Before World War I, Karlsbad (now the Czech Republic) was actually considered the best place in Europe to get your digestive issues treated.
An Austrian physician working and studying there believed that the gut was the seat of wellness in the body…
Something general practitioners are having a hard time getting behind today.
But Franz Xavier Mayr knew it was true, and realized that we had no criteria by which to judge what makes a gut more or less functional than another.
We had no picture of what a gut functioning in the prime of its health looked like.
What was its size and shape, what were its characteristics?
How would you know if something was wrong? What marked the transition from manageable digestive health to catastrophic digestive health? What were we doing that was pushing us from the good gut health we were born with into poor gut health that ravaged our immune systems, dulled our skin, and packed weight onto our bodies?
In 1901, he developed what he called “The FX Mayr Cure.”
And if its tenets sound a little familiar to modern functional medicine, it’s because Mayr set the cogs in motion all those years ago.
So what is it? What can it do for you? Is it for everyone?
Let’s dig in…
Mayr Now and Then
There are Mayr clinics operating today, but they’re often considered inaccessible to the masses due to restrictive pricing — some of them are as expensive as 7,000 Euro a week.
Originally, Mayr wrote the book on digestive diagnostics, literally.
He created a digestive blueprint indicating healthy and unhealthy features of the digestive system regarding shape, firmness, sensitivity to pressure, gas content, and intestinal position. He also highlighted the connection between posture, digestive behavior, and the luminosity of skin…
All things we know to be true today.
What was considered groundbreaking at the time was that what we ate could be medicinal. (Obviously, followers of Eastern medical systems had known for a long time how powerful conscious food consumption could be for the humors in the body.)
But this was Austria at the beginning of the 20th century.
Mayr believed that we “auto-intoxicate” ourselves. Basically, we’re poisoning ourselves with our diets by not eating alkaline foods, eating too quickly, eating while stressed or distracted, too much raw food in the evening, too much of one kind of food, etc.
Treatment today would probably be unrecognizable to Mayr, although it’s been refined and advanced by a doctor who studied directly under him.
There are still therapeutic tummy massages, but now other innovations include strict intermittent fasting, colon-blasting laxatives, no alcohol, gluten, dairy, or coffee, and liver-supporting infusions.
The treatment at clinics is very personalized, but people all over the world simply follow the principles of Mayr.
And they’re principles we talk about all the time…
You Might Recognize…
Here are a few of the core principles we use today to promote gut health that overlap with the Mayr method:
- Intermittent Fasting: Patients are encouraged to pick two days a week where they only consume 500 calories to encourage autophagy and gut cell regeneration.
- Alkaline Eating: Yes, the body naturally regulates its own pH levels — but we’ve done a lot of things to our bodies that they weren’t intended to handle, so it makes sense that we aid it a bit in returning to alkaline levels by eating mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
- Chewing 40–60 Times: One of the Mayr tools is practicing chewing by eating spelt bread, and training the body to eat more slowly, thereby avoiding overloading the gut with big chunks of food that are harder to break down and may, in fact, slip through loose joints in the intestinal lining and cause all sorts of trouble.
- Avoiding Screen Time While Eating: Screen time can be distracting and cause us to eat quickly and eat too much. It’s hard to control your portions when you’re not paying attention! Mindfulness during eating is paramount to a healthy gut.
Of the Mayr promises, leaving their 21-day treatment program feeling better and looking better is definitely heavily advertised.
Why is that?
Because our gut’s functioning is essential to our production of energy, not just proactively but passively.
If the gut is impeded by hindrances in its digestion and absorption, it not only disrupts cellular energy production, but it draws energy away from places it’s needed because the damaged gut needs more.
Fixing your gut is one of the major steps towards restoring natural energy and banishing exhaustion permanently.
We’re not meant to be tired, you know. We’re actually supposed to feel “youthful” vitality all our lives.
That’s why we developed a nine-hour, nine-part docu-series, in which more than 50 functional and integrative healthcare experts were interviewed, to explain the disconnect between modern living and energy production.
We’re the most advanced we’ve ever been, and most of us are hardly even able to enjoy it.