Inner Spring Cleaning

Are you enjoying Spring? I love the milder temps, more reliable weather and a fabulous display of flowers. It’s also a great time of year to do an inner cleanse.

Debbie Ford, the American self-help author, coach and lecturer wrote: “When you take the time to cleanse your physical body of accumulated stress and toxicity, you are rewarded with increased vitality and optimal health.”

Springtime is the perfect time to do a small or large cleanse since our energy is up and we’re ready to go. Cleansing can be as simple or complicated as you care to make it.

Here are some simple cleanses you might like to try for at least three days:

  • Consume only organic, freshly homemade vegetable and fruit juices with pure water.
  • Simple Kitchori cleanse – Eat only soaked and cooked brown rice and mung beans with slight seasoning. Drink pure water.
  • Eat light/colon cleanse – Eat only fresh homemade vegetable broth, coupled with a colon cleanse.
  • Combine lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup to drink throughout the day.
  • Go online and select a cleanse that your body resonates with.

Always check with your doctor before cleansing, make careful preparations to succeed (loosen up your commitments during your cleanse), make at least one massage appointment and then jump in! After your cleanse, be nice to your tummy and colon by easing back to eating whole foods.

Benefits of cleansing are:

  • Cleanse and detox the body
  • Improve digestion
  • Help subdue cravings
  • Jumpstart weight loss
  • Simplify by taking the focus off of food
  • Enjoy better elimination, colon cleansing
  • Introspection nourishes the spirit
  • Clear the mind to encourage new ideas
  • Self-awareness helps you and those around you
  • Calm down and chill out – both mentally and physically
  • Adrenal booster! Alcohol, sugar, refined food and caffeine all contribute to adrenal fatigue.
  • Create an opportunity to meditate, breathe and/or journal

Reward yourself for a successful cleanse with a thoughtful, restorative massage. Massage is a micro-cleanse in and of itself so adding a session will enhance every aspect of your effort. Massage will comfort you and help you relax, especially if your ‘stuff’ comes up and helps move debris out of the body from both the blood and lymph system by greatly increasing circulation. Make sure you include an abdominal massage to help improve digestion and elimination

With this impressive list of health benefits, why would you not give it a try? Embrace your good health by calling me (480-720-6853) for massage support during your cleanse this Spring.

Feel Better, Stay Well. Body Dialog Massage.

 

Eastern Philosophy of Health

***This blog is based on my initial training in acupuncture and acupressure in 1991 and some research I’ve done since that time. I do not practice acupuncture. If asked, I would refer to the practitioners mentioned at the end.***
 
The Chinese have an interesting way of describing health and disease that challenges our Western minds both with its picturesque simplicity and seemingly illogical complexity.
 
The Eastern philosophy of health is based on prevention and lifestyle. A truly holistic approach is used which includes physical, emotional and spiritual aspects. In the West our health philosophy is generally based on symptomology and crisis support in a fragmented system by system approach.
 
For the Chinese there are three causes of illness: – emotional state, environment and other. Other includes diet, seasons, trauma etc. The belief is that the body will innately heal itself and constantly strive for homeostasis or balance. The longer something is imbalanced the more problems will arise, in an ever widening circle.
 
There are several basic tenets of this philosophy that I’ll quickly explain, they are: chi, meridians, yin and yang, circulation of energy and the five elements.
 
Chi & Meridians
 
Chi is life force or innate intelligence. This enters our bodies at birth through the navel and leaves the same way at death. All living things contain chi. Chi is not stable or static so it contantly fluctuates and moves around in the body.
 
Disease is then perceived as a disruption in the normal flow and condition of chi throughout the body, brought about by emotional state, environment or trauma (for example, scar tissue interrupts the flow of chi). Imbalance usually manifests first in a muscle or joint and then moves on to an organ.

Now this chi doesn’t just fly randomly around the body. In a normal person, it is channeled into and flows through pathways called meridians.Thousands of years ago, physicians and other learned men noticed that soldiers injured in battle from rocks and arrows hitting them in specific places on their body, would be healed from random diseases. Slowly then, through trial and error the meridians were mapped out. These pathways are invisible and run sometimes superficially, sometimes deeply within the body.
 
There are twelve main meridians, plus many other additional ones. The meridians are paired (one yin, one yang) and are named for the organ they relate to or where they course in the body. If we imagine the meridians as circuits full of electrical energy, then it’s easy to entertain the idea of, for example, stress overloading the circuit and popping the circuit breaker so that they (the meridians) must be reset before energy can again flow properly.
 
Yin/Yang
 
Yin and yang are the properties, elements or components of chi and affect its condition. Yin and yang can be compared to positive and negative electrical charges – they are opposing, yet very much interrelated and complimentary. All living creatures possess yin and yang characteristics and have them in varying proportions. The forces of yin and yang are constantly working upon us, inside and out. These forces are not stable or static. They fluctuate and pulsate within any particular substance or creature. Following are some of the properties of yin and yang.

Yin                               Yang
Negative                      Positive
Feminine                      Masculine
Passive                        Active
Right                            Left
Front                            Back
Inner                            Outer
Dark                             Light
Cold                             Warm
Parasympathetic          Sympathetic
Night                            Day
Chronic                         Acute
Moist                            Dry
Solid                             Hollow
Shade                          Sunlight

Circulation of Energy
 
Over a 24-hour period, chi flows continuously through the meridians like a comet or a tide. For two hours each day each meridian has a high tide of energy as it flows from one meridian to the next. Often the best time to treat a meridian or its related imbalance is during this two-hour crest, though this isn’t always possible.
 
Five Elements
 
The law of the five elements or five ‘forces’ or ‘phases’ is the study of the relationships in nature as the Chinese applied them to the dynamics of the body. The elements describe various aspects of our energy or chi. They are – metal, earth, fire, water and wood. Here are some of the properties of the five elements.
 
Metal
Autumn harvest, afternoon, sorrow, dryness, white, spicy, structure, communication.
Reduces Chi.
Earth
Indian summer, maturation, self-pity, humidity, yellow, sweet, introspection, nourishment.
Coagulates Chi.
Fire
Summer, growth, joy, high heat, red, bitter, vitality, anxiety.
Calms chi.
Water
Winter, hibernation, fear, cold, black/blue, salt, emotions, conserving resources.
Suppresses chi.
Wood
Spring, birth, anger, wind, green, sour, willpower, developing goals.
Stimulates chi.
 
Summary & Resources
 
This has been an incredibly simplified look at an incredibly complex health system. I encourage you to seek out diagrams and explanations of the meridians, yin/yang balance and the interrelationships of the five elements.
 
We have not even touched on how the doctor of eastern medicine would diagnose and treat a patient. We have several excellent doctors of chinese medicine here in Sedona and I would encourage you to check out their website and their office to get a sense of how they run their practice. Acupuncture and herbs do not work equally well for every person but I have found it helpful for different conditions and also for general health.
 
Here are my top three picks for chinese medicine practitioners in Sedona.
www.acuherbalmed.com Sig & Sarah Hauer
www.sedona-acupuncture.com Robert Abrahamson
www.acupuncturesedona.com Ahna Bridenbaugh
 
**This blog is based on my initial training in acupuncture and acupressure in 1991 and some research I’ve done since that time. I do not practice acupuncture. If asked, I would refer to those practitioners above.**

Feel Better, Stay Well. Body Dialog Massage.