Dr Max Gerson based his therapy on the premise that a major cause of disease is the effects of accumulated toxins, poisons and unnatural chemicals in the body, and so detoxification is the first strategy towards recovery.
Next, the body must be loaded with all the required nutrients for it to start healing itself. When healing starts, the process will snowball. He believed that: “When anything heals, everything heals”. We often notice people healing very fast after an initial slow phase.
It is not my aim to review his therapy in detail, which I’m sure, is being done by others. My interest in this is because I believe very much in the power of nutritional healing, and in the body’s inherent ability to heal itself – precisely what Dr Gerson believed. There is also much relevance to the subject of “live” foods and qi, and the role of the liver in detoxification and protecting our health.
“LIVE” FOODS HEAL
The program aims to feed the body only with nutrient-rich “live” foods whose enzymes and life-force (qi) are still active. Thus lots of organic, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables are necessary. Patients have to take 13 glasses (about 3 liters) of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables juices daily, so there is no further need of plain water. And if they are still thirsty, they drink more juice instead of water. The body is fed with healing nutrients whenever possible and plain water or plain ( eg. refined, polished ) foods are avoided.
In previous articles, I had explained the importance of eating fresh foods which are rich in qi. The Gerson Therapy is another testimony that the healing potential of live foods is tremendous.
Dead and processed foods are avoided, as are those with known toxins (natural or otherwise), and those that have been shown to slow down or stop healing, or cause persistent flare-ups in the patients over the last 75 years. The list of foods to avoid is very long.
There are special instructions on cooking methods and even cooking utensils to preserve the nutritional value of the foods and prevent contamination.
While many may not agree with this therapy, it must be remembered that it is only for those with chronic diseases who wish to emulate those who have already succeeded in reversing their diseases through this high-discipline detoxification and nutritional healing program.
I personally met several people who were “saved” by this therapy. One gentleman went to 25 different doctors to find a cure for his chronic spastic colon that nearly killed him, and was finally referred to a psychiatrist because the doctors could not find anything wrong. Instead, he skipped seeing the shrink and tried this therapy. He gradually recovered and is now healthy. He now dedicates his life to educating people about detoxification and nutritional healing.
If the therapy is as effective as claimed, imagine if it is combined with Qigong exercises.
DETOXIFY BEFORE HEALING CAN BEGIN
Dr Max Gerson was well ahead of us all in realizing that cumulative poisoning of the organ systems cause the body to develop certain chronic diseases, and also lose the ability to prevent or overcome other problems, including infections. Some systems become aberrant and self-damaging (eg. Auto-immune diseases ).
Before we can hope for the body to recover its healing ability, we must get rid of these poisons. Most of us are loaded with many poisons as a result of our polluted environment and chemical-dependent modern lifestyle.
A high-fiber diet ( eg. Fruits and vegetables ) and sufficient fluids will help ensure a regular bowel habit. This is the most important excretion route. Fasting allows the intestines to rest and detoxification is more efficient. Colonic irrigation (done by a qualified colon hydrotherapist) will further cleanse the colon and improve its absorption and excretory functions.
Efficient excretion through our urine requires plenty of fluids and healthy kidneys. Qigong exercises for kidney health were described earlier.
The skin helps in detoxification in two ways. Firstly, by continually dropping off the outer layer of dead cells, and secondly through the sweat. Daily brushing of the skin can do wonders to the skin and overall health by helping the body get rid of the dead cells. Exercises that enhance sweating, or going to the sauna, will improve the excretion of wastes through sweating.
Finally, we also excrete through our lungs as we breathe. When you breathe during your Qigong exercises, you can further improve the excretion/ detoxification by concentrating on this function – imagine all the bad stuff being blown off each time you exhale.
Thus, we need healthy intestines, kidneys, skin and lungs to get rid of the poisons efficiently. However, the most important organ for detoxification is the liver. It is our detox centre.
THE DETOX CENTRE.
Of the various functions performed by the liver, detoxification is probably its busiest duty. Apart from detoxifying everything that is already in our blood, it has to cope with all the new stuff that get in. All foods absorbed from the intestines are diverted to it first for processing, and detoxified when necessary. Drugs and other unnatural chemicals – toxins, carcinogens, pesticides, pollutants, exogenous hormones, etc. have to be trapped or changed to less harmful entities. Due to the large load, often the liver cannot detoxify everything and the poisons get to the rest of the body. The liver is also not programmed to handle many of the unnatural chemicals we ingest, inhale, apply or even inject into our bodies. Sometimes the liver itself succumbs and become diseased, especially if it is previously damaged by alcohol or infections.
In natural therapy, fasting also helps the liver rest, and become more efficient. Coffee retention enemas will stimulate its detoxification and excretion processes and produce more bile. This can be safely done at home. Milk thistle, silymarin and other herbs may protect and improve liver function. There are also Qigong exercises beneficial for liver health.
QIGONG EXERCISES FOR LIVER HEALTH
A good exercise for the liver and gallbladder, and the nearby organs ( stomach, intestines, spleen and pancreas ) is “Plucking The Stars”:
Starting from the same stance with the hands holding the “energy ball” in front of you, as previously described for brain health, the energy ball is brought near the upper abdomen while you send the qi to nourish and heal all the organs mentioned. Breathe relaxedly.
Next “turn” the ball around by bringing the left hand upwards ( palm facing down ) and right hand downwards ( palm facing up ) so that the hands are in the centre with the palms facing each other.
Raise the right arm upwards while slowly rotating the hand 360 degrees until the arm is fully stretched upwards with the palm facing up and fingers pointing inwards. At the same time, the left arm is fully stretched downwards, maintaining the palm facing down and fingers pointing inwards. Imagine qi flowing up and down the arms as they move.
Inhale slowly ( through the nose ) while stretching the arms, and exhale slowly ( through the mouth ) while pausing in the fully stretched position. Finally, slowly return the hands to the abdominal level, but with the hands in opposite positions ( left hand below, with palm facing up and right hand above, with palm facing down ).
Repeat the exercise with the arms alternating stretching up and down for 10 sets. Don’t forget to nourish your liver, gallbladder and adjacent organs in between. Enjoy your exercises!