At the same time I find that many people are ready for some renewal in their bodies too and they think about a cleanse or detox program. Perhaps the excesses of the holidays dragged on into the New Year, or perhaps they are ready to jump-start some weight loss. Whatever the reason, it is certainly a good time to start, as nature provides us with so much fresh, local, organic produce to support our body.
My acupuncturist friends tell me that, in Chinese medicine, spring is a time to focus on the liver. This organ works so hard for us: removing toxins from the blood and sending them to the digestive tract for elimination; making bile so that we can digest our fats and access fat soluble vitamins; storing glycogen (our back up fuel supply), making cholesterol to build hormones and for other uses in the body….and more. With the toxic environment in which we live, it is easy to see how the liver could get overworked and be compromised in its functioning, resulting in a variety of health symptoms.
To take a look at my questionnaire posted June 30th 2015 to assess your possible toxicity levels, click here: Cleanse questionnaire
It can be a challenge looking for a cleanse or detox program. The shelves are full of detox products that promise us complete transformation. Which to choose? We are also bombarded with news of celebrity cleanses like Beyoncé losing weight on the very extreme Master Cleanse or Jaime Pressly doing the famous Cabbage Soup Diet. How do you navigate this for yourself and what is really best for you in the long term?
Some things to consider:
Whatever type of cleanse you are undertaking, if your bowels are not moving regularly then you are not cleansing. Waste products are dumped by the liver into the digestive tract for elimination and so if things are not moving as they are supposed to then the toxins stay in your system.
On the other hand, some cleanses produce so much bowel movement that they can be not only too brutal to the system but also keep us tied to the toilet for the duration. This is pretty impractical for most people, potentially embarrassing and isn’t necessarily delivering any benefits.
The ability to adjust the cleanse to work for you is important, so that you get just the right amount of elimination.
In the same vein, many cleanses include an adjustment to fiber intake. Too much fiber can be hard for the body to handle if it isn’t used to it. Too little can mean that waste products do not have enough to bind to for elimination. It is a balance you have to work on and it is ideal if this is adjustable.
I also hear about a lot of cleanse programs that involve removal of proteins. This makes little sense because the liver cannot detoxify without certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Another downside of no protein is that most people will feel weak and unable to function as they normally do.
My last thought for you is to consider that some cleanses are just too hard to stick to. If I had a penny for every time someone told me they were doing a detox while they stood in front of me drinking a glass of wine…. Perhaps what most people really need, instead of a really strict program that will encourage a rebound, is some help in adjusting their habits for the long term so that they can achieve better balance.
I guess you have probably realized that this is my favorite approach to a cleanse. By all means, support the body with detoxification but, while you do it, why not get educated and practice some new healthy habits that you can stick to? If you are looking for a cleanse option, I’d LOVE to help you!