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Spring Cleaning!

More of Nature is showing herself through the Spring season and energy of the Wood Element. Many people are experiencing major shifts in their life right now… as Nature opens its seeds and pushes through the ground to share it’s newfound glory, as should we! One of the best ways to kickoff or enhance these processes is to cleanse our body/mind/spirit of unwanted “funk”.

As mentioned in my last post, the meridians responsible for all the functions of the Wood Element in the human body are the Liver and Gallbladder meridians. I’d like to take a moment to focus on one aspect, and that is detoxification. So I’m sure many of you know that this is a chief role carried out by these Officials on a physiological level, and many people choose this time of year to do a “cleanse” or “detox”.

Detox regimens can really vary. On the extreme end, there is the Master Cleanser, essentially the only nourishment that you take in is a lemonade concoction made from lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water, six to twelve glasses per day for a minimum of 10 days (you can Google “Master Cleanser” for more details). I don’t recommend this as a first-time cleanse option. On the other end of the spectrum, you can simply take two weeks to eat only organic, whole grain foods, cutting out sugar/caffeine/alcohol, minimize meat and dairy, and only drink water or herbal teas. For something in the middle, I did a 10-day cleanse last year and it was great.

Here’s the schedule:

Day 1 – fruit, raw or cooked vegetables, whole grains, half your body weight in water Day 2 – fruit, raw or cooked vegetables, half your body weight in water Day 3 – vegetable or diluted fruit juice, half your body weight in water Day 4, 5, 6 – 8oz of water per hour Day 7 – same as Day 3 Day 8 – same as Day 2 Day 9 – same as Day 1 Day 10 – slowly start to incorporate beans and other proteins

Some things to keep in mind with ANY cleanse:

- Getting enough water is REALLY important – half your body-weight in ounces at a minimum

- Having a lighter schedule from both a work and emotional standpoint would be ideal

- Incorporating a fiber supplement can also facilitate the process (I like the product G.I. Gel + Fiber, from The Herbalist, here in Seattle)

- Our skin is our largest eliminative organ, so dry skin-brushing is great

- Oxidative stress is a huge player in toxins being built up in the body – I carry two products called OPC-3 and ORAC from Nutrametrix which are superior anti-oxidant supplements (you can access my Nutrametrix web portal from my Downloads-Links page)

- While a controversial topic, many people have found exploring colon-hydrotherapy as a means to detox from many things, including heavy metals – for those in Seattle, check out the Tummy Temple

- From a Chinese medicine standpoint, the strongest time for our Gallbladder and Liver meridians is from 11pm-3am, so being in bed by 11pm and allowing our body to rest can really allow these physiological and energetic processes to happen in the most efficient ways

- Keep up with or possibly add to your mind/spirit nourishing activities – meditation, qigong, tai-chi, yoga, artwork, music-playing, etc.

- Because you are going to also be detoxing the mind and spirit, its good to let people know you are doing a cleanse. Most common reactions to the body detoxifying include headaches, changes in energy levels, fluctuating emotions, and changes in bathroom activity. Sometimes having a friend or partner do it with you can be a really great option to keep you on track and supported in all the right ways. Having professional work can also be a very powerful adjunct, either through bodywork (e.g. acupuncture, massage, reiki, etc.) or exploring more mind/spirit related avenues such as going to a spiritual center or working with a counselor.

For suggestions of some practice centers and/or practitioner referrals in the area, check out my Resources page.

Finally, Spring (Wood) and Autumn (Metal) are the best times of year to not only declutter our bodies, but also our surroundings. Take some time and see what you can let go of and how you can breathe new life into your home and office. Watch the profound effect it can have on your body, mind, and spirit!

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