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My Experiences of Wellness and my Ideas about Wellness Advocacy

Don't Cleanse in January

Maggie O'Connor

Don’t cleanse or detox in January! Because WINTER is here!

I know you feel motivated for change for the new year, and like most, during the holidays you were “indulging” (and rightly so) or your "stress management" has led to some unhealthy habits, and you want to nip it in the bud with this chance for a fresh start.

BUT during winter our energy and immunity are significantly challenged because the days are cold and dark, and it is actually the time to carefully nourish and protect your energy.

In the traditions of Ayurveda there are better times of year for cleansing with the natural rhythm of the body and the support of the season. SPRING for example is a really nice time to stimulate detox in the body and support safe and effective functioning of the organs and systems that have more work to do during your cleanse (the endocrine system – liver kidneys, digestive tract etc.) – basically all the parts that eliminate the crap a cleanse provokes your body to release.

The risks of doing a cleanse in January are not insignificant, here are some issues, as commonly experienced by each dosha:

·      Pitta - become exhausted with adrenal fatigue, and become ill with a seasonal virus, with little energy to bounce back or experience a “full” recovery

·      Kapha - provoke the body to detox but because digestion is slower during winter, toxins arriving in the colon get reabsorbed into the bloodstream, and reenter the body, other symptoms arise

·      Vata – mentally and physically run out of steam, feel overwhelmed, become more vulnerable to illness and seasonal sadness or blues (some present the opposite even if they feel down)

Instead of doing a cleanse in January, here’s what I recommend.

Use your motivation and desire to break from the habits of the holiday season with a set of simple new habits that help you nourish and protect your energy, while gently achieving your goals for better health.

1. Try dōTERRA’s LLV supplement pack that BUILDS YOU UP from a cellular standpoint.

·      This fills gaps in your nutrition with highly absorbable nutrition so that you’ll have A LOT more energy, leading to this natural chain of events: fewer cravings, less guilt, better hydration, natural weight-loss, make better choices for food and exercise, sleep more deeply.

·      This also delivers you a daily dose of essential oils that reduce digestive inflammation, leading to this natural chain of events: the food you do eat is better used and eliminated, the body successfully eliminates whatever it is detoxing at its own rate (avoiding reabsorption), systemic inflammation reduces and with it the symptoms of aches, pain, stiffness in the body, and the body self-regulates mood more easily with better production of serotonin, gaba and dopamine in ‘the gut’ – happy times.

·      All things lead to… Immunity UP!

2. Get off your screen.

You know that feeling when you watch a fire or candle, or just read a book on a big comfy couch under a blanket? Or you go for a walk “in nature” and feel a deep inner sensation of inspiration or peace? Or you spend 3 hours in the kitchen listening to your favourite music, making something special?

Use your motivation for new habits to include making time for more of these exact moments. It sounds counter intuitive because you want to be IN ACTION, doing hard things!, fixing yourself with challenges – let it go – it is unsustainable, and unhelpful at this time of year.

More than likely you are on your screen throughout the day, so when it comes time to relax, make a new habit to turn it off, or put it away, out of reach, and do something else. Your eyes will be less tired, your head and neck will hold less tension (hello headaches, tmj, sinus congestion, and hair-loss), your mind can rest (hello anxiety and interrupted sleep), and you can #reclaimyourtime from the b.s. of the world by feeding your soul with friendship, literature, cookery, music, fixing things, making things, connecting with nature, and feeling inspired and at peace, even in the winter.

Spring is coming! 

The solstice has passed and we welcome the sun a little more everyday. And when the sun arrives, you’ll be well, and strong, and ready for action with that wonderful burst of energy that comes next season. Not now, not in winter. In winter be in the now – stay here and warm it up from the inside out.


My solstice bath salts recipe:

  • 1 package each pink himalayan sea salt, dead sea salt, epsom salts, aluminum-free baking soda (half bag or less)
  • 500ml cold-pressed organic sesame or olive oil
  • 10-20 drops each essential oils
    Copaiba (pain & inflammation, mild & sweet scent, strong mood elevator)
    Elevation (the joyful blend, feelings of low mood & depression, "sunshine in a bottle")
    Myrrh (base note, sweeter side of the wood oils, earthy feeling)
    Peppermint & Eucalyptus (stimulating, refreshing, deep breathes, open the mind and headspace)
  • mix it all up in a big metal or glass bowl - put into (6) large mason jars or stainless steel tins - avoid plastic storage containers - add a half cup or more to your bath - soak for 20-40 mins