The Equinox - Seasonal Cleansing For The Mind, Body and Spirit
What is an Equinox exactly?
An Equinox in astronomy is that moment in time when the centre of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year.
Seasonal cleansing for the mind, body and spirit.
The Vernal (Spring) Equinox or Autumn Equinox could be the perfect time for a cathartic clear out. Tidying the cupboard under the stairs, cleaning the kitchen cabinets, throwing out all the old rubbish and recycling the better items, swapping from your summer clothes to your winter woollies.
Many people schedule a regular cleanse at the Equinox or solstice to enjoy the benefits of greater energy, improved digestion, clearer skin, weight loss and improved mood. Indeed, many naturopaths consider that the Equinox is the optimum time for a cleansing detoxification.
A quarterly cleanse can help with the elimination of toxins and tonify the kidneys, liver, lymphatic system and bowel. When these areas of the body are not functioning at their optimum, poor skin, hair, nails, bad breath and lack of energy can result. It is considered in certain spiritual circles that fasting or cleansing during the Equinox and solstice is more effective than at other times in the planetary calendar.
Why cleanse with the seasons?
The body is exposed to a large number of foreign chemicals every day. The majority are synthetic chemicals that find their way into our food, air and water. Some are consumed through medicinal drugs, or applied in our toiletries, or found in common household items and cleaning products.
Overexposure to toxic substances and an inability to properly metabolise them can negatively impact an individual’s health, producing a wide variety of symptoms such as headaches, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and allergy or flu-like symptoms.
Methods of elimination including the use of plants and specific foods, along with techniques such as fasting have been used for centuries to help facilitate better health and encourage greater vitality.
When to detox?
Cleansing, fashionably known as 'Detoxification' or 'Detox', can be carried out anytime throughout the year although some suggest the Equinox to be ideal. It is considered in certain spiritual circles that fasting or cleansing during the Equinox and solstice is more effective than at other times in the planetary calendar. Naturopath Debra Allan says: “It is believed that the Equinox affects the thickness of the blood and when the blood is thinner, albeit only slightly thinner, it is a good time to cleanse. The blood moves faster and therefore speeds the elimination of toxins.”
Frequency of detoxification also depends on dietary habits, alcohol consumption, exposure to environmental pollutants (e.g. city or rural living) and state of overall health and vitality, but quarterly is generally recommended.
What are the benefits?
By gently encouraging the removal of waste compounds, naturopaths suggest that the body is better able to carry out normal processes efficiently and can improve all-round vitality. The benefits of a seasonal cleanse are often shown in skin health, energy, digestion, weight management, libido and mood. Insufficient gastrointestinal function is recognised in naturopathy as the root of many common diseases.
What to expect during a seasonal cleanse...
You may expect some transient side-effects, which will quickly disappear as the benefits become apparent, side effects include: headaches, increased perspiration, increased breath odour, skin outbreak, increased urination & bowel movements, mild fatigue. It is ideal to set aside a weekend or three days of leisure to perform an effective cleanse.
When NOT to detox!
Avoid cleansing or detoxification during acute illness unless under supervision of a qualified practitioner. Avoid a strict cleansing programme if you have an existing medical condition or are on prescription medication, unless under the guidance of your general practitioner. Cleansing and detox are not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.
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