Cleansing 101: The Basics You Need To Know
We live in a world where it is nearly impossible to not accumulate toxic substances in the body. You can be eating the healthiest and most nutrient dense foods, practicing every lifestyle habit known to man and still experience toxic build-up. But there is always proactive action we can take when implementing the world’s most ancient healing system. Ayurveda, a divine science that is used primarily as a preventative system in the West, states that seasonal cleansing is perfect for optimizing digestion and, therefore, every physiological system in the body.
Most are drawn to cleanses to dramatically improve imbalances such as ulcerative colitis, skin issues, weight gain, digestive issues, female reproductive imbalances… truly anything. Personally, I have used cleanses to heal my IBS and amenorrhea and always see an appalling transformation. Experiencing regular BMs, warm deep sleeps, weight loss, glowing skin, sustainable energy, harmonious menstrual cycles, and my best digestion yet… yes, please! However, even if you do not experience any chronic conditions, seasonal cleansing may help to keep your mind, body and soul vessels optimized to prevent any disease from manifesting.
How to cleanse
There are a million and one cleanses out there, and while Ayurveda has its unique cleansing technique called a Pancha Karma, we recommend choosing the cleanse that calls to you the most. That is actually following the Ayurvedic way, because Ayurveda states that each person is so unique and needs to follow what is best for their individual mind-body-soul type. We’ve extracted the key guidelines for a successful Ayurvedic cleanse to empower you to do your own at-home experiment.
Here are the principles of a successful cleanse.
When to cleanse
The best time to cleanse is during the Spring and Fall, when we transition from one season to the next. Cleansing in the fall is specifically supportive because we are mimicking nature’s way of shedding. As leaves shed off the trees, we too begin to shed the parts of us that are no longer serving. Not only does this release physical toxins, also known as ‘ama’, in the body, but also we release the toxic buildup of emotions and stagnant energy using a holistic approach.
Most cleanses will feel like you are plunging into an arctic ice bath as you dramatically shift your diet and life from Sunday to Monday. The Ayurvedic approach says to slowly ease in and out of your cleanse so the body doesn’t go into shock mode (deplete your adrenals even more than they probably already are), and you can sustain more healthy habits post cleanse. So while committing to a three week cleanse sounds intimidating, it will actually feel more easeful.
During week one, it is best to remove trigger foods from your diet like gluten, dairy, eggs, alcohol, processed sugar, meats, or GMOs. These are just a handful of examples of what you can eliminate from your diet, which will stop your body from accumulating more toxins and sending out inflammatory responses.
In week two, we recommend seeing this as the heart of your cleanse. While keeping trigger foods out of your diet, focus on healing fruits and vegetables that have nutrient dense benefits to restore the organs in your body. We love the ‘Medical Medium’s 369 cleanse’ as an easeful approach to introduce a plant-based diet and clear out toxins from the liver. The liver is a key part in cleansing, since it consists of over 2000 bodily functions.
In week three, it is best to slowly reintegrate your normal diet. For example, you might slowly integrate trigger foods back into your diet one by one, to see how you react. If you have an inflammatory response like bloating, gas, irregular BMs, sleep or skin issues, etc., it may be fruitful to eliminate that from your diet while you heal.
There is truly no better feeling than after a cleanse. You feel light, clear, rested and full of energy! It may seem like you want to be on a cleanse always; however, that would not be sustainable for the body and would cause too much stress. So observe and reflect on one or two habits that you’ve picked up from the cleanse and commit to completely embodying those on a regular basis.
Uplevel your cleanse
Nourishing our bodies with healing foods is of the utmost importance. However, Ayurveda states that 90% of our digestion (which is the most important system of the body, since it affects all other systems) is related to ‘how’ we eat and 10% is related to ‘what’ we eat. To embody this principle, we love introducing the conscious eating habits from Ayurveda. For example, chewing your food thoroughly, eating in a peaceful environment and eating until you are 75% full can all make drastic changes in your digestion. Choosing at least one of these habits to implement in your cleanse can even transform your emotional and mental body.
This type of emotional healing happens when you bring awareness to the resistance that occurs when change is about to happen. Let’s say you focus on eating in a peaceful environment because you are drawn to the benefits of calming your nervous system to optimize your digestion. However, you constantly face the urge to multi-task during your meals. Most of us have this tendency, because we feel a certain sense of fulfillment by being constantly busy and productive.
The second we bring awareness to this habit and push through the resistance, we see the beauty in taking the time to nourish ourselves. This serves as the catalyst for our self care journey. Where else in our life can we spend more time loving and focusing on life’s simplicities? Where else are you expending more energy than you have in your tank? Can you stop and smell the roses more?
Yes, the beauty of a cleanse is not just in the physical transformation but a total spiritual experience. That is the secret ingredient in making the effects of a cleanse long-lasting. Last thing, cleanses can be challenging and are best practiced with the support of a mentor and/or support group. If you are seeking a group format cleanse, reach out to @soulfullveda on IG and we’d be happy to guide you on your journey.
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