Spring Cleansing
by Elson Haas, M.D. copyright 1999
Did you ever wonder how you would feel if you took a break for a week took a vacation from the foods that drain your energy? Speaking personally, until I did my first ten-day juice fast in 1975, I couldn't make any kind of comparison. Sure, I had days when I felt pretty good, but the rest of time, I tended to walk around in a sluggish, semi-productive state and I didn't even realize how low my energy was until I began experiencing a more energized and vital way of being.

Fasting and juice cleansing can be a terrific source of vitality and a great healing tool. A good cleanse can remove congestion and toxins, and help you feel youthful. If you work in a high-pressure, fast-paced job, you may find this can give you the competitive edge you need. If your energy is good, but you want to be even healthier, this is a worthwhile approach to a higher level of health. For those of you who are in mid-life and find yourself slowing down more than you want, this can actually remove some of the signs of aging. I have many positive personal and patient anecdotes.

Every year since that first rejuvenating experience, I have fasted for ten days coming into spring. Each March, I also personally guide a ten-day Rejuvenation Program in a small relaxed, informal group. 

The Master Cleanser (MC) program consists of a ten-day (length of time can vary) liquid fast and detox, using a special formula:

The Master Cleanser Formula:

  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon (or lime) juice
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces of spring water

The Master Cleanser Program

It is important to drink adequate amounts of liquid. Use the MC formula daily, drinking at least 8-10 glasses, and drink other water or herb teas, especially peppermint or chamomile.

Keep the digestive tract clean and clear. Its important to keep the bowels actively cleansing with laxative teas, enemas, colon irrigation, or an internal saltwater bath. Some form of cleansing bowel movement should happen at least every other day after initial clearing.

Consider trying an internal bath. First thing in the morning, drink one quart of warm water with two teaspoons of sea salt dissolved in it. It washes right through you! For people who retain water easily or for those with high blood pressure, the saltwater flush might be avoided; yet, when it works, it's great!

Specifics: two important tips for using the MC program:

  1. Don't carry your Master Cleansing formula or juice in plastic containers, because the plastic will leach into your drink.
  2. Also, the lemonade can leach calcium from your teeth (ascorbic and citric acids bind with calcium to make calcium citrate and calcium ascorbate). This can weaken your enamel if there is frequent contact from regular sipping of the lemonade. I suggest drinking one to two glasses at a time and then rinsing your mouth with water so the lemon and maple syrup do not stay on your teeth.

Exercise! Some other activities important for healthy cleansing and for general health include regular exercise and sweating, and hiking or spending time in nature. The fasting process helps to make us more attuned to our environment. We may be motivated to support a healthier environment, and reduce pollution. When we are cleansing, we become much more aware of unhealthy surroundings--chemicals, smoke, and fatty or meat food smells. And we will begin to appreciate more, if we do not already, the aromas of fresh foods and our natural surroundings.

Spiritual and emotional cleansing. During the transformative process of cleansing our body, the effects spread throughout many areas of our life. There is often improved clarity of mind that develops. Emotional cleansing and subsequent insights also happen. Spiritual awareness is sometimes profound. We are more sensitive to subtle vibrations of people, situations, emotions, and nature. Intuition is enhanced and procrastination disappears. With new energy and focus, we may want to clean up our room, our home, or office. We may even want to reorganize our whole life. I often suggest fasting, or juice cleansing, particularly for people who appear in a life transition zone or who wish to begin a whole new diet approach.

Healing. Fasting is also very useful for a wide variety of illnesses, including colds and flues, bronchitis, allergies, and gastrointestinal problems. I also suggest other healing therapies during a cleansing program. Massage is very beneficial. Counseling therapy, either psychological or career, may help clarify with new directions; and nutritional guidance is very important. Often though, this healing, counseling and guidance come from within!

Enhance your control over your own health. The self-experience of fasting is a truly inspiring educational experience. Most people need to be guided and supported through a cleanse only once. Then, in the future, they find they are able to do it on their own, as the process is self-teaching. Once we learn a safe and healthy approach to fasting and cleansing, we know how to apply it to our life. We then can not only use it for personal healing; we can even guide others in its application. I have seen the Master Cleanser program spread through homes, families, and even towns with remarkable effects.

Please realize though, that fasting is not for everyone. I do not fast people with deficiency problems: For those with fatigue, anemia, immune weakness, nutritional deficiency, or underweight people I will not usually suggest fasting therapy. Nor is it suggested for pregnant or nursing mothers, or for youngsters. I only encourage juice cleansing with congestive-type problems, such as frequent colds, allergies, hypertension, constipation, back pains, or headaches. If detoxification is needed, there are other ways to do this through dietary shifts and herbal medicines.

Resources for a Spring Cleanse
For those interested in fasting, or more accurately, cleansing, you can follow the program in the Spring section of my book, Staying Healthy with the Seasons, or in my other books, Staying Healthy With Nutrition or The Detox Diet. And for more personal guidance, you could find a local health practitioner with fasting experience.

The 10-day Spring Rejuvenation Program
If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, near Marin County, and would like to participate in one of my guided Spring juice cleanse or Autumn program, you can join the group by calling my office at the Preventive Medical Center of Marin at 415-472-2343.

Overall, after 25 years of medical practice, I have to say that the fasting/cleansing/detoxification process is the greatest and most effective healing tool I have found. It is an important component for the prevention of degenerative diseases and a key to transformational and evolutionary medicine and healing.

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