The earth has once again revolved from winter to spring. The air is now crisp clean and fresh. Some seeds that laid dormant in soil have sprout out gently to the world. Flowers with different colours start to bloom everywhere and birds can be heard chipping happily on greening trees. Spring is the time of natural revival. Many people who live in tune with the cycle of nature find spring is the best time to cleanse and renew their life by doing spring cleaning their house and detoxing their old self.
The purpose of detoxification is to cleanse ourselves from the toxic loads that may compromise our health. In this modern world, we often get exposed to harmful toxins from the environmental pollutants, drugs use and unhealthy diets. In addition, some toxins are also created by the normal processes within our body. If our organs of elimination i.e. liver, colon, kidneys and skin do not function optimally, these toxins may build up and harm our health. Therefore, the aim of detox program is to stop putting the toxins in and support the organs of elimination to get rid of the existing toxins build up. By eating healthy foods and living healthy lifestyle during the detox period, you actually give chance to your body to use its energy focused on repairing and rejuvenating itself. Your organs start to function in optimum capacity. As a result, your skin glows healthily, your eyes look bright and minor ailments start to disappear. You will feel lighter and great.
This spring detox is simple, efficient, yet effective. It only takes one week to finish. So, most people will relatively find it is easy to do. Do this detox twice a year (spring and autumn are the best time of the year to do self detoxification).
Before you start
- To ease yourself into the detox program, start to gradually reduce your caffeine intake. Limit the caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black tea, and cola.
- Reduce the alcohol intake and cigarettes smoking.
- Do the shopping to prepare for your coming detox week. Stock up on fresh, wholesome and preferably organic vegetables, fruits and other foods. You may also need to buy a few other additional useful things such as natural skin brush, Epsom salt, aromatherapy essential oils, herbal and nutritional supplements. You better off find a naturopath to help you finding the best suitable natural remedies to support your detox program.
During the detox week
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes smoking, caffeine, dairy products, sugary foods, deep fried foods and processed foods.
- On rising: drink a glass of warm water with the juice of a half or whole fresh lemon in the morning to kick starts your liver detoxification function. Alternatively you may try mixing the water with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. I recommend Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Do dry skin brushing every morning before showering. Skin brushing helps to remove toxins by improving circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system. It is very easy and enjoyable to do. Use a natural bristle brush or exfoliating mitt to do circular movement on your skin over the legs and arms towards the heart. Do the same at your chest and abdomen. You may feel tingling and stimulating sensations on your skin that awaken you.
- Drink one freshly made vegetable & fruit juice per day. Try this combination: carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger, apple and pineapple. Fresh juice contains vibrant living enzymes, vitamins and minerals which are good for your health.
- Do gentle exercise for minimum 30 minutes per day: walking, yoga, tai-chi, swimming. Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Relax and get plenty of rest. In average, people need 8 hours sleep every night. It is best to sleep in a dark uncluttered bedroom.
- Meditate. There are many techniques of meditation, find the one that suits with you. You may also incorporate positive affirmations with your meditation. Both will help to refocus and calm your mind; to release old unhealthy mental patterns so the new ones can emerge..
- Drink at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of filtered water per day and extra 500 ml for each hour of exercise. In addition, herbal teas such are dandelion tea, green tea, red clover and calendula are beneficial to be incorporated due to their cleansing properties.
- Eat three meals and healthy snacks. Appreciate the foods and eat slowly only until satisfied. Focus on eating more fresh organic wholesome vegetables, fruits, non-gluten containing grains, oily fish and chicken.
- Take necessary supplements each day as recommended by your naturopath. Your naturopath may prescribe herbal medicine to support your organs of elimination, nutritional/herbal supplements to heal the gut lining (e.g. glutamine, slippery elm, aloe vera), probiotics to balance the gut flora and multi vitamins and minerals to provide the necessary nutrients for optimum health.
- Soak in Epsom salt bath once a week. Epsom salt bath helps toxin elimination through the skin. Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in the warm bath water and ensure it is dissolved well. To create a relaxing ambience, you may want to light some candles and turn off the light. Use aromatherapy vapouriser and play soft relaxing music. Soak in the bath, take a deep breath, relax and let go.
- Sauna. It is a nice way to relax and eliminate toxins by sweating. I recommend infrared sauna as it is also helps to burn calories and soothe aches and pains.
- At the completion of your detox week, celebrate your achievement by rewarding yourself with a session of aromatherapy massage. Besides relaxing the body and mind, aromatherapy massage incorporates lymphatic drainage technique to drain the toxins via lymphatic vessels and uses specific essential oils such as pink grapefruit oil, pine oil, lemon oil and rosemary oil to further assist the body in detoxification process.
Even though detoxing is generally safe for most people, you should not do detox if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, have low blood sugar level, on long standing medical conditions, on prescription medications or on long term misuse of alcohol and drugs. If in any doubt, seek the advice of your naturopath or doctor.
Some people may experience “healing crisis” at the first few days of doing detox. They may get the symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, poor concentration and nausea. These symptoms are usually temporary for a few days and can be minimised by drinking plenty of water and resting. If symptoms persist, contact your health care practitioner.
Post Detox Week
After successfully completing the one week detox program, you will likely to feel more vibrant, energetic and healthier. You may start to re-incorporate the desired foods one at a time. If you notice any bad reactions to the food, you better leave it and find a healthier substitute. It is better to maintain the healthy diet and lifestyle that you have done in the detox week as your new lifestyle. Welcome and embrace the new you this spring. Blessed be! :)