Habib Sadeghi’s The Clarity Cleansewas published just this past December, but you wouldn’t know it from the religious fervor its acolytes express for it. You see, this slender tome has transcended the self-help genre to become a gospel for our very anxious times, a self-care palliative and instructional manual to smooth our frayed edges. How did it get there? Did the zeitgeist demand it, or were we just waiting for someone to talk us down from the ledge? Is Gwyneth Paltrow responsible? Breathe. Let’s review the making of a pop culture phenomenon.
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It’s a cleanse—for your mind.
Why You Need It
“It’s an exploration into how unresolved emotional trauma creates a biological environment favorable to disease,” says Sadeghi. “Healing requires clearing the mind of all the mental noise and preconceptions about health in order to create a space for new realizations and healing to enter.”
“I’m a family doctor, not a politician. What I saw right after the election, more pervasive than just overeating and gaining weight, was a surge of insomnia, anxiety, depression,” Sadeghi says. “I am seeing a shift in the physiological terrain of those patients who are continuously angry. Usually this shift can be translated into various autoimmune diseases downstream.”
After being diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago as a medical student, and with no options other than radical surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation, Sadeghi started to explore how chronic emotional stress might be linked to disease. After his recovery he began to use his newfound understanding of how the mind and body work together to create health—or disease—with his patients at the Be Hive of Healing Integrative Medical Center in Agoura Hills, California.
The Gwyneth Effect
Sadeghi worked with Paltrow on the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon and became a mentor. The Clarity Cleanse was published by her Goop Press, and she wrote the foreword. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he and his wife Sherry Sami explained to Goop readers the concept of “conscious uncoupling,” which was how Paltrow described her divorce from Chris Martin.
The staff at Be Hive declined to name celebrity disciples, but they helpfully pointed to the blurbs contributed by Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore, Jessica Chastain, Tobey Maguire, Penélope Cruz, and Cruz’s husband Javier Bardem.
Elements of a Four-day Monodiet
Apples, brown rice, and sardines are all approved foods. (Vitamin B is the common thread.) Poultry, fish, egg whites, vegetables, and fruit are also allowed, but verboten are dairy, nuts, legumes, alcohol, and caffeine. “More important than the content of what you eat is the mindset that you take with you,” he says.
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Mindfulness in a Rush
Engage your EMS, or Emotional Management System: Don’t social-media your way out of stress. Instead, practice PEW12: Purge Emotional Writing (putting everything that’s disturbing you on paper) for 12 straight minutes each day, and then burn the paper. “This is not a journal you keep by your bed, not something you do on your phone,” Sadeghi says. “Use it as an opportunity for further growth.”
Practice meditation.“Not simply as a relaxation technique but to prime the mind for the realizations that are to come,” Sadeghi says. And end the blame game. “It doesn’t mean we excuse anyone else’s behavior; it simply means asking oneself, ‘What could it be inside of me that led me into this situation or allowed this person into my life? In what way could I have consciously or unconsciously contributed to this situation?’ Taking full responsibility for your life is the only way to take back your power to change any part or all of it.”
Sadeghi is currently at work on a similar book with couples in mind that tailors The Clarity Cleanse principles specifically for intimate relationships.
This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Town & Country. Subscribe Now