Demi Moore made a recent appearance on the Dave Letterman show, where she described her latest foray into detoxification: Leeches. Sound archaic and potentially dangerous? Believe it or not, leeches have made something of a comeback in the medical world, where they have "saved lives and limbs, reducing severe and dangerous venous engorgement post-surgery in fingers, toes, ear, and scalp reattachments; limb transplants; skin flap surgery; and breast reconstruction."
Demi says that she uses them for detoxification and cleansing, which sounds like the wishful thinking of a Fountain of Youth-seeking, 45-year-old sucker (pardon the pun). Oh, and don't worry about the bitey little worms professionalism: Moore insists that they are "highly trained medical leeches." Do they dress them up in lab coats, I wonder? Of course, Demi has been known to hit the bottle—the Kabbalah water bottle, that is—so all of this should be taken with a big grain of salt.
Curious about more holistic ways to detox and cleanse—both physically and spiritually—I asked my friend, Transpersonal Psychologist Jennifer Kaplan, to point me in the direction of institutions and programs that address mind, body, and spirit. Here's what she came up with:
- 21 Day Detox: The only detox on this list that Dr. Kaplan has tried (she calls it "totally amazing.") You can do it at home: The kit includes DVDs, booklets, menus, and supplements to take you through a three week program. Week 1 "focuses on plant-based food, eliminating many of the toxins people receive in their diet." Week 2 "moves you into a live-food diet with uncooked foods and two blended meals, which decreases stress on the digestive system." Week 3 "is the liquid part of the program where the digestive organs get a rest and healing begins on a cellular level." A good choice for people who don't know what it means to "listen" to their bodies. Enthusiasts claim that it leaves them feeling peaceful, calm, energized, conscious, and aware.
- We Care Spa: This spiritual retreat in Palm Springs offers juice fasting and colonics, lymphatic massage, body scrubs, meditation, and breath work, from which they claim results including increased energy and vitality, increased mental alertness, improved sleep, weight loss, and "positive transformations ranging from releasing unresolved emotional conflicts and problems to substantial improvement of relationships with friends and family."
- Ann Wigmore Institute: Practitioners and teachers at this Puerto Rico institute educate students about detoxification and healing of the body, mind, and spirit through the use of wheatgrass juice and living foods. Their two-week Living Foods Lifestyle Certification Program is "like a living foods boot camp for people seriously interested in cleansing, healing, and learning the basics." Yoga, breathing, and massage are also available.