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Spring Cleaning Time - Inner Spring CleansingPosted By KDanteTHTC 2/9/2015 4:36:16 AM
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As the layers and layers of this winter begin to uncover me on so many levels I begin to awaken in April to spring. Looking out to dirty snow piles and muddy soil I feel the urge to clean. This winter as been long, but, like the sap of the trees we begin to rise and burst forth.

Spring is a time to cleanse our minds, our bodies and renew our spirits. As earth regenerates herself, I too, take this time to rejuvenate myself. Keeping to the natural cycles of the earth, it’s time for inner spring cleansing when our body wants a lighter diet, more liquids, and greater elimination than intake. Detoxification occurs when we choose a program eliminating the toxins giving us vitality and health.

Many books are written and many herbal products are offered to people wanting to detox their bodies and bring wellness to their beings. Detox therapies run the gamut from sweat lodges and herbal teas to invasive medical treatments, such as colon cleansing, in which colon irrigation is preformed. Detox diets, typically feature juice fasts and a reliance on fruits and vegetables. Various methods exist with all having one common denominator; giving your body a rest from toxins to create balance and restore vitality.

Detoxification is eliminating sugar, coffee, nicotine, alcohol (and yes, wine!), pesticides, and any other chemical we apply topically to our skin or take internally. Cleansing the body has roots in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Indian medicine and was first practiced in this country by Native Americans who did ritual sweating ceremonies with the change of seasons.

Most detox programs focus purely on physical detoxification and, of course, eating the right foods is absolutely vital- after all, we are what we eat. However, it is not only physical toxins we need to clear. Cleansing the mind and spirit of toxins is also essential.

A toxin is basically any substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects in the body, undermining our health or stressing our biochemical or organ functions. This may result from drugs which have side effects, or from patterns of physiology that are different from our usual functioning. Recreational drugs also usually have some harmful effects. The free radicals irritate, inflame, age, and cause degeneration of body tissues. Negative “ethers,” psychic and spiritual influences, thought patterns, and negative emotions all can be toxins as well–both as stressors and by changing the normal physiology of the body and possibly producing specific symptoms.

Toxicity occurs in our body when we take in more than we can utilize and eliminate. Homeostasis means that our body functions are in balance. This balance is disturbed when we feed ourselves more than we can utilize or partake of specific substances that are toxic. Toxicity may depend on the dosage, frequency, or potency of the toxin. A toxin may produce an immediate or rapid onset of symptoms, as many pesticides and some drugs do; possibly, even more commonly, it may cause some long-term negative effect, such as asbestos exposure leading to lung cancer.

Of course, if our body is working well, with good immune and eliminative functions, we can handle our basic everyday exposure to toxins. The purpose of this section is to discuss ways to support the elimination of toxins, excessive mucus, congestion, and disease and to prevent, on a day-to-day basis, the buildup of toxicity. Through detoxification, we clear and filter toxins and wastes and allow our body to work on enhancing its basic functions.

OUR GENERAL DETOXIFICATION SYSTEMS
•  Respiratory–lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses, and nose
•  Gastrointestinal–liver, gallbladder, colon, and whole GI tract
•  Urinary–kidneys, bladder, and urethra
•  Skin and dermal–sweat and sebaceous glands and tears
•  Lymphatic–lymph channels and lymph nodes

Our body handles toxins by neutralizing, transforming, or eliminating them. As examples, many of the antioxidant nutrients  may neutralize free-radical molecules. The liver helps transform many toxic substances into harmless agents, while the blood carries wastes to the kidneys; the liver also dumps wastes through the bile into the intestines, where much waste is eliminated. We also clear toxins through sweating, from exercise or heat. Our sinuses and skin may also be accessory elimination organs whereby excess mucus or toxins can be released, as with sinus congestion or skin rashes, respectively.

Detoxification occurs on many other levels as well. Physically, this process can help clear congestions, illnesses, and disease potential. It can improve energy. I believe that many “detox” processes can help rejuvenate us and prevent degeneration. Mental detoxification is also important. Cleansing our minds of negative thought patterns is essential to health; the physical detoxification also helps this mental process. Emotionally, detoxification helps us uncover and express feelings, especially hidden frustrations, anger, resentments, or fear, and replace them with forgiveness, love, joy, and hope. On a spiritual level, many people experience new clarity and/or an enhancement of their purpose of life during cleansing processes. A light detox over a couple of days can help us feel better, while a longer process and deeper commitment to a new way of life, such as eliminating certain abusive habits and eating a better diet, will help us really change our whole life.

Always consult your doctor before beginning any cleansing program, however, make sure they are educated on such health practices. Many doctors seem to be more educated from pharmaceutical companies than on healthy lifestyle practices.

SAMPLE YEAR-LONG DETOX PROGRAM

Spring
For 7-21 days between April and May, use one or more of the following plans:
Master Cleanser (lemonade diet).
Fruits, vegetables, greens.
Juices of fruits, vegetables, and greens.
Herbs.
These plans can be alternated and even include a 3-5 day supervised water fast.
Remember to take time (about half as long as the fast) for the transition back to the regular diet.
Elimination and food testing can also be done at this time.

Mid-Spring
3-day cleanse at new moon time in May as a reminder and enhancer of food awareness.

Summer
One week of fruits and vegetables and/or fresh juices to usher in the warm weather sometime between June 10 and July 4.

Late Summer
3-day cleanse of fruit and vegetable juices around the new moon time in August.

Autumn
7-10 day cleanse between September 11 and October 5, such as:
Grape fast–whole and juiced–grapes, all fresh.
Apple and lemon juice together, diluted.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, raw and cooked.
Fruit and vegetable juices–fruit in the morning, vegetables in the afternoon.
Juices plus spirulina, algae, or other green chlorophyll powders.
Whole grains, cooked squashes and other vegetables (a lighter detox).
Mixture of the above plans.
Basic low-toxicity diet with herbal program.
Colon detox with fiber (psyllium, pectin, and so on) along with enemas or colonics.
Preparing and planning new autumn diet, enhancing positive dietary habits.

Mid-Autumn
3-day cleanse on juices or in-season produce around new moon in late October/early November.

Winter
A lighter diet in preparation for the holidays (can be done between December 10 and January 5)
Avoidance of toxins and treats, with a very basic wholesome diet.
One week of brown rice, cooked vegetables, miso broth, and seaweed. Ginger and cayenne pepper can be used in soups.
Saunas or steams and massage–you deserve it!
Hang on until spring!
I support being gentle to our bodies, educating the mind and nurturing the soul. I also believe in taking responsibility for my health and support moderate cleansing programs that promote positive lifestyle changes. I encourage you to do an inner spring cleanse and you will see and feel yourself burst forth in 2012.

Happy days to hear the birds sing and the trees bud and feel the sun on our faces.
It’s spring!