If you have any of the following symptoms, as noted by Julie Roberts from Sanctuary Much:
- Mood swings
- Excessive Energy
- Extreme Tiredness, Lethargy, Fatigue
- Excessive Yawning
- Muscle aches, muscle tension
- Joint pain
- Frequent Urination
- Digestive Irregularities (constipation, diarrhoea, gas, bloating)
- Hot flashes, night sweats
- Nausea, vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms
- Re-appearance of old aches and pains
- Heavy periods
- Skin flare ups
then you may be experiencing a form of natural detox due to the time of year. It’s currently the September equinox when the sun shine’s directly on the equator because the earth’s rotational axis is not tilted towards nor away from the sun. Days and nights are pretty much the same length and there is balance for one day between light and dark.
Effects of the autumn equinox
In the northern hemisphere this equinox marks the beginning of autumn and tells us that the earth is going to now tilt away from the sun and so we won’t be able to utilize as much of its energy. It is time to harvest and prepare for the colder months ahead (hence the Harvest Festival celebrations).
Our bodies also pick up on this change in energy and beings to make its own preparations for winter. For example, our digestion increases so that we can digest the more dense foods that are typically stored for winter (nuts, seeds, grains, vegetables and meats etc) that will enable us to store and produce the energy we need for protection against the cold.
The change in energy also signals our bodies to detox, heal and grow, which is one of the mechanisms that hibernation allows for in mammals, they naturally get closer to nature to ground themselves whilst they sleep and regenerate ready for spring and summer again. During detoxification the body naturally begins to release what it no longer needs, including toxins from chemicals, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, heavy metals, etc. Even the old emotional ‘baggage’ that we hold onto is toxic to the body system. If you hold onto anger, resentment and grudges or emotional pain, it doesn’t go away until we let it go. In fact, over time these emotional toxins can lead to dis-ease in the body.
John Doullaird, an Ayuvrvedic practitioner and founder of www.lifespa.com , describes this process in plants:
‘leaves turn red and fall as an example of nature’s natural detox cycle. In Ayurveda, it is said that the accumulation of heat at the end of summer causes the heat to rise in the trees, thus drying out the leaves. As the metabolism of the tree slows down in preparation for winter, the tree naturally sheds, or detoxifies its leaves’.
He goes on to talk about the kinds of foods we harvest in the autumn also give a clue to our bodies’ natural detoxification:
- apples dissipate heat, scrub intestinal villi and act as a natural detoxifying diuretic,
- watermelons are diuretics, while pomegranates are liver and blood cleansers, and
- at the end of summer the liver, gallbladder and intestinal tract cry out for cleansing using foods like good oils, greens and bitter roots.
If these natural laws are not followed, the heat of summer will dry out the body and along with the dryness of fall and winter the body’s delicate mucus membranes, where the good immune-boosting microbes live, will also dry out. Dried out mucus membranes can kill our beneficial bugs and make way for a proliferation of the bad, cold and flu-causing critters. For the UK this also coincides with the start of the school year and therefore the 'critters' have plenty of opportunity to prey on weakened immune systems taking down as many of us they can!
Plus on the spiritual side, we are approaching Halloween on October 31st, which in pagan traditions this is known as the time of year when the veil between worlds is thinnest and spiritual activity is high. This can make sensitive individuals feel a bit ungrounded, spacey and ‘all over the place’ from an energetic perspective.
What to avoid around the time of an equinox
Things to avoid as you go through this transition:
- Drugs, painkillers and alcohol
- Stress! (easier said than done)
- Processed foods
- Too much salt
- Coffee (replace with green tea if you are in need of caffeine)
The length of time you might experience symptoms of detox depends on you and your lifestyle choices based on your life experience. For example, if in the past you took drugs for a number of years (including prescription medications) your symptoms are likely to last longer than someone who has lived organically for most of their life.
How to ease the symptoms of detox
- avoid use of western 'medicines' to mask any pain or discomfort, it is chemicals like these your body is trying to flush out
- drink 2-3 litres of clean, filtered water per day to enable your body to flush out what it doesn't need. You could also use coconut water and herbal teas
- ensure you are getting plenty of sleep and rest. In the colder, darker months we are also naturally inclined to hibernate. These mechanisms also help your body flush out toxins.
- eat well using as many fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables with as many micronutrients as you can! Your body may also crave starchier, root vegetables to protect against the winter cold, soups and stews are perfect preparations for these.
- moderate exercise to avoid too much stress on the body (yoga, tai chi, swimming, rebounding and walking, preferably outside)
- sunshine and fresh air daily
- Epsom Salt Baths several times per week (add some essential oils for additional benefits)
Intermittent Fasting (ask me about this first)
- Activated Charcoal (acts a binder to unwanted molecules in the blood and takes them out of the body, when sufficient hydration is present)
- start your day with lemon juice and warm water
- coffee enema or colonic (with a professional)