Detox your body, mind and soul with TCM
As summer is ending, represented in TCM with the element of Fire, the heart and enjoyment, we think about getting ready to settle back into our routine. And yes, that magic word called detox, pops up again. What does detox actually mean? It can be defined as a process or period of time in which we abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.
With this meaning we usually understand, detox is directly related to avoiding something we have been doing to our body, eating unhealthy food, consuming a lot of alcohol to taking drugs or substances. We are also our personal judges of what we call a normal behaviour and if we consider ourselves in need of a detox.
Many times in clinic people say things like,”My partner says I drink too much, or smoke too much“. Independent of who says what, a detox is only really successful if you want to do it. In clinic you will hear me say again and again,”From where are you doing this detox?” What I mean is, is there the right intention behind your motivation? Is your SHEN behind you?
SHEN is our “Spirit” or “Mind”, and implies consciousness, mental functions, mental health, vitality, and our “presence” or mindfulness.
A quick detox is usually something we can do ourselves. But many times we should ask for support in this process. It is not so simple to get back into a healthy life style. In particular if we are talking a full body, mind and soul detox, we don’t have to go into rehabilitation, but it is easier when we seek professional support when helping ourselves return to that healthy way of LIFE. Our detox of not drinking the bottle of wine a day for a month, of course will help our liver, moods, and insomnia, but what about our mind ? If our body is having a detox, how can we help the mind to stay on the same detox track?
Detox our Mind. What normally starts us to think about detox, is we take a look at ourselves in the mirror, and we think…“Opps…time to get back on track”. This could be those extra kilos or the dark rings under our eyes, or a persistent fatigue. But mostly, that desire to detox is triggered by the physical and self image. This is a good starting point, but we must not get stuck there, the personal stories we tell ourselves of gloom and doom and how bad I look and feel, will only pin us down to entering back into the “comfort zone” of business as usual. A negative self image does not help us find a healthier option. So remember to feed your mind with positive uplifting stories.
Our mind, SHEN, can be conditioned by our daily habits, just like going to the gym, or eating healthy food for our body. We can motivate our mind with positive feedback, great music and dancing. We should stay away from negative people, and gossip… and every morning say to ourselves how great we are looking. SMILE at yourself before anyone else.
So the external expansive, carefree nature of the summer is coming to an end, it is the best time to focus on detox and look into the more internal or introspective side of our life, our autumn of the year. In TCM, this is now represented with the element of Air, and the Lungs. It is a good time to begin new projects that focus on the internal, cultivating things like mindfulness or meditation, and healing the Body Mind and SOUL, of breathing in the new, and letting out the old.