So you want to do a cleanse…but where to start? The simple answer is: Right where you are.
Start by taking a quick lifestyle assessment:
- Do you smoke tobacco/vape/marijuana regularly?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you drink caffeine?
- Is your added sugar intake more than 25g/day? (to put this in perspective, one 12 oz can of Cola has 39g of sugar!)
- Do you have a high stress lifestyle (i.e. long commute, high pressure job, etc.?)
- Do you experience chronic constipation, fatigue, depression, skin problems, bad breath, memory loss and/or allergies?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may benefit from doing a cleanse!
The next question is, what kind of cleanse?
- Do you experience occasional, mild pain in the liver/gallbladder region?
- Do you experience chronic constipation/irregularity?
- Do you experience occasional, mild kidney/bladder pain?
- Do you have chronic skin issues?
- Do you live with chronic fatigue/hypo or hyperthyroid/depression?
- Do you suffer from chronic congestion, difficulty breathing, or experience frequent lung infections?
Depending on your answers to these questions, we can now begin to focus our cleansing protocols on the body systems that need the most attention.
While Spring is traditionally the best time for a routine liver and gallbladder cleanse, if you believe your illnesses stem from parasites, candida, or adrenal fatigue – I believe in taking my cues directly from what the body needs!
(and, it goes without saying to consult your doc about these issues before attempting any cleanse, especially if you are anemic, pregnant, immuno-compromised, very young or very old, diabetic and if you are on multiple prescription medications)
Some general guidelines for a gentle and joyful cleanse:
- Integrate body, speech and mind in your cleansing routine. Cleansing yoga poses (especially twists and inversions), cleansing breaths (called pranayama) and special self-care for your mental/emotional cleansing should all be given import during the seven days of any cleanse.
- Pre-cleansing is vital: taking the first few days to reduce or completely eliminate your intake of drugs, alcohol, stimulants, depressants, sugar, dairy and gluten (common allergens and irritants).
- Proper post-cleansing is also essential: take at least three days after the cleanse to gently ease your body back into solid food, and even wait a week or more before returning to your “old” lifestyle…if you still desire it! You may find your nicotine and alcohol cravings vanish after a good cleanse, with the added benefit of breathing easier, having more energy, and improved digestion and sleep patterns.
In all cases, gentle is the way. This is my personal wisdom from years of trying the not-so-gentle ways, and finally feeling the toll that abuse takes on the body. Gently, please!
Happy Cleansing! Arwen