In the New York Times bestseller “Clean: Remove Restore Rejuvenate“, Dr. Junger opens chapter three with a question he asked himself after a consultation with a New York psychiatrist, “How and why did my brain cells forget their chemistry?”
The psychiatrist told him that a low serotonin level in his brain caused his symptoms, but the psychiatrist did not tell him how and why his brain developed the low serotonin levels in the first place.
Dr. Junger discusses the differences between western and eastern schools of medicine and states that unlike eastern schools, western doctors no longer diagnose a medical problem by observation and deduction.
In the west, diagnosis is based on code. That is, a list of disease names with corresponding symptoms for which treatment is based on a list of pharmaceuticals.
The “how” and “why” the patient experiences symptoms is not usually addressed.
What Dr. Junger writes in his book is exactly my experience.
I presented symptoms. The doctor took some tests and sent me to a rheumatologist. I received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The rheumatologist began treatment from the list of medically accepted pharmaceuticals for RA.
Since then, the “how” and “why” questions have led me on a personal search for answers in naturopathy, homeopathy, eastern schools of medicine, spiritual traditions, and many different healing modalities.
Logically, it makes sense to me that if an over-reactive immune system is the cause of RA symptoms, then something must be present in the body to cause the over-reaction.
It does not make sense to me that my immune system is in fight mode for some elusive reason as western medicine would have us believe.
Dr.Junger makes a compelling case for toxic overload as the cause of many western diseases.
He defines a toxin as “something that interferes with normal physiology and negatively impacts bodily function.”
Chapter three quite thoroughly discusses how we are exposed to toxins.
In chapter four, Dr. Junger explores the evolution of the modern food system and its effects on our health and makes a case for “we are what we eat”, in addition to, “you eat what you are”.
Dr. Junger explains, we are what we eat because “the compounds that the body makes from food are what it uses to build your bones, muscles, tissues and even the molecules and enzymes that fund your chemistry.”
And, you eat what you are because you crave the foods your body is accustomed to having. Dr. Junger says, “craving toxic food is a classic sign of a toxic state.”
When you switch your diet to live food that carries the energy of life you will find yourself craving these foods again and again.
I found this to be true for me, as well. When I stick to a live food diet, I find myself craving fresh live food juices and smoothies quite frequently. When I slip back into old habits, I crave fish and chips, cheeseburgers and chicken pot pie.
At the end of chapter four, Dr. Junger tells us how to live a longer, healthier life based on life expectancy research from communities world-wide.
Communities that grow their food using compost, water and sun, who eat mostly raw and seasonal foods, whose animals are fed and raised in natural ways, who lovingly and leisurely prepare their food, who chew their food ten times longer, who sit at the table with family and friends, who spent time in the sun, move a lot, occasionally enjoy rich foods and wine, who have strong bonds with family and friends, and who live life with a strong sense of purpose and community belonging live a longer, healthier life.
According to Dr. Junger, “Clean“ is about giving rest and relaxation to the digestive system to awaken the body’s own detoxification system so that it will clean up and eliminate toxins that make a body sick.
Next post will cover chapter five.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat symptoms or medical conditions. Always consult a qualified medical professional.