Maha Khan Phillips reports back from the Cumuru Cleanse in Brazil. read about how it changed her life and why she keeps going back for more:
Tucked away at the edge of the Atlantic Rainforest, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, is the village of Cumuruxaitiba. Cumuru is as far off the beaten track as it gets, particularly if you’re a Pakistani, but it is the home of the Cumuru Cleanse – a private retreat run by the London-based GP, Dr Dermot O’Flynn. The aim of the cleanse is to help people kick start their immune systems through eight days of fasting. And it works. At least it does for me.
Immune systems settle down, because there is less ‘noise’ to dial up in a patient’s gut, where over 40% of our immune cells reside. This calming of the immune system is achieved by limiting food intake to 500-600 calories a day, but also, more importantly, by reducing the amount of different molecules you put into your system. It means that patients spend most of the day drinking fresh coconut water, and not much else. They end the day with a bowl of vegetable miso soup.
The result can be different in everyone. Fatigue, rashes, headaches, allergies, anxiety and depression are but a few of the hundreds of symptoms people often discard as being ‘just run down’ or tired. But by fasting for a week or more, we calm down our system, allowing it to recover, and to kick start.
Now the main question remains: do patients get hungry? Sometimes, but not nearly as much as you would imagine, and never to the point of desperation. The distractions help. There is sun, sand, and a stretch of four kilometres of unspoilt beach to enjoy. There is a pool to jump into when you get tired of the ocean. Daily yoga helps you learn to breathe and to strengthen your body, and regular acupuncture and cupping helps address any problem areas of your body. There is more pampering in the form of a variety of massages to choose from, and reiki healing – so you’re covered, ladies! When the weather makes it possible, there is also whale watching, and exploring other parts of the area, including the rainforest.
The weight loss is an added bonus to a life changing experience. I have done this before, so why did I do it again? Partly, because I have spent years on the merry-go-round of chasing specialists to find out what’s wrong with me and how it can be fixed. I’m finally feeling better. I have more energy, and many of my symptoms are gone, while others are vastly reduced.
But I’m like a junkie, I want to do this cleanse as much as I can, to feel as well as I can, now that I have re-discovered my health.
For more information, go to www.thecumurucleanse.com