Spring Into Detox
By Maria Chah, DOM, AP & Jennifer Troyan
If you think about Springtime and what that means, it is a time for renewal, preparing for the new (you can see the best example - watch what nature does). Spring is the perfect time to clear your mind and clean your body. Detox can assist with clearing your lungs to take out excess pollen that is so prevalent in Spring.
Spring is all about preparing for the new. Detox wakes up new cells within your body. Letting go of the old to take on the new.
This is in line with even cleaning your home. We have all heard of spring cleaning. Well, detox is spring cleaning for your body which helps your mind too. At the bottom of this article, we share a link to access a free download for a 7 Day Detox. We recommend this detox for Spring & Fall.
I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Maria and she explained this in a straightforward way to understand.
Think of Spring as all new blooms. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) there are 5 elements and each element represents something specific. The Spring element is Wood. Think of it this way, in Spring there are all new blooms, new seeds breaking through the soil and little saplings following the sun to be a big tree or whatever it wants to be. It is ready to bear new fruit, new everything. So, when we detox, just like when a tree needs to grow, it has to push itself through the soil and push past things to break through. Think of your body full of blockages (like a sprout’s passage through soil) with all the winter build up and stagnation inside.
Most of us Americans, we don’t stay still, we drink more and party more during the holidays, we eat more, and we are more sedate, sitting down more. We are supposed to go within in Winter, retreating inside. Now, we are coming back out of our shells, shedding our old skin, shedding the excess weight and blockages. Now it is time to move.
The Wood element is about planning and doing, preparing for the new things in our life. You might be thinking about the new bathing suit you are going to wear in Summer or the new car you are going to buy or rent for your summer vacation. This is the time for planning new ideas. You want to do this with a clear mind and a clean body, so you have the energy to go into your Yang - moving up, out and forward; like the Sun, which is high in the sky, living its fullest expression. Spring is the Wood that feeds the Fire element (which is the heart) in Summer.
We are preparing for a time of high activities, fueling our bodies with new soil, and fresh soil (detox metaphor). The Spring Air and all the elements that are going to make us strong, ready and prepared to do what our Yang demands from us. Our super cells start to get charged. The detox is very important to make sure that when you have new blood forming, old cells being shed, and new ones being formed, you want to feed it healthy energy, so it works at its fullest vibration. Vibrational frequencies are important. The lighter we feel, the freer and more vibrant we are but if you’re eating heavy foods in the Summertime your body gets foggy and hot easily, wanting to sweat out the excess heat.
Then, you are collecting heat, which your body is holding onto because it is already accumulating internal food heat along with receiving external heat. Together, this creates a hot toxic internal soup of body heat. This can only lead your body straight to, what they call “swamp ass”, I mean excess heat. It’s not uncommon when people begin to experience sunstroke, nausea, sudden high blood pressure, pounding headaches, profuse sweating, and many other things due to this factor. When you drink too much alcohol, you get dehydrated, or you are eating things that will rob you of nutrients and vitality by eating fatty foods like cheeses, breads, and butter, particularly during summer season.
You know, the body really does not take kind pleasure in this type of excess heat and that’s why we start to grab a salad instead or perhaps even crave it! Our body naturally desires hydration and fruits bear in the Spring because it is time to eat food types that prepare you for the demands of Spring and Summer. Plus, fruits have antioxidants which help the human cells rid unwanted energy plus hold structured water to keep our body temperature at healthy hydrated homeostatic levels during extreme demands.
Fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables also have an important role in assisting internal organs to rid pollution and poisons in our foods such as processed foods or pesticides on produce, as well as added hormones and preservatives. These added elements do help us keep food safe but can overheat and/or stagnate proper energy flow that is vital to help us survive without extreme healing crises. They help your body get rid and secrete all the bad stuff.
So, however you can help your body, detoxing is one of the best ways to assist the body’s natural process of elimination. Once you clean out and detox all the heaviness, the sluggishness of the cells and you wake up new cells, you will feel invigorated, and less dense. Think of it like this, the earth is giving you nice, fresh fruits, new green plants, antioxidants, and veggies to help nourish and prepare us for the hot Summer where we can be our most alive and vibrant healthy self.
In Chinese Medicine, a pathogen can be anything the wind blows your way. A pathogen does not refer to cancer which is caused by years of a buildup of toxins. It’s about eating the wrong things during the wrong seasons or not doing the same things in the right seasons, like the right types of exercises. Sometimes we overdo exercising in the Winter time when we are supposed to be resting. There is a reason and season for everything. When we are talking about our detox, we are letting go of the old to be prepared to take on the new. The new also brings irritants sometimes. Some people are not genetically prepared for it and a lot of times our bodies are not being properly prepared for the seasons. Like the saying, April showers bring May flowers. The wind roars when March comes in. That is because the earth is pollinating, it’s shaking up all the trees, getting it ready for things to blossom and pollinate.
Things are pollinating and our lungs are taking this in, which is good (think of using flowers, honey, and essential oils as a natural defense for allergy season). Essential oils can prepare you for these external pathogens. When you detox, you are going to detox not only your gut, but you are also helping your five major organs: liver, heart, kidneys, and GI tract (large intestines, stomach and spleen) and lungs. These organs do most of the work. There are also a lot of assistant organs like your pancreas, gallbladder, and appendix (which help keep good flora in your gut). We have two kidneys because it is a major filtering system and plays a role in eliminating salt, metals, and all the fluids we take. Everything is structured in water, particularly in fruits and vegetables, so this is the most important time to eat them.
Let’s speak into the importance of Structured water which hydrates 60% intracellularly, and 40% extracellularly. Most of us are drinking dead chlorinated water that just passes through our body. It’s know wonder why Many people say they are drinking lots of water, but it just gets peed right out of their body. Why is this?
Your intra- cells are not drinking it that’s why. It does not recognize it as structured living water. Fruits and vegetables primarily consist of hydrated live structured water best for all living cells especially for your organs. Which, by the way, love it and need it for optimal detoxification processing.
And, You poop better too.
Here is a little more information to add to what you have learned so far and educate yourself with some helpful tips:
DID YOU KNOW? Your body loves structured water. What is that? Structured water is water naturally found in fruits and veggies, such as watermelon, celery, cucumber, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, carrots, cabbage, grapefruit, to name a few. Your liver loves that kind of water. It gives you nutrients that drinking water does not. Also, if you are drinking a lot and still feeling thirsty it might be that your body is craving structured water. Structured water is absorbed more slowly and can stay in your body longer which is why it is a major source of water and hydration. It is found in nature as well, such as untouched mountain springs, streams, glacier melts, water running over rocks and the like.
Spring is the right time to detox your body because it will support your liver health. We are going to talk about your liver a lot because it is a very important organ in TCM. In Chinese Medicine, your liver regulates your Qi or life force, blood going to your organs (especially your digestive tract) and helps the flow of energy throughout your body. It reduces inflammation, breaks down drugs, and detoxifies chemicals in your body. Your energy needs to flow freely otherwise it causes imbalances and can lead to many health issues and cause sleep issues. Our livers get rid of what we don’t need. You can think of it like the processing unit of our bodies, much like the CPU (central processing unit) of a computer.
Your liver likes sour things and green foods. Healthy greens nourish the blood, store nutrients and help your liver’s energy. It is also responsible for the regulation of emotions. It nourishes and stores your blood.
As you can see, the liver is a particularly important organ. Incidentally, the liver helps your eyes too by maintaining your vision - literally and figuratively.
Check out this blog post, Preparing for Fall Detox. It contains an excellent 7 Day Detox. You can download the PDF (for FREE here!). I have done this detox myself. It is a wonderful aid to detoxifying your body and certainly helps clear your mind as well. It is nice to focus on the detox and dedicate yourself to something different for a week. You feel so good when it is done!
Listen to this audio clip from Dr. Maria to get you started with this detox program:
May you feel inspired to try this or to do it again. Your body will thank you.
Side Note: You can help your pets live their best lives by doing a little detox for them too. You must research this or consult your veterinarian first but there are many fruits and vegetables you can incorporate into their diet too. It helps them in the same ways it helps us. Wheatgrass is a great example of a good detox food for your cats and dogs. It is something to do together! 😊
In fact, invite your family and friends to join too! This is a wonderful way to encourage you to all stay on track and support each other during the process. You got this!
Additional Resource: This article is a great starting point for learning about The 5 Tastes in Chinese Medicine and it is a nice companion piece to this article.
Images courtesy of rawpixel.
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