Faith, relaxation & cleansing

Sometimes a book just sits on your shelf for years. It took me a decade to read ‘Conscious Eating’ by Gabrielle Cousens. The procrastination stemmed from biases developed throughout my catholic girls’ school education, my adolescent cynical atheist rebelling against anything pontificating godliness or daring to use biblical quotes in support an argument. Fortunately those patterns have been worked though, and mellowed somewhat, as I read Cousens’ book with both interest and growing inspiration.

Although I don’t quite feel the need to sing Hallelujah out loud, I totally recognise intellectually, physically and emotionally how fundamental faith is to health, wellbeing and detoxification.

Rabi Cousens does a good job in putting this point forward. He blends modern nutritional sciences, the traditional healing system of Aryuveda and Essene spiritualism. Essene was the Jewish sect that Jesus was born into, known for their peace-loving, vegetarian ways during a very brutal period of history. ‘Conscious Eating’ assists individuals to create their own unique, living wholefood diet, based on recognising their oxidative pattern, nervous system tendency and predominant Aryuvedic dosha. He suggests that crafting an individualized nutritional path enhances personal clarity, vitality and spiritual atonement.

The effect of faith on health and healing has many dimensions.

The Women’s Health Initiative, a study of 100,000 women over 50 years of age since 1994, established that women who are optimistic are 30% less likely to have heart disease and have a 44% reduced risk of dying of cancer. Although there was no direct report regarding faith, it did show that the optimistic women were more trusting. In such a large study, implies some health benefits of trust.

The Seventh day Adventists boast impressive health statistics compared with the average American, in particular over 60% reduced risk of cancer. Adventists follow a plant-based diet, don’t smoke and regularly exercise, so it certainly isn’t their faith alone protecting them. However, perhaps their faith, and their community, play significant roles in their commitment to healthy lifestyle practices.

There’s little doubt that faith, trust and love have huge benefits on health.

Three areas of how faith effects detoxification:

1. Cleaning requires one KEY ingredient for its success, relaxation.

When we relax our body slips into the parasympathetic nervous system mode. This mode enhances digestion and assimilation, repair and restoration. It’s the tone that allows our hair follicles to relax rather than stand on end. This “rest and digest” mode involves more sedating neurotransmitters. It’s in this relaxed state that the body can manage deeper cleansing.

Conversely, when we are stressed, cleansing can’t happen deeply because the body energy is more concerned with survival and the short-term goals it’s facing.

Faith enhances relaxation. It is a belief in something greater, that is benevolent, provides a sense of security and surety of mind that induces a more relaxed disposition. So faith in a greater benevolence, embodies love, and engenders trust.

2. Faith can help one access healing energies.

Having practiced as a naturopath for since 2003, I know that when I set an intention of healing for the day (simply stating that the outcomes will be deeply beneficial for the clients), the day’s sessions will have better outcomes than I could ever have expected.

When I undertook a  panchakarma cleanse at the Aryuveda centre in Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust Dehradun India, the practitioners would worship the Hindi healing deity Dhanwantari. At the beginning of every day a ritual would take place at the garden shrine, with offerings, prayers and chants bestowed unto the many eyed and armed icon. Then, prior to each therapy session, they chanted Sanskrit mantras, asking for guidance and access to work with the divine healing forces.

They held faith that healing energy, connected to through the energy of Dhanwantari, tapped into an endless supply of loving healing energy for their work. They went about their work with great care and grace. They understood they could work within this divine love to generate the healing effect, rather than drawing on their personal energy. These therapists worked long hours each day and 6 days a week, yet not once did I sense any lack of commitment, nor drop in the energy they gave during treatments.

Even if it is a delusion, faith and worship worked wonders for my friends there, enabling them to access and maintain the state of loving compassion and acceptance that is so essential to healing.

3. Cleansing, and particularly fasting, is often propelled by the motivation to attain greater attunement to the divine.

Therefore, having faith may well motivate one towards more cleansing practices to access the sublime aspects of existence.

“If the subtle channels of the body are not blocked due to undisciplined habits of eating and an immoderate lifestyle, the spiritualising energy is able to act with its full force.” – Gabrielle Cousens

Cleansing enables us to feel more. When we cleanse our body, we become more sensitive to life. Physiologically, our metabolic functions with more ease. Mentally, we have sharper perceptions and can make clearer decisions. We are more likely to “Be in the now”. From a soul perspective, we’re more in-tune with, and trusting of our intuition and more at home with the flowing of our emotions. Spiritually, we’re more likely to get inspired and access the subtle creative energies.

Cleansing our body reveals the actuality of interconnectedness.

Of how we are utterly connected with our earth, all it’s beings and the cosmos around us. And, though I have a wry smile to write it myself after years of resistance, we get more in touch with the divine, or what is divine inside us all.



This is part of Sparkle Detox Course – a detailed, step-by-step, effective and safe, body tissue cleansing process designed by Naturopath Sally Mathrick. If you haven’t already, JOIN Sparkle Detox for life-time access to wholistic, doable, ‘delicious-with-benefits’ practices to keep your precious body-mind healthy, fresh and vital. JOIN NOW

Copyright Sally Mathrick – Please cite and link back to if using this information

This is an abridged version of DIY detox column by Sally Mathrick, previously published in Wellbeing Australia issue #130 August 2010