During spring, nature goes through the process of renewal. Cleansing and detoxification is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. Spring cleaning is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins in our thoughts, emotions, and environment. Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of spring cleaning into your life, from the inside out.
Cleansing the Body
Our bodies are exposed to toxins daily from the air we breathe to the products we use. There are several body systems that help us eliminate these toxins such as our liver, kidneys, and even our sweat. These systems can get overwhelmed and often need a little help and support. This is often referred to as doing a “detoxification”.
Modern living can bring us into contact with so many toxins that everyone could use a good detox, especially in the spring! Detox is the process of reducing the amount of toxins that we are exposed to in order to release toxins that are already stored in the body. There are a variety of methods for detoxing the body. Most consist of resting the body by eliminating solid foods for a short time and instead consuming cleansing foods such as special broths, juices, teas, herbs or supplements. After the cleansing period is over, a very clean diet is slowly reintroduced. It is important to speak to a Naturopathic Doctor for any detox. Several hidden factors can complicate a detox if done without professional help such as blood sugar issues, or if a person has been exposed to heavy metals or other dangerous toxins.
Cleansing the Environment
A clean body will only benefit us so long without the support of a clean environment. There are several sources of toxins in our environment that need to be addressed. The most important is toxins in our food. It is important to be eating organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, non-GMO whole grains, and limit processed foods as these contain dyes, flavor enhancers, preservatives, and other industrial chemicals. Clean water is also a must, including filtered water in non-toxic containers. Glass is the best storage container for water, followed by stainless steel, and BPA-free plastic.
Another area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins. Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all- natural products.
Cleansing the Spirit
One overlooked area of detox is our thoughts and emotions. To truly embrace the benefits of a spring clean, we must also look at the mental and emotional environment we live in daily. Chronic stress is one of the most toxic emotions to live with on a daily basis. Not only can it tax the body by stimulating stress hormones, it harms the spirit and positive mental outlook. Other toxic emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, and depression need to be dealt with. Naturopathic Medicine helps support more than just your body, it helps support the whole person including one’s emotional state.
By working with a Naturopathic Doctor, you can gently release negative emotions and embrace your own health and vitality. Some strategies everyone can use to help support their spring cleaning are deep cleansing breaths, meditation, staying hydrated with clean water, and exercising.
Lindlahr, Henry, and Jocelyn C. P. Proby. 1975. Philosophy of natural therapeutics. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel Co.
Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. 1999. Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Vasey, Christopher. 2009. The naturopathic way: how to detox, find quality nutrition, and restore your acid-alkaline balance. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.