The Spring Equinox - A time to cleanse
By George Rundle, Mar 1 2015 06:41PM
Spring is definitely on its way. The days are starting to get lighter, the bulbs planted last Autumn are beginning to surface and the dawn chorus is sounding more chirpy and cheerful. The challenging cold, dark days of winter are certainly behind us as the promise of longer and hopefully warmer days are on the horizon.
The Spring Equinox, which this year is on Friday 20th March at 22.45pm, signals the start of gradually increasing hours of daylight. The actual moment of the equinox provides us with equal hours of light and dark, or day and night, and occurs when the sun is at right angles to the equator. This also coincides with a massive shift in energy which affects us all. During the winter period, the energy travels up our back and down our front but at the equinox, this energy 'flips' and reverses so that the energy now travels up our front and down our backs. The heavy, contracted feeling connected with the winter energy is now replaced with a much lighter, more expansive energy and this increases as we progress further into the height of Summer.
This huge energetic shift also causes detoxification to take place in our bodies at a cellular level and so it is an excellent time to take advantage of this by lightening the load on our bodies physically, mentally and emotionally. The influence of the equinox is heightened at the moment it takes place but it can also affect us in the few weeks leading up to and after its occurence. A gentle cleanse during this time can be very powerful in that it allows us to match the rhythms of our body with the natural energy rhythms of the season and ultimately the universe. This creates movement instead of stagnancy in the body and in doing so, optimises health and wellbeing.
Below are some ways in which you can start to gently cleanse and detoxify your cells whilst supporting your body through the Spring Equinox period.
1) A well hydrated body is a key part of wellness so drinking water, ideally filtered, throughout the day will help any toxic release from the cells to keep moving its way out of the body as well as supporting hydration. Take a glass of water to bed with you so that the first thing you put into your body on waking is water. Your body will thank you for it!
2) A cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice in the morning before breakfast helps to alkalise the cells and stimulate the liver: the liver being the main organ of detoxification.
3) Choose lighter, less challenging foods for the system so that the body doesn't have to work so hard to detoxify. It might be a good time to reduce animal foods which are heavier on our systems and also generally acid forming in the body in favour of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes. Aim for seasonal foods.
4) Try consuming juices made mostly from vegetables with a piece of fruit if you need to sweeten. Carrot, apple and fresh root ginger with a squeeze of lemon juice is a classic and a great invigorator. A green juice of kale, broccolli, celery, cucumber, pear, ginger and lime juice would be a great cleanser and alkaliser. Experiment with different veggies and a few fruits and notice how your body responds to these nutrient laden cocktails.
5) It might be a good time to reduce the amount of wheat and gluten based grains as well as dairy. These can be challenging for the digestive system so try replacing with short grain brown rice (a fantastic hydrator and cleanser), millet grains, buckwheat and quinoa, a seed which provides all the essential amino acids and is therefore a great alternative protein food. Maybe try goats or sheeps dairy products if you want to include some dairy. Try almond or coconut milk instead of cow's milk.
6) Buy yourself a soft bristle body brush and dry brush your whole body first thing in the morning before you shower. Body brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which sits just below the surface of the skin and helps to carry waste and toxins from the cells to the liver via the blood. Brush upwards from the feet, up over the legs and torso and up the arms towards the heart. Brush down towards the heart from the neck and shoulders.
7) Aim to avoid alcohol and all processed, sugary and 'white' foods which have little if any nutritional value and will be detrimental during any detoxification period.
8) Try replacing your caffeine containing coffee or tea with a caffeine free herbal or rooibush (redbush) tea. Caffeine can stimulate the adrenal glands to produce cortisol which can encourage the blood sugar to yoyo leading to tiredness and fatigue. They also produce adrenalin which stimulates the nervous system and prepares our body for the 'fight or flight response'. Constantly stimulated adrenals results in adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.
9) Breath work can be a very useful tool in calming the body, improving its oxygenation and therefore assisting with detoxification. Focused breathing combined with movement such as yoga or pilates helps to shift any stagnancy. Meditation, be it guided or just focusing on your breath with your eyes closed for a few minutes can also be of great benefit both physically and mentally.
10) And finally, go for long walks and get outside in the sunshine to feel rejuvenated and alive. Become aware of your surroundings and appreciate the beauty in nature everyday. It will lift your spirits!
Begin any detoxification programme gently, making gradual changes so that your body can move with the pace of cellular cleansing. This is important to avoid a fast release of cellular toxins which may not be eliminated from the body at the same rate. Take your time and continue to observe and notice how your body feels along the way. It is a good idea to keep a little journal or notepad to jot down your thoughts.
If you would like to explore this area further or you have any specific health issues you would llike to address, then please do contact me for a natural nutrition consultation and a bespoke nutritional and lifestyle programme.
Happy Spring Equinox everyone!!