When seasons change, holistic practitioners often recommend detoxifying the body. By this, they mean a cleansing where anything old, stagnant, or unhealthy can be released and the body is purified. This will usually be accomplished by a change in diet along with herbal or nutritional supplements. Along with physical cleansing, as we strive toward better health, we might wonder if our dreams need detoxifying too. Dreams do not need to be cleaned out; they are natural detoxifiers and the tools we need for balanced, holistic health. Dreams mark the perfect companion to any health-promoting regimen that you might choose for yourself.
How does this work? Dreams help you become aware of what is and is not working in your inner world. They bring to light unfinished business, inner conflicts and deep emotions, while demonstrating your spiritual side and your best self. Dreams let you know exactly where you are stuck and where you are flowing. Taking the time to examine what comes up from the depths of your dream world will keep you in your quest for optimum health.
If you are careful to watch your dreams while undergoing a physical cleanse, your dreams may even offer information about the state of your health, perhaps guiding you to make changes in your lifestyle or eating habits. I once had a very graphic dream about my liver crawling with bugs. I told my Naturopath about it and I tested positive for parasites. While not many allopathic (Western medical model) doctors are interested in their patients’ dream life, Naturopaths and Homeopaths will always take their patients’ dreams into consideration, mining them for information and clues as to the state of their patients’ health. This practice goes back to ancient times where the whole patient-their lifestyle and diet, work, attitudes, experiences, dreams, and symptoms-was taken into account. We seem to have lost this whole-person approach today in general medicine. These healing arts are still alive and well in the holistic and integrated health world.
While undergoing a detox, our dreams will often shift and become wild with nightmares or recurring dreams. These shifts demonstrate the interconnected nature of dreams and the body, where the process of the body releasing toxins and old material is reflected in the dream content. If dreams can show us things that we are already aware of, as in the case of an intentional detox, then surely they can point towards goings on in the body that were previously unknown to us.
These kinds of dreams are called “prodromal” dreams: from the Greek “pro” meaning before and “dromos” meaning running (forerunner), or warning dreams that signal the onset of illness. Wanda Burch experienced a prodromal dream when she dreamt that she had breast cancer, long before her medical doctors discovered her aggressive cancer. She wrote about it in her book, She Who Dreams, describing her journey to regain her health by listening for messages in her dreams, then using their images as part of her healing program that included meditation and visualization, along with traditional chemotherapy. She is alive and well today, having dreamt that she renegotiated her life contract. In fact, Wanda believes that she is alive because she dreams. Dreams are very powerful and important for our ongoing health.
During your detoxification process, watch your dreams for body signals such as excessive amounts of water that can suggest fluid retention in the body, extreme heat, cold or water, dryness, itchiness, pain, or any focus on a particular body parts. Breathlessness, blockages, damage, destruction, impairment, malfunctions, or breakages can all indicate imbalances in the body. Yet, we still have to strive to understand the meaning of the dream before we can say if it is a body signal or not. Dream work is therefore so powerful; whatever the message turns out to be, it has taken us on a journey of self-exploration that leaves us healthier than when we began. Dreams are truly the perfect tool for detoxification.