The Cromwell Newsletter had a video interview with Dr O’Flynn during his October 2022 Cleanse Programme.
He gave us a tour of the facilities at Casa Q Coisa, his retreat in Bahia. These include an indoor WATSU pool, infrared sauna, 16m outdoor pool, massage room, yoga space, fully equipped Pilates studio and eight ensuite bedrooms set in a beautiful tropical garden 17 degrees south of the Equator on the coast of Brazil – and all just a five-minute walk from the beach.
Dr O’Flynn bought the site 35 years ago and he comes out every six months with small groups of fellow Wellionaires to carry out a seven-day fast (or, as it's scientifically penned, an FMD).
Dr O’Flynn is leading the way with his Health Investment Programme (HIP), which is directed towards investing in the long-term wellness of his clients by showing the benefits of a seven-day fast. Dr O’Flynn has a wealth of personal and professional experience in the programme, regularly completing seven day fasts himself.
We spoke to Dr O’Flynn to learn more about the FMD and his programme:
What does Casa Q Coisa stand for?
Casa Q Coisa is the name of my home in Cumuruxatiba, Bahia, Brazil. It literally means “What a Thing,” which was a favourite expression of a dear local friend of mine.
What does FMD stand for?
FMD means 'fasting mimicking diet'. It is a diet that activates several metabolic switches in response to the stress of fasting. On the Cumuru Cleanse FMD, we have 800 calories daily for seven days. This consists of organic coconut water, vegetable soups and local fruits.
What are the main medical benefits when a person takes part in this seven-day fast?
Like any seven-day detox, one feels energised and deflamed afterwards, which is easier to achieve in a beautiful warm tropical setting. The effects of such an intervention cause an increase in autophagy/mitophagy, an increase in senolysis, inflammation, ketosis, a change in microbiome diversity, and an increase in stem cell activity by 20% for up to eight weeks afterwards.
More information on FMD is available in a webinar given to the IDF in January 2021 by Dr O’Flynn, titled 'To Fast or Not to Fast'.
What is WATSU therapy?
WATSU therapy (water and shiatsu – a type of massage) is a form of passive hydrotherapy in chest-deep thermoneutral water (35°C). It combines elements of myofascial stretching, joint mobilization, massage, and shiatsu and is used to address physical and mental issues. It’s a vital part of our detox programme and one should have two-three sessions in the week. It’s the ultimate treatment for relaxation.
Is fasting safe for everyone and does it need medical supervision?
I like to say any fasting is better than no fasting at all, with two caveats: you don’t have an eating disorder and you have discussed it with your regular healthcare provider.
What happens after the fast?
After the full seven days, we start with a 're-tox' dinner and go through the practices around re-entry. Everyone has different requirements. This is an interesting learning experience about one’s own wellness, wrapped up in a holiday. There are different options available for further touring in South America or staying locally in Brazil after the fast.
Has this approach benefitted your health over the years?
Absolutely, it’s been part of my own HIP (Health Investment Portfolio) over the last decade along with Pilates and cycling. Touch wood, I have not seen a GP for a long time. I am a strong believer in being proactive with long-term health goals and practicing what I preach. I encourage my patients to take more responsibility for their own health.
What should a colleague do if they would like to learn more?
I offer a course for healthcare professionals on fasting and FMD. On each trip, there is usually another medic with us who is keen to learn. More doctors are looking at this in various forms from ketogenic diets to intermittent fasting.
If interested, healthcare professionals can contact Dr O'Flynn at his website: www.thecumurucleanse.com.