Is your Juice cleanse harming you?
Feeling toxic? Naturally, your thoughts may turn to a detox or cleanse, after all everyone is talking about detoxing these days. Celebrities are doing it, your yoga studio is offering it, and you have heard countless health guru’s talk about it. So you think “why not, it can’t hurt, can it?”
There is a lot of hype behind juice cleansing.
With so much coverage online and in the media, juice cleanses are reaching mythical status as the cure all for the modern world. Yes, some people will have miraculous results with a juice cleanse, but for some people it can end up doing more harm then good. As an acupuncturist, I tend to agree with Chinese Medicine’s view on detoxing and cleansing which is: It is not right for everyone. Are you someone who has less then optimal digestion? A juice cleanse can tax the digestive fire, and harm, instead of heal digestion.
There is one time of year that is optimal for cleansing.
According to Chinese medicine springtime is when the body is receptive to cleansing. The qi of springtime is when the energy is moving up and out of the body, and that is when it is optimal to cleanse the body. When we cleanse during the colder months, it can be taxing on our digestive system, and may lead to chronic issues. That's why it's called "spring cleaning!"
We are designed to eat seasonally, live seasonally and function seasonally.
There is a reason why you have more energy in the summer, and why you want to spend that extra time in bed on a cold winter morning. The body has an intelligent biorhythm that is far wiser then we can even imagine.
What is the environment your newly detoxed body will be living in?
So you have cleansed the good cleanse and detoxed all of those toxins out…now what? Will you return to the same behaviors you were doing before? If that is the case, you now take a slightly weakened system and overload it with the same toxins that it was dealing with before. In the best-case scenario, this essentially cancels out any of the good you did by detoxing, and in the worst-case scenario, it sends the body into distress. This can potentially lead to things like a cold, digestive problems or fatigue.
Many of the toxins we deal with are not even in our food and water. The leading culprits of toxins in our bodies may be from the products we put on our skin and into our washing machines, the household cleaners we use and hiden chemicals in our environment. If we bring awarness to what is in our environment, it can go a long way to cleaning toxins from our life and body.
Cleanse programs were traditionally overseen by a health practitioner.
There are times when your body may flat out reject a cleanse or detox program, and you may experience uncomfortable side effects. The trick is to know when to keep moving forward and when to stop. However, we tend to be a culture of moving forward at any cost, even if it is harming us. Without the help of an experienced professional we could be causing more harm then good and not even know it.
Your body detoxes naturally ever second of ever day.
Unless you have a disease that limits your body’s naturally capacity to get rid of toxins, your body is working for you all the time to get rid of waste and other harmful substances in your body.
A far superior way to help the body, is to look at these 3 main areas of health:
Before you jump to a cleanse, evaluate these 3 areas of your life and see where you can support the body to create a more optimal environment. The body will naturally do everything you need to stay healthy if given the right environment.
Try taking an approach of detoxing for the long run with these 8 steps:
1. Eat as healthy diet as you can manage, while constantly working towards a better diet, therefore a better state of health.
2. Exercise! Get your groove on, zen-out, H.I.T the gym. The only way we can reach an optimal state of health is with some form of exercise in our lives.
3. Practice forgiveness to ease emotional tension and stress.
4. Deeply listen to the signals of the body and honor each message your body tells you.
5. Do that thing you keep saying you should be doing. Ie…I should be getting more sleep, I should be doing yoga, I should be drinking more water. Chances are this is your body’s message to you on how to improve your health.
6. Change as many of your products as you can to fragrance free and as natural as possible, without man-made chemicals.
7. Get out in nature.
8. And if you still can’t live without the thought of detoxing, try a coffee enema 1x a month or a few times per year. It is a sure fire way to jump-start the liver and rid the body of accumulated toxins.