Dearest Veggie Lovers: This is an article written by Nicola, a lovely new addition to the Raw Girl team. I think this is an important topic to discuss. If you’ve ever done a cleanse you should know all about healing crises. If you have not, I recommend you read this article and also check out a past post on How to Conduct a Stress-Free Fast to give you tips on minimizing intense reactions during cleansing. Hope you enjoy it, summer is here and it’s a great season to eat light and cleanse. Happy detoxing! -XoXo Raw Girl
Detoxification is a sacred practice which has been used by many people all over the world since the dawn of time. From a 10 day juice fast to 10 day water fast with cayenne pepper, lemon, and maple syrup (master cleanse) , to a 100% raw foods diet, cleansing is dynamic and diverse in its methods. Taking the time and exercising the discipline needed to cleanse can be a wildly rewarding experience for anyone willing to take on the challenge and can sometimes offer major spiritual transformation and discovery.
This article is not geared towards convincing you to embark on a fast or adopt a particular eating habit. This is intended as a tool for those who have taken up the challenge of cleansing and may have had trouble seeing it through. Or you may just be ready to take it to the next level. In all modes of detoxification, the cleanser will experience what is called a healing crisis. A healing crisis can be described as a variety of symptoms from migraines, irritable moods, intense cravings, strong emotional outbursts, reliving unpleasant memories, skin breakouts, frequent trips to the bathroom, etc. For many, this part of cleansing is a roadblock, because they may not be emotionally ready to deal with the many feelings that arise during this part of the cleansing process. This however, is a very important part of the process of purification and a great opportunity to bravely face many of the challenges that are buried deep within.
What is taking place physiologically, is the body, efficient organism that it is, is taking full advantage of its fasting state and quickly dumping toxins that have been tucked away in the cells into the blood stream for excretion. These toxins have been in places that the body did not have the time to cleanse or excrete previously because of preoccupation digesting heavily cooked or other food. It is important that anyone that embarks on any extended fast or cleanse is made aware of the challenges that will arise because it will better equip them to be ready to deal with them instead of being surprised and more likely to retreat to old ways of living, thinking, and eating. The other side of the coin is, once the healing crisis is over its usually met with an increased sense of well-being, relief, and energy levels.
Some ways to manage the healing crisis when it is upon you, is to have positive affirmations on hand which speak to and magnify the experience you wish to have. For example : “I am strong enough, abundant enough, wise enough, to journey into the unknown.” Repeating this to yourself until you start to feel it can change your whole mind set. A nice sea salt bath with aromatherapy oils, an emergency home enema, colon hydrotherapy, massaging yourself, getting a professional massage, doing light yoga, or just simply sitting with your feelings and breathing through them are all great methods for coping with the healing crisis. Once you are in the throes of a crisis, whatever you do to aid the rate of your detoxification will help reduce the symptoms sooner. If you get a sudden craving for something you know you should not be eating, flooding the system with lots of water or freshly prepared juice can often offset the craving. Each person will have a unique way in which they deal with a healing crisis, its best to experiment and find out what works best for you. Sometimes it may be as simple as allowing yourself to cry and release old pent-up feelings that you never before were brave enough to allow through. Seeing the detoxification process through is a sacred process with the power to heal and change your life!
We must remember that cleansing is a holistic practice which involves not only body, but mind AND spirit. As we are in the summer season, now is the best time to consider undergoing some sort of cleanse that is custom to your needs. This could be increasing your raw food consumption, and definitely increase your physical exercise. We must remember that we are the creators of our own life, and that every step we take to invest in our holistic wellness is a win-win situation for ourselves and for our world. Ultimately, remembering to be gentle and loving towards ourselves as we undergo our “internal housecleaning” is essential for our success. I can say that it has worked for me on many occasion during healing crises, however its an ongoing process and just as our health improves so must our creativity in maintaining it as well. EMBRACE YOUR PROCESS! ~Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl