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In the previous post, I summarized chapter one of Clean: Remove Restore and Rejuvenate.
In chapter one, we learn that our body’s detoxification system is continually working helping to keep us alive. The cells are constantly eliminating waste substances that get processed through body systems and are then expelled.
If the system is efficient it helps to keep us healthy and young. If the system is heavily clogged due to environmental toxins, improper diet and stress, symptoms and health conditions appear.
Chapter two, chronicles Dr. Junger’s journey from childhood in Uruguay where his family shopped at the local farmer’s market, ate lunch and dinner together at the family table through his early desire to become a doctor and then onto cardiology where the effects of his lifestyle and what he saw in his patients led to a desire for change.
Dr. Junger completed his internship at New York University’s Downtown Hospital in Lower Manhattan. He writes that the pace was fast with his main sources of nourishment from takeout, vending machines, nurses’ potlucks and the hospital cafeteria.
When he had time, he shopped at the local supermarket for fast microwave food that fit perfectly with his hectic schedule.
He found himself thinking, “Boy these Americans really know how to make things easy.”
Dr. Junger began to gain weight, he sneezed often when the seasons changed and always felt exhausted. It seemed the convenience foods were taking a toll on his health.
At the completion of a three-year internship and residency, Dr. Junger moved to Manhattan’s Upper East Side and started his cardiology training at Lenox Hill Hospital.
During the second three years of training his allergies got so bad that he had to use antihistamines and steroid inhalers. He felt bloated often with abdominal discomfort alternating between constipation and diarrhea.
After consulting a Gastroenterologist and going through all the necessary medical tests to rule out serious health conditions, Dr. Junger was given a diagnosis of “irritable bowel syndrome.”
The treatments suggested were antispasmodic pills, anti-flatulence pills, painkillers and anti-diarrhea medication alternating with laxatives.
He wasn’t surprised that nobody asked him what he was eating since he had never taken a nutrition class in his medical training.
Then something surprising occurred, Dr. Junger started waking up with chest pain. As a cardiologist he knew the heart muscle and its arteries were not the problem. He found out he was depressed.
With no family history of depression and no situational evidence to cause his feelings of impending doom, he decided to seek help.
In addition to feelings of sadness, Dr. Junger noticed his mind did not stop thinking thoughts. Dialogues played incessantly and kept him awake at night.
A psychiatrist prescribed Prozac, stating that a chemical imbalance prevented his brain from producing enough serotonin.
Dr. Junger received a second opinion. This time he was prescribed Zoloft, the cousin to Prozac. The psychiatrist explained that serotonin is responsible for the feeling of well-being and happiness. He reassured Dr. Junger that he wasn’t alone and stated he was starting to see depression in almost epidemic proportions.
Dr. Junger rejected the idea of being on prescription drugs for life and began his own research. Delving into subjects of psychiatry and psychology led him to self-help and then on to Eastern Philosophy.
Dr. Junger discovered meditation helped calm his mind and led him to being more present in the moment. He learned that the study of yoga encompassed personal attitudes toward the world and others, attitudes toward self, body postures, breathing exercises, control of the senses, concentration, meditation and present moment awareness.
An opportunity to work at a meditation school in India for one year came to Dr. Junger. He took it without hesitation.
While at the meditation school in India, Dr. Junger’s medical symptoms were clearing up.
At the end of the year, he returned to America and took a job as cardiologist in a busy practice. Many of the patients were taking five or more prescriptions and his job encouraged adding more.
One day, Dr. Junger received a visit from a friend who had just returned from a stay at the We Care Spa.
Dr. Junger’s mouth dropped as he watched his friend walk into the room. Ten days before, he saw a bloated, overweight, sallow-skinned man. Now, he saw a man who was fifteen pounds lighter, with shiny glowing skin and with eyes whose whites glistened.
The spa is known for green juices, colonics, massage, sunshine, yoga and meditation.
Due to his hectic and committed schedule, Dr. Junger couldn’t actually stay at the Spa so he took on the program as a spa out-patient.
After two weeks of the program, his body reset itself. All of his symptoms disappeared including headaches, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and depression.
This experience motivated Dr. Junger to research detoxification processes and expanded his doctor toolkit to include detoxification, dietary change and wellness from inside.
This was the beginning of the Clean Program.
Next post will summarize chapter three.
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.