Body Cleansing for the Spring
By Stephanie Coogan, L.Ac
Spring has sprung! And with that comes the desire to clean out toxins of winter that build up and accumulate in our bodies. This is a great time to re-evaluate your health goals for the year as this represents the time of growth and new beginnings; a time to plant seeds and nurture the body. Spring marks the period where the body’s yang energy rises up, allowing us to get in touch with a stronger sense of energy and strength. Embrace this and move forward with a healthy start.
In Chinese medicine, spring corresponds with the liver, our main detoxifying organ in the body. This is the most harmonious time for fasting and cleansing, focusing on foods that nourish and detoxify the liver. When planning your seasonal transition, choose fresh young vegetables, early spring herbs and stay away from heavy casseroles and roasted meats. The idea of moving from winter to spring should be about moving to a lighter diet with plenty of fresh vegetables to cleanse the body from the heavy roasted foods of winter. You will notice that as you do this, your body craves less and your energy begins to shift. Here is a quick easy detox plan that is simple to follow.
1. LIGHTEN UP Eating whole grains, steamed vegetables and a small portion of fruit for 3-5 days can help the body eliminate the build up from winter. Avoid late meals and allow the body to have a mini-fast over night for 12 hours.
2. EXFOLIATE Using a dry brush, sugar or salt scrub can help with internal circulation while detoxifying the body on the surface as you scrub away dead cells, leaving the skin feeling refreshed.
3. TAKE DETOXIFYING HERBAL BATHS Sea salts, Epsom salts and herbs like green tea, licorice, dandelion, honeysuckle, and violets can soothe the skin and heal inflamed areas, while providing a relaxing atmosphere as you cleanse inside and out.
4. DRINK HERBAL TEAS/PURE WATER Pure water with lemon and herbal teas like chamomile, dandelion, and peppermint help to flush the body of toxins, while soothing the liver at the same time.
5. STRETCH Twisting and opening up the ribs helps to stimulate and massage the internal organs, while activating the clearing action of the liver.
6. MEDITATE Cleansing should be a holistic process for the body and mind. Sit quietly for 3-5 minutes each morning scanning your body. Notice where you hold tension and breathe into it.