By Dr. Mercola
Dr. Brian Clement is the medical director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, which is one of the world's oldest complementary health centers.
Dr. Clement started with the organization in 1975, and has been a director since 1980.
Here he shares his considerable knowledge of how to improve your health.
The primary focus of this interview is on detoxification, because this is an area that Dr. Clement has great experience with.
The full program that Hippocrates offers is called the "Life Change Program," and runs for 21 days.
"The main thrust of what we offer is not all of the nice things I spoke about. It's education," Dr. Clement says. "My objective as a director is to get people to not need me, the Institute, or you. We want people to be educated, to be totally responsible for their life and lifestyle. And in doing so, one of the primary biological factors is you have to eliminate waste from your body.
… [A]ll of us live in an invisible cesspool, and we don't know it. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the clothing we wear... [O]ur latest book, Killer Clothes, tells you about how we have direct scientific evidence that clothing causes cancer and a wide array of other diseases. It's the petrochemicals. So all of these is taken into account here…
Not only are we cleansing the body through large amounts of raw food, but also through infrared technologies, Vibrason units… lymphatic massage, deep tissue technology, psychotherapy… and colonic therapy..."
There can be little doubt that toxic heavy metals and chemicals in our environment contribute to the vast majority of cancers we see today. Ditto for other chronic debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
"We know that… for every 17 micrograms of lead in your body, your IQ is reduced by 10 points. Now, think of that. How many of us would have been much brighter if we didn't grow up in a time where they used lead paint or lead in the automobile fumes? So, we are detoxifying disease-causing elements from the body," Dr. Clement says.
Lack of exercise also compounds the problem, as exercise is a natural form of detoxification.
Great Detox Tools: Saunas, Steam Baths, and Whirlpools
Detoxification can be controversial, and there's no one right way to do it. However, after nearly 50 years, the Institute has gathered some exceptional experience with what works and what's safe. (To learn more about what NOT to do, please listen to the interview or read through the transcript.)
Infrared saunas are a great option, and can significantly expedite the detoxification process. It heats your tissues several inches deep, which can enhance your natural metabolic processes. It also enhances circulation and helps oxygenate your tissues.
Your skin is a major organ of elimination, but many people do not sweat on a regular basis. This may be due to wearing synthetic or tight clothing that does not breathe. Sedentary living and sun damage also inactivate your skin. Repeated use of the sauna slowly restores skin elimination, which can help reduce your toxic load quite significantly. But not only will it help rid your body of heavy metals and chemicals, it will also help kill off viruses and other microbes—even cancerous cells, according to Dr. Clement.
"And it's not only us saying it; it's also mainstream medicine in other places, where money is not as important as people," he says.
The difference between an infrared sauna and the traditional Finnish-style saunas is that the latter heats you up from the outside in, like an oven. The infrared sauna heats you from the inside out. Steam baths are great for detoxifying your water-based organs. So if you have lung, kidney, or bladder problems, a steam bath with some essential oil can be beneficial.
"Any discomforts or disorders that you have in those organs, that's the best way to go," Dr. Clement says.
Whirlpools or Jacuzzis are recommended for lymphatic and neurological problems. However, you'll want to make sure it's not loaded full of chlorine and other harmful chemicals, as that will defeat the whole purpose. Ideally, you'll also want to filter the water going into your tub, to remove as many contaminants as possible.
At Hippocrates, all the pools use ozone in lieu of chlorine, and research shows that ozone is actually about four to five times more effective than chlorine or bromine at disinfecting the water! Best of all, it won't harm your health. In fact, the ozone has additional health benefits, as your skin will absorb small amounts of the oxygen.
"[T]hese are almost essential things we need to live in the cesspool world we reside in today. People take [these tools] as a luxury—this isn't a luxury, this is almost a necessity at this point," Dr. Clement says.
For more information on how to safely disinfect your home swimming pool, should you be lucky enough to have one, and how to address algae growth without harsh chemicals, please listen to the interview or read through the transcript.
How to Use an Infrared Sauna
First, if you've never taken a sauna before, you only want to spend a few minutes in there—about four minutes tops, according to Dr. Clement. Then, for each subsequent sauna, add about 30 seconds, and slowly work your way up to somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes. The reason for this is because the detoxification process can in some cases be severe, depending on your toxic load.
"A lot of times when you detoxify, you feel like you're having surgery conducted without anesthetic," Dr. Clement says. "I mean, I was a heavyset—forget heavyset, I was obese. When I began all of this, I was a fat guy, smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. And I can tell you, when I started to detoxify… I thought I was dying… And the odor that expelled from my body was so foul I had to open up the windows when I was in the bathroom."
Dr. Clement's general sauna recommendations are as follows:
- Infrared sauna: 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15-30 minutes
- Regular (Finnish, or moist) sauna: 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit, for 10-20 minutes
"What's interesting is you'll actually detoxify more, if you have a choice, with the infrared sauna," he says. "And infrared saunas, if you went out to buy one, are far less expensive than the normal saunas today.
Types of Toxins Expelled when Using Saunas
According to Dr. Clement, infrared saunas help release every type of toxic contamination you have in your body; most notable of which are mercury and lead. However, calcium is another. We're not talking about natural calcium here, but the types of calcium added to many processed foods that your body cannot process. Dr. Clement's book Supplements Exposed addresses the problem with many nutritional supplements and fortified foods.
"[Most supplements] are made out of petrochemicals, and coal tar, and turpentine—Vitamin E is an example," he says. "What happens is that if you look at calcium, the two most common, 88 percent are made either out of oyster shells that are totally indigestible, or chalk, which is a known carcinogen! Now, this is insanity, and how we allow this is corrupt, but we won't get into that today.
… [A]ll that calcium that you consume… that your body cannot process, lodges inside of your muscles. A lot of these muscular diseases we have today, and painful diseases, like fibromyalgia [can be due to this.]"
Other contaminants being eliminated include drugs and environmental chemicals that you're exposed to.
Integrating Other Detoxification Techniques with the Infrared Sauna
One of the detox strategies employed by Dr. George Yu, a surgical oncologist in Washington D.C who also happens to be a colleague of Dr. Clement's, is based on using very high doses of niacin, up to 5,000 milligrams, along with intense exercise immediately followed by a sauna. This is a very aggressive form of detox that must be supervised by a physician.
Dr. Clement agrees that niacin can be quite helpful, but expressed some concerns:
"My problem with niacin in the petrochemical form and almost all niacins are petrochemically-made. They're a complex compound of formulization that mimic nature, but they don't have the symbiosis or the ionic effect that whole food supplements would have. If you have a person with a severe cardiovascular or neurological concern, it can actually… be dangerous.
With whole food niacin, you may not get the 5,000, or 10,000, or 15,000 milligrams like they are—and [high dose niacin] does have a good effect, by the way, because it circulates and moves things through and opens up the capillaries. As you know, the whole effect of it is opening up capillaries and releasing more waste. But you can do a much better job with a lower amount and a whole food supplementation."
You can also boost the detox effect by getting a massage while in the sauna. Minerals can also be beneficial, especially electrolytes.
"The three electrolytes that you need to take when you're taking saunas, and certainly the type that Dr. Yu is employing… are calcium, magnesium, and potassium… [T]hese should be whole food ionic forms…. Basically, these are mandatory if you're going to take saunas," Dr. Clement says.
The Dangers of Electromagnetic Pollution
Dr. Clement agrees that wireless technologies are problematic for health.
"[W]e have about four people a year come in here that we call "universal conductors," he says. "That's the medical term for it. Dr. Ray, down in Texas, gave it that term. These people are so hypersensitive that they have literally taken the sheathing off their nerves. It's like having a wire that doesn't have a covering on it, and you touch it with a pin. Every time they feel the frequency that you and I do not feel, it hits directly to the nerve and creates this biological reaction, this biofrequency.
Again, most physicians, when they see these people think they have a psychiatric problem; they think they need institutionalization, when in fact this is an ever-growing group of people, these universal conductors… This is scary, and it's getting worse.
All I can tell you is that until we can grow into a maturity where compassion and our humanity is more important than our technology and our economic advancement, we're going to have these problems."
Grounding may help people who are hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields, according to Dr. Clement.
"The kind of grounding that we're doing here is highly-sophisticated grounding. And… 50 percent feel the difference from it, and the other half don't. And I'm not sure if it's placebo or not…
But what I have seen, is when we saturate the body with ionic minerals, that's where we get the results. The minerals somehow ground and pick up the biofrequency and almost channel it, rather than have it attack their anatomy. It's going up and down the chain of mineralization, especially magnesium. And magnesium oils work better than ingested magnesium."
History Hippocrates Health Institute
For the first 30 years, the Hippocrates Health Institute was located in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-five years ago this year it moved to West Palm Beach, Florida to provide a more conducive environment for the international guest population that frequently visits.
The Institute was founded by Ann Wigmore, who, in 1952 was told by a Harvard physician she only had six months to live. She had stage four colon cancer. However, by employing old-fashioned strategies taught to her by her Lithuanian grandmother, who was the village doctor, Wigmore managed to heal herself from cancer and went on to found the Hippocrates Health Institute in '56.
In the early days of Hippocrates, practically 100 percent of the people who came had fatal diseases, and over the years, thousands have brought about their own recovery there. More recently, a growing number of people have started going there for prevention, and it's set up more like a resort spa than a medical clinic.
"In the last 15 years, we have people who come for active aging," Dr. Clement says. "I hate to say the word "anti-aging." That's an oxymoron, we're all going to age, but we want to age actively… [W]e're very comprehensive. When people come we do diagnostics and research in three realms. Not only do we use standard medical blood profiles as landmarks, but we also use microscopic research, blood research, and Ondamed… which is the state-of-the-art in biofrequency technology and diagnosis."
They also employ state-of-the-art electromagnetic therapies and cold laser therapies. However, they're best known for reintroducing wheatgrass as a superfood, and bringing raw food to the forefront. The diet offered at the Institute is raw vegan, loaded with phytochemical-rich grasses and chlorophyll. (As a result, clients drop their cholesterol levels by an average of 50 points after a three week stay.)
Dr. Clement is keen on getting scientific validation, so they're also involved in studies with the University of California on the health effects of low-caloric intake, and how you can alter your genetic predispositions through nutrition.
Tens of thousands of people have already visited the Hippocrates Health Institute, and if you're interested in their services, check out their website at www.hippocratesinst.org. You can also call them at 561-471-8876. The Institute is open seven days a week.