Is Cleansing Right for You?
Have you ever asked your body how it's feeling? Like, "Hey there...How are you feeling today?"
For many of us this practice seems strange. Yet opening up a 'conversation' with your body can be very helpful. How does your body communicate to you? Sometimes, being honest about how we feel means admitting that we wish we felt better.
Developing an awareness of our physical and emotional states can be challenging, as many of us find that we do not feel as comfortable 'in our own skin' as we would like to.
Would you enjoy shifting your physical and emotional health? What do you do for yourself in order to 'upgrade' your life? What are you willing to do?
Detoxing and Cleansing is becoming more popular as people discover the amazing benefits that it can offer. But, in a culture raised on fast fixes, the true power of cleansing is surprisingly misunderstood. The apparent benefits of potent, short-term cleanses can be exaggerated, overshadowing the long-term benefits of gently cleansing your lifestyle.
Your body is magnificent! Don't underestimate it's potent and effective methods for detoxing. But life can be hard, and your physical and emotional diet can put unnecessary strain on your health. Cleansing can be a powerful ally in aiding the body and mind to rest and recover. But does this power exist in the short-term or the long-term commitments to your health?
A few days of cleansing can brighten your spring, however, introducing small changes permanently into your life can greatly increase the positive effects of cleansing in a more permanent way. Simply said, shifting your lifestyle and diet, slowly over time, can be far better for you in the long run than the occasional cleanse.
Just as eating a salad doesn't balance out a whole bin of ice cream, short and intense cleansing doesn't balance out years worth of stress or a poor diet. Cleansing is a beautiful practice that can bring about great shifts in your physical and emotional health, but its greater power may lie in the long-term shifts it can bring your health when cleansing is practiced gently and for the long-term.
Consider The Following Before Cleansing:
1. Is a seasonal detox/cleanse good for you based on your current state of emotional and physical health?
Cleansing can be a great way to shift your emotional and physical states, but it can also tax your body. If you are weak, debilitated or recovering in some way, cleansing can be too hard on your already overworked system. Waiting until you are feeling emotionally and physically balanced can deepen the effects of a cleanse, and allow you to have a good experience with the process.
2. Are you prepared for slow and steady change?
Cleansing can bring about immediate benefits for the person properly prepared, but these shifts are short-term if cleansing is approached in a short-term way. Health is a long-term practice. To bring lasting change, cleansing must become a subtle and gentle part of your everyday life.
If your lifestyle does not shift to meet the purifying process of a cleanse, cleansing may bring you only temporary benefits at best. By cultivating a lifestyle that allows gentle, slow detoxing, you allow your cleanse to take the time it needs to reach deep into your tissues and permanently shift your life.
The power of the experience lies in knowing if you're aiming for permanent changes or temporary changes in your health. Both paths can be beneficial, but long term commitments to our vitality are what many of us need, and what we all truly deserve!
3. Are you open to explore the subtle shifts cleansing offers you?
The process of detoxing the body can take time. Some toxins build up in the body over months and years! So removing them can take a long time as well. And this process can be very subtle. In a world where quick and big fixes seem to rule, cleansing can appear to be unhelpful and ineffective to those who are less willing to be open to subtleties through which cleansing can work.
By allowing the cleanse to work layer by layer, you cultivate true and lasting health. Just remember that it can be hard to witness in hour after hour, day after day. But the benefits are worth it. And please remember that some of the benefits aren't always apparent in the first few days or weeks. The true benefits are seen as the years unfold.
What is Cleansing? Why is it Practiced?
The process of life requires you to eat, sleep, and move. But life can get really busy, and it can be difficult to know just what quantities and qualities of your habits are truly serving you.
Moderation is your friend, but moderating yourself can be difficult when your external interactions demand the majority of your energy. Work, hobbies, family and other responsibilities can demand most of your energy, and overwhelm your connection to your health. This allows dis-ease to arise.
We cleanse to balance out this over-working, poor-dieting, and lack of sleep.
Cleansing has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to balance the dis-ease that life can cause your body and mind. It's intended to allow the body to rest and reset. The primary intention is to aid your body in drawing toxins out of your tissues so that they can be eliminated. This can happen through all parts of the body from the skin and digestive track, to the lungs and even the voice (emotional cleansing can happen through laughing, crying, etc).
This is not a one-size-fits-all kind of method. And each person has a unique approach to cleansing, thus the importance of being connected with your body. Developing your relationship with your body and mind can clarify where there is stagnation in your being. Detoxing can gently allow and even encourage this stagnation in your body and mind to clear.
By practicing a mental and physical diet designed to gently create space for your organs and mind to do their work of healing, you allow your body and mind to have the time they need to clear what normally cannot be cleared. Lack of sleep, normal eating habits can prevent the body and mind from cleansing in a healthy and regular way.
Cleansing allows your organs to clear out pathogens, your immune system to rest and recuperate, and your body to reboot, bringing forward new stages of healing. Mental cleansing can allow emotions to be fully felt, processed, and finally dissolved into their completion.
Five Must Do's before Cleansing or Detoxing:
1. Develop Your Relationship with Your Body, Mind and Emotions:
You are unique. Your cleansing process is too. By learning what practices in your life allow you to thrive, you empower yourself with the knowledge and the ability to keep yourself happy and healthy. Your body is designed to detox itself. Good sleep, good diet, good exercise are your best bet for keeping your body clean of toxin. Keeping in touch with your body, mind, and emotions allows you to keep up with your bodies needs.
Fasts, cleanses, and detoxes are no substitute for you body's own innate natural abilities, and if practiced incorrectly, they can actually be dangerous and detrimental to your health. Learn your body's language, and listen to it. This allows your body to regulate itself in a healthy way.
Deciding to do a cleanse can be a great first step in developing this relationship with your body. There is no right place to start, just make sure to be gentle with yourself, move slowly, and make sure your chosen method of cleansing is good for where you're at in your life.
2. Do your research:
Cleansing is a process unique to everyone. We encourage you to look into the variety of options, especially the Ayurvedic approaches to cleansing.
Many cleanses on the market today are full of hype and the result of a "cleansing fad" that has developed these past few years. As a result these fad cleanses can be over-priced, packed with poor nutrients, and even dangerous to your health. Remember, your health is unique to you. A one-size-fits-all approach that many cleanses try to sell just isn't the way this works.
3. Profession Allies:
Ask your Naturopath, Functional Medicine Doctor, Holistic Nutrition Coach, or Ayurvedic Clinician about what is best for you. Sure you can do a very short and gentle cleanse on your own, but it's best to talk to an expert to find out what style of detox is best for you. Sometime cleansing can be hard on you. Eliminating the accumulated toxins from your body takes time and energy. It is not for everyone, especially those experiencing or recovering from severe illness or recent surgery. As well, it can be hard on women currently or recently pregnant, or currently nursing. Talk to your most Holistic or Integrative health care allies about cleansing first.
4. Make sure the timing is right:
Just because somebody else is cleansing doesn't mean you should. There is no one who can know you better than yourself. Trust your intuition, and always make your choices about your health for you. You are responsible for you health. Being responsible for your health is another way of empowering yourself with the knowledge that you have the power to change your health and increase your vital energy!
Seasonality. Also, many traditional cleanses suggest that cleansing take place during certain times of the year, the Fall and Spring in particular. This is because our bodies shift at these times as our diets, and amount of sleep, sun absorption, and exercise also change. But don't be afraid to do a cleanse in the Summer if that will truly serve you. Unless you live in the tropics, Winter is usually the least favorable time to do a cleanse. But if you're super optimistic that Winter is best, then that positive attitude will probably make it all work out fine.
Common Cleansing Mistakes
Have you ever tried a Cleanse or Detox? What was it like for you? Did you find that it was really difficult? Or were you that rare bird who breezed right though it? In what ways was it beneficial for you?
Detoxing is important to your health, but there's an art and a science to it. In the West, we're so used to quick fixes that we've become accustomed to the attitude that says, "Go big or go home". But, cleansing can be a delicate process requiring more gentle attention and time than we at first are willing to admit.
Many rush into the process, or mix up the order of the operations. Perhaps you can relate to the following mistakes that many make when cleansing:
1. Being unrealistic about the ideal number of days needed to allow for a healthy and safe cleanse.
Many times people will not properly assess the amount of days needed for a safe and healthy cleanse. Knowing the right number of days requires doing research and having a good relationship with your body.
2. Doing things in the wrong order. For example, instead of easing off of solid foods to start, you quit them all at once and rush immediately into a liquid diet with crazy amounts of Green Powder!
The digestive function of the body operates with slow intention. From the moment something enters your digestion through your mouth, the process of its movement from introduction to elimination can take anywhere from a few minutes to multiple days! Mixing up the steps can send your body into confusion, and cause the 'cleanse' have negative effects on your body.
3. Trying a cleanse that is too extreme for you. Sometimes excited de-toxers jump into extreme cleansing practices like water-fasting without knowing the critical reasons for doing preparatory cleanses before hand to prepare the body.
The benefits of a cleanse can be negated by shocking your system. Moderation is your friend. Over-doing it can be dangerous to your health.
4. Ignoring the importance of re-building the gut micro-biome. One of the great benefits of cleansing is the process of eliminating all the foods that hinder or damage the good micro-organisms in your body! Please be sure to learn about the best strategies for cleaning out the bad bacteria and fungi, and re-building your powerhouse allies in your whole GI tract.
5. Trying to cleanse while keeping your typical fast-paced daily routine.
Many de-toxers continue to live completely busy lives, going to work and even doing evening social events that are not helpful when you're in the midst of the intensity of the detoxing process.
De-toxing can provide you with deep healing, but the body needs to receive proper levels of rest, meditation, gentle walks, mild yoga and showers and baths every day
If you try to continue living your normal way while cleansing the effects of the cleanse can be neutralized or even turn bad. Further, if your life-style is affecting your health, refusing to shift it as well while cleansing can lead you to seeing no benefit from the cleanse.
What Kind of Cleanse is Good For Me?
1. Detox from Sugar:
Get off sugar, and stay off sugar. Particularly processed or refined sugars.
Many fruits, particularly the darker berries, contain low-glycemic sugars and are actually beneficial to many peoples' health, especially in conjunction with the amazing phytonutrients that the fruits offer.
But, overall sugar is to be avoided. Studies are showing that sugar may be a leading factor in many of the diseases we all know today. From cancer and diabetes, to weight issues, sugar may be the hidden culprit behind most of the diseases so prevalent in Western countries.
Dr. Mark Hyman is a leading expert on the absolutely destructive effects of sugar on your body. He provides great resources on the science behind sugar's connection to disease, as well as wonderful methods for detoxing and even eliminating destructive sugars from you diet.
Follow this link to read more about Dr. Mark Hyman's methods for detoxing from sugar.
2. Detox from Stress:
Stress. You know how it feels. Both a cause and an effect, it can appear in your body, mind and emotions. It is a leading factor in nearly every dis-ease or illness you can think of. We all stand to benefit from lowering and eliminating the stress in our lives.
Many studies show that nearly 1/4 of Americans claim to be under extreme stress, scaled at 8, 9, or even 10 out of 10! This is based on the 2011 Stress in America Survey from the American Psychological Association. Stress can exist in any facet of our lives, and can resonate when our relationships with ourselves becomes unaligned.
While 94 percent of adults claim to believe that stress can contribute to the development of major illness, only 29 percent say that they are doing a good job to prevent themselves from succumbing to it.
3. Detox from Processed Food:
Dr Mark Hyman states that one of the most important things someone can do for their health is to eat simple food. Getting as far away from processed foods as you can encourages better health. Human's evolved eating whole food, minimally processed.
If you don't recognize an ingredient, don't eat it. Or if any of the good parts of the plant are removed such as white flour, just don't consume it. Look to the produce section for a huge percentage of your diet. Eat a good amount of raw fruits and vegetables to avoid loss of essential enzymes and other critical nutrients Eating simple, whole food is an easy way to bring long-term support to your diet and health.
4. Detox from Technology:
Technology is an integral part of our culture. As a result of it being part of almost every hour of a normal person's day, it can pull you away from deeper self, disconnecting you from your heart and soul. Be very careful as you connect to social media, news, and entertainment. Learning to balance the apparent necessity of technology with moments of unplugging, can be great for your health!
Sleep gets better when we put our phones away earlier, unplugging allows you to be in touch with yourself and more aware of your health, and life seems better when the news gets turned off.
Read more about Dr Mark Hyman's, Digital Detox, here.
Sarvaa's Favorite Cleanses:
Above is a beautiful recipe that can be practiced twice daily! Great for the Spring time, or anytime! It's essentially a raw "soup" that will nourish your cells deeply and completely!
Here's how we do it: Add water, celery, fennel, cilantro, fresh greens, avocado, lemon juice, and Sarvaa Superfood Gaia Greens. Blend it well and enjoy it raw.
For variety, you can substitute out the cilantro, and add basil or parsley instead. And if Gaia Greens is too intense for your palate, you can substitute Sarvaa Superfood SuperFruit C or Golden Bliss. This recipe is gentle enough to be done twice a day, yet is incredibly potent for removing toxins, restoring the gut health, and is soothing to the body, mind and soul. And it's delicious!
And again let us remind you about cleansing all of your being. Eat real, organic, Non-GMO foods. Sleep well. Practice your favorite hobbies, and consider yoga, warm baths, laughing with friends and meditating alone.
The Beauty of Cleansing:
You embark on a cleanse because you can't clean your insides like you would your skin or hair. Detoxing can provide your body with the opportunity to reset your digestive system by giving your organs a break and letting them do their natural detoxing.
Cleansing your mind allows for your emotions and mental patterns to clear and begin serving you again. Removing unseen toxins from your emotions and thoughts can bring you much better health.
Cleansing can dramatically improve your health and well-being. As your relationship with cleansing evolves, you will shift your lifestyle. Cleansing can move from a seasonal or annual practice into a weekly habit, where keeping your body and mind happy and healthy becomes an intention in all of your daily activities.
~ Love Your Body ~ Love Everybody ~
*These comments have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to cure or treat any illness or disease.