Spring Cleaning for Your Body (Or What Use is a Clean Home?)

Spring Cleaning for Your Body (Or What Use is a Clean Home?)

Of course, cleaning your house and workspace is important, but don't neglect your body and mind this year when it comes to spring cleaning. Here are some scary statistics:

About 6,000 new chemicals are listed weekly in the Chemical Society's Chemical Abstracts. That adds up to more than 300,000 new chemicals every year!

Every year we consume an average of 14 pounds of food additives that include preservatives, flavorings, colorings, emulsifiers, humectants, and antimicrobials.

Read more about the 7 scary food additives to avoid

We also consume an average of one pound of pesticides and herbicides every year.

Our bodies were designed to eliminate the toxins we encounter, but not at the level we are currently encountering them. Our science has progressed faster than our bodies can evolve to cope with these changes.

It sounds bleak, but there is hope.

Obviously, the first solution is to eliminate some of the toxins you come into contact with, including:

  • Quit smoking or using drugs.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol.
  • Eat fresh, non-processed food.
  • Buy organically-grown foods when possible and wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Drink a lot of clean filtered or spring water to help your body flush out toxins.
  • Use simple cleaning solutions like diluted vinegar, baking soda, and lemon to clean your house.
  • Read the labels on your personal care products and try choosing more natural brands.
  • Make your own personal care products with foods like oatmeal, avocado, bananas, cucumbers, etc.
  • Decrease your impact on the environment by using your car less to reduce toxins. You'll also receive the added benefit of getting more exercise as you walk, bike, or rollerblade to your destinations.

The next solution is to help your body's detoxifying organs—the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the liver and gallbladder are the active organs during spring, so adding foods and herbs that support these organs are especially important. Examples are dandelion (drink it as tea or use the leaves to make a salad), artichoke, milk thistle, and many green vegetables. Recognize that if your body is very toxic, you may experience a "cleansing reaction" which is a temporary worsening of symptoms, or flu-like symptoms, before you improve.

In addition, a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner can help create individualized detoxification and support programs suited to the individual.

Image: Chiot's Run

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Dr. Carr is a registered Doctor of TCM and began her career in health with a Bachelors degree in Human Kinetics. After spending two years in Japan, one of which was spent doing research at Ehime Medical University, she completed a 4-year training for Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the International College of TCM. As part of the program, she interned at two hospitals in China: Acupuncture Hospital in Hefei, Anhui province and Jiang Yin TCM Hospital in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province. During her schooling, she worked as a nutritional consultant where she advised people on the use of western herbs and supplements. She also taught nutrition at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. In addition to running her clinic, Dr. Carr also acts as a natural health and nutrition consultant for several magazines and clinics. For more information about Dr. Carr visit: activetcm.com