The best advice I can give to anyone who sees the man on the front cover of this book in real life is to not let him give you a hug!!!
A few months ago I found myself in the walled city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and despite having a cast-iron stomach, for the first time in my life I came down with food poisoning. I am not going to lie I was feeling sorry for myself and although I wanted nothing more than to stay in my hotel room and mope I decided to pick myself up and explore the city and let me tell you I am glad I did. This was not because I was overwhelmed by the varied temples and natural beauty Chiang Mai has to offer but because I happened to come across a book shop that had the most impressive collection of woo for sale that I have ever seen.
For those who don’t know me I am some what a collector of quack crap. My room seems to be slowly turning into a monument to all the stupid and half-baked dangerous ideas people have had over the past few centuries. Coming across this book shop with its shelf after shelf of the purest quackaly was like Aladins cave for me. Within 45 miners I had spent every baht I had on me and walked away with some tully impressive specimens including a book called ‘Cosmic Cleansing’.
The book is is a set of instructions and techniques that will “cleanse the nine opens of the body giving you health, vitality, and longevity” which is exactly what it sounds like. What makes it even worse is that there are multiple photographs of one of the authors Mantak Chia throughout the book preforming the techniques recommended which leave nothing to the imagination. If I would have known the book contained a large full colour image of Mantak fingering himself in a section named ‘rectum cleaning’ I probably would not have choose to put the book in my hand luggage and attempt to read it in a crowded departure lounge as I was waiting for a flight back to Bangkok.
The book heavily promotes several popular alternative treatments including the rather dangers procedure of ear candling. The practice involve placing a hollow cone-shaped candle in the ear and lighting the other end. Depending on who you talk to depends on what the benefit is as some believe it will help remove ear wax and toxins while others like Mantak believe that it will somehow help your kidneys as the ears are “the windows of the vibrational universe”. When the process is finished some like to open up the candle to look at the content and claim that its the wax and toxins the candle removed from your body. In reality its nothing more than ashes and wax from the candle. The truth is that this practice is both dangerous and ineffective with there being some reports of the procedure burning peoples ears and actually depositing wax in others.
The book also promote some rather unusual treatments that I believe even the most hardcore alternative medicine proponent would find hard to endorse. Take for example eye tearing in which Mantak believes he can beam toxins from his body by beaming them out of his eye or the books unbelievable sea water therapy. Yes the book suggests your drink a large quantity of sea water.
“The seawater cleanse is a technique used by many island cultures to reverse the effects of ageing, heal the body, and renew a person’s sense of vitality and energy. The cleanse is relatively simple but very powerful. Everyday you take hyper-tonic fluid (sea water) which pulls fluid into your intestine and causes diarrhoea.”
I am sure I don’t need to tell you this but drinking “hyper-tonic fluid” AKA seawater causes the body to excrete more water than is obtained by drinking it. Yes drinking a relatively small amount of seawater is not going to be harmful but Mantak and this book recommend that you drink a gallon (which is either 4.5 or 3.7 liters) of seawater a day whilst on the seawater cleanse.
There is no reason why anyone should drink the amount of seawater recommend in the book even if they where stranded out at sea. This is because without fresh water to help the body remove the excess salt there would be a build up of sodium in the blood resulting in fatal seizures and cardiac arraythmia. The best thing to do if you are stuck at sea and desperately thirsty is to drink our own urine which nicely bring up to the next thing the book is suggesting. Urine therapy!
This is where the book starts to get really gross as it tries to convince the reader that urine is some sort of panacea. It honestly recommends drinking, splashing, and dabbing urine to cure everything from snake bites to cancer! But you must abay some very strict rules to get the best out of your urine like using urine immediately upon collection and only use mid-stream urine. It even suggests that you start small placing a few drops off urine under the tongue so you get use the the taste before you start to quaff the stuff down. This is why I said at the beginning that Mantak should probably be avoided in real life as he is probabaly covered in years of his own feculent.
At the end of the day I love this book. Yes I was a little disappointed that its content had nothing to do with what was on the front cover but all was forgiven because of its unusuall recommendations and for one of the most adorable and oblivious mistakes I have ever seen. Whilst giving out advice on urine therapy it says that under no circumstance are you to dilute down your fresh steaming urine before use unironically suggesting that you should try homeopathic urine followed by a picture of Mantak throwing back a nice warm glass of his own piss.
You could not make this stuff up.