Our Free Talk on April 13th may have been a typical Canadian Spring day—wet and dreary. But the atmosphere in the Clinic reception area was anything but damp.
Ask for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation next time you are at the Clinic.
What is cleansing?
Simply, it is adopting healthy practices into our lifestyle; giving our bodies a break from everyday insults so that it can function more efficiently and its job. By putting healthy, quality foods into our bodies we give it the nutrients it needs, Cleansing means clearing out the toxins and bringing in the nutrients.
What cleansing is NOT:
It is not a water or juice fast or a starvation “diet”. Nor is is a process where you have to feel worse to get better.
Because taking the burden off our detoxification organs can lead to improved digestion, improved memory and mental function, more restful sleep and alertness while awake, improved energy, reduced allergy symptoms, improved complexion, an easier period and menopause, improved breathing and fewer aches and pains.
How do you know if you should do a cleanse?
A cleanse is helpful Spring and Fall is you have trouble getting out of bed, have low moods, digestive upsets, low energy, lack of appetite, food cravings or low sex drive, high blood pressure, or low immune function.
Cleanses are personal. Your best bet for success is to get professional direction from an experienced natural health practitioner. You can call the clinic for more information or to get a personal cleansing program: 613-839-1198.
Cleansing Q&A with Kealy Mann, ND
Question: I notice that you don’t give specifics about cleansing — I assume you leave it open because everyone is different, and they should see a professional at the clinic to have a cleanse made specifically for them? But how long does a cleanse usually last? And what about all of the over-the-counter “cleanse” products you can get at health food stores — are they recommended?
Kealy: I don’t typically recommend store bought cleansing programs because there are so many and we can’t possibly know what a person is buying. Some of them have fairly strong herbs that cannot be used long-term (ie, dangerous), some may be simply ineffective.
I don’t use a lot of products when I put someone on a ‘cleanse’, for me it’s about having a clean diet and lifestyle and perhaps a few herbs if needed (which would depend on the person’s usual lifestyle and diet.) I usually have people do a cleanse for a few weeks (a month is ideal), and then they can keep going with any of the changes they liked doing.
Often times people will adopt a few of the cleanse tips into their everyday life afterwards. I didn’t put specifics in because as we talked about earlier, we can’t really give prescriptions to people without a thorough assessment first. I can recommend a recipe of a ‘green smoothie’ from a detox book I have, it gives you an idea of things you can add to your diet (see below).
Q: What do “skin brushing” and “castor oil packs” contribute to the cleansing process?
Kealy: Skin brushing serves to get the lymphatic system moving which helps the detox process. Castor oil increases circulation and also decreases inflammation, both are generally health promoting even for those who don’t have many specific symptoms.
Q: What is lymph?
Kealy: Basically it is a fluid that runs throughout a network of capillaries in the body and through the lymph nodes. It has white blood cells and it picks up bacteria, fats and cellular waste, then carries them to the to liver to be removed from the body. There is no pump in the lymph system like the heart functions in the circulatory system, so we have to move and exercise in order to ‘pump’ the fluid. Some massage therapists are also trained in a special type of lymphatic drainage massage.
Q: Why do we cleanse in the spring and fall?
Kealy: In Chinese medicine spring is the time when the functioning of the liver is at its weakest, making it the best time to assist in this organs healing.
Q: You mention xylitol in your talk. Is xylitol another word for stevia?
Kealy: Xylitol is another form of sugar, not the same thing. It is a sugar alcohol and derived from a herb. I believe xylitol is less bitter and there are some studies showing that it can prevent the bacteria that form cavities.
(editor’s note: There’s a lot on the web about both herbs, here’s a bit about Stevia from Wikipediia: “Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet tasting leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.”)
Glowing Green Smoothie
(Kimberly Snyder, Clinical Nutritionist, from the book ‘The Beauty Detox Solution’)
1 1/2 cups water
1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 of large bunch of organic spinach (or 3/4 of small bunch)
3-4 stalks organic celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1 organic banana
Juice of 1/2 organic lemon
Optional: 1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems okay), 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems okay)
- Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender.
- Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth.
- Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple, and pear.
- Add the cilantro and parsley if you choose. Fresh herbs, like cilantro and parsley, have cleansing properties that help extract heavy metals and other toxins from the body.
- Add the banana and lemon juice last.
- This recipe produces about 60 ounces. Kimberly recommends that a woman drink about 16-25 ounces every morning. You can store the rest of the liquid for a day or portion it out and freeze.
(There are rare conditions (hypercalcuria) where a person should not consume oxalates (which are found in leafy greens, not including lettuces). A more common reason to avoid oxalates would be in someone with a history of kidney stone formation as kidney stones can often be formed by oxalates. If there is a concern about oxalates, then you could simply remove the spinach from this recipe and add more lettuce.)