Why Cleanse in the Spring?
Do you find yourself feeling the urge to cleanse out your refrigerator, reorganize your garage, start a new project, maybe go through your closets and give some things away? If so, your body is naturally seeking the Spring Energy that occurs throughout nature this time of year. Just look outside your window and you’ll see what I mean. There is new life EVERYWHERE – bright green baby leaves, birds busily (noisily!) selecting their mates and building their nests, baby animals everywhere you look, young people with that “post-Valentine’s Day” twitter-pated look in their eyes! It is a beautiful season, Spring, with a number of lovely holidays from all faiths welcoming the new life, the new season, the new promise that is Springtime.
In addition to the Spring holidays that we all look forward to, in many cultures there is also a cleansing or fasting process that is an integral part of this time of year. Roman Catholics will do a partial fast for the 40 days leading up to Easter, abstaining from certain foods, caffeine, alcohol, and also certain luxuries. The Orthodox Greeks will abstain from all animal products altogether during their Lenten season, becoming in effect “vegan” for the 7 weeks leading up to Easter. In traditional Chinese medicine as well as traditional Ayurveda, Spring is a time for fasting as well, reducing animal meats and dairy to lighten the load on the digestive system, clear out the clutter and the “mucus” that has filled out heads during the cold winter months – time to “open up the windows” and air everything out by eating less food overall, eating only vegetarian or vegan with lots of light spring leafy greens and sprouts, reducing the load on the liver and gallbladder, and opening the body/mind/spirit to receive guidance and direction for any new projects for the year. So if you are feeling the need to refresh and rejuvenate your health at this time of year, you are not alone, and in fact you are in harmony with the natural rhythm of the earth at this time of year, as is shown by how many peoples, cultures and traditions, as well as animals, all participate in Spring Cleaning for body, mind, heart and soul this time of year.
Even if you are extremely health conscious already, between the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, we are constantly ingesting toxins, even those of us who do try and do the right thing always. Just like a car, every once in a while, you still need a “tune up and an oil change”; it’s funny how we routinely take our cars in for maintenance without a second thought, but we never think about giving our bodies the same treatment! A seasonal cleanse (ideally at the start of each new season) is an opportunity to recharge your battery (immune system), clean your oil (blood), and cleanse your exhaust system (colon, kidneys, lungs and liver), taking stress off the organs by eliminating all toxins, as much as possible, for one to two weeks.
A cleanse is not a fast. It is merely a switch in your diet (for some, dramatic; for others, not so much) to pure, whole, organic, alkaline and vegan foods or juices, with no gluten, no meat or dairy, no caffeine, and no alcohol. In our 7 day cleanse, we start out with eating “acceptable” foods for the first 2 days and the last 2 days; in between, we will go to a straight “juice fast” for the middle 3 days. On the “food” days, you can eat as much as you want, as long as the food is on the ‘acceptable foods” list. If you are a healthy individual, we recommend supplementing the cleanse diet with an herbal cleansing program as well (more on this later).
You may notice that, as you cleanse the organs of your body, you may also flush out old, unprocessed, negative emotions and memories. You may experience moments of anger, sadness, and frustration that seem to come out of nowhere. This is the “emotional body” cleansing itself. On a brighter note, you may also experience moments of pure bliss, contentment and happiness.
Many schools of healing (including ayurvedic philosophy) believe that disease begins in the digestive system, particularly in a sluggish, congested colon. Poor diet and lack of exercise make the digestive system overloaded and toxic, which means it cannot efficiently eliminate toxins from the system. But as we clear and cleanse the digestive system using fresh live foods and juices, we give the body a break from the toxins, and the body can begin to rebuild itself.
Looking forward to leading you on this incredible journey for rejuvenating your body, mind, heart and soul…