The Total Body Cleanse

It's time to learn about the symbolism found in the idea of the total body cleanse. Is a cleanse an isolated physical event? Or is it a symbol of something deeper? Let's look at one definition of the word, "Cleanse:"

'To free from dirt; to clean, purify; To spiritually purify; to free from sin or guilt; to purge.' ~ Wiktionary

Well it would appear that indeed, a cleanse is a total event, a body-mind-soul happening! Interesting, isn't it? While the buzzwords "cleanse" and "detox" seem like a newer phenomenon, especially as it relates to the physical body, the concept is far, far from new.

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The true meaning of the word cleanse, shows us that once again, in our modern, Western approach, we have separated the body from the mind, and soul. All you have to do is look around you to see this!

It seems that everyone these days is looking to do a body cleanse, a colon cleanse or a way to "detox" themselves. Everywhere in the media, in commercials and on every package, we are to believe that we are in a constant battle with germs, toxins, pollutants and chemicals just waiting to destroy us!

It is almost as if by cleansing our bodies or detoxifying our bodies, we can cleanse everything that is wrong about us. Does anyone else feel this way, or is this new wave of thinking becoming all-consuming in the minds of our culture? Or is it yet again showing the success of advertising in our culture?

The term "detox" or to detoxify one's body is so loosely applied that almost any food, tea, or drink that could be perceived to be healthy, or "natural" will now "detoxify" your body as well!

What is it about the current thinking that believes that a regular ritual of a colon cleanse or some sort of total body cleanse is necessary for health? There is so much worry about toxins when we often don’t even have a clue what it is we are detoxifying.

The Marketing of the Body Cleanse

There are more products on the market for cleansing and detoxifying than I can count. Just about everyone is asking me these days for my opinion on the best colon cleanse, or trying to sell me on their best colon cleanse! We cleanse for what we may believe is a natural, healthy weight loss, we cleanse to detoxify, purify and purge ourselves of all manner of "toxic" living.

This focus on what is WRONG with us or worse, just waiting to go wrong, as per the law of attraction, will only create more that is wrong! It is the power of the Nocebo Effect. This is a powerful effect, which is the opposite of the Placebo Effect.

It is much healthier to focus on the positive, and our body’s unique and wonderful ability to cleanse and detoxify itself, if you just tell it to do so!

I have my own belief regarding a best colon cleanse, and how to make it a total body-mind-soul experience. What those beliefs are may surprise you. Or perhaps if you have been reading my website, or know me for who I am, it wouldn’t surprise you at all!

The sellers of the detox and total body cleanse products are capitalizing on an ancient concept that is ingrained in our collective psyches, our collective consciousness. And they are doing so on your dime.

The sellers of the products make you believe that your gut is just lined with a build-up of toxins, "like spackle or paste," just sitting there poisoning you. This concept has no basis in pathophysiology at all, yet many choose to believe it. The horror that our guts could be unclean is more than we can bear so we slowly begin to believe it is true. If we hear it often enough, it may become true for us.

Our Western Judeo-Christian "Cleanse" Heritage

There are more Biblical and Judeo-Christian references to cleansing than I realized. This is so ingrained in our psyches, that an old hymn even came to my mind as I was writing this:

"Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow, Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." ~ James Nicholson, c. 1828–1876

This hymn speaks of the Christ’s ability to make us whole, clean and whiter than snow. Sorry if you know this old hymn and it now sticks in your head for the rest of the day, as it is in mine!

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ~ I John 1:9 KJV

"And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me." ~ Jeremiah 33:8 KJV

There are so many Old Testament references to rituals for cleansing, the Jewish practice of keeping Kosher and ritual bathing, and the recurrent theme in the New Testament of being washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Also of note is the symbolism of baptism and being cleansed of our sins. The physical meaning of being clean and cleansing is a wonderful metaphor for the spiritual meaning. The presence of metaphors is ubiquitous in our lives so see What is a Metaphor if you are interested in learning about their significance.

These teachings and ancient rituals on cleansing are truly ingrained in our subconscious and our consciousness, so much that we even say, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." And who doesn’t want to be Godly?

Snow on an evergreen branchSnow on an evergreen branch

The Body Metaphor and the "Total Body Cleanse"

The idea that you need to cleanse yourself from iniquity is important in the body metaphor of cleansing. You can also cleanse your body from all the bad food you have eaten (iniquities) if you do a body cleanse!

If you rethink the biblical references above as a reference to the food you eat and transgressing against your body, it places new light on it’s meaning, doesn’t it?

The notion that just about everything you do with yourself, including your eating, is somehow "unclean" is deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness. Long before pathogens and toxins were known, ancient rituals for cleansing food and cleansing bodies was understood to be paramount to survival.

Since this physical, body cleansing was so important (and still is) it was easy to compare this type of cleansing with the cleansing of the soul. Thus, the spiritual metaphor of cleansing was born.

Not much has changed, has it? Especially if you look at the modern, natural health community’s focus on the body cleanse. However, the external body cleanse has been replaced with an internal body cleanse.

Could I dare draw a parallel of the body cleanse that is internal (thus the focus on the colon cleanse) as a sign that we are all longing to treat our minds and souls as well? That we all internally long for the spiritual and emotional cleansing, so we do it to our bodies instead as the symbol of this?

One is easily led to conclude that the need for the body-mind-soul cleansing and body-mind-soul healing is apparent in our body cleansing activities. Especially in light of our collective experience of the metaphor of the term "cleanse."

The more we learn about ourselves, our culture and other cultures, the more we realize that we are more similar than we are different. Just about every culture has rituals for absolution and cleansing! Even through time, the concept of cleansing has remained.

I hope that this article has raised your awareness of your own issues as it relates to the modern practice of the body cleanse. Be mindful of your cleansing rituals, of your body, both external and internal and its significance in your life.

If you choose to detoxify your body internally, I challenge you to do it with a healthy diet, packed with foods high in antioxidants. When you feel you need to do the colon cleanse, do it for the body-mind-soul experience and do my recommended best colon cleanse.

May your path to total health be paved by your desire to cleanse your body, your mind and your soul of all that limits you. May your body cleanse lead you to a total body-mind-soul cleanse, heightened by your newfound self-awareness!

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