Detox, Cleanse or Fast? A question for Michael Guida, instructor at The Wellspring School
We are looking forward to kicking the New Year off with the weekend workshop, Wholistic Self-Care & Cleanses on January 6th & 7th, 2018. In addition to a robust review of various cleanse and detox protocols, the class also covers a vast array of natural self-care techniques including sinus, oral, feminine, nasal, natural bug repellant and much more!
Cleansing, fasting and detoxing have become ubiquitous terms in the realm of self-care. The numerous protocols and opinions on “if/when/how” to implement can be really confusing to anyone. We asked Michael to give a brief overview of his perspective on this. Below what he had to say.
Are Detoxing, Cleansing, and Fasting protocols right for you…right now?
by Michael Guida, Certified Amma Therapist, Diplomate Asian Bodywork Therapy (NCCAOM), Certified Wholistic Nutritionist, Licensed Massage Therapist (#19016), Certified T’ai Chi Instructor, Certified Triathlon Coach
This is a big question. In fact even defining the question is a big topic as different people have varying ideas of what it means to Detox, Cleanse or Fast (DCF). I wont try to tackle the similarities and differences here in this article, I really want to more dive into the overarching philosophy of DCF and when it may be appropriate and helpful for an individual and when it may actually do more harm.
Loosely speaking these protocols have some common aims which are to unburden the body from toxins it has inundated from the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. And afterward, prepare the body to be able to deal better with the toxins that we are exposed to. They can also help people with weak digestion, by eating much more simply (or not at all) so the digestive energies can recharge. And they can also be a great way of isolating specific food that the person may be sensitive to.
Usually, people embark on a DCF protocol if they want to “clean house” and start fresh after months or years of indulgent lifestyles, or just the simple fact that we live in an environment with many toxins. Others if they have a health condition that would benefit from a cleaner system, and some use these protocols more as part of a preventative lifestyle. In all of these instances there are certain guidelines that are important to be aware of, as doing a DCF protocol that is not suited for you can actually weaken the body more and lead to more health problems.
They should definitely not be taken lightly, and often it is a good idea, especially the first time, to consult with a healthcare practitioner that can help determine what protocol is best for you, and then be there for you to answer any questions and troubleshoot problems that come up as you go through it. If possible, I sometimes like to recommend that people try to find a partner or a group to go through it together for support. Their protocols might be different and even the duration may be different, but it is still a nice way to approach it and have someone to vent your experiences with.
Some things to consider before beginning:
What season is it?
Often a goal of a DCF protocol it to cleanse the body and move out toxins that may have been stored in the tissues. This is best done in seasons where we naturally are more active, and are in an “outward” phase. Though some experts say that you can do a DCF protocol anytime, it is my belief, and based in the principals of Chinese Medicine, that that is not necessarily completely true. In the autumn and winter, it is a time in nature when things are moving inwards and more towards conservation. And in the springtime and the summertime it is a time in nature where things are moving upwards and outwards. That is not to say that we shouldn’t do anything in the way of cleansing our bodies in the wintertime, but it has to be done with much care and understanding.
What is your general health currently like?
This is sometimes a tricky one to self assess and another reason why it is a good idea to work with someone who has experience with administering these types of protocols. A major goal is to not make yourself weaker upon completing a DCF protocol. So you may have a protocol you would like to follow, but it may be in your best interest to modify it by making it shorter, or adding some foods or practices that will not further deplete your body, but will still be greatly beneficial.
How much time do you have to dedicate to a DCF protocol?
Another thing to take into consideration when setting out, are to give a real honest evaluation of how much time you have each day during the protocol, as there is some food prep and often additional protocols like Dry Brushing, Enemas, Sauna, Wheatgrass Juice, etc that take time to administer as well. In addition, figuring out how many days or weeks you can dedicate is another important thing to figure out before you start. Things to consider are if you will be traveling, are there holidays coming up, is there a special event like a wedding happening. These are all things that make it harder to stay on a DCF protocol, and so it may be in your best interest so schedule it at a time where these are not a factor. All aspects can be augmented to suit the individual person’s needs and schedule, but it is not as simple as cutting it short or adding and subtracting items at random.
Is your household on board?
Doing a DCF protocol is definitely easier when the people in your household are on board and have a bit of an understanding of what you will be going through. If you have a family, this can be an extra challenge if you are the only one doing it, and especially if you are a main caregiver in your home. These things get much easier with a discussion way beforehand, as you may have less time for them, and you may not be able to prepare their meals for them. There are easy ways to plan ahead for this, but it is for sure a reason that some pre-planning needs to happen before you begin.
There are other considerations before choosing, starting, and succeeding, but these are the main ones to consider.
To learn more about detoxing, cleansing and fasting, all of the additional protocols mentioned above, as well as other natural self-care techniques such as oil pulling, breathing exercise, eye exercises, neti pot, douching, joint opening exercises and many, many more, join Michael in January!
Wholistic Self-Care And Cleanses
January 6th & 7th, 2018
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am-5:30pm (both days)