What Is An Emotional Detox?

Arriving right as the yoga class was about to begin, I was late again! I kicked off my shoes, grabbed a mat, and quickly scanned the room for open spots. I felt like I was blasting my anxiety into this room of people who were quietly meditating. Still feeling the adrenaline from rushing to class, I did my best to focus on the teacher and settle into the first posture. That first exhale felt heavier than I realized.

It had been a crazy week. I had started a detox, because I was feeling sluggish since the winter. I had been having a hard time waking up in the morning and not wanting to get out of bed until absolutely necessary. My anxiety and procrastination turned into morning dread. I was putting my time and energy into things that weren’t going anywhere. I wasn’t excited about anything, and I certainly wasn’t excited to wake up.  At least staying in bed was cozy and comfortable! As a result of the morning slump, I had been running late for everything and feeling rushed and constantly anxious.

As I moved into pigeon pose, a deep hip opener, I began to breathe deeply. All those tight muscles were stretching, so I kept breathing.  A flush came over my face, then a wave of frustration, and my eyes filled with tears. I kept breathing. I put my head down and hoped no one was watching.

After the class was over, I thanked the teacher and went home. I was tired. I felt like my week had caught up with me, and I was done trying so hard. The frustration that came up during class was being released from my body. I was letting it go; I was detoxing my emotions.

Every spring, detox is a very common conversation amongst people. Whether it is cleaning up the diet, removing toxins, or stimulating our internal organs, the results are often focused on resetting our gut and rebalancing our mood. We may be cleaning up our diet, but we often don’t realize how much emotional cleanup needs to happen in our bodies too. Day to day, it’s easier to stuff it down than to feel everything. Clearing the stress and emotions can be the most surprising (and hardest) part of a detox. When we clean out the body, we feel every inch of that emotion on its way out.

Reiki has really helped me move through some heavier emotions. I’ve been there, and I understand how challenging it is to pull ourselves out of the muck. This is why I especially love working with people who are ready to shift into spring and lighten up—inside and out. Reiki feels soothing and safe, like a warm bed. Reiki treatments make that detox process feel easy.

As a Reiki practitioner, my skill is moving that excess emotion, stress, and anxiety. Reiki is done through light touch and done in a private setting. The client stays fully dressed and lays on the table while I work quietly around them. As the mind relaxes, the body starts to shift gears: we move from a state of “fight or flight” into a “rest and restore” mode. During this time, deeper layers of stress start to dissipate. The result is an emotional detox.

People often shed excess body weight during a detox; letting go of excess emotional weight is part of that process too.  If you are detoxing this spring—or simply know you have some emotional weight that you want to remove—Reiki is a great way to support your emotional health! If you are already a Reiki practitioner, daily self treatment across your heart and belly can bring relief. Journaling your feelings and emotions, taking a bath, or simply allowing yourself to feel and acknowledge what surfaces can make a huge shift.  If you are looking for extra support during this time, reach out to Caroline. She works in Northampton, MA and accommodates daytime and evening office hours.

Caroline Ruderman, Reiki Master TeacherCaroline Ruderman, Reiki Master Teacher, has been a Reiki professional for 7 years and teaching the technique for 5. Dealing with her own anxiety has made her deeply appreciate all the ways our body talks to us! She works with clients to support balance, clear anxiety and stress, and create space for the things we want to do. To reach out to Caroline or for more information, email CarolineRuderman@gmail.com or visit www.ReikiNorthampton.com.

This article was first published in Many Hands Magazine, Spring 2018.

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