A Brief History of Cleansing
For ten thousand years-all of recorded history-humans all over the world have performed regular detoxification (body/mind cleansing) programs, which have helped maximize their health. Now, in the past 160 years, since the Industrial Revolution, more than 100,000 chemical compounds have been introduced. This has had a dramatic effect on our health yet, in Western cultures, people generally don’t cleanse body and mind, giving free reign for these toxins to wreak havoc on us and our children.
Why should I detox?
Our liver is responsible for eliminating anything from within the body that doesn’t belong there. But, with the level of toxins that we’re exposed to in the 21st Century–via food, water, body care products, building supplies, everything we come in contact with and breathe in–the liver gets overwhelmed and simply can’t keep up.
What the liver can’t handle gets stored in our cells, organs and tissues, leading to disease, autoimmune conditions, chronic pain and discomfort. We just consider it “normal” or part of “aging.” But, regular cleansing of our organs, cells and tissues helps alleviate the symptoms associated with disease and chronic pain, allowing for rejuvenation and optimal health.
Whether we’re addressing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, autism, ADD/ADHD-or we’re talking about more physical concerns like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis-a quality spring and fall cleanse can make all the difference in whether we are profoundly affected by these conditions or we thrive in the face of them!
Many people hear the words detox, detoxification or cleansing, and think that it’s going to be uncomfortable or that they need to be seconds away from a bathroom. If that’s the case, it’s not a healthy or safe cleanse. What we’re discussing here is a cleanse that opens the Seven Channels of Elimination (the liver, lungs, blood, skin, lymphatic system, kidneys and colon) so that our body can release toxins safely and completely, which means that we don’t have to deal with them again and again. A less safe cleanse might mean that the body releases these toxins and chemical compounds from our organs, cells and tissues, but does not eliminate them from the body, causing them to end up in new or different locations which are often less safe than where the liver originally stored them, providing a short-term benefit but with long-term harm.
How do I get started?
There are three important first steps to get started cleansing and improving your health. The first is to drink enough water every day. Ideally, we should drink half our body weight of good, clean, fresh, pure water every day: for a 150-pound person, that means drinking 75 ounces of water every day. If you’re not sure that you’re meeting this goal, and most people are not, you can measure your water intake for a few days and increase it as necessary.
The second step involves quieting your mind. Make it a habit and engage in an activity that you enjoy at least several times a week-daily is even better. This can look like sitting with your legs crossed while meditating, but it can also be accomplished with things like singing, yoga, deep breathing, focused exercise, walking the dog, petting the cat, brushing the hair of a senior citizen, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or anything that takes your mind off of “the daily grind” and gives it a rest.
Lastly, it is important to consume a quality turmeric product daily up to and during the cleansing period. Turmeric is the number one herb, supported by scientific research, for reducing excess inflammation and detoxifying the liver. If you add turmeric to your food, or take it in tea form, be sure to purchase a good organic, fresh or dry powdered turmeric for optimal benefits. If you choose to take it in supplement form, get an organically grown turmeric product or one that is considered full-spectrum–in other words, not a product that is 95% curcumin or mixed curcuminoids.
Regardless of what health condition or conditions you are dealing with, beginning with these three important first steps, you will likely already start to feel health benefits. When you’re ready to take the next steps toward vibrant health and optimal well-being, check back in for more information about proper cleansing or schedule a personal consultation.
About the Author
Cindy Hebbard, Master Herbalist, Wellness Educator and Health Coach, has practiced herbalism and using food as medicine for most of her life. Cindy healed herself 20 years ago from JRA (childhood onset arthritis), eczema, fibromyalgia, digestive troubles and severe chemical sensitivity using healing foods and herbal remedies. She has put her deep exploration of the healing arts to work by teaching people how they can heal themselves from conditions including chronic Lyme, autism, ADD, severe chronic pain, digestive, liver, skin, or sleep complaints, cancer, Alzheimer’s, mental health conditions, and a wide variety of degenerative disease and chronic auto-immune afflictions.
Cindy provides comprehensive Herbal Wellness Consultations, a hands-on Herbal Wisdom Internship, private and group cooking workshops, introductory talks, healing retreats, product development consulting, and more. She offers her services in person in the Greater Boston area and Brattleboro, VT, and by Skype or phone throughout the world. She is a frequent speaker at the annual Herbstalk conference, as well as a holistic practitioner panelist at several events throughout New England. Learn more by visiting her website at www.wisdomofhealing.com.