Article by Diana Store originally published in Get Fresh! magazine, UK
When Ann Wigmore laid down the principles of the “Hippocrates Diet and Health Programme” in the 1960s, she not only encapsulated the wisdom of the previous centuries (and millenia’s) natural health care movement, but crystalised a concept of self healing based on a pure enzyme rich diet, purification of the physical body, exercise, sunshine, water and oxygen. This programme which can be understood as a type of naturopathy, is an approach to health that recognises that when allowed to, the body has the ability to heal itself. This point of view was stated in history by the often quoted Greek ‘Father of Medicine’, Hippocrates in 2-300BC. Together with Viktoras Kulvinskas, Ann opened the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston in 1969, where they put their green-live-food-healing into action, and became the inspiration for a number of similar healing resorts in America, Puerto Rico and Australia.
The basic Hippocrates health diet and practices include:
Wheatgrass juice – for blood alkalization, cleansing, generation and oxygenation of red blood cells;
Regular juices from sprouts, fresh vegetables and greens, and watermelon;
Abundant fresh unprocessed raw foods including green leaves, salad fruits and vegetables;
Sprouted foods, including mung bean, sunflower greens and cabbage sprouts;
Cultured (rich in friendly bacteria) foods such as sauerkraut and seed cheese;
Colon cleaning with enemas and wheatgrass implants;
Positive thinking and mental detoxification.
The Optimum Health Institute in San Diego is one centre offering these therapies. Their ‘wheatgrass cathedral’ houses 1500 trays of wheatgrass and 150 are harvested each day to feed the visitors that flow through the door, up to 200 at a time. Another centre is The Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, established and directed by Brian Clement who previously managed Ann Wigmore’s centre in Boston. Up to 70 vistors at a time can come to take part in the three week ‘Life Change Programme’ offered at this 30 acre woodland spa, at West Palm Beach. From their own literature, “The goal of the Institute is to reawaken the total consciousness within ourselves and allow us to realise that good health and free will are our birthright, and a life free from disease and needless pain are our legacy”.
The programme lasts three weeks to allow guests enough time to experience detoxification, as well as learn the theoretical and practical aspects of the lifestyle. An extended range of facilities and therapies are offered including fitness, ozonated pools, and saunas, as well as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, kinesiology and yoga. Hippocrates also offers a nine week Health Educator’s Programme for those wishing to incorporate the teachings into their professional life.
A typical dietary day will include two times wheatgrass, 3 – 4 green drinks and salads including 20% green sprouts. A sample from the buffet might include: almond basil loaf, spelt tortilla rolls, red pepper coulis and cauliflower and mushrooms a la greque.
“In the summer of 2002 I was diagnosed with a severe “burnout” (or Adrenal Exhaustion, as my alternate physician called it). I was told to stay home for at least four months to give my body the rest it needed and time to heal. Shortly afterwards I was told about Hippocrates by a friend in England who had attended a lecture given by Brian Clement (the most dynamic person I have met!)……….. Rising at 6am and walking through the early morning air to the wheatgrass hut to make your own wheatgrass juice at the start of your day was not difficult and then joining in the meditation session 45 minutes later in the yurt gave you such a sense of peace and well-being.
There was somehow a special bond with your fellow guests – especially those who started in the same group each week; everyone supported each other as there were days that you felt a little low or out-of-sorts, but there was always someone there to encourage you and you did the same for others. Before my arrival I had particularly suffered from arthritis in my hands, wrists and feet and had been accustomed for months to waking in pain during the night. After six nights at Hippocrates I woke in the morning and realized that I was completely free of pain and stiffness – my new “diet” was indeed miraculous.
I have since proven to myself that, although I do not follow a 100% raw diet, so long as I stay away from certain cooked foods and alcohol and keep as raw as I can, I have no problems with my arthritis, but if I am travelling and cannot eat as much raw food as I usually do and also eat fish and drink alcohol I immediately become aware of the pain in my hands again.”
– Patricia Cromberge from The Netherlands
Ann Wigmore had recognised that natural healing also had a spiritual component. After being guided to “Become a minster and build My temples”, she reached the awareness “that the physical body is the temple of God and only through healing the body was spiritual unfoldment possible”. She also had the more down to earth insight that with certain conditions and medical situations, it is wise and practical to have the support of all types of medical practitioners, including the conventional.
Hippocrates Health Institute, Florida: www.hippocratesinst.com
Optimum Health Institute, San Diego: www.optimumhealth.org