5 Myths About Cleansing

April 21, 2015 Updated: April 24, 2015

1. Cleansing Is a Fad

The practice of cleansing for improved health has been around for thousands of years. From the 5,000 year old Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicinal systems, to Native American and South American purification rituals, cleansing has been with us for a long time.

In the United States, cleansing has really come of age in the last 15 years because of our increased awareness of the toxins around us. Since World War II, over 80,000 new chemicals have been created.

According the EPA, “over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the nation’s environment each year including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens.” The more we learn about the damaging effects of toxins on the human body, the more we’ll look to cleansing programs that will aid our overloaded detox organs.

Today cleansing is not a fad, but one of the most powerful health tools available.

A balanced cleanse focuses on improving your diet (Shutterstock)

2. Cleansing Is a Code Word for “Weight Loss Scheme That Doesn’t Work”

Many of us have tried weight loss programs that don’t work. They’re quick fixes that don’t address a solid foundation of health.

Cleansing done in the right way is the opposite of a weight loss scheme. A balanced cleanse focuses on improving your diet, removing mucus-forming and hard-to-digest foods, addressing emotional eating, and teaching you skills to live healthily after your cleanse.

3. Doctors Don’t Recommend Cleansing

While this may have been true years ago, cleansing and detox programs are now recommended by many doctors as well as naturopaths, chiropractors, therapists, and healthcare workers.

Most doctors do not receive a deep education in nutrition during medical school. In order for them to learn about cleansing, they often need to go through postgraduate programs like the ones offered at the Institute for Functional Medicine.

As our healthcare system learns that there are alternatives to the symptom-based model of medications, we’re confident we’ll see more doctors raising the cleansing flag.



4. There Is No Science Supporting Cleansing

There is mounting evidence suggesting that supporting our body’s detoxification and cleansing processes are essential to health. Dr. Jeffrey Bland, the “father of functional medicine,” writes in his book The Disease Delusion:

“Specific foods and their nutrients determine…the effectiveness of your detoxification process. Compromise the detox process, and a toxic load of substances build up in the body and poisons your metabolism.” (p. 126)

The Institute for Functional Medicine has written a four hundred page textbook on the science of detoxification that is used to retrain medical doctors. This textbook alone is loaded with hundreds of peer-reviewed articles that provide evidence to support balanced cleansing programs.

Though there is support for cleansing programs in general, there isn’t a lot of evidence for specific cleanse programs. Most doctors and wellness companies, unlike pharmaceutical companies, do not have the resources to pay for studies.

However, there is lots of evidence supporting the components of a balanced cleanse.

For example, if we consider the Clean Cleanse, there is research supporting the 12-hour window, berberine as an antimicrobial, probiotics as treatment for allergies, and gut inflammation, and the detoxification benefits of nutrient-rich shakes.

If you were to use one of these tools, you might feel some benefits. The power of the Clean Cleanse comes from combining many of the beneficial components into a simple program to produce a more profound experience. This experience helps support short-term and long-term habit change.

In the end, the claim that there is no science supporting balanced cleansing just doesn’t hold up.

5. Cleansing Is Just a Quick Fix Not a Long-Term Solution.

There is no quick fix that will magically change people’s health long-term. Each one of us is a mix of motivations, desires, and drives that often conflict with one another. Some days we want to do what it takes to get healthy, other days we don’t. But we do know that certain practices help us build habits that can lead to long-term change.

The Clean Cleanse takes these habit-forming practices and makes them part of the program’s core structure. Here are a few of them:

  • 21-Days. The cleanse is 21 days long, the minimum amount of time to develop a new habit.
  • Daily Shakes. Learning to make delicious nutrient-dense shakes gives you a healthy option any time you’re short on time. Rather than reach for the junk, developing a habit of shakes can take your health a long way.
  • Cleanse Diet. Following the cleanse diet encourages you to remove the major foods that cause health problems and add in more whole foods.
  • Reintroduction Process. The Reintroduction Process helps you discover which foods make you feel the best, knowledge that will help you create your own personalized long-term diet.
  • Support. On-going coaching and support are crucial to instilling new habits. We offer free wellness coaching before, during, and after your cleanse and you can email or call us anytime.
  • Community. In Charles Duhigg’s best-selling book, The Power of Habit, he looks at how important being a part of a community of shared values is to transforming our habits. We develop community through our online community siteFacebook page, and annual group cleanses.

There is no guarantee for long-term change. But a well-structured cleansing program, motivation, and support can help us get there, and gives us many of the tools to succeed.

This article was originally published on CleanProgram.com. The Clean Program, founded by cardiologist and detox specialist, Dr. Alejandro Junger, helps people detoxify their systems to restore and maintain optimal health.

*Image of “juice” via Shutterstock