There are many cleanses out there and many ways to cleanse. How do you know which cleanse is a good cleanse, how do you know if the person telling you to cleanse is qualified, how do you know the cleanse they are recommending is the right cleanse for you? Cleansing the body is an art. If you do it carelessly you can cause damage, sometimes lasting.
There are many schools of thought on cleansing and healing. In my lineage we acknowledge three basic traditions of healing- the scientific, heroic and wise woman traditions. These three traditions have very different approaches to healing. (Traditions of healing)
I offer three cleanses. Please contact me for a consult to see which cleanse is best for you and how long you should do the cleanse to meet your goals.
Why do a cleanse?
• Toxins- environmental, chemical, negative thoughts and emotions. When we are in a negative state of mind, this negativity creates an acidic environment; dis-ease thrives in acidic environments.
• Toxins can drain the body of energy and lower the immune system making you more susceptible to dis-ease, causing the body to work harder to eliminate or process the toxins.
• Poor eating habits, poor digestion, fatigue, flatulence, addiction, bloating, allergic reactions, food allergies, emotional imbalance, acne, weight gain, fertility concerns, dis-ease pathology & symptomology.
Can cleansing be harmful?
Yes, absolutely. Many of the herbs and formulas that are used in most cleansing programs are cold and dry and can be harmful to the body, especially if used inappropriately.
Many people believe they have candida or parasites, but don’t know for sure. Wouldn’t you want to know your ailment for sure, before you take the appropriate medicine? Would you take the prescription for something that you thought you had, or would you want to be sure you had the dis-ease before you took the medicine?
Many cleanses use addictive or habit forming laxatives and stimulants and or fillers such as bentonite clay and aloe vera juice. Bentonite clay is heavy in aluminum and is dehydrating to the colon. Aloe is a wonderful plant especially if you have an ulcer or if it is used in small doses. It is a strong intestinal stimulant and is very cold in temperature.
Herbs like pau d’arco and black walnut hull are also often used in cleanses – these herbs are specific for parasites, fungus and worms and should only be used as indicated. Unless you know for a fact that you have worms, parasites or fungus you should avoid these types of cleanses, they are cold and dry and can offset your body’s constitution.
Many days of fasting – The Master Cleanse is a great example of a popular cleanse that many people do. You may feel good on this type of “cleanse” -yet, it has harmful side effects. It is Vata provoking which means it brings Vata to an unbalanced place – makes you ungrounded, spacey, dry, which makes us feel high, which in turn makes us think we feel great, however this is very depleting to the body. It also spikes the blood sugar and is not actually cleansing or detoxifying. These types of cleanses go in the category of the Heroic tradition.
Why starving yourself is not a cleanse
Our earths soils are depleted of minerals and nutrients, the foods we eat don’t have all of the vitamins and nutrients we need any more. We are all mineral and nutrient depleted. Fasting and heroic methods of cleansing don’t give us the nutrients we are missing; in fact it starves the body leading to more depletion, and more malnutrition.
What to consider when looking for a cleanse?
It seems as though cleanses are offered by anyone and everyone these days, there are books and videos and online cleanses. Know whom is leading the cleanse, What is their education and experience? Are they a health expert? Are they a Clinical Herbalist and or a Clinical Nutritionist? How long have they been leading cleanses?
Then look at what tradition of healing do they coming from? This will help you to determine if they are a good match for you and your health goals.
If there are herbal formulas involved, I suggest consulting a qualified herbalist. Many herbs used in cleansing can be stripping and harmful to your systems. Look at the quality of the products. Who makes them? Who formulated them? Are they filled with preservatives? How long have they sat on the shelf? Are they in plastic bottles or glass?
What to look for in a well balanced cleanse and questions to ask:
• Quality of products – Quality of herbs (organic, ethically wild crafted, and how they are processed)
• How long has it been sitting on the shelf?
• Does it contain preservatives?
• What is the intention behind the formulas? What are they selling? (health or that you have parasites.)
• Is the emotional body supported for the duration of the cleanse (essential oils, flower essences, self care practices)
• Make sure there are NO addictive laxatives, NO CLAY of any kind. Clay is often used in detox programs, it can be harmful and is very dehydrating to the colon.
• Promotes eating food! Not Starving!
• If the cleanse suggests juicing, do that they recommend watering the juices down, or fasting, or just drinking juices or green drinks? You want to eat food and fibrous foods or drinks to help the body detox. You want to avoid fasting unless you are working with a qualified health care practitioner. You need to be mindful of your blood sugar and drinking only liquid sweet beverages for days can be harmful and actually make your body work harder.
• Promotes the elimination of preservatives, sugars, refined foods, bad oils and non-organic foods
• Mindful of the place you live, and the seasons
My Holistic Approach
My approach honors where you are in your health/healing and supports through nourishment and love, accepting you for yourself as you are. Eat healthy foods, supplementing with minerals, vitamins and super foods when needed and drinking nourishing herbal teas and formulas to support the body’s natural cleansing processes.
I use the highest quality organic, ethically wild crafted cleansing products for internal use and provide the support that is needed to cleanse in a gentle and effective way. The intention behind these cleansing programs is to provide helpful guidance to achieve optimal health and promote nourishment to your body on a deep, profound level. My cleanse programs are influenced by the Wise Woman tradition, Ayurvedic principles and are informed by my education as a Health Mentor, Cleansing Expert, Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Clinical Herbalist. I offer three different holistic supportive cleansing programs tailored to each individual needs. Each of my cleanses works in a phasing system.
I think it best to determine how long you would like to cleanse for, what your intentions are for the cleanse and begin to structure your cleanse to fit your needs.
- Phase One: Elimination, this is where you make a list of habits and foods you would like to eliminate from your diet and life, then you gradually begin to eliminate over the course of a week or two (you determine how long you do this phase.)
- Phase Two: Implementation, this is the detoxification, nourishing and rebuilding portion of the cleanse. In this phase you will continue to avoid the foods and habits that you eliminated in phase one and now you begin with the implementation. You may take high quality herbal supplements to support the detoxification process and begin to implement healthy lifestyle habits and eat delicious healthy foods.
- Phase Three: Reintroduction, this potion of the cleanse is where you gradually begin to implement the foods or habits that you want to bring back into your life. In this phase you may want to pay attention to how the re-introduced foods and habits make you feel, both physically and emotionally.
What to remember during a cleanse
- When cleansing it is important to remember that you are setting time aside to give your body a rest from your normal routine and eating habits.
- Be gentle with yourself during this time.
- Drink plenty of pure water
- Eat Food! Whole, organic unprocessed foods
- Eat when you are hungry!
For more info and a sample cleanse visit: my blog post seasonal cleansing + mini cleanse