Blog Post

Can You Detox Your Brain?


MM writes: “I have looked with great interest at some interviews with Caroline Leah - Switch on your Brain. How science is catching up with God's Word. It seems like great stuff. She offers a detox program of 63 days to change our mind habits. I would like to know what are your thoughts on her methods and teachings.”

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian, has a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. The author of Switch on Your Brain and Who Switched Off My Brain? Toxic Thoughts, Emotions, and Bodies and other books, she claims to have been studying the “mind-body” connection since the early 1980s. She believes that 75 to 95 percent of illnesses that plague our lives today are the result of our thought life.

In other words, if you have diabetes or heart disease, it’s pretty much your own fault for thinking the wrong way.

According to her website, Leaf developed the Geodesic Learning theory (how we think and process information) that has been shown to increase thinking, behavioral and academic performance by 35 to 75 percent.

“This revolutionary theory explains the Science of Thought, stating how thoughts form, how we process information and the power of the non-conscious mind and the relationship between the non-conscious and conscious. It explains that everything you do is first a physical thought in the physical brain. You think, and then you do, which cycles back to the original thought, changing it, and the thoughts connected to it, in a dynamic interrelationship. Therefore if your thinking is toxic, then your communication and behavior are toxic, and vice versa.”

What we need to do to improve our lives is to optimize our thought process by learning how to control our thought life, manage stress, get rid of toxic thoughts and overcome mental, emotional and spiritual strongholds. This is what Dr. Leaf purports to be able to do and teaches her clients to “detox the brain” by changing the way they think and not letting thoughts run wild through the mind.

“It means learning to engage interactively with every single thought that you have, and to analyze it before you decide either to accept or reject it," she asserts.

Leaf has gone so far as to say that the way we think impacts our DNA!

This is classic New Age thinking – that a person can change their whole life just by changing the way they think. It’s just another version of the age-old human potential movement – which attributes power to the mind that it just doesn’t have.

Perhaps this is why Dr. Leaf’s ideas have generated criticism from her peers who agree that her conclusions are not substantiated by science.

She has also been criticized for billing herself as a cognitive neuroscientist. She has a degree in Logopedics  and Audiology (speech pathology) and while she has had some training in neuroanatomy and psychology, she is not a cognitive neuroscientist by any stretch. In fact, we were personally contacted by a neurologist from California who complained about Dr. Leaf's lack of credentials in neuroscience and also pointed out that she has published only three papers, all of them dating in the 1990s.

For all of the above reasons, I would suggest giving Dr. Leaf's work a pass.

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