Crisis or not, a beautiful fresh Spring has arrived! 2021 Cleanse is as exceptionally easy as 2020 one: yet another lockdown helpfully highlighted areas of our lives which need a detox…
Forget about focusing on ‘detox’ with diet and ‘spring cleaning’ of the house; while still relevant they shifted into a background to play a supporting role. The focus this year is on more important stuff.
Ordered to stay home we naturally started thinking within the boundaries of our four walls and can’t help but notice that:
- family ties need mending,
- budget needs streamlining,
- emotions need healing,
- conflicts needs resolving,
- and relationships need to be reconsidered.
Or may be our profession.
Or even a general direction in life.
It’s easy to spring clean the house; we can even outsource it.
It’s not that easy to change your profession even if it’s long overdue.
And it’s really hard to outsource vital relationship conversations…
Good thing is that once we decide and have tools to address our foundational behavioural patterns, habits and beliefs, the cleanse in every other area of life will have much more than a temporary, marginal effect.
Tradition of Spring Cleanse
Spring Clean is a world wide and centuries old tradition of thorough cleaning of the house when warm weather arrives to let the sunshine in and freshen the space.
In Natural Health Spring is an important part of the year. Spring Cleanse – or Detox – serves as a spring board on which the rest of your year will develop.
The main idea is to decide what is important to us and keep it, simplified, streamlined and organised; and what to eliminate from our life which is no longer useful.
Just like the house spring clean we can ‘clean’ and organise the rest of our life so we can take up new ventures supported by our updated diet, habits and house.
Thinking in TCM terms, from deep inner search, contemplation, rest and dreams of Winter we are moving into concrete planning, decisive actions and eventually manifestations of the Spring. In Winter, we need nourishing food, warmth and rest; in Spring we need lighter food, air and movement.
This shift of energy is huge, the biggest of all seasonal changes.
Come Spring we intuitively feel which particular area of our life is in need of a Detox: it can be diet, wardrobe etc. The only question is if we have enough energy, resolve and tools to go for it.
What we want is not what we need
Some 15 years ago I did a diet Cleanse first time. I used ‘Liver Detox’ as an initial guide to get started. Even though I knew basic principles of ‘good food’, the clear framework helped.
I didn’t get what I hoped for from that Cleanse probably because the Liver wasn’t primary or the only thing I needed to focus on.
Yet, this experience gave me interesting results and insights on what I needed in relation to food.
I started the Cleanse with the aim of increasing energy. This was what I wanted. I did a basic broad plan; not to a tee as this was a stressful time in my life and my focus was scattered. Say I would still have a glass of wine every night but switched to veg and fish. Back then this was a big change.
I got some 5-10% of energy increase, something I could easily ignore. But!
I noticed that my craving of potatoes (mmmm….potatoes) eased off dramatically.
Wine gradually stopped tasting the same. Forever.
I thought it was a rather odd experience but speaking to people who tried diet Cleanses in more disciplined manner validated it: no matter what we want our body knows perfectly well what we need.
And it is what we need that we get from the Cleanse.
Detox is an important diagnostic tool
My first Cleanse highlighted ‘glucose metabolism’ problem and this was a clear answer for my flagging energy levels.
Next time I tried Detox, I was able to drop coffee which was a lifeline for me even since I have grown up. Meaning, adrenal function was part of the ‘energy’ problem.
I also noticed huge differences in PMT symptoms when I would have fish and veg as opposite to when I had random food. Veg+fish=no PMT was beyond amazing.
The repeat Cleanses are easier and quicker
The beauty of implementation of concept of the Cleanse is that learned and done once it re-shapes the very foundations of this particular area of life and takes you to a better level of health.
Sure you might get sidetracked with ‘life getting in the way’ but you are never really back to square 1, to your previous default patterns or habits; next time you start from the step which you learnt and mastered.
The magic of repeat cleanses is that body seems to feel ‘this is a cleanse time :)’ and each next cleanse is easier; the results are quicker and better.
Your learn how to do a Cleanse once
After my first diet Detox I didn’t have to study the subject of ‘detox diets’ ever again.
Since then I tried numerous diets which were infuriatingly conflicting.
Vegan vs Paleo,
vegan vs Metabolic Typing,
raw vs TCM (advocating cooked food);
the list is not just long – it seems to be ever increasing.
Both sides of the diet barricade would claim to be the One. And, people would get great results from any!! How do you choose which one is the One?
Seriously, infuriating. This is precisely why, having started 3 (!) nutritional colleges at the same time as Colourpuncture, I dropped them all at different stages of studying: the resulting conflict on ‘what to eat’ was too much.
Luckily, Colourpuncture healed my bewilderment 🙂
Later I realised that all diets really contained some common themes: reduce all simple carbs and high GI foods, chemicals and additives; go organic, fresh and seasonal.
Same goes for Clutter Clearing of your house.
And of any area of your life.
You learn once how to Detox a particular aspect of your life and you understand the whole thing better; you can then develop from it.
According to TCM Spring is the season of Liver.
Liver problems (of Liver energies not Liver organ itself) in TCM view stem from emotional ‘congestion’, physical inactivity and rich food among others.
Liver energy imbalances lead to eventual Liver Qi Stagnation – extremely common pattern – when the body can’t effectively manage harmonious Qi flow and distribution anymore.
Imbalanced Wood (Liver/Gall Bladder) then ‘invades’ the Earth (Stomach/Spleen) and so digestion, immunity, mental and emotional health become affected.
Many serious diseases such as heart and BP problems, strokes and cancers have their roots in long lasting Liver Qi Stagnation. Fortunately, it’s easy to address.
Balancing Liver Qi with lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and Acupuncture/Acupressure or Colourpuncture will help to stop or slow many unpleasant developments with one focused action.
Liver Qi in the lockdown
Now, the spring spent in the lockdown…
- emotional congestion, check
- physical inactivity, check
- comfort food, check.
- detox diet
- emotional detox
- physical activity.
All this supported by bold beginnings based on clarity on our next step in life gained from Winter Inventory.
Sure, in a spring cleaned house 🙂
Acupressure for Spring
There is a beautiful Acupuncture treatment which can become a focus of the season, called the Four Gates. The Four Gates (LI4 and Li3 bilateral) are easily done at home with Acupressure or/and translated into Colourpuncture.
The Four Gates is commonly used to redistribute and recirculate stagnant flow of Qi (energy).
Large Intestine 4 is located on top of the hand between the thumb and index finger. Liver 3 is located on top of the foot between the big toe and the second toe.
LI4 is used to strengthen the immune system; for pain relief; for colds; infections.
LI4 is our inbuilt adaptogen: it helps the body to balance itself out depending on current condition. Whether our immune system is over active or under active it will balance it out; ditto for digestion and other processes and systems.
LI4 is also used for treating headaches, jaw pain, toothaches and anything to do with the head and face and general inflammation.
Liver 3 is a point we use to keep things moving and circulating. TCM teaches that Liver energy tends to get “stuck” causing depression, anger, frustration, irritability, PMS, menstrual issues, headaches, and more.
Again, with time ‘common’ Liver Qi Stagnation if left unaddressed leads to development of severe health problems.
Li3 helps to unblock ‘stuck’ Liver energy, balance emotions and relax the body and mind. Consciously working on your emotional climate alongside Acupressure will direct the whole Cleanse and laser focus you on dismantling your Qi road blocks and balancing your psycho-emotional health.
LI4 and Li3 is one of most used combinations of Acupuncture. After all with our Qi free flowing and distributed properly other body processes and systems get a chance to self balance.
The Four Gates is a great beginning for cultivating relaxation, balanced immune function, calm, energy and emotional serenity.
Four Gates De Luxe
Four Gates enhanced by a strategic point on the head or belly will produce amazing emotional results.
Ren12, 6, and 4 as well as Yin Tang, Du20 and Limbic point can be combined to invite a particular extra system into the picture.
- Four Gates+Ren6/4=emotional release
- Four Gates+Yin Tang=sound sleep
Using Colourpuncture principles of a Triangle or a Diamond you can create perfect combinations engaging core points every day and add-ons depending on desired effect (please see protocols).
Colourpuncture adds depth and calm
Translating the Four Gates into Colourpuncture I’d use spectral colours when there are physical symptoms such as PMS; spectral followed after 3-4 times by Soul Spirit colours for emotional issues or obscure complaints.
Any classic Colourpuncture treatments for Liver/Gall Bladder are also good in springtime.
Detox diet: small, smart and simple
Your Simple Diet Cleanse can be Bold (starting with a ‘stricter’ plan) or Soft (gradually adapting to a ‘stricter’ plan). Neither is right or wrong; just choose what works for you depending on your personal preferences and current life situation.
There are endless creative ways to smarten up the process once the first Cleanse is mastered.
The diet is a classical great start.
Acupressure and Colourpuncture will speed things up a lot.
The interplay of meridian therapies, diet and decluttering is already big on deeper results.
Adding conscious Emotional Cleanse to the mix will make it easier, more exciting and sustainable.
After all you will get to know how your own Inner Self operates.
Last but not at all least, the dreams…
Liver Qi is a lot about emotional release and you can be certain: a lot will be released through the dreams!! Please note down your dreams for work with mental clutter clearing.
Stream of conscious writing will help tracing your emotional climate through the Cleanse and so will recording your Wins, Thanks and Joys.
Keep it simple
Probably the most important thing is to keep Spring Cleanse simple and start somewhere.
If you are new to Acupuncture just locate LI4 and LI3 and practice Acupressure; this easy to learn skill will come useful many times.
If you never tried dieting start by adding some greens; practice eating ‘good’ food first and then eat whatever you want (with time your body will tell the difference and it will be easier to stick to ‘good food’); aim to wean yourself off excessive calories: start swapping red meat for white; white meat for fish an so on.
Very important is to start reducing toxins and foods from the ‘bad’ list.
If life is currently stressful focus more on Acupressure and emotional balancing as diet detox may be harder to implement especially if this is your first time.
The Gate of Hope
I trust the flow of this beautiful time of the year will move us out of a crisis mode and into a fresh action which will be calm, creative and daring.
The Gate of Hope, Li14 (also known as Cycle Gate) is as perfect for a springtime as The Four Gates.
In Spring 2021 Liver14’s function of promoting vision, liberation and renewal feels little short of symbolic.