting perceptions and emotions, we can find great freedom. The same stimuli may no longer bring the same responses, and our bodies and hearts feel lighter.
A successful cleanse can do all this and more. In addition to more vibrant physical health, we can also develop a deeper sense of compassion and understanding while releasing and transforming negative patterns — allowing us to move forward into greater health with a quantum leap.