I recently interviewed world-renowned cardiologist and author Dr Alejandro Junger. As a yogi, a few years ago I started hearing the words “cleanse” and “detox” a lot. It seemed as though so many people I knew were on some type of detoxification regime; even my teacher Gurmukh has endorsed the concept of cleansing. Yogi Bhajan himself was a major proponent of cleansing and had great understanding of the importance of detoxification.
However, I was also aware that dramatically altering your food intake affects the balance of your body. Inherently, a lot of the programs out there did not seem manageable in daily life to me. But I knew that I was harboring toxins in my body from many years of eating unconsciously and living in city environments. I had a lot of questions: was it really necessary to deprive your body of nutrients to cleanse? How could a 4-day program be sufficient time to remove years of toxins? I did a lot of research and found a program that made sense to me; a 21-day regime packed with nutrients and calories.
With the New Year, I know a lot of yogis will be looking to detox, and I wanted to introduce them to Dr Alejandro Junger’s CLEAN program. Dr Junger has counseled health conscious stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Donna Karan through his program. He has written a book, CLEAN, about detoxification, that includes a regime that anyone can do with the resources of a grocery store or farmer’s market, or for convenience one can order a pre-prepared kit.
Dr Junger talks to Spirit Voyage:
1. What is a “cleanse” and why should we do it?
A cleanse-detox program is a period of time during which you eat (or not eat) and do certain things in such a way that you create the conditions for the body to maximize the functions of detoxification that the body already has. The CLEAN program is a cleansing-detox program that does that, and in addition provides the body with the necessary elements to repair the gut wall, restore the intestinal flora, cool down the immune-inflammatory systems and replenish the nervous system in the gut. We should all do it because modern life is overloading us with toxins that the body cannot detoxify due to the fact that we i) keep digestion happening ALL the time, and ii) we lack many of the nutrients necessary to detox and repair.
2. Why is your program 21 days?
For 2 reasons;
1) Nature has its timings. it takes biology 21 days to do the work mentioned above of gut repair, just like it takes biology 9 months to build a baby
2) It takes a minimum of 21 days to break habits and build new ones that will give you a much better chance of keeping the changes that you make long term.
3. How is your program different to programs like the Master Cleanse?
The Master Cleanse and all juicing programs alone do not provide the body with everything necessary to do the detox-repair as well as live your regular life in a city. They are better suited for people who take time off, dedicate themselves 100 % to cleansing and do it in a spa setting where they can be guided and contained. The CLEAN program is medically designed for the person on the move who wants to live-work and cleanse.
4. Can you please mention a few of the illnesses that your program has cleared completely?
So many of the common symptoms of today’s modern illnesses clear up that it redefined my understanding of medicine and my practice of it. Bloating, weight gain, lethargy, puffyness and many others. On our web community people have reported varicose veins disappearing, eye glasses needed no more, women getting pregnant that previously could not, allergies and many other ailments completely gone. People also frequently notice emotional stability and wellbeing as well as mental clarity and alertness.
5. Can people with serious illnesses like cancer do this program?
Yes, but only if guided by someone that really understands the processes taking place and how to respond to problems that may arise.
6. Please talk about spiritual practice support to go along with the program, like meditation ...
Toxins are not only chemicals. Toxic thoughts and emotions can cause as much or more damage than toxic molecules. I call it Quantum Toxicity, and anything you do that helps eliminate them, is detoxifying. Meditation is one of the things that clears Quantum Toxicity.
7. How many times a year can we do your program?
Depends on where you are starting from. The average American who has been eating a standard American diet would benefit from doing it a couple of times a year, or more. If you already eat clean and have been detoxing, maybe you need to go to the more intense cleanses available.
8. Can you please discuss the emotional effects of a cleanse program?
Emotions are linked to the nervous system in our gut. 90 % of the serotonin in our body is manufactured in the gut. The CLEAN program will get this manufacturing plant going full steam and provide all the raw materials necessary. The results are like a big dose of YOUR OWN antidepressants. But some women and men in our website have reported being more patient with their kids as a result, or getting along better with their partners, bosses and coworkers. This is how powerful the CLEAN program is.
9. Does your program eliminate parasites?
Not really. Parasites need strong herbs or antiparasitics. The CLEAN program does not address the issue of parasites. If you suspect you have them, you should add that aspect to the CLEAN program while you do it. There are instructions on how to do this in our webcommunity site.
* Detoxing is also an emotional process, and can be supported with meditation. Snatam’s Kaur’s Tantric Wahe Guru is a great, simple one to aid the detoxification process, start to clear your energy channels, and help with your discipline.