Have you been thinking about fasting on water only? Water fasting benefits are so worth the effort! I completed a prolonged water fast ten times in the last two years, and the cover picture on this blog post is me last week, at almost 40 years old. Let me share with you what I know about doing a 24 hour water fast, a 48 hour water fast, a 3 day water fast, or a full-blown 5 day water fast, which I personally did several times. I’ll show you my before and after pictures and answer your questions.
I used to be very sick – from head to toe. This is not an exaggeration. I had fungus on my toes and toenails, vaginal yeast infections that resulted in twice-a-year hospitalizations for seven years, gastrointestinal problems that led me to multiple hospitalizations as well, ENT problems, such as ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis up to five times a year, and a constantly running nose… The list goes on but I won’t bore you with it. I was on meds, drugged up with steroids, and my immune system was almost killed by all the drugs constantly prescribed to me.
Today, I’m healthy, pain-free, aches-free, very active, well-fit, don’t take any meds, don’t spend any time in hospitals or with doctors, can do any activities I want, hula-hoop, walk 10000 steps every day, kayak on the river outside my front door, travel anywhere my soul desires, and wake up with a big smile every morning thanking God for my wellbeing: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
Because I experienced being sick, taking drugs, and spending months at a hospital several times each year, my health today is the top and most important priority on my list. Being healthy is so valuable to me, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to maintain my holistic wellbeing.
Why do I use the word “holistic?”
Well… I told you about my physical health problems already. Now, let’s discuss mental health. I am a two-times suicide survivor and at some point, I suffered severely from suicidal depression. Not wanting to live, being done, being sick, being tired, being at the end of strength – all of these are intimately familiar to me personally. I wrote an essay called What Depression Feels Like describing how miserably sick I was. Water fasting helped me get healthy and strong.
One of the things I decided to try back in 2018 was water fasting. To a layperson who eats three meals a day and snacks whenever, the idea of abstaining from food completely for several days sounds insane. I was that layperson, and yes, fasting on water sounded insane to me. But honestly, I felt the same way about doing the plant-based diet.
Once I learned the science supporting whole-foods plant-based eating style, I went full-on for a very vigorous plant-based diet weight-loss and never looked back!
Similarly, after studying and understanding the scientific support for water fasting and examining what the Bible says about it, I began fasting on water regularly, and my life improved in all of its aspects, so did my holistic wellbeing. Here’s a picture of me from a few days ago in Destin, FL. I am almost 40 years old in this iPhone-captured picture.
Water Fasting Resources
When I was getting started with water fasting, I did extensive research, watched documentaries, read scientific studies, listened to some thought-provoking interviews with medical doctors, and consumed TED talks on the topic. There were so many blanks in my mind, and so many questions had to be answered for me to be comfortable with fasting.
To help you on your health journey, I created a special and unique resource library, including vlogs, science, healing stories, etc. My goal is to encourage you and help you understand why fasting on water is so healing, as well as how exactly it affects your body, brain, mind, aging, illnesses, mood, skin, metabolism, sleep, energy, and lifespan.
The purpose of my Christian blog for women is to help alleviate suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Fasting helped my own suicidal depression recovery, which is why I’m so passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with you.
Jesus expected us to fast after His crucifixion.
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.Matthew 9:15
To help you fast on water for the purposes of physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional benefits, I created many resources, such as vlogs, diaries, poems, and prayers, as well as the success stories of other people who experienced healing from fasting.
Water Fasting Vlog
My first several water fasting experiences were documented on video, and I published a video a day as I fasted. It was intense, but I wanted to help other people. So, I created a playlist of 15 water fasting vlog videos on YouTube and hope these will encourage and empower you.
Today, I don’t vlog about it anymore. Why?
In 2020, I learned that the Bible teaches to fast in secret. That’s why I don’t do vlogs but keep journals instead and share on my blog openly after I finish each water fast.
Here is my original water fasting vlog.
Water Fasting Diary
Learning how people experience fasting, how they conquer their flesh, how they battle their desires, how they handle their food temptations, and how they heal was very encouraging for me when I was getting started on water fasting. That’s why I share my journal here.
Yes, I have my full water fasting diary for you, published right here on this website, unedited! It documents my fasting experiences from 2020, this year. So, for 2018 you have my vlogs and for 2020 you have my diaries. What about 2019?
In 2019, I did not fast.
Below are all my completed water fasts.
- April 15th 2020
- April 16th 2020
- April 17th 2020
- April 18th 2020
- April 19th 2020
- April 20th 2020
- April 24th 2020
- April 26th 2020
- April 30th 2020
- May 1st 2020
- May 2nd 2020
- May 3rd 2020
- May 4th 2020
- May 22nd 2020
- May 23rd 2020
- June 22nd 2020
- June 23rd 2020
- July 21st 2020
- July 22nd 2020
Water Fasting Poems
I am a poet. When I have intense emotions, feelings, or thoughts, typically, I give birth to a poem (or ten). Abstaining from food stirred up all kinds of childhood memories for me, especially food abuse and the cruel things my mom would say about my body. I described those in the blog post called Things Narcissistic Mothers Say.
The battle within me was brutal this year when I started fasting again and stopped eating food. My emotions ran high, I actually genuinely suffered as I was working through my trauma in the absence of food. By the way, food was physically present in my home in the fridge but I did not eat it, so it was absent in my daily life.
As a result of all that insense inner work, a few new poems were born. These reflect my conversations with myself, my struggles, and my breakthroughs about so many aspects of living and eating.
May you be encouraged by these poems!
“A Poem About Water Fasting” Water fasting is a difficult journey to optimal health. Health is a very unique, rare, and special type of wealth. It’s not something you can inherit from relatives or go buy. You must earn health by sleeping, exercising, and eating to live - not to die. The obstacles to optimal health surround you everywhere: Ice cream, burger, pizza, fries, chocolates, and soda are found anywhere. These are addictive drugs, which are stronger than cocaine. They trick, addict, damage, and destroy your one and only precious brain. These drugs are specifically designed by food scientists to get you hooked, To get you overeat, crave crap, and to make your wellness overlooked. They are ought to make you fat, miserable, sick, and nearly dead. They aim to give you diseases so that you’re permanently stuck on your bed. The only way to get unhooked from all the food crap is to do a water fast. It helps restore your brain, your stomach, your arteries, and heals you best. Though fasting on water won’t make you feel good. It will however mobilize and cleanse all kinds of crap and get your body to reboot. After your water fast, eat healthy plants, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. That way fasting on water meets your health goals and even exceeds. Don’t put crappy food into your mouth, avoid getting crap-hooked. Eat raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as whole grains cooked. When you achieve optimal health and people try to get you off track, When they offer you deep-fried chicken, cheesy mushed potatoes, and other crap... Learn to say "no thank you" and stay true to your values and health priority. Exercise boundaries and refuse crappy food with determination and authority. 5/3/20 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
“Water Fasting vs Gluttony” Water fasting is a tough test for your discipline, fortitude, commitment, and spiritual maturity. It rids your body of addictive food crap, chemicals, and fat. And it helps you achieve spiritual purity. Without food, day after day, you feel deprived, trapped, physically weak, and emotionally unstable. Only God can help get you through. He gives you strength. God is of divine comforting able. Water fasting journey tests your thinking, wisdom, and your willingness to abide in Christ. Jesus gave up His life to set you free. The least you can do is just a few meals to sacrifice. Sacrificing food, your temptations, salt and fat addictions, and mental focus isn’t easy at all. That’s why to be able to fast on water only, you must every day wholeheartedly on God call. You must have strong reasons to fast on water only, not just weight loss, that goal is too vain. You must set your eyes on the Lord and desire Him more than food, that’s how you can stay sane. During your water fast, you’ll be tested plenty: your faith, your body, your priorities, your will, your strength, your habits, and your mind. At the end of your water fast, you’ll be renewed physically, mentally, and spiritually: you’ll no longer be weak and blind. You’ll be able to see clearly that food is no longer your master, it can’t control you, you have one master, you belong to God. You’ll understand what the Bible means in saying: put a knife to your throat if the sin of gluttony the best of you got. You’ll be able to honor God with your body, eat like Daniel did, and flee from the food addiction gluttony sin. You’ll be able to focus on building mental, emotional, and spiritual strength, abide in Christ, and stay lean. 5/4/20 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
"Water Fasting Unlocks Health and Wealth" Health is an asset like no other. Money and success don’t matter if Every day pains and aches you bother And without drugs you cannot live. Health can’t be bought with any money. It must be earned day after day By sleeping, stretching, walking, running, And eating plants instead of prey. Health benefits from water fasting. When you don’t eat for several days, Your body uses time for resting And activates God’s healing ways. The ways that help you detox deeply, The ways that cure your DNA, The ways that heal your gut completely And keep diseases far away. By fasting, you reduce your waistline, You also use your long-stored fat. By this, you reach your healthy baseline, Stop inflammation, and reset. You were designed by God for health. Your body is God’s Spirit’s temple. You must pursue health as your wealth, And watch your body no more tremble. You must eat right. You must workout. You must abstain from food sometimes. You must be fine to go without To learn to lean on God at all times. By fasting, you improve your wellness, Refresh your spirit, and start fresh. You also receive benefits endless Designed by God to heal your flesh. When you have health, you’re truly rich. When you’re near-dead and very sick, No money can your life enrich. So, build good habits and with them stick! Fast regularly on plain water, Eat fruits, legumes, veggies, and nuts, Do not support abuse and slaughter. To live a healthy life takes guts! To stop yourself from early dying, Reverse diseases and get healed, You need to start more veggies buying, About fresh fruit getting thrilled! Eat less, move more, get outside, Sleep well, fast often, don’t eat meat! And that’s the end of your health guide. Now, it’s up to you to get healthy and fit! 7/23/20 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Water Fasting Prayers
Prayer is the best source of strength and courage. By praying, I surrender my flesh to God and step into His Spirit. I pray and lean on God every day. Without Him, I can’t do anything.
On my water fasting journey, I wrote several prayers. May these bless you in some way and encourage you on your path to optimal health. I hope you ask God to lead you and show you the way.
A prayer for relief from the food-related temptations. Dear God, I thank you so much for leading me on a path of natural healing, helping me discover and practice water fasting, as Jesus did, and allowing me to experience deep calmness and genuine joy in my communion with you, away from food. Father, rid me of the false beliefs imposed on me by my obese and sick family, don’t let me be conformed to the eating patterns of this Western world, which are enslaving people through food addictions making eating food their master, liberate me from any and all thinking habits that resulted in my binge-eating, gluttony, and animal consumption. I want to serve you, God, and you’re the only one I want to be obsessing about, you’re the only one I want to desire with passion, not food, not eating, not restaurants, not new recipes. But you! I pray for natural and instant healing from the binge-eating disorder as I’m standing on your 3573 promises, God, trusting that all things are possible through Christ. In His name I pray for continued peace in the area of eating. Amen.
A prayer for relief from the binge-eating disorder. Dear God, I am weak, and you are strong. I belong to you, and food is not my master. I can do all things through Christ, and the sin of gluttony has no power over me. Father, help me fight food temptations, which surround me everywhere I go. Heal me from my binge-eating disorder, God. Let me establish and maintain strong food boundaries and practice a simple “no thank you” without feeling awkward or guilty in social situations. Let me only choose the kind of food that brings into my body the nutritional assets needed for my optimal health. Let me only eat as much food as my body truly needs for its optimal health. Let me eat slowly and mindfully with gratitude and peace so that my body can intake, process, and benefit from the food I’m eating. I pray these things in the name of Jesus, my lord and savior who Himself fasted on water for 40 days in the wilderness to honor you, God. Amen.
A prayer for the healing of God’s people. Dear God, I thank you for your great work in me and through me. Thank you for introducing me to the ancient method of natural healing, which is water fasting. Thank you for healing me, Father. I want to use this knowledge to help others experience healing. Guide me on how to help people discover water fasting as a health-optimization tool. Lead me to those people who need this and can benefit from it. Bring those people to me, help them find me. I believe that you made each of us perfect in your own image, designed for health and longevity, and every one of us can experience deep healing if we give our bodies a little break from eating. I pray in the name of Jesus who fasted without food for 40 days. Amen.
A prayer for the woman reading this blog post. Dear God, may the woman reading this blog post be inspired by my water fast results and encouraged by knowing that with Christ all things are possible! Father God, bless the woman who is reading this content. Give her a passion for long-term health. Stir up on the inside her desire to live a healthy life. Help her see herself the way you see her: beautiful, healed, healthy, confident, and worthy! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Water Fasting Documentaries
Documentaries matter. Not all of them are good but there are some valuable documentaries that are well-supported by both science and real-life examples of natural healing. My brain craves documentaries when I’m exploring a new topic. Is there a good water fasting documentary? Yes! Before I tell you how I discern, let me tell you about my educational backgroound and how my brain works.
I’ve spent 22 years in school and have graduated from four universities, three of them with high honors. So, my brain is science-oriented. I also have a Doctoral degree in Criminal Justice, so my brain is highly-investigative. That’s why I love documentaries, especially those with solid scientific research and clinical trial data.
Below is the only such documentary on the topic of water fasting, and I’ve rewatched it again and again to learn something new every time. As you know, I am originally from Russia. Though I’ve lived in America for 12 years now, I spent the first 25 years of my life in Kursk, Russia.
The Science of Fasting documentary presents research conducted by international scientists put together by a French filmmaker Sylvie Gilman and released initially in Germany in March of 2012.
The film examines the secret Russian water fasting methodology developed by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev and used for over seven decades to heal various diseases, including mental illness.
To me, this was a shock! I had never heard of this until this year, 2020, but I myself did experience depression healing from water fasting on my own in 2018. So, I know from experience how helpful water fasting can be when it comes to brain health and emotional balance. This water fasting documentary is described in detail below, and you can watch it for free on YouTube at the link provided.
Surgery and pharmaceuticals are Western medicine’s default solution for almost any ailment. But a therapeutic alternative, one that has existed for centuries, is gaining attention among researchers and physicians.
This program examines the growing interest in fasting as a treatment for cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. Journeying to the Goryaschinsk Spring sanatorium on the shores of Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia, the film shows how decades of secret clinical studies conducted by Soviet and post-Soviet doctors have led to new applications for fasting and caloric restriction—with astonishing results.
Viewers also encounter dramatic case studies of liver damage reversal and arthritis mitigation at Germany’s Buchinger Clinic, as well as the findings of an innovative gerontologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Together, these stories suggest a paradigm shift in our understanding of healing and human physiology.The Science of Fasting
Water Fasting Results
People search for water fasting results because they want to see what’s possible if they abstain from food for some time. Everyone’s results from fasting on water will differ based on their starting weight and health conditions, their state of gut microbiome, their intake of medications, their sleep quality, the amount of their physical exercise daily, and their nutrition when they are feasting.
That being said, I want you to have some references to various stories of people who benefited from fasting on water in various different ways. I put together a collection of research and stories for you. See below. Click on each link to read more details.
Note that I am not a doctor and do not provide medical advice. This information is for educational purposes only. If you decide to fast, the consequences are your responsibility. Below is a picture of me from last week after I finished my water fast number ten! I am almost 40 years old, keep that in mind as you see my pictures.
Water Fasting Success Stories
- One Month Water Fast Results
- Scott Lost 85 lb and Reversed Cancer
- Fasting on Water Delays Aging
- Thomas Lost 93 lb and Cured His Diseases
- Water Fasting Improves Longevity
- Tiffany Lowered Her Blood Pressure by Fasting
- Fasting on Water Leads to Weight Loss
- This Woman Healed Her Body, Soul, and Spirit
- Water Fasting Eliminates Skin Problems
- Karin Lost 21 lb by Abstaining from Food
- Fasting Leads to Cellular Cleansing
- Gaby Lost 11 lb and Cured Acne by Fasting
- Water Fasting Reduces Inflammation
- Jonathan Conquered His Mind by Fasting
- Fasting on Water Helps Alleviate PTSD
- Roe Reversed Her Cancer by Fasting for 21 Days
- Water Fasting Relieves Depression
- Sarah Felt on Top of The World While Fasting
- Fasting Improves Neurological Disease
- Tyler Became Relaxed and Rejuvenated by Fasting
- Water Fasting Improves Body Composition
- Hayley and Ray Lost 26 lb by Fasting on Water
- Water Fasting Entices Mindfulness
- Kurt Healed His Asthma by Fasting on Water Only
- Fasting on Water Helps Slim Down The Body
- Jordan Experienced The Awakening of Her Lifetime
- Fasting Leads To Permanent Weight Loss
- Nathan Cured His Junk Food Cravings by Fasting
- Water Fasting Results in Defined Abs
- Otto Buchinger Heals His Joints and Helps Others Heal
Wow! What a comprehensive list of various results people from all walks of life accomplish regularly and repeatedly by simply not eating! I hope you clicked on the stories shared above and got as inspired as I am now after experiencing so many healing aspects of fasting. As promised, here’s a picture of me last week after another water fast.
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is not an eating pattern. It’s a fasting pattern. When I talk to people about water fasting, they ask me what I typically eat when fasting on water. Um… How do I say this to you? I eat nothing!
Fasting on water implies that you don’t eat.
Fasting is the complete absence of all substances, except water.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
So, when water fasting, you can’t eat.
Fasting is defined as abstinence from consuming food and beverages for different periods of time. Both traditional and modern healthcare systems recommend fasting as a therapeutic intervention for the management of several chronic, non-infectious diseases.Exercise Training and Fasting: Current Insights
No food is allowed when you’re fasting.
Fasting may be defined as a voluntary abstinence from food and drink for specified, recurring periods of time, with the fasting periods typically ranging from 12 hours to three weeks.Fasting as a Therapy in Neurological Disease
What can you drink when fasting? Water!
Water-only fasting is the complete abstinence from all food and liquids except water – for an extended period of time.Dr. Frank Sabatino, Balance for Life
Where does the body get calories from? Your fat.
Fasting is defined as the ability to meet the body’s requirements for macro- and micronutrients during a period of absence of food by using the body’s energy reserves without endangering health.Fasting Therapy by Michael Boschmann and Andreas Michalsen
You take in zero calories when fasting.
Water fasting, also known as a water cleanse, is a type of fasting in which you consume only water for a set period of time. Many cleansing diets are referred to as fasts, but in water fasting, you take in zero calories. It’s distinct from caloric restriction in which a person’s daily caloric intake is reduced by 30–40%.Water-Only Fasting with Dr. Sabatino
When water fasting, you consume only water.
Fasting, as we employ the term, is voluntary and entire abstinence from all food except water. “Little driblet meals,” says Dr. Chas. E. Page, “are not fasting. There should not be a mouthful or sip of anything but water, a few swallows of which would be taken from time to time, according to desire.” We do not employ the word fasting to describe a diet of fruit juice, for example.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
So, let’s summarize. What is water fasting?
Water fasting is a pattern of not eating and abstaining from any and all food completely for an extended period of time, during which only water is consumed, which results in the profound natural healing of both the body and the brain on a deep cellular level.Anna Szabo
When I see YouTube videos pop up explaining how a person did “water fasting” and drank coffee, tea, smoothies, and broth, I roll my eyes. LOL! If you don’t eat solid food, you do still eat, meaning you aren’t fasting. To fast, you must abstain from food completely.
Many people come to my website looking for answers to such questions as “What can I have on a water fast?” or “Can I drink coffee on a water fast?” and “What can I eat without breaking my water fast?”
The answer to all of the above questions is this: you can’t eat anything on a water fast. If you eat something, you are not fasting. By eating anything, you transition to a restricted feeding diet.
To be on a water diet, you must consume water only. If you want to cheat, go ahead but remember: the one you’re cheating is you. Why cheat yourself? Plus, it’s impossible since you are there! You can’t cheat your body, so your water fasting benefits will be compromised by food consumption. Water fasting implies that you eat nothing.
How Does Water Fasting Work?
When I began abstaining from food and heard about all the miraculous benefits of fasting, I was wondering a lot: “How does water fasting work?” If you have a curious mind, like mine, you may want to explore, too. Understanding how something works helps us stop fearing it.
There’s no need to fear not eating. It’s natural. Eating all the time is unnatural for humans. We as a species evolved by enduring prolonged periods of no food. That’s called famine. Today, all we have is feast but we need famine. Why? That’s how our body is designed to operate: feast, famine, feast, famine. No famine means no rest for the body, and that leads to diseases, early aging, and premature death.
The stages of water fasting outlined below are based on a water-only fast, which doesn’t include any food or tea or coffee or broth or smoothies or whatever else involving eating. Fasting is about not eating, and water fasting implies that you consume water only.
For the first 24 to 48 hours after beginning a water fast, the body burns off circulating blood sugar and sugar stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. The “real” metabolic fast does not begin until one metabolizes their blood sugar, in approximately 2 to 3 days.
At that time, the body begins to burn fat tissue for fuel. When that happens, molecules called ketones enter the blood circulation. These ketones have some very interesting properties. For the faster, the main welcome property of ketones is that they suppress hunger.
By day four or five of a water fast, hunger is usually gone and is replaced by a feeling of great well-being.
So much of the energy that the body uses all day goes to digesting our food, including muscular contractions of the intestine, chemical energy used to synthesize stomach acid, bile, and digestive enzymes, as well as the billions of immune cells in the intestinal lining that interrogate the chemical nature of the food going by in the digestive tract.
When that function is no longer required on a water fast, energy is freed up, and people feel very light and energetic.
During a water fast, the body is in “Full Energy Conservation Mode” and it does not want to spend precious chemical energy on chaotic, heat-generating, activities, such as inflammatory reactions and growing tumor tissue.
During a fast, hot angry joints in rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory joint diseases (predictably) cool down, inflamed plaques of psoriasis in the skin are becalmed, and wounds in and on the body heal extremely well.
If malignant breast cells are multiplying in tissues, the fasting body generates molecules called sirtuins, which put the breaks on cancer growth.
Water fasting cleanses the body on a deep, cellular level.
All of us, in our body cells, have remnant molecules of every restaurant meal, fast food snack, and processed food dessert we have ever eaten.
There are flavorings, colorings, preservatives, dough conditioners, stabilizers, and thousands of other compounds that compose a chemical soup of modern cuisine in all the cells in our body.
These substances accumulate in our tissues over time, contributing to feelings of chronic fatigue and bodily dysfunction.
A water fast has the effect of “taking your cells through the car wash” where day after day, nothing but pure water washes through each and every cell.
This markedly lowers the concentrations of the foreign, disruptive molecules. Thus, it is no wonder that people predictably emerge from a water fast feeling lighter and cleaner on the inside because they really are.
The water fast is broken in a gentle matter, starting with vegetable juices or fruit chunks like watermelon, and progressing through phases of gradually increasing fiber content, namely raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, and eventually denser foods, such as rice and beans.
One of the greatest benefits of a water fast is that it “re-tunes” the tongue’s taste buds through a process called neuroadaptation. Whole, natural foods begin to taste really delicious again. This opens the way for one to retool their dietary choices and let a truly health-promoting food stream of whole, plant-based foods pour through the body every day, thus creating lasting and glowing health.Dr. Michael Klaper
I hope this explanation helps you visualize the deep-cleansing process the body goes through during a water fast. To help answer the question “How does water fasting work?” I also shared with you my diaries earlier here. I listed the link to each water fast above.
Each one documents all of the specifics of water fasting and the body’s response. Additionally, I recommend reading my other blog posts about this topic, which offer many valuable details to anyone who wants to learn about fasting on water only.
Is Water Fasting Safe?
I was wondering: is water fasting safe? So, I turned to doctors who have practiced this method of healing for decades, and the information I discovered made me realize that fasting on water is safe but not for everyone. Below I share with you what the doctors say. You can also read this chart review by a group of doctors monitoring the safety of water fasting conducted by their peers: “Is fasting safe? Chart review.”
From examining the chart review, I concluded that the doctors do agree that fasting on water is safe. I’m presenting you with some thought-provoking scientific research below. Leverage your own discernment to make accurate conclusions. I’ve completed a water fast ten times in two years, and I know it’s safe. Today, I’m healthier because of it.
Fasting is no cunning trick of priestcraft, but the most powerful and safest of all medicines.Eating for Strength by M. L. Holbrook
In order to be healthier, stronger, and more resistant to illnesses, through our internal organs should flow clean, active, and healthy blood, which will carry nutrients to every cell of our body and take away any accumulated toxic substances.
A correctly done fasting is the most powerful form of cleansing starting with the digestive system and finishing up with cells.
The organs of the human body are made up of tissues, which are made up of billions of individual cells.
When we eat, these cells are fed by nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.) that come from food.
As nutrients are “burned,” waste is created within cells that is not completely removed. As time passes and cells are replaced, the waste products are left behind within the tissues of that organ.
These toxic wastes poison the cells, weakening them, and making them susceptible to illness and disease.
The question is how to gently coax the body, on a cellular level, to release these wastes and, thereby, strengthen the immune system.
The answer lies in proper fasting.
Our nutrition is based on protein, fats and carbohydrates. Here is what they supposed to do: protein rebuilds new cells and replaces old dead cells, fats build fatty cells, and carbs supply energy.
So, what happens when you eat too much of these products, especially if these products are not good quality?
Protein is a “construction material.” It is mostly needed for kids during an intense growth period. A grown person, regardless of how much protein they eat, won’t grow more, so the extra goes toward the development of fecal and kidney stones, uric acid, blood impurity, and overwhelming the digestive organs.
Over-intake of fats leads to excess weight, overburden for the heart, and all vital organs. Extra fatty cells accumulate a huge amount of toxic elements.
Excess carb intake, especially simple carbs which are mostly used in our modern society, leads to the accumulation of big amounts of mucus. The mucus is an ideal environment for infections, bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. Think about it: parasites and bacteria are always inside of the body, so they eat inside and they release it inside, too. So the food that they eat, comes toxic out of them back into the human body.
Toxic mucus is bacteria’s fecal matter. It is a thick, glue-like substance, which glues onto the walls of the digestive system, blood vessels, and organs. Depending on where mucus is mainly accumulated, different problems occur. Sinuses, throat, bronchi, lungs, digestive system, clogging of vessels, cells, etc.
Toxic mucus is the base for all illnesses: from cold to cancer.
When we stop eating, the body turns its attention to “cleaning house” by feeding itself on sick, weak, and old cells first. It also begins to dump any unhealthy materials, such as toxic mucus, tumor, and cancer cells, salts, cholesterol, stored drugs, nicotine, and other stagnated matter, which is stored in the tissues and organs. The body also disposes of the unseen toxic weight stored inside.Dr. Yakov Koyfman, Cell Cleansing Fasting
All cleansings, except fasting, cleanse only the internal surface of the organ. Under that surface, the tissues are still dirty and clogged with toxic waste. Only fasting can reach beneath the surface of the tissues and cleanse down to the cellular level.
If there were a pill that effectively treated high blood pressure, overcame Type II diabetes, consistently produced dramatic improvements in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and provided effective relief for asthma attacks and migraine headaches it would be seen as a wonder drug of the highest order. Yet, such profound improvements in these medical conditions, and many others, are routinely seen during a water fast.Dr. Michael Klaper, Fasting – Effective Therapy For Health Concerns
I have to say that in 10 000 consecutive patients, everybody who has walked in for fasting has been able to walk out. We have no mortality associated with fasting to date, and as our safety data indicates, this is a safe and effective process when it is done according to protocol.Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
Fasting on water is a healing miracle for the body. It offers such significant health benefits as cellar cleansing, anti-aging, cancer prevention and reversal, and even the turning on and off of the DNA! Water fasting is safe if you are someone who is not underweight, not pregnant, not breastfeeding, not on medications, and have access to clean drinking water. Some people should not fast. We will discuss this in a minute but first, let’s review who can benefit from fasting on water.
Who Can Benefit from Fasting on Water Only?
The last three weeks of my life have been dedicated to vigorous research on the topic of water fasting. Why am I obsessing about it? Because the purpose of my ministry and the calling on my life is to help alleviate suicide among women globally.
I am a two-times suicide survivor myself, and water fasting helped significantly and rapidly improve my own mental health. Ultimately, I believe in my heart and know from the scientific research, as well as the results of clinical practice, that water fasting is a simple tool to save people’s lives. This is what truly drives me: I want you to be healthy, fully alive, and living out your purpose while experiencing joy and peace.
The research I’ve conducted indicates that a water fast can help prevent, arrest, and even reverse a wide variety of diseases, such as cancer, type two diabetes, autoimmune disease, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, chronic headaches, sinus infections, asthma, depression, obesity, and the list is nearly endless.
Since I’m not a doctor, I want to share with you what a water-fasting-practicing doctor says in response to the question “Who can benefit from fasting on water only?“
The following are six of the most common conditions that respond well to water-only fasting.
1. Obesity is primarily the result of addiction to the artificial stimulation of dopamine in the brain by the consumption of chemicals added to our foods, including oil, sugar, salt, and dairy products.
The answer to obesity is to adopt a health-promoting diet derived exclusively from whole natural foods, including fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and the variable addition of minimally processed, non-glutinous grains and beans.
When fully implemented, in conjunction with adequate sleep and activity, predictable, consistent weight loss will occur that averages 1.5-2 pounds per week for women and 2-3 pounds per week for men.
If your goal is to lose excess fat and you have trouble adopting a health-promoting program, a period of fasting may be of benefit. The protected environment of a fasting center provides a focused opportunity for intense education and the social support needed to escape the addictive forces of the dietary pleasure trap.
The fasting experience functions like rebooting a corrupted hard drive on a computer. After fasting, whole natural food is appealing, making adopting a health-promoting diet more achievable. If your goal is to lose weight and escape the pleasure trap of processed foods, a period of fasting from a few days to a few weeks may be beneficial.
2. The dietary pleasure trap is insidious, and the consequences of poor dietary choices go beyond obesity. Overstimulation by artificially concentrated calories can confuse normal satiety signals resulting in persistent overeating. Over time, this results in the degenerative diseases of dietary excess, including high blood pressure and the resulting cardiovascular disease.
For people who have fallen into the dietary pleasure trap and developed high blood pressure, water-only fasting has been shown to be a safe and effective means of normalizing blood pressure and reversing cardiovascular disease.
In a study conducted at the TrueNorth Health Center in conjunction with Cornell University Professor T. Colin Campbell, the use of fasting for 2-4 weeks in patients with stage 3 hypertension resulted in reductions of systolic blood pressure of over 60 mm/Hg. This is the largest effect size of any study published to date.
At the TrueNorth Health Center, we routinely see patients normalize their blood pressure and eliminate the need for medications. If your goal is to normalize elevated blood pressure and reverse cardiovascular disease, a period of fasting may be beneficial.
3. Type two diabetes is a condition that is increasing in epidemic proportions. Largely the consequence of dietary excess, the resulting alteration of physiological functions, such as high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, results in a cascade of consequences, including blindness from retinal damage, heart attacks and stroke, reduced healing capacity, nerve damage, impotence, gangrene, etc.
Fasting, along with a health-promoting diet and exercise program, can dramatically increase insulin sensitivity and bring blood sugar levels under control. If your goal is to normalize blood sugar levels and avoid or eliminate the need for medications and their consequences, a period of fasting may prove beneficial. Most patients with type 2 diabetes are capable of achieving normal blood sugar levels without the need for medications.
4. Drug addiction has become the norm. Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and a plethora of prescription and recreational drugs dominate the lives of the majority of people living in industrialized society.
Fasting can be helpful in getting safely through withdrawal symptoms and more effectively establishing healthy habits while eliminating the perceived need for addictive substances. If your goal is to escape addiction and live a life free of dependence on health-compromising chemicals, a period of fasting may prove to be beneficial.
5. Autoimmune disorders, including arthritis, lupus, colitis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, and environmental allergies are becoming more common and more debilitating.
One possible contributing factor to the aggravation of autoimmune disease involves gut leakage. The absorption of antigenic substances into the bloodstream as a result of increased gut permeability appears to be a factor in the aggravation of these conditions.
Fasting can help normalize gut permeability and ease the transition to a health-promoting diet. If your goal is to eliminate the problems associated with autoimmune disorders, a period of medically supervised fasting may be an important component in a comprehensive program designed to save the quality and quantity of your life.
6. Exhaustion, both physical and emotional, has become increasingly common in our fast-paced lives. Feelings of fatigue and depression can compromise the quality of your life.
Reliance on artificial stimulants compounds the problem. The lack of adequate sleep and exercise and poor dietary and lifestyle choices work together to interfere with the ability of many people to enjoy their life or fulfill their potential.
Fasting can give your body and your mind a complete rest. If your goal is to “recharge” your system, fasting may help you accomplish your goals. When properly utilized, fasting can be a powerful tool in helping your body do what it does best – heal itself.
Water fasting is the answer to a number of questions.Who Benefits From Medically Supervised Fasting?
As you can see, Dr. Alan Goldhamer explained very well why so many diseases benefit from water fasting so well: it’s the food and the lifestyle that cause those diseases! So, once you stop aggravating your body and brain with junk food and stop assaulting your system with drugs and lack of sleep as well as exercise, you can power up your natural healing mechanism again, and you’ll heal. Water fasting does miracles. Yet, some people should not fast on water only.
Who Should Not Fast on Water?
People who should not fast on water are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, those who are underweight and have no “labile reserves” to mobilize (according to Dr. Alan Goldhamer), and also people who must take drugs daily, which must be taken with food, so it is a misfit for water fasting, which is defined as the absence of food.
For people who are on medications that they cannot stop, such as prednisone, antidepressants, etc., a water fast is contraindicated. These people should not water fast, but rather, do a juice cleanse.Fasting – Effective Therapy For Health Concerns
Small children should not be fasting on water only.
Those with illnesses not related to the dietary access should not do a water fast to get better because the source of their disease has nothing to do with their gut health. To see the list of diseases of dietary access, read “The Diseases of Kings.”
I personally want to warn addicts: fasting on water may cause you to binge-eat if you have a history of rebelling against yourself. I am a sex addict in recovery, so I am intimately familiar with the vicious cycle of various addictions.
After water fasting for a few times, I realized that I was apparently addicted to food and developed a binge-eating disorder. Addicts may end up binging after fasting, so beware and take this into consideration. As of today, I am food-addiction free and do not binge anymore but it took time to find my new balance with my new habit of water fasting regularly. By the way, if you plan to fast on water and then go back to your old bad lifestyle and eating habits, you should not fast on water.
People with infectious diseases should not fast.
According to an article about Dr. Georgy Voitovich’s methodology called Indications and Contraindications for Fasting, he believed in the following contraindications for medical fasting:
The period of lactation in the mother
The second half of pregnancy
Last stage of the immobilized form of tuberculosis patients
Last stage form of malignant tumors with motionless of a patient
Last stage form of malignant blood diseases with motionless of a patient.
Last stage form diffuse disease of connective tissue with motionless of a patient
A number of psychoneurological diseases in the far gone stage from being with motionless of a patient or dementia
Massive suppuration processes of internal organs (abscesses, gangrene, and a few others)Indications and Contraindications for Fasting by Dr. Georgy Voitovich
According to Dr. Sergei Filonov who has medically supervised thousands of fasts for nearly three decades now, the following conditions indicate that a person should not fast.
Malignant neoplasms and hemoblastosis
Tuberculosis of the lungs
Thyrotoxicosis and other endocrine disorders
Acute and chronic hepatitis
Cirrhosis of the liver
Purulent-inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system
Insufficiency of blood circulation
Persistent disturbances of cardiac rhythm and conduction
Pronounced BMI deficit
Thrombophlebitis and thrombosis
Period of pregnancy and lactation
Early childhood (up to 14 years)
Inability to serve oneselfDr. Filonov’s Fasting Method
You can review the links I provided describing the opinions of the doctors, and you can use your own discernment to make accurate and adequate conclusions. Remember that this blog doesn’t offer medical advice. Consult your doctor before you take any actions in relation to your health. This information was collected here for educational purposes only and is not prescriptive in any way.
What Does The Science Say About Fasting on Water?
Science has a lot to say about water fasting benefits. From curing
infertility, acne, and chronic headaches all while reversing aging, inflammation, cancer, type two diabetes, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome, to alleviating the symptoms of depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and even alcoholism – a water fast heals the body, the brain, the spirit, and the mind.
I’ve collected some incredibly-valuable insights and want to share them with you because I believe this information can change your life for the better and even prolong it. Personally, I never get tired of hearing testimonials of the various miracles people experience after fasting with water only. Currently, I’m learning from a Russian fasting doctor, Dr. Sergei Filonov, who provides many testimonials in his books, and they inspire me. I hope you will also get inspired after reading the body of mind-blowing data I’ve collected for you.
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One of the scientific researches I present to you below is by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, a Russian psychiatrist who cured nearly 70% of his patients via water fasting. It was done behind the “iron curtain” in USSR. He personally spent time teaching Dr. Sergei Filonov, from whom I’m learning now online, and I talk to him via email.
Interestingly, Dr. Yuri Nikolayev’s method was brought from Russia to America and was practiced right here in Atlanta where I live by the Russian doctor, Dr. Yakov Koyfman, who passed away in 2016.
Let the science speak for itself.
Fasting is associated with increased longevity because of its many roles in modifying human health and aging. Moreover, this unique intervention is considered effective for the management of chronic and acute diseases in both traditional and modern healthcare systems. Fasting is a lifestyle management strategy that benefits several chronic, non-infectious diseases.Fasting: Current Insights
In clinical trials, fasting results in weight loss and improvements in insulin sensitivity.Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight?
Sporadic fasting represents a simple, safe, and inexpensive means to promote therapeutic neuronal autophagy.Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy
Fasting has been shown to be associated with significant improvements in brain function. Clinical evidence has also shown that fasting dietary regime was effective in improving mood states, such as confusion, anger, and tension. Fasting can help protect against many brain diseases, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and others.The mechanism of acute fasting‐induced antidepressant‐like effects
Acute fasting induces antidepressant‐like effects.
Fasting is helpful against depression.The mechanism of acute fasting‐induced antidepressant‐like effects
Therapeutic effects of fasting:
Helps to lose visible weight.
Cleanses the body on the cellular level.
Helps the body to heal itself.
Rejuvenates the body.
Supports, strengthens, improves the immune system.
Increases belief in one’s own strength.
Cleanses on the emotional and psychological levels.
Improves vision and hearing.
Improves skin condition.
Activates the work of the colon.
Promotes active and healthy longevity.Dr. Yakov Koyfman, Cell Cleansing Fasting
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, the Director of the Fasting Clinic of The Moscow Institute of Psychiatry for many years claimed to have successfully treated more than 7,000 patients (as of 1972) suffering from neuro-psychiatric conditions by using therapeutic fasting.The Five Stages of Fasting – Dr. Nikolayev [Russian Case Studies]
The application of various modifications of fasting for its therapeutic value has been well documented during many different periods of our civilization.
In the earliest eras of recorded civilization, humans found in fasting not only a method of treatment and prevention of some diseases, but a potent weapon for self-discipline and moral education. For this reason the fast became an integral part of many religious doctrines and occupied the thinking of physicians and philosophers of Ancient Greek, Tibetan, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures.
Fasting is not starving, and the synonymous use of the two indicates a lack of understanding of the principles of the fast or its meaning. The word “starvation” is derived from the Old English “sterofan,” a form of the Teutonic verb “sterb” – to die. The word “fast” means to abstain from food.
In modern usage, “starvation” is used to designate death from lack of food. Whenever fasting is mentioned to the average person and even to many professionals, the immediate response is to think of the dire consequences of going without food for even a few days.
If “fasting” is used interchangeably with “starvation,” the inevitable end result is conceived as death. Yet, members of the professions and the press are guilty of confusing the use of the two terms and help to perpetuate the fear of fasting.
It is only since the middle of the 19th Century that investigation of fasting as a therapeutic modality was removed from the lore of folk medicine and became the principal method of treatment in clinics and sanatoriums in Switzerland, France, Germany, and to a lesser extent in the United States.
At the present time, the fasting experience has been the treatment of
choice for many thousands of physically ill patients. It is used in internal medicine with excellent results in the treatment of metabolic disorders, allergic diseases, skin disorders, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and cardiovascular disorders.
Results obtained in the treatment of grand mal epilepsy by fasting have been very encouraging and require closer attention and serious research.
In the U.S.S.R., fasting was first used 25 years ago as a treatment for mentally ill patients by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev. His experience now
extends to over 6,000 patients, and the reported results are unusually encouraging with those patients who have failed to improve on all other treatment regimens.
With the ever-increasing list of psychopharmacological drugs used for their psychotropic activity, there has concomitantly arisen an increasing number of patients resistant to those drugs. Many patients exhibit toxic and allergic complications during pharmacotherapy.
For these patients, fasting treatment is the most valuable and potent alternative to decompensation and deterioration. The author’s experience with the use of fasting for the treatment of mentally ill patients began in 1970 with an invitation from Prof. Nikolaev to
come to the Moscow Institute to observe in his Therapeutic Fasting Unit and to discuss my work in Orthomolecular treatment with him and his staff of 10 physicians.
The treatment as it is used today incorporates the knowledge gained during 28 years of research and clinical experience by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev and his staff. The treatment is conducted in an 80-bed unit in the Moscow Psychiatric Institute, a 3,000-bed psychiatric research center with a staff of 500 physicians.
The fast consists of total abstinence from food for a period of 25-30 days. The large majority of patients request voluntary admission to the unit. A small percentage of the patient population is transferred in from other units when all other conventional treatments have failed to produce improvement.
All patients must agree to adhere to the required routine of the treatment and may leave the treatment on request. If the patient
voluntarily breaks the fast, the treatment is ended.
Hunger diminishes greatly by the end of the second or third day, and appetite is no longer felt by the fifth day. Throughout the fasting period the patients receive as much water as they desire but
they must take a minimum of one liter each day.
They adhere to a regimen, which includes outdoor walks and other exercise, breathing exercises, afternoon nap if desired, hydrotherapy procedures (baths and showers), daily cleansing enemas, and general massage. A minimum of three hours of exercise is required, but the patient may have two periods of exercise consisting of three hours each.
Patients lose 15-20 percent of their total body weight on a 30-day fast, but their clinical appearance is not that of a person who is starving. Their skin color is good and muscle and skin tone are healthy. The patients do not express any longing or desire for food. Because their prior experiences with treatment have been that of little or no improvement with frequent relapses, many patients request that their fasting period be extended to ensure the permanence of their improved state.
When patients are discharged from the hospital, they are advised to take prophylactic fasts of three to five days each month but not to exceed a total of 10 days in the first three months. After this period three- to five-day fasts not to exceed 10 days in any month are recommended.
When feeding is begun, the patient remains in hospital for the number of days equal to the length of the fast. Feeding is begun with a saltfree fruit, vegetable, etc. The amounts of food and its caloric value are gradually increased. Bread is not taken until the sixth or seventh day.
The treatment has been found to be effective in more than 70 percent of cases of schizophrenia of many years’ duration. Forty-seven percent of patients followed for a period of six years maintained their improvement. Paranoid types do very well during the fast, but their improvement diminishes after feeding begins.
I observed many patients who suffered from the form of schizophrenia, which is characterized by a fear of the escape of offending gases and odors from the body. The patient is convinced that everyone near him can hear the sounds and smell the odors. The syndrome generally includes delusions of cosmetic ugliness, small stature, and a variety of similar complaints, which Professor
Nikolaev has labeled “Delusions of Physical Shortcomings.”
The syndrome was first described by Charcot and named “Dysmorphobia.” The resulting effect on behavior is similar to that of
patients suffering from other forms of paranoid illness: fear of leaving his room and mingling with other people, fear that people are repelled by him, and then finding corroboration for this in his
misperception of the ordinary changes in the facial expressions of people he passes in the street or on buses or trains.
The results in the treatment of these cases had in the past been extremely poor, but when treated with fasting, the results are veryFasting Treatment for Schizophrenia by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, 1974
good. The other types of schizophrenia do well
throughout the fasting and recovery period. The manic phase of the manic-depressive illness is brought under control within five to
seven days on the water fast.
How do toxins dissolve and eliminate during fasting?
When we stop eating, we increase the quantity of liquid intake. This liquid absorbs through the walls of our digestive system into the blood and spreads throughout the body.
The increased flow of clean and bio-active fluid flushes and dissolves toxins, flushes out parasites, and pushes it all out to the kidneys, digestive system, lungs, and skin. During the fast, all of these organs become overwhelmed eliminating dirt and parasites, so they need help.
The liver also needs help because it has the main responsibility of neutralizing the toxins, which come to the surface during the fast. To help the liver, it is necessary to apply a heating pad for 30-60 minutes on the liver area.
Kidneys can be helped with a special message, heating, and special exercises to increase their function and ability. With all the help, kidneys release sand, toxic mucus, small parasites, uric acid, and stones.
To increase the elimination functions of the lungs, it is important to do special breathing exercises and heating for the lungs. So, lungs release toxic gas, which accumulates and gets stuck from the cleansing process.
To effectively cleanse and increase skin function, use sauna. It is easier to get the dirt off with hot water than cold water. In sauna, toxins dissolve and come out from the very deep levels: blood vessels, lymph, cells, etc. Hot air worms up lungs and dissolves toxins, mucus, kills parasites, and also absorbs into the blood. Wormed up blood and lymph more effectively flush the base of illnesses, tumors, and blockages, toxic mucus in the organs and cells, and releases it through the wide-open pores of the skin.
This way cleanses the blood, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, sinuses, thyroid gland, adrenals, and other glands.
The digestive system plays the main role during fasting because it burns and releases the majority of toxins and parasites from the body. To increase the functioning of the digestive system, do internal organ massage, which activates the function of the stomach, liver, pancreas, small, and large intestines.
On the cellular level, youth and aging are determined by the relative amount of old and young cells. In youth, the number of young, healthy, and strong cells predominates over the number of old, weak, and sick cells. With time, the cells become polluted and old, and the renewing ability of the body decreases.
During fasting, by switching from outer to inner nourishment, the body “eats” old and sick cells (autophagy), and the body’s ability to exchange old cells for new cells increases and speeds up. Metabolism improves. During the breaking of the fast (the renewal period), the body replaces the “eaten” cells for new, healthy, and young cells.
The person who does seasonal fasting regularly, without waiting for the disease to come, looks much younger than his or her age. This person is full of energy and has a high resistance to disease.Dr. Yakov Koyfman, Cell Cleansing Fasting
Fasting regimens that induce the metabolic switch have the potential to improve body composition in overweight individuals. Moreover, fasting regimens also induce the coordinated activation of signaling pathways that optimize physiological function, enhance performance, and slow aging and disease processes.Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying Health Benefits of Fasting
Fasting has been practiced for millennia, but only recently studies have shed light on its role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize metabolism, and bolster cellular protection.
In lower eukaryotes, chronic fasting extends longevity in part by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. In rodents intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Science supports the benefits of water fasting. Many studies have been done to examine the various aspects of genuine holistic healing people experience when abstaining from food. I’ll share more science with you later about water fasting results.
Below is an iPhone-taken picture of me captured last week at the beach in Destin, FL. I am almost 40 years old, in the best shape of my life, peaceful, and genuinely happy. Fasting with water only plays a huge role in my health optimization on a regular basis.
Fasting on water only helps me look young, feel excellent, avoid medications, and save money on medical bills. Below is that iPhone-captured picture from last week at the beach. I had never had any beauty procedures done. All I do is fast periodically and let my body heal itself, just exactly what God created it to do.
What Is The History of Water Fasting?
Why is it important to understand the history of water fasting? Because this health practice isn’t something someone invented yesterday. We as a species have actually evolved by both feasting and fasting. Once we start answering the question “What is the history of water fasting?” you’ll see that sometimes, there was food, and other times, our ancestors faced famine, so they went without food for prolonged periods of time. It’s good for the body.
During the famine seasons, our body is designed to use up its stored fat and self-heal. The smart body God gave us uses old or damaged cells to eat them up for protein, and we end up clean, healthy, and young. This process of autophagy can’t be activated, unless we abstain from food for over 24 hours. Ever fasting on water for one day is good for you!
In the modern world, famine never comes.
We feast all the time, overeating, drinking crap, and assaulting our bodies constantly with toxins. So, we get sick and wonder why. Eating all the time is unnatural. Feasting must be followed by fasting. Abstaining from food is natural to us as humans with millions of years of evolution.
We say: “This disease runs in my family!” Yes, true, but only because eating habits run in families, and not for any other reason. I’ll answer your question “What is the history of water fasting?” in a minute but I want you to understand why diseases run in families and what you can do to stop it. You are in charge of your own health at all times!
Lifestyle habits run in families, and that’s why diseases get passed from generation to generation. There’s no reason for this. You can change your lifestyle, your eating habits, and your exercise regimen, and you’ll stop having the same diseases your family has.
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My entire family is obese, sick, addicted, violent, angry, and miserable. I described the abuse endured in my childhood in my article called Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Early in life, I decided to not be like them. My father spent most of his life in jail, so I definitely had a high awareness of my bad genes, and trust me, they did play out: I became an alcoholic, a sex addict, and showed violent behaviors at times.
Today, I am healthy and peaceful. Thank God for the journey of healing. He taught me about my identity in Christ, and I replaced my false beliefs embedded in my headspace by my family with the true beliefs from the Bible. I know that I came here from God, not from my family.
God made me for a purpose, and my health is important if I want to fulfill His calling on my life. My body is a temple for The Holy Spirit, and I must honor God with my body. All these breakthroughs helped me embrace healthful living, gain peace, experience joy, and heal.
I don’t eat, think, or live the same way my family members do. When I was with them and followed their lifestyle, I was hospitalized with various diseases multiple times each year. God gave me my own discernment. He told me how to live and eat. It’s all in the Bible.
That’s why I eat plants like Daniel, fast for prolonged periods like Jesus, walk 10000 steps a day like my ancestors, practice Christian guided meditation to have a strong communion with God, keep a gratitude journal to protect my mind from entitlement, and choose peace daily by taking every thought captive and submitting it to the truth of Christ, which is shown in the ITCEBO model I created. That’s how the diseases of my family don’t run my life. God’s healing power runs my life!
We each have a choice, and exploring the question “What is the history of water fasting?” can help us realize how essential famine is in human life. Fasting is healthy. Feasting all the time is unhealthy.
Since we naturally have an excess of food, we must force famine artificially on ourselves using the power of our mind. Dr. Sergei Filonov talks in his books a lot about the mental preparation for the period of abstaining from food. It’s a good practice of conquering flesh.
So, what is the history of water fasting?
Water-only fasting is one of the most profound, natural, and effective tools for cleansing and health recovery. While fasting has been a part of human culture for millions of years, only in the last few hundred years have we begun to investigate the therapeutic benefits of this practice. Interestingly, modern science has found a variety of verifiable positive effects fasting has on human health.Water-Only Fasting
Fasting In Man
Man is an animal and, as such, is subject to the same laws of existence and the same conditions of living, as are other animals. As a part of the great organic world, he is not a being that is set apart from the ordinary and regular conditions of life, governed by different laws and requirements of existence.
It is not surprising, therefore, that we find man not only able to fast for prolonged periods and able to do so with benefit, but also find him fasting under a wide variety of circumstances and for a wide variety of purposes.
We shall briefly review the most important of the conditions, under which man fasts, and the purposes, for which he fasts.
Fasting as a religious observance has long been practiced for the accomplishment of certain goods. Religious fasting is of early origin, antedating recorded history. Partial or entire abstinence from food, or from certain kinds of foods, at stated seasons, prevailed in Assyria, Persia, Babylon, Scythia, Greece, Rome, India, Ninevah, Palestine, China, in northern Europe among the Druids, and in America among the Indians.
It was a widely diffused practice, often indulged as a means of penitence, in mourning, and as a preparation for participation in religious rites, such as baptism and communion.
At the very dawn of civilization, the Ancient Mysteries, a secret worship or wisdom religion that flourished for thousands of years in Egypt, India, Greece, Persia, Thrace, Scandinavia, and the Gothic and Celtic nations, prescribed and practiced fasting.
The Druidical religion among the Celtic peoples required a long probationary period of fasting and prayer before the candidate could advance. A fast of fifty days was required in the Mithraic religion in Persia.
Indeed, fasting was common to all the mysteries, which were all quite similar to the Egyptian mysteries and were probably derived from these. Moses, who was learned in “all the wisdom of Egypt,” is said to have fasted for more than 120 days on Mount Sinai.
The mysteries of Tyre, which were represented in Judea in the days of Jesus, in a secret society known as the Essenes, also prescribed fasting. In the first century A.D., there existed in Alexandria, Egypt, an ascetic sect of Jews, called Therapeutae, who resembled the Essenes and who borrowed much from the Kabala and from the Pythagorian and Orphic systems. These Therapeutae gave great attention to the sick and held fasting in high esteem as a curative measure.
Fasting is mentioned quite frequently in the Bible while several fasts of considerable duration are recorded therein, as, Moses forty days (Ex. 24:18; Exodus 34:28); Elijah forty days (1st Kings, 19:8); David seven days (2 Sam. 12:20); Jesus forty days (Matthew 4:2); Luke, “I fast twice in the week” (Luke 18:12); “This kind cometh not out save by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21); a fast throughout all Judea (2 Chronicles 20:8). The Bible cautions against fasting for mere notoriety (Matt. 6:17, 18). It also advises fasters not to wear a sad countenance (Matt. 6:16); but to find pleasure in fasting and to perform one’s work (Isa. 58:3), and that certain fasts shall be fasts of gladness (Zech. 8.19).
We may very properly assume that some great good was the object of the many fasts mentioned in the Bible, even though we may be sure that they were not always intended for the “cure” of “disease.” We may also be sure that the ancients had no fear of starving to death by missing a few meals.
For two thousand years, the Christian religion has recommended “prayer and fasting” and the story of the forty days’ fast in the wilderness has been told from thousands of pulpits. Religious fasts were frequently practiced in the early days of Christianity and during the Middle Ages.
Thomas Campanella tells us that frail nuns often sought relief from attacks of hysteria by fasting “seven times seventy hours,” or twenty and one half days.
John Calvin and John Wesley both strongly urged fasting as a beneficial measure for both ministers and people.
Among the early Christians, fasting was purification. Fasting is yet a regular practice among the nations of the Far East, especially among the East Indians. The many fasts of Gandhi are generally known.
Penance-worn members of the early church frequently retired to the desert for a month or two to fight down temptations. They would drink water from some dilapidated old cistern during the period, but to eat so much as a millet-seed was considered a breach of their vows and destroyed the merits of their penance. At the end of the second month the “gaunt world-renouncers” generally had sufficient strength to return home unassisted.
The writer of Peregrinato Silviæ, in describing how Lent was observed in Jerusalem, when she was there about 386 A.D., says: “They abstained entirely from all food during Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays. They took a meal about midday on Sunday, and after that they took nothing until Saturday morning. This was their rule through Lent.”
Although the Catholic Church has no law requiring fasting, as we use the term, it was voluntarily practiced by many individuals in the past. Fasting, whether total abstinence from food or abstinence from proscribed foods, is regarded by this Church as a penance. The Catholic Church also teaches that Jesus fasted in order to instruct and encourage belief in the practice of penance.
The Roman Church has both “fast-days” and “abstinence-days,” though they are not necessarily the same. The “law of abstinence” is on a different basis and “is regulated, not by the quantity, but by the quality of food” permitted. “The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat or meat broth, but not eggs, ‘lacticinia’ (milk), or condiments of any kind even from ‘the fat of animals’.” The rule of the church in fasting is: “What constitutes fasting is the taking of only one full meal in a day.” “In earlier times a strict fast was kept until sunset. Now, this full meal may be taken any time after mid-day, or, as the church’s approved authors hold, shortly before. Some even hold that the full meal may be taken at any time during the 24 hours.”
But this “one full meal in twenty-four hours” does not prohibit the taking of some food in the morning and evening. Indeed, “local custom,” which is often a somewhat undefined phrase, as determined by the local bishop, determines what extra-food may be taken daily.
In America, the rule is that the morning meal should not exceed two ounces of bread; in Westminster (England) the limit is three ounces. Obviously a “fast” of this nature is not what we mean by fasting, for a man may eat enough in this manner to grow fat. Nor can Hygienists accept the so-called moral principle of the Roman Church — “parvum pro nihilo reputatur” and “ne potus noceat” — “a little is reckoned as nothing,” “lest drink unaccompanied by anything solid should be harmful.”
We hold that little driblet meals are not fasting.
The Lenten fast of Catholics is also merely a period of abstinence from certain proscribed foods, although there are Catholics who take advantage of the period for a real fast.
The early practice of fasting until sundown, then feasting, is similar to the practice of Mohammedans in their so-called fast of Ramadan. During this season, people do not eat and cannot drink wine nor smoke cigarettes from sunrise to sunset, but they have their cigarettes handy, ready to begin smoking as soon as the sun goes down, and they enjoy a night of feasting.
A grand carouse at night makes up for their abstinence during the day. Their cities hold nightly carnivals, the restaurants are lighted, and the streets are filled with revelers, the bazaars are well-illuminated, and the peddlers of lemonade and sweetmeats are in their glory.
The wealthy sit up all night receiving and returning calls and giving dinner parties. After forty days of this feasting and reveling, the people celebrate the end of their month of “fasting” with the feasting of Bairam.
At the present time Christians of all sects and denominations rarely undergo real fasts. Most fasts of Roman, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant communicants are merely periods of abstinence from flesh foods. Abstinence from flesh foods other than fish on “fast” days appears to have been enjoined merely to aid the fishing and shipbuilding industries.
Among the Jews fasting always means entire abstinence from food, and at least one of their fast days carries with it abstinence from water also. Their periods of fasting are commonly only short ones.
While the Hindu Nationalist’s leader, Gandhi, fully understood the hygienic value of the fast, and often fasted for hygienic purposes, most of his fasts were “purification” or penance fasts and political weapons, by which he compelled England to accede to his demands. He even fasted for the purification of India, and not merely for his own cleansing.
Fasting formed part of the religious observances of the Aztecs and Toltecs of Mexico, the Incas of Peru, and of other American tribes. Fasting was also practiced by the Pacific Islanders; while there are traces of fasting in China and Japan, even before their contact with Buddhism. In Eastern Asia and wherever Brahmanism and Buddhism have spread, fasting has been kept alive.
FASTING AS MAGIC
With fasting as magic we have nothing to do, except to study the phenomenon. Tribal fasts, as seen among the American Indians, to avert some threatened calamity, or fasting, as by Gandhi to purify India, is the use of fasting as magic.
Fasting was widely observed, both in private and in public ceremonials by the American Indians. Fathers of newborn children are required to fast among the Melanesians. Fasting was often part of the rite of initiation into manhood and womanhood or for sacred and ritual acts among many tribes of people.
David’s twelve days’ fast, as recorded in the Bible, while his son was ill, was a magic fast. Ceremonial fasting carried out in several religions may properly be classed as magic fasting.
If we carefully distinguish between magic fasting and protest fasting, as in hunger strikes, we may say that magic fasting is fasting undergone to achieve some desired end outside the person of the faster. We are interested in such fasts simply as another part of the evidence that man, like the lower animals, may fast for extended periods and may do so not only without harm, but with positive benefit.
Major W. C. Gotschall, M. S., says: “There is nothing new about fasting. Among the ancients it was recognized as a sovereign method of attaining and maintaining marked mental and physical efficiency.
Socrates and Plato, two of the greatest of the Greek philosophers and teachers, fasted regularly for a period of ten days at a time. Pythagoras, another of the Greek philosophers, was also a regular faster, and before he took an examination at the University of Alexandria, fasted for forty days. He required his pupils to fast for forty days before they could enter his class.”
H. B. Cushman tells us in his History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians, that the Choctaw warrior and hunter “often indulged in protracted fasts” to train him to “endure hunger.”
PERIODIC AND YEARLY FASTS
Luke mentions in his Gospel the practice of fasting one day out of each week, which seems to have been very general in his day. Periodic fasting has been practiced by many different people and by many different individuals.
It is asserted that the ancient Egyptians were accustomed to fasting for a brief period, about two weeks each summer. Many people of today do this same thing. They have a fast or two fasts each year.
Others follow the custom referred to by Luke and fast one day out of each week. Others fast three to five days out of each month. The practice of periodic fasting takes many forms with many different individuals. These fasts are usually of but short duration, but they are always of distinct benefit.
Hunger strikes have become very frequent during the past thirty years. Perhaps the most famous of these have been the protest fasts of Gandhi and the hunger strike of McSwiney and his co-political prisoners in Cork, Ireland, in 1920. Joseph Murphy, who went on the hunger strike with McSwiney, died on the 68th day of his fast; McSwiney on the 74th day.
Older readers will recall that some years ago when the suffragettes of England would go on hunger strikes, they would be forcibly fed by a painful process, while, at the same time, there was much talk of letting them “starve” in prison.
Gandhi’s frequent fasts were usually protests against some British policy, although sometimes he fasted to purify India because of some wrongs she had committed. He was, however, fully acquainted with the Hygienic value of the fast and was fully conversant with the literature on the subject. His longest fast seems to have been about twenty-one days. Many men and women in all parts of the world have staged hunger-strikes of longer or shorter duration.
EXHIBITION OR STUNT FASTS
There have been a number of fasters who were more or less professional fasters, fasting largely for show and making money out of the process. These have fasted publicly and have charged admission to the public to get in to see them. Of such were Succi and Merlatti, two Italian exhibition fasters, and Jacques.
Jacques fasted 42 days in London in 1890 and 50 days in the same city in 1891. He fasted 30 days in Edinburgh, in 1889. Merlatti fasted 50 days in Paris in 1885. Succi took several long fasts ranging from 21 to 46 days. One of his fasts was carefully studied by Prof. Luciani, famous Italian authority on nutrition.
Experimental fasts, in which men and women have taken part, are perhaps more numerous than we think. Profs. Carlson and Kunde, of the University of Chicago, made a few experiments of this nature a few years ago. Their fasts were of relatively short duration.
At this time, I believe that Dr. Carlson is conducting experiments with the fast and he is said to take occasional short fasts himself. But few experimental fasts of considerable duration have been made in man.
Dr. Luigi Luciani, professor of Physiology at the University of Rome, studied a thirty days fast undergone by Succi in 1889.
Victor Pashutin, director of the Imperial Military Medical Academy, Petrograd, Russia, performed a number of experiments upon animals, and investigated cases of death from starvation in man and published the results of his researches in his “Pathological Physiology of Inanition.“
Dr. Francis Gano Benedict, of the Carnegie Institute at Roxbury, Mass., published a book some years ago, entitled the “Metabolism of Inanition.” In spite of the care observed in the conduct of his fasting experiments and the skill, with which the various tests and measurements were carried out, very few decisive results came from these experiments, for they were based on short fasts, the longest one of seven days, having been that of a hypochondriac, who, according to Tucsek, being abnormal, could not produce normal physiological results.
It is also true that the first few days of the fast witness the worst troubles, so that the results of these short fasts were very misleading, or as Prof. Levanzin says, “that great book, on which the Carnegie Institute squandered six thousand dollars, is not worth the paper, on which it was printed.”
Benedict’s discussion of past experiments with the fast is devoted to fasts in healthy subjects, and this can throw but little light on the importance of the fast in disease.
In 1912 Professor Agostino Levanzin of Malta came to America to be studied by Prof. Benedict, while he underwent a fast of thirty-one days’ duration. His fast was commenced on April 13, 1912 at a weight of “less than two pounds over 132 pounds, normal weight, according to the Yale University measurements, my height being five feet, six, and one-half inches.”
Levanzin thinks that this is an important point in every fast. He points out that professional fasters, like hibernating animals, generally overeat before they start fasting and accumulate a good store of fat and other reserves. He thinks that, due to this fact, the long fasts previously studied were of the destruction of adipose tissue and not of the whole body.
He attempted to avoid this “mistake” by starting his fast at “normal” body weight. It was his opinion that the length of the fast is of no importance if it is not started from normal body weight. He was of the opinion that man can lose sixty percent of his normal body-weight without any risk of death or damage to his health. He says that the greatest part of the normal body weight is also a storage of food.
“At the outset of my fast, my exact weight was a shade over 133½ pounds (60.6 kilograms). At the conclusion of the thirty-one days of my fast, I weighed barely 104½ pounds (47.4 kilograms), a total loss of twenty-nine pounds during the fast. Throughout the fast, tests were taken of my pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, respiration volume, blood examination, anthropometrical measurements, urine analysis, and growth of hair, not to mention innumerable other observations of my mental and physical condition from day to day.”
FASTING WHEN EATING IS IMPOSSIBLE
There are pathological conditions, under which eating is impossible. Such conditions as cancer of the stomach, destruction of the stomach by acids, and by other causes, renders it no longer possible to take food. Persons in this condition often go for extended periods without food, before they finally die.
In certain conditions of gastric neurosis food is vomited about as fast as it is swallowed, or it is passed into the small intestine with almost equal rapidity and hurried to the exit and expelled without being digested. Such an individual, though eating, is going without food. Such a state of affairs may last for an extended period.
SHIPWRECKED SAILORS AND PASSENGERS
Shipwrecked sailors and aviators forced down at sea, have, in many instances, been forced to exist for long periods without food, and often without water. Many have survived long periods without food under the many severe conditions that the sea offers. During the recent war, many instances of this nature received much publicity.
In “My Debut As A Literary Person,” Mark Twain, seriously in this instance, records some of his experiences with and observations of fasting. He says: “A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best of medicines and the best of doctors. I do not mean a restricted diet, I mean total abstinence from food for one or two days. I speak from experience; starvation has been my cold and fever doctor for fifteen years, and has accomplished a cure in all instances. The third mate told me in Honolulu that the ‘por-tyghee’ had lain in his hammock for months, raising his family of abscesses and feeding like a cannibal. We have seen that in spite of dreadful weather, deprivation of sleep, scorching, drenching, and all manner of miseries, thirteen days of starvation ‘wonderfully recovered’ him. There were four sailors down sick when the ship was burned. Twenty-five days of pitiless starvation have followed, and now we have this curious record: ‘all men are hearty and strong, even the ones that were down sick are well, except poor Peter.’ When I wrote an article some months ago urging temporary abstinence from food as a remedy for an inactive appetite and for disease, I was accused of jesting, but I was in earnest. ‘We are all wonderfully well and strong, comparatively speaking.’ On this day the starvation regimen drew its belt a couple of buckle-holes tighter; the bread ration was reduced from the usual piece of cracker the size of a silver dollar to the half of that, and one meal was abolished from the daily three. This will weaken the men physically, but if there are any diseases of the ordinary sort left in them, they will disappear.”
Frequently, when there are mine cave-ins, one or more miners are entombed for shorter or longer periods, during which time they are without food and often without water. Their survival until they can be rescued depends not upon food, but upon air.
If the oxygen supply is exhausted before rescuers reach them, they perish, otherwise, they survive days without food. The entombed miner is like the animal buried for days and weeks under a snow-drift. He is able to go for prolonged periods without food and survive, just as are these animals.
FASTING IN ILLNESS
It is estimated that fasting for the alleviation of human suffering has been practiced uninterruptedly for 10,000 years. No doubt it has been employed from the time man first began to get sick. Fasting was a part of the methods of healing practiced in the Ancient Aesculapian Temples of Toscurd Guido, 1300 years before the time of Jesus.
Hippocrates, the mythical Greek “Father of Physics,” seems to have prescribed total abstinence from food while a “disease” was on the increase, and especially at the critical period, and a spare diet on other occasions. Tertullian has left us a treatise on fasting written about 200 A.D. Plutarch said: “Instead of using medicine rather fast a day.” Avicenna, the great Arab physician often prescribed fasting for three weeks or more.
I think that there is no room to doubt that man, like the lower animals, has always fasted when acutely ill. In more modern times, the medical profession has taught the sick that they must eat to keep up their strength and that, if they do not eat, their resistance will be lowered and they will lose strength.
The thought behind all of this is that unless the sick eat they are likely to die. The reverse of this is the truth: the more they eat, the more likely are they to die. In his “Eating for Strength”, M. L. Holbrook, an outstanding Hygienist of the last century, says: “Fasting is no cunning trick of priestcraft, but the most powerful and safest of all medicines.”
When animals are sick, they refuse food.
Only when they are well, and not before, will they resume eating. It is as natural or normal for man to refuse food when sick as for animals to do so. His natural repulsion to food is a safe guide to not eating.
The aversions and dislikes of the sick, especially to food, noise, motion, light, close air, etc., are not to be lightly dismissed. They express protective measures of the sick body.
FAMINE AND WAR
War and famine, whether the famine has been produced by drought, insect pests, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, freezes, snows, etc., have frequently deprived whole populations of food for extended periods, so they have been forced to fast.
In many of these instances, they have had limited food supplies, but in others, no food has been available for long periods. The ability of man to fast, even for long periods, proves to be, as with the lower animals, an important means of survival under such circumstances.
Such prolonged periods of deprivation were much more frequent in past ages than today when rapid transportation and modern means of communication make it possible to get food to people in famine districts in a very short time.
FASTING UNDER EMOTIONAL STRESS
Grief, worry, anger, shock, and other emotional irritations are almost as potent in suspending the desire for food and in rendering digestion practically impossible as are pain, fever, and severe inflammation.
An excellent example of this is that of the young lady, in New York, who a few years ago attempted to drown herself and who explained, when rescued by two sailors, that when her sweetheart who had been in port two days had not called to see her nor communicated with her, she thought she had been jilted.
Her sailor friend, kept on duty and not having the opportunity to communicate with her, was permitted to see her. He asked when she had eaten and she replied: “Not since yesterday, Bill, I couldn’t.” Her grief or sense of loss had resulted in a suspension of digestive secretions and a loss of desire for food.
FASTING BY THE INSANE
The insane commonly manifest a strong aversion to food and, unless forcibly fed, will often go for extended periods without eating. It is customary in institutions devoted to the care of the mentally ill, to force-feed such patients, often by very cruel means.
This aversion to food by the insane is undoubtedly an instinctive move in the right direction. In his “Natural Cure,” pp. 140-143, Dr. Page presents a very interesting account of a patient that recovered normal mental health by fasting forty-one days, after other treatment had miserably failed.
One case of insanity in a young man who came under my care refused food for thirty-nine days, resuming eating on the morning of the fortieth day of fasting, greatly improved in mental condition.
I have used fasting in other cases of mental disease and have no doubt that fasting is distinctly beneficial and, I am convinced that when the insane patient refuses food, this is an instinctive measure designed to assist the body in its reconstructive work.
HIBERNATION IN MAN
Of possible human hibernation, it has been said that it is “a condition utterly inexplicable on any principle taught in the schools.” Nonetheless, there are a number of people who practice a near approach to hibernation during the winter season.
This is true of the Eskimos of northern Canada, as well as of certain tribes of northern Russia. By putting on fat and wintering very much as does the bear, only much less completely, the Eskimo reveals that man has some hibernating power. By keeping warm, usually by huddling together in the home, and moving very little, he goes through the long winter on half the usual food.
At the onset of winter, the Eskimo will sew himself up in his fur-lined parka, leaving accessible openings for certain physiological necessities, and will stay in his hut for the duration of the winter, existing on dried salmon, hard-tack, ground corn cakes, and water.
The fact that he undertakes very little physical activity reduces the amount of energy spent, thus aiding him in sustaining the food reserves accumulated in his body at a level, at which there is no danger of systemic detriment.
Certain Russian peasants of the Pskov region have been known to sleep around a fire during most of the winter, awakening once daily to eat. There is no evidence that this is anything other than a quasi-hibernation, as they employ fire to keep themselves warm, awaken daily to eat, and, it should not be forgotten, it is easily possible to take all the food required by an even active life in one meal daily.
Fasting above all other measures can lay claim to being a strictly natural method. There can be no doubt that it is the oldest of all measures of meeting those crises in the organism called “disease.” It is much older than the human race itself since it is resorted to instinctively by sick and wounded animals.
“The fasting-cure instinct,” says Oswald, “is not limited to our dumb fellow-creatures. It is a common experience that pain, fevers, gastric congestions, and even mental afflictions ‘take away the appetite,’ and only unwise nurses will try to thwart the purpose of nature in this respect.”
The doctrine of total depravity taught men to distrust the promptings of their natural instincts, and, while the doctrine is slowly fading from religion, it is as strong as ever in medicine. The promptings of instinct are ignored and the sick are stuffed with “good nourishing food” to “keep up their strength.”
“There is a very general concurrence of opinion,” says Jennings, “that the aversion to food, which characterizes all cases of acute disease and is fully in proportion to the severity of the symptoms, is one of nature’s blunders that require the intervention of art, and hence enforced feeding regardless of aversion.”
Dr. Shew declared: “Abstinence is by far too much feared in the treatment of disease generally. We have a good reason for believing that many a life has been destroyed by the indiscriminate feeding, which is so often practiced among the sick.”
In the human realm, instinct prevails only to the extent that we permit. Although one of the first things nature does to the person with acute “disease” is to stop all desire for food, the well-meaning friends of the sick man encourage him to eat. These may bring in tasty and tempting dishes designed to please his taste and excite an appetite but the most they ever succeed in doing is to get the patient to nibble a few bites. The ignorant physician may insist that he must “eat to keep up strength,” but Mother Nature, who is wiser than any doctor who ever lived, continues to say, “do not eat.”
The man who is sick, but who is able to be about his work, complains of having lost his appetite. He no longer enjoys his food. This is because his organic instincts know that to eat in the usual way is to increase the “disease.” The man thinks the loss of appetite is a great calamity and seeks a way to restore it. In this, he is encouraged by physicians and friends, who, alike, erroneously think that the sick man must eat to keep up his strength. The doctor prescribes a tonic and stuffing and, of course, the patient is made worse.
LONG FASTS IN MAN
Animals may go without food for prolonged periods without damage to their bodies or to individual organs. The objection is often raised that, while some animals may do this, man cannot, for there are still those who would place man outside of the uniformities of Nature and make him an exception.
Nevertheless, the facts prove that man may go for long periods without food, not alone without injury to himself, but with positive benefit.
Old mistakes are repeated year after year in reference works so that the public is at all times misinformed. The New Standard Encyclopedia (1931) says: “Generally death occurs after eight days of deprivation of food.” This encyclopedia mentions the fifteen men survivors of the frigate Medusa (1876), who were thirteen days on an open raft without food, and also a case instanced by Bernard which was “sustained on water alone for 63 days.” Succi’s forty days fast is also mentioned. No mention is made of fasting as a hygienic or remedial measure, and not a single scientific and up-to-date book on fasting is included in the bibliography.
Until the 1921 revisions of that work were made, the Encyclopedia Britannica and similar works, carried articles on inanition and fasting, stating, over the signatures of eminent medical authorities, that from ten to fourteen days marked the extreme limit to which the human body could endure without food.
Thousands of fasts of much longer duration, even up to 70 and 90 days, had been recorded; but the medical profession and scientists gave no attention to them.
That “common sense” may still be arrayed against the demonstrated facts of experiment and experience, and that men who pose as scientists, may deny what may be known about the body because it does not seem to them to harmonize with what they think they now know about the body is amazing proof that there have been ignorant bigots and that they are not all dead.
Sinclair says he talked with a well-known and successful physician, “who refused point-blank to believe that a human being could live for more than five days without any sort of nutriment.” “There was no use talking to him about it — it was a physiological impossibility.” He refused to investigate the evidence offered that it could be done. Bigotry we have with us always. Men who form their opinions in advance of investigation and, who, then refuse to investigate, lest they have their opinions swept away, are all too common.
The American People’s Encyclopedia says that the survival time of acute “starvation” (complete abstinence from all food) is forty days in man. It says that in individual men the survival time (as determined in laboratory “starvation” experiments) ranges from 17 to 76 days. It is not likely that any such laboratory experiments have ever been made.
One thing we may be certain of: namely, the survival times given are not accurate. A baby may survive more than seventeen days of fasting. Numerous fasters have not only survived but benefitted by fasts lasting longer than 76 days.
While man is, apparently, not capable of fasting for such long periods as are many of the lower animals, many long fasts have been recorded in man. “Modern science” is said to be very skeptical of these reported long fasts; but “modern science,” despite its proud boasting of its experimental methods and its readiness to investigate, is not willing to investigate fasting.
If any of the nit-wits who are called scientists really desire to observe and study long fasts at firsthand, it may be easily arranged. There is no excuse for either doubt or incredulity when knowledge may be had.
In this connection, it should be noted that the so-called authorities look well upon the reported fast of 65 days underwent by Marion Crabtree, of Savanna, Ill., in 1911 at the age of 101, because, they say, old people need much less energy than younger ones; accordingly, they say, old people would be the best of all people to take long fasts.
Long fasts have been reported that were never undergone and that, on their very faces, were frauds. There is the famous case of Mary J. Fancher, of Brooklyn, N. Y. She undertook a fast in 1866. Her fast is reported to have lasted for thirteen years. Under test conditions all such fasts have failed. In 1807 Ann Moore, the “Staffordshire Wonder,” was reported to have gone without food for more than two years. Under test conditions, Ann gave up her fast after nine days of real fasting. Then, she confessed that during her long fast, she had been supplied all the time with smuggled food.
The fact that fakers have pretended to fast for such incredibly long times, and have been revealed as frauds, however, is not evidence that real fasting for prolonged periods has not been done.
A brief mention of a few fasts in men and women will help to dispel the lingering doubts about the ability of man to go without food for long periods of time.
Muni Shri Misrilji, a member of the Jan religious sect, underwent a fast which lasted 132 days, to impress upon his co-religionists the need for unity. Although this fast was not carefully watched, there seems to be no doubt that the man actually fasted this long.
In 1828 the Parisian medical journals reported the case of a young girl who had typhoid fever and who took no food for 110 days.
Robert de Malone, founder of the Cistercian brotherhood, being overcome with grief upon hearing of the death of a female friend, decided to follow her into the henceforth. His religion forbade direct suicide, so he retired to a mountain-lodge of a relative, and abstained from food, hoping that one of his frequent fainting fits would result in death.
After seventy days without food, he began to suspect the miraculous interposition of Providence, reconsidered his resolution, and resumed eating. He began taking his food in half ounce installments and soon recovered from his great emaciation. He led an active life for the next fourteen years, supervising an ever-increasing number of scattered monasteries.
Augusta Kerner, of Ingolstadt, a trance faster, survived in a semi-conscious condition nearly a quarter of a year without food.
Dr. Dewey tells of two children, of about four years, one of them is his patient, whose stomachs were destroyed by drinking a solution of caustic potash. This patient of Dr. Dewey was “a delicate boy of spare-make.” It required seventy-five days for the body to exhaust its reserves, “and there seemed to be only a skin and a skeleton when the last breath was drawn.” Dr. Dewey tells us that “not one light drink of water was retained during life and yet the mind was clear up to even the last half hour.” “The other child (with a larger supply of reserves) lived three months.”
Dr. Hazzard tells us of an emaciated patient who had been bed-ridden for years, because of chronic functional “disease,” the muscles being greatly wasted from lack of use, who fasted a total of 118 days out of a period of 140 days with practically complete recovery of health as a result.
Mr. Macfadden had one man to fast for ninety days in his institution. While the McSwiney hunger strike was in progress, I heard Dr. Lindlahr tell of one man who fasted seventy days in his institution.
The longest fast I have ever personally conducted up to the present writing was one of sixty-eight days. Long fasts in men and women have been numerous. Literally, thousands of them have gone beyond forty days, some of them going beyond a hundred days.
The hunger strike of McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, and his companions attracted a goodly amount of attention in 1920. Nine of these strikers kept up their fast for ninety-four days, and then returned to eating, and to health and strength. Although these men fasted longer than did McSwiney, they all recuperated rapidly, after their return to normal feeding, and are reported to have acquired a condition of body superior to that existing before the fast.
On the 47th day of his fast, McSwiney’s sister addressed a letter to Cardinal Bourne in which she said: “Those of us, who have been watching him through all these weary days, have come to the inevitable conclusion that he has been supernaturally sustained in his struggles.” Archbishop Mannix of Australia said of him: “I find him to be a veritable miracle.”
Pashutin records the case of a youth, age eighteen, who took a spoonful of sulphuric acid, after which he was unable to take any food at all for the first week, took only a little liquid food for the next four weeks and the last ten weeks no food but water. He reports that there was no albumen or sugar in the urine and that the man vomited after every attempt to eat. He died at the end of three months and twenty days.
He records the case of a man, age forty-two, who died in four months and twelve days after drinking some sulphuric acid. Pashutin says of this case “starvation appears complete,” but informs us that two days before death the blood contained 4,849,000 red and 7,852 white cells per cu. mm.
A third case recorded by Pashutin is that of a young girl, age nineteen, who drank sulphuric acid. He says: “Some liquid food was given for four months but not believed absorbed as it was eliminated too rapidly and no chlorides in urine at all.” Her “dead body was like a skeleton, but mammary glands remained unaffected.” Her body temperature began to decrease only during the last eight days of her life. The girl complained only of thirst, not of hunger.
Dr. Hazzard describes a sixty days’ fast by a woman, age 38, who suffered with obesity and Bright’s “disease.” The woman recovered health, and, though she had been married twenty years, had her first baby one year after the fast. She records the case of another woman, age 41, with heart trouble, who fasted sixty-three days and attended her home duties and visited Dr. Hazzard’s office daily.
In January, 1931, the press carried the following account of a woman in Africa, who fasted 101 days to reduce her weight: “Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 31 — Authentic reports from Salisbury, South Rhodesia, state that Mrs. A. G. Walker, a noted Rhodesian singer, has been fasting 101 days, during which time she has consumed only two or three pints of cold and hot water daily. Last October Mrs. Walker weighed 232 pounds, so she decided to fast. She has lost sixty-three pounds. She says that she is in perfect health, goes out to parties, and carries on with her public singing.”
At noon, Oct. 31, 1932, an English businessman (age 53 years) of Leeds, London, who refuses to permit his name to be published, but who freely discussed his fast with reporters, began a fast under the direction of Mr. John W. Armstrong, who, though not a doctor of any school, has conducted hundreds of fasts and has been very successful in his work. This man received nothing but water until 6:30 P.M., Feb. 8, 1933, when he was given the juice of one orange. Thereafter he received nothing but water until noon of Feb. 9. He weighed 191 lbs. (13 st. 9 lb.) at the beginning of the fast; 132 lbs. (9 st. 6 lb.) at the end of fifty days of fasting and 102 lbs. (7 st. 4 lb.) at the close of the 101 days without food — a loss of 89 lbs. Before going on the fast, the patient was blind (cataract in both eyes), had no sense of smell, had hardening of the arteries, and heart trouble. He had previously been treated with iodine, aspirin, atropin, and other drugs. In August before commencing the fast he was unable to tell night from day. Mr. Armstrong reports that, by the fifty-sixth day of the fast, the cataracts had ceased to exist and the patient was able to see a little. Thereafter, sight improved gradually until vision again became normal. His sense of smell returned, heart improved, and arteries became better.
To newspaper reporters, who interviewed the patient on the last day of the fast, the patient stated: “I was on my last legs. Nothing did me any good and I tried fasting as a last resort. I would have tried anything in the hope of getting better again. I started the fast as an experiment for 10 days, then, as I seemed a little better, I went on from day to day. I stopped at 101 days. But I could have gone on for another 10 days or so easily if I had wished.”
He said, “It is easy to fast after the first fortnight,” but during the first fortnight he was forced to use great will power to resist food.
In a letter to me dated April 12, 1933, Mr. Armstrong informs me that his patient was able to walk about daily during the whole of the fast and talked rapidly to reporters for two hours on the 101st day. The patient was in first class condition at the time of writing the afore-mentioned letter. He also reports that, up to the fiftieth day of the fast, there were “no visible favourable results, except that his skin was more natural in appearance and his arteries were softer.”
These cases should convince any fair-minded and intelligent person that there is no immediate danger of starvation when a patient is placed upon a fast. If the pathological condition is remediable, the body will remedy it before any danger of starvation threatens.
A J. Carlson, Prof, of Physiology, University of Chicago, holds that a healthy, well-nourished man can live from fifty to seventy-five days without food, provided he is not exposed to severe cold, avoids physical work, and maintains emotional calm. His maximum period of seventy-five days has been surpassed several times.
Luciani found that Succi lost 19 percent in weight during his thirty days’ fast and was otherwise in good health. With the gradually lowering rate of daily loss of weight as the fast progresses, it would probably have required another fifty days for Succi to have lost the forty percent of his weight that some physiologists now consider the limit of safety.
Terence McSwiney died after seventy-eight days of fasting. On Sept. 14, 1929, Jatindranath Das, arrested along with fifteen others in the Lahore Conspiracy, died after sixty-one days without food — a hunger strike. Assuming that the conditions surrounding the two prisoners were similar, and that the emotional struggle in each of these men was not greatly different, the difference in time required for these two men to reach the end was due to the differences in the amounts of stored food reserves each carried.
Pashutin records the case of a criminal who died on the sixty-fourth day of a hunger strike and says of the case: “It indicates that in a man there are no less reserves than in animals.” The amount of reserves carried by man varies in individual cases, and this is the biggest determining factor in deciding how long one may safely go without food.
In more than thirty years of conducting fasts, I have conducted over twenty-five thousand fasts, ranging in duration from three days to more than two months. I have conducted about six fasts that have gone sixty or more days, the longest being sixty-eight days. I have had literally hundreds of fasts that have lasted from forty to fifty and more days.
There is no reason why the American of today cannot fast as long and with as much benefit as could the ancient Roman, Greek, or Hebrew. There is no physiological, biological, or other evidence that nature favored those ancient people more than she has us. They were not better constructed than are we.
I have had many people tell me that the forty day’s fast of Jesus was a miracle. It has also been asserted that the long fasts of Moses and Elijah were miracles. Tanner’s two fasts, one of forty days and the other of forty-two days, are frequently referred to as “unusual.”
Such fasts, of which there have been many, are often set down as historical oddities or eccentricities. They are thought of as isolated and extraordinary facts that have occurred from time to time, but as being without the limits of possibility for the average man or woman.
Jesus or Tanner may have fasted for forty days and lived, and Tanner may have secured distinct benefits from his fast, but I could not go without food for even a day, is the statement of many when the fast is under discussion. As Dr. Page puts it in “The Natural Cure,” “It is commonly supposed that these are uncommon men; they are uncommon only in possessing a knowledge as to the power of the living organism to withstand abstinence from food, and in having the courage of their opinions.
The facts presented prove conclusively that nature has no fear of a fast, even a long fast, and that the danger of starvation is very remote. We may enter upon a prolonged fast, in most instances, with perfect confidence that we are not going to perish of starvation in a few days, or even in a few weeks.
FASTING ABILITY AND SURVIVAL
Fasting in man is practiced under about as wide a variety of circumstances as among the lower orders of life and for about as many purposes of adjustment and survival. Fasting is a vitally important part of man’s life and, until modern times, when we have made a fetish of eating and have developed a ridiculous fear of going without food, even for a day, has played a major role in many of his activities.
It is very obvious that the ability to go for prolonged periods without food is as important a means of survival under many conditions in the life of man as it is in the lower animals. It is quite probable that primitive man was forced even more often than modern man to rely upon this ability in order to survive periods of food scarcity.
In acute disease, in particular, the ability to go for prolonged periods without eating is very important in man, for the reason that he seems to suffer far more with disease than do the lower animals. In this condition, in which, as will be shown later, there is no power to digest and assimilate food, he is forced to rely upon his internal stores. If man can fast, this is because he, like the lower forms of life, carries within himself a store of reserve food that may be utilized in cases of emergency or when raw materials are not available.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
Since early times, fasting has been advocated for spiritual development and promotion of health. Fasting as a religious practice developed independently among different people and religions
In ancient Greece, the belief that taking food risked the entry of demonic forces contributed to the popularity of fasting. Fasting was
required in preparation for many rituals that sought contact with supernatural forces.
Great importance was placed on fasting as a means of
arousing ecstatic forces, dreams, or visions. Pythagoras, Abaris, and Epimenides in ancient Greece extolled the virtues of fasting.
In biblical times Moses, Elias, and John the Baptist recognized its religious value.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Moslems abstain from all food and drink between dawn and dusk.
In the Old Testament, fasting was regarded as a powerful prayer that could prepare a prophet for divine revelations (Daniel 10:2-14). Although Christ fasted for 40 days in the desert (Luke 4: 1-2; Matthew 4:2-3), he left no definite law on the subject except to insist that it be done humbly and privately (Matthew 6:16-18).
With time, customary observances of fasting developed in local Christian churches partly in an effort to replace early pagan and Jewish fasting customs.
Fasting in the monastic tradition flourished in the fourth and fifth centuries, the dominant motive being asceticism guided by a spirit of penance and self-humiliation as a monk sought communion with his God. The motive for the case reported in this paper was consistent with the monastic tradition and was a prayerful penitential response
to modern-day social injustice.
Historically, fasting for health has been advocated by many. In the mid-1800s, B. H. Dewey, MD, in his book “The True Science of Living,”
wrote, “Every disease that afflicts mankind [develops from] more or less habitual eating in excess of the supply of gastric juices.” His “miraculously cured” patient and later publisher, Charles Haskell, did much to promote the fasting cure.
Upton Sinclair, better known for other literary works, wrote extensively on the health benefits of fasting. Notable nonobese persons who engaged in prolonged fasting and whose experiences were recorded in the early medical literature include Tanner who reportedly fasted for 40 days in 1880, Alexander Jacques, a Frenchman, fasted for 30 days in 1887 and for 40 and again 30 days
in 1888, Signor Succi, an Italian professional faster claimed to have completed at least 32 fasts of 20 days or more with his longest recorded fasts of 40 and 45 days in 1890. In 1905 a physician, F. Penny, MD, prompted by the claims of Dewey, fasted for 30 days and recorded simple observations on himself.
Observations during fasts in nonobese persons are less extensively recorded in the modern medical literature. Benedict’s classic study in 1912 of Mr. L, who fasted for 31 days, included detailed physical and metabolic measurements. In 1946 Bernard came under medical observations on the 40th day of a purported 45-day fast. At about the same time, Gamble’s classic life-raft studies, wherein volunteers were subjected to food and water deprivation under conditions simulating being lost at sea, did much to elucidate the essential water requirements and protein-sparing effect of carbohydrate.
In the early 1950s, Ancel Keys and co-workers at the University of Minnesota compiled extensive data on 32 volunteers who underwent eight months of semi-starvation.
Fasting as a therapy for obesity has long been advocated. Folin and Denis in 1915 recommended repeated short periods of fasting as a
safe and effective method of weight reduction.
In modern times Bloom, Duncan, and associates, and Drenick and colleagues advocated prolonged fasts for weight reduction in morbid obesity. Drenick and colleagues placed obese persons on fasting regimens of up to 117 days, whereas Thomson and coworkers monitored fasts of 139, 236, and 249 days.
The longest recorded fast was that of a 27-year-old obese man who fasted 382 days and lost 125 kg (276 lb). Since the late 1950s, many of the data on the metabolism of fasting come from studies carried out on obese persons willing to fast for weight reduction.
Fasting for the treatment of convulsive disorders was used in France by Guelpa and Marie in 1910. Changes in the acid base balance were originally thought to be responsible for the anticonvulsant effect until Wilder in 1921 suggested a role for fasting-induced ketone bodies. Since that time, ketogenic diets have been used successfully in the management of seizure disorders refractory to conventional drug regimens.
Fasting has often been used as a means of political protest. Gandhi fasted for political reasons on at least 14 occasions.
One of the longest recorded political fasts in a nonobese person was by Terence MacSwiney, a former mayor of Cork, who fasted for
74 days to his death after his arrest during English-Irish unrest in 1920. Joseph Murphy, less well known but also a member of the Irish Volunteers, died on the same day as MacSwiney after 76 days of a hunger strike.
The hunger strike as a means of political persuasion is being used stillFasting: The History
in Ireland. To date, ten members of the Irish Republican Army have fasted from 45 to 61 days to their death in the now-infamous H block of the Maze prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Used for thousands of years, fasting is one of the oldest therapies in medicine. Many of the great doctors of ancient times and many of the oldest healing systems have recommended it as an integral method of healing and prevention.
Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, believed fasting enabled the body to heal itself. Paracelsus, another great healer in the Western tradition, wrote 500 years ago that fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within. Ayurvedic medicine has long advocated fasting as a major treatment. In ancient Greece, Pythagoras was among many who extolled its virtues.
Indeed, fasting in one form or another, is a distinguished tradition, and throughout the centuries, devotees have claimed that it brings physical and spiritual renewal.
In primitive cultures, a fast was often demanded before going to war, or as part of a coming-of-age ritual. It was used to assuage an angry deity and by native north Americans, as a rite to avoid catastrophes such as famine.
Fasting has played a key role in all the world’s major religions (apart from Zoroastrianism which prohibits it), being associated with penitence and other forms of self-control.
Judaism has several annual fast days including Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonements; in Islam, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan; while Roman Catholics and Eastern orthodoxy observe a 40 day fast during Lent, the period when Christ fasted 40 days in the desert.
Women, in particular, seem to have had a proclivity for religious fasting, known as anorexia mirabilis (miraculous lack of appetite); surviving for periods without nourishment was regarded as a sign of holiness and chastity.
Julian of Norwich, an English anchoress and mystic who lived in the 14th century, used it as a means of communicating with Christ.
In other belief systems, the gods were thought to reveal their divine teaching in dreams and visions only after a fast by the temple priests.
Fasting has also long been used as a gesture of political protest, the classic example being the Suffragettes and Mahatma Gandhi who undertook 17 fasts during the struggle for Indian independence: his longest fast lasted 21 days. Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 250 mile Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practice nonviolence and truth in all situations and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest.
The practice of fasting has had its dark side, having been exploited by exhibitionists and fraudsters, and foisted on the gullible. Take “Doctor” Linda Burfield Hazzard from Minnesota who is thought to have caused the death of over 40 patients whom she put on strict fasts, before being convicted of manslaughter in 1912. She died from her own fasting regime in 1938.
Then, there were the Victorian Fasting Girls who claimed to be able to survive indefinitely without food. One of them, Sarah Jacobs, was allowed to starve to death at age 12, as doctors tested her claims in hospital.
Therapeutic fasting, in which fasting is used to either treat or prevent ill health, with medical supervision, became popular in the 19th century as part of the Natural Hygiene Movement in the US.
Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985) was one revered pioneer, opening Dr. Shelton’s Health School in San Antonio, TX in 1928. He claimed to have helped 40,000 patients recover their health with a water fast. Shelton wrote “Fasting must be recognized as a fundamental and radical process that is older than any other mode of caring for the sick organism, for it is employed on the plane of instinct.”
Shelton was an advocate of alternative medicine, an author, pacifist, vegetarian, and supporter of rawism and fasting. Shelton was nominated by the American Vegetarian Party to run as its candidate for President of the United States in 1956. He saw himself as the champion of original natural hygiene ideas from the 1830s. His ideas have been described as quackery by critics.
In the UK, too, fasting became part of the Nature Cure, an approach that also stressed the importance of exercise, diet, sunshine, fresh air,, and positive thinking. Fasting in Great Britain was at its most popular in the 1920s, according to Tom Greenfield, a naturopath who now runs a clinic in Canterbury, England.
The first Nature Cure clinic to offer fasting opened in Edinburgh, and I still have one or two patients who fasted there many decades ago. Other clinics that offered therapeutic fasting included the legendary Tyringham Hall in Buckinghamshire, now closed, and Champneys in Tring, Hertforshire, in those days a naturopathic center, now a destination spa.
Fasting was used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, digestive problems, allergies, headaches – pretty much everything, says Greenfield.
Fasts were individually tailored and could be anything from a day or two to three months for obese patients. The clinics would take a full case history to see if people were suitable, and they would be closely monitored.
Eventually, he says, scientific medicine became dominant as better drugs were developed. Fasting and the Nature Cure fell out of favor in Britain.
By contrast, in Germany where fasting was pioneered by Dr. Otto Buchinger, therapeutic fasting is still popular and offered at various centers. Many German hospitals now run fasting weeks, funded by health insurance programs, to help manage obesity.
Fasting holidays, held at centers and spas throughout Europe, include Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria, and are growing in popularity.
In Germany, fasting is part of the naturheilkunde – natural health practice, says Greenfield. It has remained popular because it became integrated into medical practice, so patients could be referred for a fast by their doctors.
More recently, interest in fasting has revived in the UK and in the United States, with millions trying intermittent fasting, such as the 5:2 diet, or on modified fasts where only certain foods or juices are taken for a period of time.
According to Greenfield, if people can do a one day fast for a minimum of twice a year – maybe one in spring and one in the autumn and setting aside a day they can rest, when they just drink water – this will help mitigate the toxic effects of daily living.
Fasting has been used in Europe as a medical treatment for years. Many spas and treatment centers, particularly those in Germany, Sweden, and Russia, use medically supervised fasting.
Fasting has gained popularity in American alternative medicine over the past several decades, and many doctors feel it is beneficial. Fasting is a central therapy in detoxification , a healing method founded on the principle that the buildup of toxic substances in the body is responsible for many illnesses and conditions.
Original source: Cherrill Hicks, The Telegraph UKThis content is from the History of fasting website
The concept of therapeutic fasting is not new. The early great philosophers, thinkers, and healers used fasting for health.
Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Galen all praised the benefits of fasting. Paracelsus, one of the three fathers of Western medicine, is quoted as saying, “Fasting is the greatest remedy — the physician within.”
Unfortunately, as time went on, fasting as a modality to heal became obsolete as pill popping became the modality of treatment.
However, a small number of medical professionals kept up with its use, and today, we are learning of its vast benefits, and in particular, how it works on a cellular level.
Fasting works because the body has the capacity to heal itself, and when the process of digestion stops, healing is accelerated. I have been using fasting as a healing strategy throughout my career as a physician for patients who need to quicken the healing process.Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Fasting rejuvenates the immune system
There are indications of the use of curative starvation in ancient India, Tibet and China. Tso-Jed-Shonnu, who lived in India in the 4th century BC, wrote: “The main guide to the medical science of Tibet – zhud-shi” wrote “On treatment by soaking and fasting.”
Pythagoras (580-500 BC), an ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, the founder of the famous school of philosophy, systematically fasted for 40 days, rightly believing that it increases mental perception and creativity. He demanded from each of his numerous disciples and followers to fast on water for 40 days as well. Pythagoras himself and his followers adhered to a strictly vegetarian diet. Having abandoned the standard meat food already at 19-year-old age, Pythagoras survived to very advanced years, preserving the clarity of thinking, purity of spiritual thoughts, and aspirations.
Plato (427-347 BC), a disciple of Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, shared medicine on the “true,” which gives genuine health, and “false,” which gives only the “phantom of health.” To the first, he referred as the treatment by fasting, diet, air, and sun.
Hippocrates (460-357 BC), a doctor who owns the great medical command “Do not harm!” was an ardent supporter of moderation and treatment by hunger. He wrote: “It is often less useful to add food, since it is often more useful to completely take it away.” He said: “Remember – any surplus is contrary to nature.”
Asklepiad (90 BC) professed the methods of treatment, which he called “metazinkreziya” and “reorporation,” which were nothing more than the application of periodic medical fasting with the application of baths, rubbing, and gymnastics.
Plutarch (45-127 AD), the greatest biographer of antiquity, was also an adherent of abstinence and vegetarianism. He spoke with deep conviction: “Instead of taking medicine, it’s better to fast for a day.”
The ideas of fasting for health continued to wander in the minds even in the Middle Ages – a period of obscurantism and ignorance. With renewed vigor, they flared up during the Renaissance.
Indicative in this sense is the story of Ludwig Cornaro (1465-1566). The Venetian aristocrat, Cornaro, was no different from the people of his circle: he indulged in binges, ate, and drank excessively. By the age of 40, Cornaro was bedridden with severe illnesses.
Neither the best doctors in Italy nor a variety of medications were able to help him. All were confident that the days of Cornaro were numbered. However, there was a doctor who, contrary to the professional prejudices of that time, offered Cornaro periodic strict abstinence from food.
And a miracle happened: Cornaro did not die.
Moreover, within a year, he got rid of all his illnesses. At the age of 83, he wrote his first essay “Essay on a moderate life.” Then, he wrote a few more essays, the last one at the age of 95. Cornaro died in Padua, at 100 years old: he fell asleep in his chair and did not wake up.
Physician Friedrich Hoffmann (1660-1742) widely used therapeutic fasting, claiming that it was shown in cases of obesity, gout, rheumatic arthritis, skin diseases, malignant ulcers, and cataracts. His first rule was this: “With every disease, the patient is best not to eat anything.”
The same rule was preached by the founder of rational hygiene, H. Gufepand (1762-1836) who wrote the book “Macrobiotics – the art of prolonging human life.” He also recommended the sick not to eat: “for nature itself shows the person with a disease that they are not able at this time to digest food.”
Over the past century, hundreds of scientists in various countries have studied the benefits of fasting, conducting scientific experiments, observing the public, making a great contribution to science, and expanding our understanding of periodic fasting.
In America, therapeutic fasting was practiced in 1877 by Dr. Edward Dewey. He argued that for all diseases accompanied by loss of appetite the patient should not eat until he has an appetite and tongue cleared. Dr. E. Dewey was a supporter of prolonged therapeutic fasting. Some of his patients abstained from food for up to 50 days. Following Dr. Dewey, therapeutic fasting was experienced by an American doctor Tanner, who called periodic abstinence from food “elixir of youth.”
“Even during the course of medical science,” Dewey wrote, “I began to doubt the effectiveness of medications, but after graduation, I first treated patients by the usual methods.” Among my patients was a typhoid girl who instinctively demanded that she be allowed to abstain from food, as all food was disgusting to her because everything she ate she would vomit. I had to let her fast. The girl recovered. This case caused me to apply fasting to other patients. Experience further convinced me of the healing properties of therapeutic fasting. I became more and more reliant on fasting and excluded from the conventional practice of medicine.”
Therapeutic fasting spread widely in the 19th and 20th centuries after the reform movement in medicine in favor of natural methods of treatment.
Prominent hygienists and dietitians, such as Bircher-Bayer, Noorden, Haig, Platen, Müller, and others have developed a great body of work supporting the benefit of water fasting. Therapeutic fasting was recognized by them as a natural method of healing.
In Germany, Switzerland, France, and the United States were opened special sanatoriums and clinics for those wishing to undergo a course of medically-supervised fasting.
A significant contribution to the practice of therapeutic fasting was made by the Russian scientist-pathophysiologist, Head of the Department of Pathological Physiology of the Military Medical Academy of St. Petersburg, V. Pashutin and his colleagues.
They discovered that with fasting, the weight loss of 20-25% caused no pathological changes in the body. In view of these data, many doctors began to use therapeutic fasting extensively, even in outpatient clinics.
Before the Patriotic War in Russia, therapeutic fasting was popularized by Alexey Suvorin, the son of a well-known publisher in St. Petersburg. The Soviet leaders, however, were not enthusiastic about it, and Alexey Suvorin was forced to emigrate to Yugoslavia.
There, Alexey Suvorin published several books on fasting: “Healthy hunger and food,” “Healing by fasting ” and others.
In Russia, the follower of Alexey Suvorin, a Moscow economist N. Sutkova, continued his business of popularizing therapeutic fasting. In 1957, she was arrested at a railway station in Rostov-on-Don, placed in Rostov prison, and was soon executed without a trial.
Advocates of therapeutic fasting were under pressure not only from representatives of conventional medicine. In the 60s, I worked in Moscow in a clinic of 80 beds, created at the Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry. Foreign scientists from Japan, India, and the United States came to the clinic for an internship.
I met with the American professor – psychiatrist Allan Cott. In the US, he had a private clinic where, judging by the extracts from the case histories, the method of therapeutic fasting was successfully applied.
However, after some time, Allan Cott said that he had to close the clinic. He got tired of receiving letters threatening to kill him and listening to the same threats on the phone from representatives of the American pharmacological mafia, who feared that widespread introduction and use of fasting would undermine their business.
In the 40s of the twentieth century, Moscow doctor N.P. Narbekov successfully used the method of fasting with bronchial asthma, hypertension, and obesity.
Since 1956, Academician L.N. Bakulev successfully applied fasting as a treatment for cholecystitis, pancreatitis, stomach ulcer, and cardiovascular diseases.
A great contribution to the development of the fasting method was a collection of writings called “Problems of therapeutic fasting” published in Moscow in 1969, which became the crown of numerous developments by dozens of scientists, such as academicians of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences P.K. Anokhin, A.A. Pokrovsky, N.A. Fedorov, and professor Yuri Nikolaev. The collection consists of four large parts, which gave a deep substantiation of the neurophysiological, biochemical, and pathophysiological foundations of the fasting method.
These are “Neurophysiology of hunger and satiety,” “Pathophysiology of fasting,” “Biochemistry of fasting,” “The clinical practice of therapeutic fasting.”
An important role for the introduction and spread of therapeutic fasting was the work of a number of foreign scientists: Herbert Shelton (USA), Arnold de Vries (USA), Paul Bragg (USA), and Imamura Moto (Japan). They presented valuable statistical data confirming the high efficiency of the fasting method in healing patients.
Experts in the scientific substantiation and practical application of the fasting method played an important role: Y.I. Poleshchuk, G.I. Babenkov, B.A. Bryuzgin, V.B. Gurvich, M.N. Volgarev, V.A. Maksimov, V.A. Tutelyan, A.M. Kokosov, V.A. Mironov, M.P. Nevsky, and others.
The most significant contribution to the development of the fasting method and its implementation in Russia and abroad was made by Academician Yuri Nikolayev. He fully substantiated the main indications and contraindications of fasting, described in detail the clinical evolution of the five stages of fasting, and developed the most effective method for conducting fasting in clinical settings.
Thanks to the fundamental scientific works of Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, fasting was approved by the Ministry of Health of the USSR as an official method for treatment called diet-therapy (RDT).
Yuri Nikolayev is called a patriarch of therapeutic fasting.
A great contribution to the development of the theory and practice of fasting was made by Georgy Voitovich who developed the method of fractional fasting.
Fasting, as a method of treatment of most diseases, despite the opposition of official medicine and pharmaceutical titans, continues to develop. A great future awaits!The history of therapeutic fasting
Did I answer your question “What is the history of water fasting?” That was a lot of history and so many different perspectives! The last opinion I presented to you touches briefly on the contribution of the Russian scientists and fasting practitioners to the development of the fasting method. As you heard from the above experts, therapeutic fasting has always been opposed by mainstream medicine and Big Pharma because the typical doctor in partnership with Big Pharma wants to make money on drugging you up with pills. There’s no profit in curing you with fasting. And as you witnessed, this is true in both Russia and America.
I was born in 1983 in USSR and was very sick for decades. I was always treated with drugs, shots, and hospitalizations. I had never ever in my 25 years of life in Russia ever heard of therapeutic fasting. Today, I feel deceived and sad but God led me on the path to natural healing, and I am here to also share this message with you. You deserve health!
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In answering your question “What is the history of water fasting?” I wanted you to have options, read carefully, do your own research, examine the evidence, and deploy your own discerning mind to make appropriate conclusions. There’s so much to the history of this tool, and I will keep adding here as I translate the works of Russian fasting doctors.
I told you: I have a doctoral in criminal justice and graduated with a 4.0 GPA from law school. So, investigation excites me. Now that you’ve learned so many various perspectives on the history of water fasting, I want to make some things very clear because they are important.
First, I do not believe in or advocate for the practice of penance, which is self-inflicted punishment for sins. Water fasting is not a punishment – it’s a privilege. It’s a natural health-optimization tool. For me personally, it’s also a way to conquer my flesh and battle my temptations, as Jesus did. You can learn what I believe by reading my blogs called “Who Is Jesus?” and “What Is Faith?” as well as “My Testimony.”
Fasting on water as self-infliction of pain shall not be practiced. Fasting is a spiritual tool to achieve discipline out of gratitude for your salvation, not to earn God’s love. God already loves you, and He proved it. You can read about it in my articles “I am loved” and “I am forgiven.”
As an addict in recovery, I know that God loves me unconditionally and I am accepted by Him completely already. I battle my various temptations not because I want to earn His love or acceptance or approval but because I’m overwhelmed with thanksgiving for what Jesus did for me.
That being said, water fasting is God’s blessing to us, not punishment. It’s a miraculous wellness tool that reverses aging and diseases, as well as helps us grow closer to God spiritually while re-gaining our natural mental clarity and focus. We become balanced and peaceful when abstaining from food. Looking at water fasting as the practice of penance is incongruent with the marvelous positive benefits of water fasting.
Second, when sharing the opinions of professionals while answering your question “What is the history of water fasting?” some label this healing practice “quackery.” Keep in mind that I am writing this blog post in 2020 but I have been fasting with water only since 2018 and personally completed a water fast ten times. From my personal experience, I want to assure you: fasting is not quackery.
The reason why Linda Hazzard was able to kill dozens of people through her “fasting” method is the same reason why the 12-year-old Victorian girl died claiming that she “fasted.” None of those people actually fasted (abstinence from food). Instead, they were on a restricted feeding diet (they consumed some food). That inhibited the natural fasting mechanisms activated during actual fasting, and they starved themselves to the point of dystrophy of their organs. That’s what diets do to people. Fasting doesn’t do this. It activates the body’s natural way of tapping into its stored food supply: fat and old cells recycled as proteins.
Sarah Jacob, the Victorian fasting girl who claimed to fast, died after nurses were recruited to observe her not eating but secretly, she consumed limited food still, and its remains were found in her stomach after her death. So, she was never actually fasting.
Linda Hazzard also fed her “patients” a little bit of food daily. The consumption of a little bit of food inhibited those people’s bodies ‘ natural fasting mechanisms from being activated. That’s why they died from starvation and dystrophy. I never advocate on this blog for restricted feeding diets or any diets. They cause harm.
Water fasting, which is complete abstinence from any and all food, actually mobilizes authopagy and ketosis, which are built-in mechanisms for not only survival without food but also deep cellular cleansing. This process is inhibited by restricted feeding diets, consumption of broth, coffee, tea, soups, or whatever few calories. So, the quackery described in the history of fasting has nothing to do with fasting. People misled others with the practices of restricted feeding.
How Do You Fast on Water?
To fast on water, you need to do two things: drink water only to thirst and don’t eat anything. It’s very simple, yet, it’s not easy because you’ll have food temptations and withdrawal symptoms. Those are due to the pleasure trap, which is discussed by Dr. Douglas Lisle in great detail.
In just a few words, I can tell you that profit-driven food titans spent billions of dollars on designing chemically-addictive foodlike substances, to which they lured you, got you addicted, and now, if you try to withdraw, you will feel typical drug withdrawal symptoms.
Those detox symptoms make water fasting very hard to sustain for the first three days. So, before fasting on water, you need to decide why you want to do it, and it can’t be just weight loss. You need a big why to persevere through the drug withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience when abstaining from food: dizziness, nausea, headache, and back pain.
Without having a strong why, you’ll give in to your food temptations and start binging on food, which will make you sick, of course. For me, being sick physically or mentally or emotionally is intolerable. I do not take any medications ever and I don’t go to doctors because I’m naturally healthy now. My why for fasting with water only is ongoing health optimization, disease prevention, and quality of life improvement.
I was sick for many years from stress, abuse, poor diet, and bad lifestyle habits, so I was in pain and I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. Today, at almost 40 years old, I do handstands, I travel, I ran, kayak, swim, hike, hula hoop, and even do pushups! I meditate, stay away from drama, avoid the food pleasure trap, and enjoy my healthy lifestyle.
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One thing that might happen to you is this: once you begin to experience the typical detoxification side effects, you may freak out and think you’re starving yourself to death. As you can see from my picture below, I am surely not starving. It’s because, when I fast, I abstain from any and all food completely and thus, I experience the benefits on water fasting.
Caloric restriction diets that supply a few calories don’t mobilize fasting mechanism and cause much harm if practiced long-term. That is quackery, yes. Fasting is a healing miracle, and that is why I first defined for you what water fasting actually is: the absolute absence of food in the body for some time.
Dr. Michael Klaper answers “How Do You Fast on Water?“
- Drink plenty of water
- Move slowly, don’t race
- Watch out for nausea/vomiting from detoxing
- Vomiting a lot is not ok, if you do, then drink juice
- Little headache is ok but not a pounding headache
- Getting lightheaded when standing up due to blood volume pulling blood draining head, during fast, you lose more water than you drink, you may feel drowsy in the morning and you might be having low blood pressure
- Lean people should not fast for long
- Oversized people can do longer fasts
- Skinny people can have a real issue of low blood pressure
- Don’t get out of bed too fast, get up slowly
- Commit to one day of fasting at a time
- It’s not a race or a contract, break the fast if needed
- Learn about your body in the process of fasting
Water fasting can do wonders if you do it right. I experienced miracle healing by fasting with water only – regularly. My health transformed over the past two years since I began tapping into water fasting benefits.
I love my life, and I used to hate it. I love my body, and I used to hate it. I love how I feel every day, and I used to hate it. I love my freedom to do a wide variety of activities and live liberated from addictions, pain, aches, medications, doctor visits, medical bills, and hospitalizations. Here’s a picture of me a month ago outside my front door on the river where I live, enjoying my good health at almost 40 years old.
So, how do you fast on water? Journal about your reasons. Decide on your why. Stop eating any and all food. Drink water only. Protect your mind from drama. Keep your fasting a secret between you and God, as the Bible teaches. Don’t engage in any arguments and maintain peace. Continue for as long as you can and document how you feel. Look within for the answers to your life’s big questions. Pray without ceasing. Then, refeed properly to avoid getting hurt. I wrote an article about refeeding after fasting on water. It’s called “Refeeding After a Water Fast.”
Should you quit your water fast if you don’t feel well? You will not feel in any way that can be possibly considered “well” when you abstain from food. You will feel like crap for the first few days because your body will detox, which has side effects, plus, you’ll experience your food addiction withdrawal symptoms, even if you don’t know or think that you are addicted to food. Modern food is addictive, and you are addicted to it.
According to Dr. Allan Cott, Dr. Yuri Nikolayev recommended the following indications for interrupting a water fast:
- The development of an abnormal cardiac rhythm or permanently rapid pulse beat.
- Gastric or intestinal spasm or symptoms of a surgical abdomen. If the spasm is functional, atropine may be used and the fast continued.
- Cardiac asthma.
- Persistence of hunger beyond the fifth day.
- Unwillingness to exercise for a minimum period of three hours each day. Upper respiratory infections or colds are not indications for stopping the fast, since the experience has been that intercurrent infections most frequently clear more quickly during the fast.
Dr. Michael Klaper says stop fasting in case of intolerable:
- Pounding headache
- Light-headedness from low blood pressure
Personally, I prepare for a water fast mentally by deciding. Then, I commit to not telling anyone. I pray, stop eating, and keep busy while abstaining from food. I journal about everything, talk to God, work out, watch documentaries about healthful living, write poetry, work, do chores, read books, reflect on my life, and rest.
How Long Can You Fast?
When I first started abstaining from food, I wanted to know “How long can you fast?” In the beginning, every blackout or ache seems like death is coming upon you. In reality, each of us has fat, even me, though I’m XS in size. But there’s plenty of fat in my body to sustain me for a 5 day water fast regularly. We were designed to sustain famine.
Let’s see what doctors say…
It is perfectly true that men have died of starvation in three or four days; but the starvation existed in their minds — it was fright that killed them.Upton Sinclair, The Fasting Cure
The amount of reserves carried by man varies in individual cases, and this is the biggest determining factor in deciding how long one may safely go without food.
In more than thirty years of conducting fasts, I have conducted over twenty-five thousand fasts, ranging in duration from three days to more than two months. I have conducted about six fasts that have gone sixty or more days, the longest being sixty-eight days. I have had literally hundreds of fasts that have lasted from forty to fifty and more days.
There is no reason why the American of today cannot fast as long and with as much benefit as could the ancient Roman, Greek, or Hebrew. There is no physiological, biological, or other evidence that nature favored those ancient people more than she has us. They were not better constructed than are we.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer also reveals that because of the biological adaptation of fasting, human beings can go up to 70 days without eating.Fasting for Healing
Dr. A. Putter, a German physician, who has made a study of fasting, concludes that there is nothing in comparative physiology to show that man cannot live from ninety to a hundred days without food, if he were kept under proper conditions of warmth, rest, fresh air, water, and emotional poise.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
The question most commonly asked was how long should one fast, and how one should judge of the time to stop. I have fasted twelve days on two occasions. In neither case was I hungry, although hunger quickly returned. I was told by Bernarr Macfadden, and by some of his physicians, that they got their best results from fasts of this length.
I would not advise a longer fast for any of the commoner ailments, such as stomach and intestinal trouble, headaches, constipation, colds and sore throat. Longer fasts, it seems to me, are for those who have really desperate ailments, such deeply-rooted chronic diseases as Bright’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, rheumatism, and cancer.
Of course, if a person has started on a fast and it is giving him no trouble, there is no reason why it should not be continued; but I do not in the least believe in a man’s setting before himself the goal of a forty or fifty days’ fast and making a “stunt” out of it.
I do not think of the fast as a thing to be played with in that way. I do not believe in fasting for the fun of it, or out of curiosity.
If you have to fast every now and then, it is because the habits of your life are wrong, more especially because you are eating unwholesome foods. There were several people who wrote me asking about a fast, to whom my reply was that they should simply adopt a rational diet; that I believed their troubles would all disappear without the need of a fast.
Several people asked me if it would not be better for them to eat very lightly instead of fasting, or to content themselves with fasts of two or three days at frequent intervals. My reply to that is that I find it very much harder to do that, because all the trouble in the fast occurs during the first two or three days. It is during those days that you are hungry, and if you begin to eat just when your hunger is ceasing, you have wasted all your efforts.Upton Sinclair, The Fasting Cure
I am not a medical professional and do not give medical advice. I simply share my personal experiences and scientific research in the area of fasting with water only, as well as what I’ve learned from doctors who practice or supervise water fasts. This content is for information purposes only. It is not a prescription for you by any means.
How Much Water Should You Drink While Fasting?
When you fast on water only, drink to your thirst. What does it mean? Drink water only when you are thirsty and only to the point of feeling satisfied. Don’t drink too much water because you can hurt yourself or even die. Below is a collection of helpful articles about the risk of death from drinking too much water.
- Marathon runner died from drinking too much water
- Runner avoids death after drinking too much water
- Andover runner almost died drinking five liters of water
- London marathon runner almost died after over-hydrating
- More athletes are injured by hyponatremia than dehydration
- Hydration and hyponatremia: can you drink too much water?
Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause low sodium by overwhelming your kidneys’ ability to excrete water. To avoid hyponatraemia, or water intoxication, drink to thirst only in small amounts over time. Don’t drink a ton of water all at once.
Dr. Sergei Filonov, who has supervised thousands of fasts in the last 30 years, suggests that you monitor your urine. If your pee is very dark and smells strong, it indicates that you need to drink more water or perhaps more often. If you urinate too often and your pee is very light-colored and doesn’t smell, you may drink less water or less often. That being said, the very process of detoxification will always cause darker and stronger smelling urine. It’s normal.
Here’s what Upton Sinclair says about it.
One should drink all the water he possibly can while fasting, only not taking too much at a time. I take a glass full every hour, at least; sometimes every half hour.Upton Sinclair, The Fasting Cure
I only drink a little bit of water when thirsty. When I forced water into myself, I vomited. So, today, after so much fasting experience, I trust my body and only drink when I want to, as much as I want to, which typically is a few sips. I savor water in my mouth before swallowing it. I had never vomited when fasting, after I stopped forcing water on myself. When I drink water, I mindfully pay attention to my body. This is what I recommend to everyone else exploring water fasting.
Can You Exercise While Fasting on Water Only?
All doctors who recommend water fasting say it’s best to exercise and be outside for up to 3-4 hours a day when abstaining from food. This is based on dozens of books, webinars, interviews, and documentaries I watched, listened, and read. The documentary I shared above about fasting on water examined various fasting programs around the globe, and each of them has people exercise for hours daily while fasting.
The most comprehensive study of water-only fasting is called “Controlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia” by Dr. Allan Cott, MD who not only examined the experience of thousands of medically-supervised water fasts performed by Dr. Yuri Nokolayev but also medically supervised water fasting patients himself at the Gracie Square Hospital in New York City. His study was published in 1974, and here’s what he says in response to your question “Can You Exercise While Fasting on Water Only?“
If the patient does not exercise by walking a minimum of three hoursControlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia” by Dr. Allan Cott, MD
daily, weakness ensues, and the fast must then be arbitrarily broken.
Dr. Sergei Filonov, who has supervised thousands of fasts in Russia in the last three decades, says in his books that a patient must exercise and be outside in nature, at least 3-4 hours a day, or perhaps even all day, like he himself does when fasting in his personal life. Dr. Filonov goes camping and horseback riding for a few days while abstaining from food. Answering your question “Can You Exercise While Fasting on Water Only?” he says: if a fasting person does not exercise, they are likely to feel miserable and very sick. I do confirm this from my experience.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer from True North Health Center says fasting requires rest. In his interviews, he mentions that his fasting patients do exercise and attend educational classes to learn about cooking, nutrition, and physical activity. This is in adherence to Dr. Allan Cott’s and Dr. Yuri Nikolayev’s regimens. When I watched testimonials from True North Health Center’s patients on YouTube, they say that they did exercise.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, who invented water fasting programs in Russia a decade ago, did require patients to exercise, and his lead is followed today in several Russian sanatoriums where people stay to fast. They are required to exercise. Personally, I tried it both ways: I fasted and rested and I fasted while working out and walking 25,000 steps a day. I like fasting when I work out. When I stay in bed, I’m miserable.
How does the science answer your question “Can You Exercise While Fasting on Water Only?“
Exercising during a fasting state increases lipolysis in adipose tissue while also stimulating peripheral fat oxidation, resulting in increased fat utilization and weight loss.Exercise Training and Fasting: Current Insights
Science says exercise is good on a water fast and helps activate fat loss and mobilize the detoxification process. I like water fasting with exercise more than I like fasting and resting. On the first day, I always work out and I try to do it on the second day, but from the third day on, it typically depends on how dizzy or nauseous I feel. Sometimes, I can work out, and other times, I simply can’t. I have completed a water-only fast ten times now, and it’s different every time for me. But I’ll push myself next time!
Upton Sinclair, in his famous book The Fasting Cure, answers your question “Can You Exercise While Fasting on Water Only?” in great detail, with a strong personal opinion about this matter.
I intended only a short fast, but I found that hunger ceased again, and, much to my surprise, I had none of the former weakness. I took a cold bath and a vigorous rub twice a day; I walked four miles every morning, and did light gymnasium work, and with nothing save a slight tendency to chilliness to let me know that I was fasting. I lost nine pounds in eight days.
The fast is to me the key to eternal youth, the secret of perfect and permanent health. I would not take anything in all the world for my knowledge of it. It is nature’s safety-valve, automatic protection against disease.The Fasting Cure by Upton Sinclair
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev recommended that “Unwillingness to exercise for a minimum period of three hours each day” should be the reason to break his patient’s water fast. Yuri Nokolaev healed 70% of his 7,000 patients, so he is definitely someone I respect and listen to when it comes to fasting. But I do have personal experience of being unable to exercise.
Your body undergoes full “remodeling” while you’re fasting, so it needs rest but it also needs cleansing, which is activated by exercising and being outside in nature. It’s very beneficial to work out while fasting.
Try exercise and listen to how your body reacts to it. Every time I fast, it’s not the same. Sometimes, I can do exercises, but other times, I stay in bed and sleep a lot or watch fasting or plant-based documentaries. Your body is wise, and it will guide you. Listen to it mindfully.
What Can You Expect on a Water Fast?
When you try something new, it can be scary. Fasting on water definitely can scare you because your body will be acting differently than when you eat six times a day. To help you in the best way possible, below I’m sharing scientific explanations of what to expect on a water-only fast.
Remember that, in addition to this, you already have a list of people who fasted and links to their journals, from which you can understand more about how a water fast might unfold. Also, you have my vlogs and my personal water fasting diary.
Also, to answer your question “What can you expect on a water fast?” I wrote a very detailed post about what I experienced through fasting ten times in the last two years. That blog article is called “What To Expect on a 5-Day Prolonged Fast” and I think you can benefit from reading about the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of fasting.
First, how does fasting affect a human?
The human organism has the physiological ability to switch from exogenous food supply to endogenous nutrient reserves. While liver and muscle glycogen stores are rather limited and normally depleted after 24 h of fasting, energy is mainly derived from fat stores. Protein is mainly used to deliver amino acids for gluconeogenesis in order to provide glucose for the brain. The caloric restriction below 500 kcal per day leads to a complex and orchestrated central and peripheral neuroendocrine response. Fasting triggers cardiovascular, metabolic, and psychological adaptations.Fasting Therapy – Old and New Perspectives
To answer your question “What Can You Expect on a Water Fast?” let’s examine what the science shows in regards to the metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of fasting on water for just one day.
Routine, periodic fasting is associated with a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD). Animal studies show that fasting may increase longevity and alter biological parameters related to longevity. We evaluated whether fasting initiates acute changes in biomarker expression in humans that may impact short- and long-term health.
Apparently-healthy volunteers without a recent history of fasting were enrolled in a randomized cross-over trial. A one-day water-only fast was the intervention and changes in biomarkers were the study endpoints.
Fasting induced acute changes in biomarkers of metabolic, cardiovascular, and general health. Repeated episodes of periodic short-term fasting should be evaluated as a preventive treatment with the potential to reduce metabolic disease risk.Randomized cross-over trial of short-term water-only fasting: Metabolic and cardiovascular consequences
From the above-examined research, you know that just fasting for 24 hours, you can expect metabolic and cardiovascular improvements in your health. To answer your question “What Can You Expect on a Water Fast?” let’s examine fasting beyond just 3 days. Will you experience health damage from protein loss and will you lose muscle mass? Here’s an interesting study that answers what happens during a water fast.
Fasting is accompanied by integral physiological adaptation processes. Overall, metabolism is geared to use mainly fat resources for fueling the energy metabolism of the human body during fasting.
Because of the absence of carbohydrates, fatty acid oxidation is partly incomplete, which leads to ketogenesis. “Ketone bodies,” such as acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate, are mainly utilized by skeletal and cardiac muscle but also by the brain for fueling energy metabolism.
During the first 3 days of fasting (adaptation phase), protein catabolism is significantly increased, followed by a steadily decrease in order to spare protein.
Furthermore, nitrogen is excreted mainly in the form of urea, later on as glutamine in order to spare energy. Glutamine is an important substrate for gluconeogenesis in the kidneys. The resulting ammonia ions are important to neutralize keto acids and uric acid in the kidneys.
With the increase in the prevalence of obesity since the 1970s, fasting became very popular. Results from a study on 750 obese men and women who were fasting over 28 days (either with or without an additional vigorous daily exercise program) showed that fasting leads to a substantial weight loss, but mainly due to loss of fat mass.
Surprisingly, men lost about 1 kg, women 0.7 kg of protein in the non-exercise group during the fasting period. The exercise group showed just a slightly, nonsignificantly greater protein loss.
Interestingly, the exercise group also showed greater fitness and muscle strength than the non-exercise group at the end of the intervention.
It has been known for years that patients with rheumatic or some kind of autoimmune disease experience a substantial improvement of symptoms after some days of fasting. One might, therefore, speculate that protein breakdown is not a random but rather a well-organized and controlled process, focusing at first on disease-causing proteins, such as auto-antibodies or irregular processed proteins.Fasting Therapy – Old and New Perspectives
From the above study you can see that your body is smart and will not be breaking your muscles for protein during a water fast but will, instead, eat up your bad cells for protein. This noble-prize winning biological process is called Autophagy. You’ve learned a lot so far and hopefully got some helpful answers to your question “What Can You Expect on a Water Fast?” Now, I want to show you how fasting improves mental health. Here’s detailed research about that documenting exactly what happens to the body during fasting on water only. Dr. Yuri Nikolayev says “The biochemical dynamics during fasting are the same for mental illness and for normals.“
Stage I (first two or three days of fasting) is characterized by an initial hunger excitation. Conditioned and unconditioned secretory and vascular reflexes are sharply accentuated, the food-conditioned reflex leukocytosis is considerably increased, and the EEG shows intensified electrical activity in all leads with a prevalence of fast rhythms. Thus, excitative processes are increased, and the processes of active inhibition are relatively weakened.
Stage II (from the second or third to the seventh or 12th day of fasting) is a stage of growing acidosis. It is characterized by a stage of growing excitability of all systems concerned with nutrition, by hypoglycemia, and general psychomotor depression. The patient loses appetite, his tongue is covered with a white film, his breath acquires the odor of acetone. Conditioned reflexes cannot be elicited, and unconditioned reflexes are greatly diminished. The EEG demonstrates a decrease in
electrical activity, the food-conditioned reflex leukocytosis is sharply reduced. In this phase, inhibition prevails over the excitative processes. This reduction in excitation extends to the cortex and produces a stage of inhibition similar to “passive” sleep caused by the blocking of stimuli. Stage II ends abruptly in an “acidotic crisis.” After a period of depression the physical and mental condition of the patient suddenly improves, he feels stronger and is in a better mood. This marks the beginning of Stage III, when acidosis diminishes.
Stage III begins. During this stage, the tongue gradually loses its white coating, the odor of acetone disappears, the patient’s complexion improves, and psychotic symptoms recede. Unconditioned secretory and vascular reflexes remain diminished, and conditioned reflexes, including reflex leukocytosis, are absent. By the end of Stage III, however, when the tongue is completely cleared and appetite is restored, secretory and vascular reflexes increase.
The glucose level falls from the third to 12th day of the fast and returns to prefast levels by the 20th to 25th day. During the recovery period, the glucose level returns to normal. If a patient has hypoglycemia, his glucose-tolerance curve is normal at the end of the recovery period.
Serotonin increases from the seventh to 15th day, and by the end of the fast, the level is lower than it was in the prefasting period. A high concentration of serotonin in the prefasting stage was found in schizophrenic patients, a low concentration was found in neurotics. Both groups reach an optimum level during the fast, and after the fast, each group slowly returns to prefasting levels.
Histamine and heparin are both formed in the tissues, which surround the blood vessels, and during the fast, large amounts of heparin are formed, which lowers the histamine level.
Albumin levels in the blood are not greatly changed during the fast. When this was observed in groups of patients and related to the results achieved, three subgroups appeared. In one group, the albumin level rose during the fast, and in the second group, the level dropped. Both of these groups achieved good results in the fast. In the third group, the albumin level remained stable, and this group achieved the least improvement. During the recovery period, each group returned to its prefast level.
All catecholamines in the urine of ill people are found to be lower than in normals. During the fast, catecholamines increase and levels rise to that of normals. During the recovery period catecholamines increase above prefast levels and are later maintained at normal levelsControlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia
I hope this helped answer your question “What Can You Expect on a Water Fast?” I have one more detailed explanation for you from a man who fasted twice for 12 days each time. I had never done more than five days, but reading his description, I feel aspired to try a longer fast. This man was very sick with various illnesses – all the diseases of dietary excess, and no doctor was able to heal him until he started fasting.
I was ready for a fast. I began. The fast has become a commonplace to me now; but I will assume that it is as new and as startling to the reader as it was to myself at first, and will describe my sensations at length. I was very hungry for the first day — the unwholesome, ravening sort of hunger that all dyspeptics know.
I had a little hunger the second morning, and thereafter, to my very great astonishment, no hunger whatever — no more interest in food than if I had never known the taste of it. Previous to the fast, I had had a headache every day for two or three weeks. It lasted through the first day and then disappeared — never to return.
I felt very weak the second day and a little dizzy on arising. I went out of doors and lay in the sun all day, reading; and the same for the third and fourth days — intense physical lassitude, but with great clearness of mind.
After the fifth day, I felt stronger and walked a good deal, and I also began writing. No phase of the experience surprised me more than the activity of my mind: I read and wrote more than I had dared to do for years before.
During the first four days I lost fifteen pounds in weight — something which, I have since learned, was a sign of the extremely poor state of my tissues. Thereafter, I lost only two pounds in eight days — an equally unusual phenomenon.
I slept well throughout the fast. About the middle of each day, I would feel weak, but a massage and a cold shower would refresh me.
Towards the end I began to find that in walking about I would grow tired in the legs, and as I did not wish to lie in bed. I broke the fast.The Fasting Cure by Upton Sinclair
Personally, I used to be a control-freak. Really! So, I studied everything available everywhere online and offline to learn what I could expect when fasting on water only and if there were any dangers.
Today, I’m comfortable fasting regularly.
It’s not comfortable when I go through the changes that prompt healing but I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. I hope that this chapter of my article offered you some comfort by revealing how uncomfortable you’ll feel when fasting and I hope that knowing this makes you more comfortable!
What Are The Benefits of Fasting on Water?
If fasting on water is so uncomfortable, why do it? Why subject yourself to intentional physical discomfort? Because of so many water fasting health benefits! It is truly a healing miracle! There are so many benefits for doing a water-only fast. I wrote an article about it. Click on each benefit listed below to learn more.
15 Benefits of Water Fasting
- Water Fasting Activates Autophagy
- Water Fasting Impacts Epigenetics
- Water Fasting Slows Down and Reverses Aging
- Water Fasting Promotes Ketosis and Fat Loss
- Water Fasting Facilitates Overall Weight Loss
- Water Fasting Reduces Insulin Resistance
- Water Fasting Helps Metabolic Syndrome
- Water Fasting Decreases Obesity Risks
- Water Fasting Prevents or Reverses Chronic Diseases
- Water Fasting Reduces or Eliminates Sinus Issues
- Water Fasting Normalizes High Blood Pressure
- Water Fasting Improves Sleep
- Water Fasting Helps Transition to Healthy Living
- Water Fasting Improves Cognitive Functioning
- Water Fasting Clears Off Acne
The benefits of water fasting go way beyond this short list. This is just to give you an idea of its miraculous healing effects on the human body, spirit, and mind. There’s no pill that could do so much good to a person. I’m filled with gratitude to God for leading me down this path.
Fasting stimulates autophagy and detox enzymes, resulting in a deep cleansing of the cells and tissue. At the same time, fasting reduces all inflammatory processes, alleviates pain and improves mobility.Buchinger Wilhelmi therapeutic fasting
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev had most of his patients admitted voluntarily. Here’s how he explained the benefits of water fasting and what was on the other side of temporary physical discomfort.
Professor Nikolaev states that the water fasting therapy has the following mode of action:
While leading to acute exhaustion, fasting serves as a powerful stimulus to subsequent recuperation.
Fasting ensures rest of the digestive tract and the structures of the CNS, which receive stimuli from the chemo- and interoceptive
analyzer. This rest helps to normalize function.
Acidosis provoked by fasting and its compensation reflects a mobilization of detoxifying defense mechanisms, which play an important role in the neutralization of toxins associated with the schizophrenic process.
As the acidosis decreases, the blood sugar level rises. The pH of the blood remains constant after acidosis decreases. Other parameters of the blood continue to remain constant. Insulin levels become normal.
The biochemical dynamics during fasting are the same for mental illness and for normals.Controlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia
It’s important to understand that there are spiritual benefits of water fasting we haven’t discussed in detail. Those are individual, personal, profound, and have to you with whatever struggles you face. I’ve had many spiritual revelations during the ten water fasts I completed.
Fasting, especially if it is your first time, is an unforgettable experience – a revelation. Many people are unaware that they have this capability and that it can feel so good. As a result, they are often highly motivated to change their lifestyle permanently.Therapeutic fasting and nutritional strategies
Personally, I enjoy being fit, slim, and light at nearly 40 years old, thanks to all the water fasting benefits. I love feeling peaceful and calm and experiencing profound joy, which I attribute to my practice of fasting and prayer. I love being healthy, active, and addictions-free.
Can Water Fasting Clean Arteries?
Yes, water fasting is known to clean your arteries. I am sharing some excerpts from a few research studies that help answer in detail your important question “Can Water Fasting Clean Arteries?“
Some of the best evidence that coronary artery disease is reversible comes from autopsies performed on people who lived through prolonged periods of starvation during World War II.
Their coronary arteries showed little or no atherosclerosis.
But as the economies of war-stricken countries recovered and diets “improved,” atherosclerosis returned.
These findings are considered proof that extreme dietary changes can cause atherosclerosis to melt away.Is it possible to reverse coronary artery disease?
Before going on the fast, the patient was blind (cataract in both eyes), had no sense of smell, had hardening of the arteries, and heart trouble.
Mr. Armstrong reports that, by the fifty-sixth day of the fast, the cataracts had ceased to exist and the patient was able to see a little. Thereafter, sight improved gradually until vision again became normal. His sense of smell returned, heart improved, and arteries became better.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
New evidence from cardiac researchers demonstrates that routine periodic fasting is good for your health and your heart. The study found that fasting not only lowers one’s risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels.
Fasting has long been associated with religious rituals, diets, and political protests. Now, new evidence from cardiac researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute demonstrates that routine periodic fasting is also good for your health and your heart.
Research cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute are reporting that fasting not only lowers one’s risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels. Both diabetes and elevated cholesterol are known risk factors for coronary heart disease.
The discovery expands upon a 2007 Intermountain Healthcare study that revealed an association between fasting and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women in America.
In the new research, fasting was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels.
The findings were presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
“These new findings demonstrate that our original discovery was not a chance event,” says Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and the study’s principal investigator.Routine periodic fasting is good for your health and your heart
I hope that you can see from tis evidence that if you have clogged arteries, it’s completely reversible via water fasting and diet changes. Fasting also cures a wide variety of diseases caused by dietary excess.
Can Water Fasting Cure Diseases?
Water fasting has been proven (both scientifically and clinically) to prevent, arrest, and reverse the diseases caused by dietary excess. Why don’t you hear about it from every doctor? First, it’s not profitable for the doctor to recommend. Also, people don’t want to wait for the “cure.” They want a drug to eliminate the symptoms of their diseases instead of eliminating the causes. Our modern society is used to instant gratification, so everyone wants a pill as a quick fix for their issues.
Water fasting takes time and effort. It requires you to conquer food temptations, battle yourself, and overcome your flesh. Self-control is the key to water fasting success. And most people don’t like practicing self-control. People love eating crap, getting sick, taking pills, and eating more crap. Yet, this is how you die early after having suffered for a long time with poor health. To enjoy good health, you must practice self-control. If that’s your philosophy, too, water fasting is for you. It eliminates the cause of your diseases and not just mere symptoms.
Fasting on water heals. Taking drugs kills.
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Drugs have side effects, which often cause more illnesses, damage the brain, compromise the nervous system, inhibit the functioning of the vital organs, and intoxicate the cells. Drugs compromise not only your health but the quality of your life as well. I hate drugs but I love fasting on water. The side effects of water fasting are weight loss, fat reduction, and joyful euphoria. Seriously! Here’s Dr. Alan Goldhamer’s answer to your question “Can Water Fasting Cure Diseases?”
If you treat high blood pressure medically, they tell you, “You must take these drugs the rest of your life.” If you have diabetes, they’ll tell you, “You’ll be on these medications for the rest of your life.” If you have an autoimmune disease, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, or eczema, you will be told, “You must be on medications the rest of your life,” because medicine guarantees you will never recover.
They promise you: if you follow their advice explicitly, you will be sick for the rest of your life.
Water fasting offers people an option to make lifestyle changes, eliminate the cause of the problem, and stabilize their conditions to the point where the medication is no longer needed.
So, it is a very different approach to managing these diseases of dietary excess – the diseases of kings – than conventional medicine, which is more about the suppression of the symptoms associated with the disease, rather than removing the underlying mechanisms, by which the diseases are caused.Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
I am very healthy today, thank God, but I used to be very sick: from head to toe. I had so many digestive and vaginal issues, rectal bleeding, yeast infections, blocked fallopian tubes, inflamed ovaries, etc… I know from my personal experience that water fasting and a healthy lifestyle can cure various diseases. But I’m not a doctor, so I’ll let practicing doctors speak about the miracle of water fasting when it comes to curing disease. Here’s Dr. Alan Goldhamer elaborating on the question “Can Water Fasting Cure Diseases?“
Conditions that are caused or made worse by dietary excess often respond dramatically to fasting. Cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, type II diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease including arthritis (OA, RA, PA) Lupus (SLE) hashimotos thyroiditis, asthma, psoriasis, excema, colitis and IBS are the most common conditionsDr. Alan Goldhamer
Let’s review some of the health conditions, which fasting with water only can help cure. I am providing you with the opinions of real-life practitioners of this healing methodology, the doctors who work with patients, as well as showing you the clinical trials data from the scientific journals I read.
Research shows that fasting can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control diabetes, and reduce weight.
“Four of the major risks for heart disease are high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and weight, so there’s a secondary impact,” Dr. Bruemmer says. “If we reduce those, we can reduce the risk of heart disease.”Can eating less strengthen your heart?
Disturbances of the gastrointestinal system, including esophagitis, gastritis, colitis, constipation, bloating, and the symptoms associated with so-called candidiasis, usually respond well to conservative care.
My most recent case of gastrointestinal disturbance was a young woman with severe colitis (inflammation of the colon). She reported severe, constant bleeding through the rectum. She said that, despite continual medical treatment with cortisone, implants, and a wide range of other medications, she had bleeding with every bowel movement for eight years.
Her physician explained that surgery would have to be performed.
After we had eliminated her medications, a period of fasting was undertaken. Within a week, the constant pain was resolved. By the 10th day, the passing of blood and mucus had stopped.
After two weeks of fasting, we began to carefully feed her. Her bowel movements were blood-free from the first.
At her three-month follow-up, she reported feeling great and completely free of any significant bleeding or problems.The Benefits of Fasting by Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Metabolic syndrome (MS), defined as abdominal adiposity, combined with insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, and hypertension, greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and AD.
Rats and mice maintained under the usual ad libitum feeding condition develop a metabolic-syndrome-like phenotype as they age.
Metabolic syndrome can also be induced in younger animals by feeding them a diet high in fat and simple sugars. Fasting can prevent and reverse all aspects of the metabolic syndrome in rodents: abdominal fat, inflammation, and blood pressure are reduced; insulin sensitivity is increased; and the functional capacities of the nervous, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems are improved.
Hyperglycemia is ameliorated by fasting in rodent models of diabetes, and the heart is protected against ischemic injury in myocardial infarction models.
The protective effect of fasting against ischemic renal and liver injury occurs rapidly, with 1–3 days of fasting, improving functional outcome and reducing tissue injury and mortality.
Multiple hormonal changes that typify metabolic syndrome in humans are observed in rodents maintained on high-fat and high-sugar diets, including elevated levels of insulin and leptin and reduced levels of adiponectin and ghrelin.
Elevated leptin levels are typically reflective of a proinflammatory state, whereas adiponectin and ghrelin can suppress inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity.
Local inflammation in hypothalamic nuclei that control energy intake and expenditure may contribute to a sustained positive energy balance in metabolic syndrome.
Fasting results in a lowering of insulin and leptin levels and an elevation of adiponectin and ghrelin levels. By increasing insulin and leptin sensitivity, suppressing inflammation, and stimulating autophagy, fasting reverses all the major abnormalities of the metabolic syndrome.
In addition to its many effects on cells throughout the body and brain, fasting may elicit changes in the gut microbiota that protect against metabolic syndrome. Naturally, the challenge of applying fasting-based interventions to treat metabolic syndrome in humans is a major one, as some obese individuals may have difficulties fasting.
Periodic fasting can reverse multiple features of the metabolic syndrome in humans: it enhances insulin sensitivity, stimulates lipolysis, and reduces blood pressure.
Body fat and blood pressure were reduced and glucose metabolism improved in obese subjects in response to an alternate day fast.
Overweight subjects maintained for 6 months on a twice-weekly fasting diet lost abdominal fat, displayed improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced blood pressure.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Allergies and Asthma
This study aimed to perform a meta-analysis on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among patients with asthma and to measure the association asthma has with MetS.
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory ailments and although there are a number of treatments available, these are not always effective for patients with severe clinical symptoms.
A recent literature search reported that obesity was an important factor that disrupts the control of asthma symptoms and results in a reduced response to treatment.
Indeed, a robust epidemiological association between asthma and obesity has recently become well-established. Asthma has also been associated with other components of metabolic syndrome (MetS), such as hypertension and insulin resistance, irrespective of elevated body mass.
The prevalence of MetS was relatively high in patients with asthma. Furthermore, the odds of MetS was higher in patients with asthma, compared to healthy controls.Asthma and metabolic syndrome
Between fast-food outlets, vending machines, and food trucks people face no shortage of opportunities to eat. But as satisfying as a crisp potato chip or a moist pork chop may be, people with asthma and many other conditions may prefer to resist tasty temptations if it means alleviating some of their symptoms.
In a small pilot study, IRP researchers found evidence that abstaining from food for 24 hours could inhibit some of the cellular processes that cause asthmatics’ breathing problems.
When the immune system perceives a threat, certain cells release chemicals that trigger a process called inflammation that helps combat harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses.
A wide array of diseases, from asthma to arthritis to diabetes, occur when the body’s defenses get overzealous and marshal the troops in response to common, harmless triggers, or even for no reason at all.
Many studies suggest that one way to tamp down a jumpy immune system is by fasting. IRP investigator Michael Sack, M.D., Ph.D., is particularly interested in how dietary interventions affect a bodily defense system called the NLRP3 inflammasome.
When working optimally, this system responds to threats by causing certain cells to release inflammation-inducing chemicals called cytokines. However, in patients with asthma and other diseases related to excessive inflammation, the inflammasome releases cytokines when they are not needed.
“If you looked at asthma research literature five years ago, scientists were really only talking about immune system cells that aren’t part of the inflammasome,” says Dr. Sack. “It’s only been recently recognized that the inflammasome is a component of the inflammatory processes at play in asthma.”
After a morning meal, the 18 participants in Dr. Sack’s study fasted for 24 hours, during which they consumed only water. Afterward, they gave blood samples, underwent a test to measure their lung function, and then were given a meal to end their fast. Two and a half hours later, the blood draw and lung test were repeated.
The researchers isolated a component of the participants’ blood, called serum, that contains a variety of nutrients, various chemicals produced by the body’s organs, and immune cells called peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), some of which are key players in the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Compared to PBMCs from blood drawn after the post-fast meal, the cells from blood taken when the participants had not eaten for 24 hours released lower amounts of inflammatory cytokines when stimulated and showed less activity in NLRP3-related genes.
However, this was only the case in the patients who had never taken steroid-based asthma medications, suggesting that steroids somehow circumvent the effects of fasting on the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Next, the investigators combined serum from patients who were not on steroid medications with human lung cells and a common allergen called house dust mites. Again, the PBMCs from post-fast blood samples released fewer cytokines than the PBMCs from post-meal blood samples, and the epithelial cells showed the same behavior.
Another experiment that focused specifically on immune system cells called type-2 helper T cells found that they were less active after fasting compared to after the post-fast meal. They also had lower levels of a molecule called GATA3 that spurs their response to threats.
“There definitely seems to be some component of serum that plays a role in curbing these inflammatory reactions in response to fasting or exacerbating inflammation after eating,” Dr. Sack says.
The study’s results suggest that inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome through fasting could potentially alleviate asthma symptoms.A Hiatus From Food Could Benefit Asthma Patients
Fasting, diet and lifestyle modification can be effective tools in managing allergies and asthma.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Many chronic degenerative conditions respond well to fasting and a Natural Hygiene lifestyle. Diabetes is no exception.
Working with diabetic patients is very satisfying because the consequences of the disease are so devastating and the results with conservative care are usually so dramatic. Most adult onset diabetics can be brought under control and freed from the use of insulin and other medication through the use of fasting and a carefully followed diet and lifestyle program. Such a program will allow most diabetics to achieve a high level of function and the ability to maintain normal sugar levels without medications.The Benefits of Fasting by Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Clinical and epidemiological data are consistent with the ability of fasting to retard the aging process and associated diseases.
Major factors implicated in aging whose generation are accelerated by gluttonous lifestyles and slowed by energy restriction in humans include the following:
(1) oxidative damage to proteins, DNA, and lipids;
(3) accumulation of dysfunctional proteins and organelles;
(4) elevated glucose, insulin, and IGF-I, although IGF-1 decreases with aging and its severe deficiency can be associated with certain pathologies.
Serum markers of oxidative damage and inflammation, as well as clinical symptoms, are reduced over a period of 2–4 weeks in asthma patients maintained on an alternate day fasting diet.
Similarly, when on a 2 days a week fasting diet, overweight women at risk for breast cancer exhibited reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, and elderly men exhibited reductions in body weight and body fat, as well as improved mood.
Among the major effects of fasting relevant to aging and diseases are the changes in the levels of IGF-1, IGFBP1, glucose, and insulin.
Fasting for 3 or more days causes a 30% or more decrease in circulating insulin and glucose, as well as a rapid decline in the levels of IGF-1, the major growth factor in mammals, which, together with insulin, is associated with accelerated aging and cancer.
In humans, 5 days of fasting causes an over 50% decrease in IGF-1 and a 5-fold or higher increase in one of the principal IGF-1-inhibiting proteins, IGFBP1. This effect of fasting on IGF-1 is mostly due to protein restriction, and particularly to the restriction of essential amino acids, but is also supported by calorie restriction since the decrease in insulin levels during fasting promotes a reduction in IGF-1. Notably, in humans, chronic calorie restriction does not lead to a decrease in IGF-1, unless combined with protein restriction.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Chronic Posttraumatic Headache (CPTHA)
Chronic posttraumatic headache (CPTHA) occurs in up to 95% of patients following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can prove highly debilitating.
The case is reported of a 52-year-old woman with unremitting CPTHA.
The patient underwent two medically supervised, water-only fasts and began an exclusively plant-foods diet, free of added sugar, oil, and salt, which resulted in long-term reduction in headache intensity, duration, and frequency.
This case suggests that water-only fasting and dietary intervention have therapeutic potential in the treatment of CPTHA and provides a basis for further studies.Long-Term Relief from Chronic Posttraumatic Headache after Water-Only Fasting and an Exclusively Plant-Foods Diet
Background: Appendicitis is an acute condition of the abdomen that is treated with surgical intervention. The Conservative treatment of appendicitis currently involves intravenous antibiotics. While conservative care is a useful tool in apprehensive patients, in conditions such as appendicitis, delays in proper treatment can be life-threatening. In spite of this, some patients will still refuse surgical and pharmacologic intervention, which can significantly limit the physician’s therapeutic options.
Subject: Sonographic evidence is presented of appendicitis in a patient who strongly desired to avoid pharmacologic or surgical intervention.
Results: The patient underwent a medically supervised water-only fast followed by a plant-based, low-fat, low-sodium diet and achieved a significant reduction and eventual elimination of symptoms.
Conclusions: This case demonstrates the need for further research on the effects of medically supervised water-only fasting and careful refeeding in cases of uncomplicated appendicitis.A Case of Nonpharmacologic Conservative Management of Suspected Uncomplicated Subacute Appendicitis in an Adult Male
Water-only fasting has been documented to have potent effects on hypertension. An average of 13 days of water-only fasting resulted in the achievement of systolic blood pressure (BP) below 120 in 82% of subjects with borderline hypertension.
Blood pressure remained significantly lower compared to baseline, even after subjects resumed the normal diet for an average of 6 days.
A small pilot study of patients with hypertension (140 mm and above systolic BP) also showed that 10–11 days of fasting caused a 37–60 mm decrease in systolic blood pressure.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Background: Hypertension-related diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in industrially developed societies.
Dietary and lifestyle modifications are effective in the treatment of patients with hypertension. One such lifestyle intervention is the use of medically-supervised, water-only fasting as a safe and effective means of normalizing blood pressure and initiating health-promoting behavioral changes.
Methods: One hundred seventy-four consecutive hypertensive patients with blood pressure in excess of 140 mm Hg systolic, 90 mm Hg diastolic (140/90 mm Hg), or both were treated in an inpatient setting under medical supervision. The treatment program consisted of a short prefasting period (approximately 2 to 3 days on average), during which food consumption was limited to fruits and vegetables, followed by medically-supervised water-only fasting (approximately 10 to 11 days on average) and a refeeding period (approximately 6 to 7 days on average), introducing a low-fat, low-sodium, vegan diet.
Results: Almost 90% of the subjects achieved blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg by the end of the treatment program. The average reduction in blood pressure was 37/13 mm Hg, with the greatest decrease being observed for subjects with the most severe hypertension. Patients with stage 3 hypertension (those with systolic blood pressure greater than 180 mg Hg, diastolic blood pressure greater than 110 mg Hg, or both) had an average reduction of 60/17 mm Hg at the conclusion of treatment.
All of the subjects who were taking antihypertensive medication at entry (6.3% of the total sample) successfully discontinued the use of medication.
Conclusion: Medically supervised water-only fasting appears to be a safe and effective means of normalizing blood pressure and may assist in motivating health-promoting diet and lifestyle changes.Water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension
Compared to ad-libitum-fed controls, rats and mice maintained on a fasting diet exhibit less neuronal dysfunction and degeneration and fewer clinical symptoms in models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Huntington’s disease (HD).
These models include transgenic mice expressing mutant human genes that cause dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid precursor protein and presenilin-1) and frontotemporal lobe dementia (τ), PD (α-synuclein), and Huntington’s disease (huntingtin), as well as neurotoxin-based models pertinent to AD, PD, and HD.
Animals on a fasting diet also fare better than ad-libitum-fed controls after acute injury, including severe epileptic seizures, stroke, and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
Several interrelated cellular mechanisms contribute to the beneficial effects of fasting on the nervous system, including reduced accumulation of oxidatively damaged molecules, improved cellular bioenergetics, enhanced neurotrophic factor signaling, and reduced inflammation.
The latter neuroprotective mechanisms are supported by studies showing that fasting boosts levels of antioxidant defenses, neurotrophic factors (BDNF and FGF2), and protein chaperones (HSP-70 and GRP-78) and reduce levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6).
Fasting may also promote the restoration of damaged nerve cell circuits by stimulating synapse formation and the production of new neurons from neural stem cells (neurogenesis).Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Fasting is the most powerful tool available to assist in overcoming the physical component of addictions.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
A wonderful thing about fasting is that it puts an interval between the behavior that you are accustomed to and the behavior that you aspire to. We tend to be creatures of habit, and the ways that we are accustomed to eating and living feel as natural to us as breathing. That is why it is so difficult for people to stop bad habits. But fasting brings your present lifestyle to an abrupt halt. It gives you an opportunity to pause, reflect and decide how you are going to conduct your life afterwards. This enables you to make a break with your past and set off in a new, more positive direction.
There is nothing routine about eating after a fast. Each meal is a celebration. After fasting, you tend to be very conscious about what you are eating, and why. Fasting heightens your awareness, as well as your appreciation for food. By fasting, we learn to eat with reverence.
It is the non-doing aspect of fasting that enables us to make behavioral stopping and pausing and interrupting our usual patterns, as we learn to take more conscious control of ourselves.
There is no better way to stop a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior than by fasting.Heightening your awareness by Dr. Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev has made the observation that after one has fasted, the body will not accept unphysiologic substances like alcoholicControlled Fasting Treatment by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev
beverages, drugs, cigarettes, etc. Ingestion of alcohol under these circumstances can be injurious and may even cause death if taken in the large amounts to which one was formerly accustomed.
Below is my own translation of the professional opinion of Dr. Sergei Filonov who practices fasting in Russia. He got to personally train with Dr. Yuri Nikolayev whom I refer to here often. I am Russian, so it is my native language. The ideas are from Dr. Filonov’s book here. I listened to the audiobook, typed up what I heard, and then translated it for you because this information can save someone from suicide. My life and this ministry are dedicated to helping alleviate suicide among women globally, and I am a two-time suicide survivor. – Anna Szabo
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Most people face depression in one way or another. The main cause of depression and other psychiatric disorders is traumatic brain injury and endogenous intoxication due to the assault of the body with chemicals from food.
Dirty blood can inhibit the proper supply of oxygen and food to the brain. This results in apathy, aggression, intrusive thoughts, mania, fears, and the like.
Science has already proven that the majority of young people today have a very polluted brain. This brain condition results in inadequate behavior, rudeness, addictions of various types, including intense or violent music.
Psychoanalysis is unneeded here.
People just need to fast a little and detox.
Fasting is one of the most unique and radical methods of healing depression. It results is harmony between the mind and the feelings. You become a positively-thinking person.
The transition of the body to consuming its own already-stored food supply gives a much-needed break to the entire nervous system. The entire body is able to rest. The calmness of the nervous system leads to the normalization of the mental health of the fasting person.
All the above-mentioned benefits of fasting made it an invaluable tool, since the beginning of time, to experience enlightenment and enjoy the awakening, being able to learn about life. Many people, even today, intentionally choose to fast in order to gain wisdom and breakthroughs.
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Большинство людей так или иначе сталкиваются с депрессией.
Основная причина депрессии и других психических расстройств это черепно-мозговые травмы и эндогенная интоксикация в результате зашлакованности организма.
Грязная кровь может вызывать сбои в питании и дыхании определенного участка мозга. Это проявляется как апатия, агрессивность, навязчивые мысли, мания, страхи, и целый ряд других комплексов.
Исследования ученых уже подтвердили тот факт, что у большинства молодых людей мозг осень сильно загрязнён. Отсюда, неадекватность поведения, грубость, и зависимость от различных допингов, алкоголя, наркотиков, кофе, крепкого чая, и одуряющей музыки.
Здесь не надо никакого психоанализа.
Просто человеку нужно поголодать и очиститься.
Голодание – это один из самых уникальных и радикальных методов в лечении депрессии. Следствием голодания становится гармония разума и чувств. Вы становитесь позитивно-мыслящей личностью.
Переход организма на внутреннее питание во время голодания предоставляет покой всей нервной системе. Одновременно, достигается расслабление всего организма. Покой в нервной системе способствует нормализации психического состояния человека на голоде.
Все вышеуказанные преимущества голода делали его незаменимым во все времена как инструмент, с помощью которого просветленный разум мог воспринимать учения о жизни. Много людей, вплоть до наших дней, сознательно голодали с целью обретения мудрости.Dr. Filonov’s Book on YouTube
A recent study of Dr. Yuri Nikolayev’s statistics revealed that 70 percent of the 6,000 patients treated by controlled fasting achieved such significant improvement that they were restored to functioning.
This represents an unparalleled achievement in the treatment of schizophrenia when one considers that these patients had an endless number of failures in all forms of therapy; they were all chronically ill and felt hopeless about their future.
Most of them would never have functioned again, many would haveControlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia, 1974
ended their lives while the rest would have deteriorated and lived out the balance of their lives in the bleak back ward of a mental
Follicular lymphoma (FL), the second most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), is well characterized by a classic histological appearance and an indolent course.
Current treatment protocols for FL range from close observation to immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapies.
We report the case of a 42-year-old woman diagnosed by excisional biopsy with stage IIIa, grade 1 FL. In addition to close observation, the patient underwent a medically supervised, 21-day water-only fast, after which enlarged lymph nodes were substantially reduced in size.
The patient then consumed a diet of minimally processed plant foods free of added sugar, oil, and salt (SOS), and has remained on the diet since leaving the residential facility.
At 6 and 9-month follow-up visits, the patient’s lymph nodes were non-palpable and she remained asymptomatic.Water-only fasting and an exclusively plant foods diet in the management of stage IIIa, low-grade follicular lymphoma
Uterine Fibroid Tumors
Fasting can often be especially important in situations where drugs or surgery have been recommended. When uterine fibroid tumors contribute to pain and excess bleeding, a hysterectomy removal of the uterus is often recommended.
A proper fast will often dramatically reduce the size and effect of these tumors. I have treated numerous women who have been able to successfully avoid hysterectomy using conservative methods. Ovarian cysts and cervical dysplasia also often respond favorably.The Benefits of Fasting by Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Cycles of fasting reduce autoimmunity and activate lymphocyte-dependent killing of cancer cellsWhen Fasting Gets Tough, the Tough Immune Cells Get Going or Die
Fasting promotes accelerated healing and valuable treatment for a variety of medical conditions.
In my 1995 book, Fasting and Eating For Health, I described my observations of health improvements due to fasting. In fact, my colleagues and I published a series of case reports that showed remission of autoimmune diseases following supervised fasting.
Reviews of studies on fasting supported those findings, concluding that fasting (followed by a vegetarian or vegan diet) produces improvements in symptoms for patients with autoimmune diseases.
Although fasting is a powerful healing modality that has been used for many years, only recent research studies are uncovering specifically how fasting works on a cellular level.
These new studies are generating more interest in fasting.
To understand how fasting works, you first need to know that our bodies store sugar in the form of glycogen and when we stop eating, the stored glycogen is used by the body.
Fasting, after glycogen stores are depleted, (which occurs during the first 24-48 hours of a fast), sets off complex biochemical pathways in the body that aim to conserve energy while adequately fueling vital organs. These complex biochemical pathways have tremendous healing benefits.
New research reveals cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may have immune building benefits from fasting.
A recent study suggests that fasting promotes the regenerative capacity of the immune system that could benefit cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as healthy individuals.
Previous research suggested that fasting could protect mice against toxicity from chemotherapy (without compromising the effectiveness of the chemotherapy).
Also, in a series of 10 case reports of patients who had voluntarily fasted alongside some of their chemotherapy treatments, all of the patients experienced fewer and less severe side effects during fasting cycles compared to non-fasting cycles of chemotherapy.
In an extensive series of experiments, a group of scientists found that fasting decreased DNA damage and cell death in white blood cells and bone marrow cells, and reduced chemotherapy-induced mortality in mice. Most importantly, after 4-5 cycles of fasting accompanying chemotherapy, the white blood cell count of the fasting group returned to normal, but the control group remained diminished by the chemotherapy.
The scientists also looked at fasting without chemotherapy and found similar results: a six-fold increase in newly generated hematopoietic stem cells.
Hematopoietic stem cells are those stem cells that are produced in the bone marrow and which give rise to all the other blood cells, including white blood cells that modulate immune function.
Fasting was able to provoke regeneration of the immune cells in healthy mice, and also changed the hematopoietic stem cell profile of aging mice to that of younger mice. The scientists were surprised at these dramatic results, which suggested that fasting signals the immune system to get rid of old or damaged cells and rebuild itself with new cells.
IGF-1 and Fasting: Another fascinating finding.
The scientists found that reduced IGF-1 signaling was a key player in the regeneration of immune cells that occurred in response to fasting. Lower levels of IGF-1 are associated with reduced risk of cancer and slower aging. Mice that were given extra IGF-1 during the fasts did not have the same increase in hematopoietic stem cells.
Would this work in humans too?
Within the same publication, scientists have begun to answer this question. A clinical trial assigned patients undergoing chemotherapy to either 24 or 72-hour fast prior to each chemotherapy cycle.
Preliminary results were similar to what was seen in mice; the 72-hour fasting group saw an improvement in immune cell count and a shift toward the ‘younger’ cellular profile.
This promising and exciting research suggests that occasional fasting could have profound immune-boosting benefits for healthy individuals and those undergoing chemotherapy.
By simulating an energy shortage with a few days of fasting, we can jumpstart the immune system’s natural self-renewing capacity, exchanging old immune cells for new ones.
What this could mean for cancer patients…
The toxicity and side effects associated with chemotherapy are a major limitation for the treatment of cancer. An important research goal is to identify an adjunct treatment that could ameliorate those side effects without compromising the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
Research suggests that fasting could achieve these goals and even make chemotherapy more effective. In other words, fasting is thought to protect normal cells while making cancerous cells vulnerable.
Depriving normal, healthy cells of energy-yielding nutrients signals them to set aside growth and go into a mode of energy conservation, protection, maintenance, and repair. It increases the capacity of these cells for stress resistance. In vitro, this resistance to stress helps to prevent oxidative DNA damage from chemotherapy drugs.
Since cancerous cells have mutations that hyper activate growth pathways, causing uncontrolled proliferation, they are unable to go into the protective stress-resistance mode like healthy cells.
This is called “differential stress resistance.”
Fasting appears to induce stress resistance in normal cells but a vulnerability in cancerous cells. Like the results regarding immune function, a reduction in IGF-1 levels due to fasting contributes to this differential stress resistance.
After the early series of 10 case reports noted a low rate of side effects in patients that had fasted prior to chemotherapy, additional studies in human patients were undertaken.
The studies were small, but the results are positive.
In one study, patients who fasted for 48 or 72 hours showed reduced chemotherapy-related side effects (including fatigue and nausea) and DNA damage in white blood cells compared to those who completed a shorter fast of 24 hours.
A randomized controlled trial in women with breast cancer also showed evidence of attenuated DNA damage due to chemotherapy in the fasting group compared to the non-fasting group over the course of multiple chemotherapy cycles.
Potentially, this research could lead to the widespread use of fasting as an adjunct treatment alongside chemotherapy.Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Fasting rejuvenates the immune system
Fasting can have positive effects on cancer prevention and treatment. In the treatment of cancer, fasting has been shown to have consistent and positive effects.
Periodic fasting for 2–3 days was shown to protect mice from a variety of chemotherapy drugs, an effect called differential stress resistance (DSR) to reflect the inability of cancer cells to become protected because oncogenes negatively regulate stress resistance, and prevent cancer cells from becoming protected.
Periodic fasting also causes a major sensitization of various cancer cells to chemo treatment, since it fosters an extreme environment in combination with the stress conditions caused by chemotherapy.
In contrast to the protected state entered by normal cells during fasting, cancer cells are unable to adapt, a phenomenon called differential stress sensitization (DSS), based on the notion that most mutations are deleterious and that the many mutations accumulated in cancer cells promote growth under standard conditions but render them much less effective in adapting to extreme environments.
Fasting has the potential for applications in cancer prevention and treatment.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
A recent meta-analysis of 31 scientific reports on fasting followed by a vegetarian diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis concluded that this regimen may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.WaterFasting Associated with Remission of Autoimmune Disease
In humans, one of the best demonstrations of the beneficial effects of long-term fasting lasting 1 to 3 weeks is in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
In agreement with the results in rodents, there is little doubt that during the period of fasting both inflammation and pain are reduced in RA patients.
However, after the normal diet is resumed, inflammation returns, unless the fasting period is followed by a vegetarian diet, a combination therapy that has beneficial effects lasting for 2 years or longer.
The validity of this approach is supported by four differently controlled studies, including two randomized trials.
Therefore, fasting combined with a vegetarian diet provides beneficial effects in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
We report 6 cases in which medically supervised, water-only fasting followed by a vegan diet resulted in a reduction in painWater Fasting Associated with Remission of Autoimmune Disease
and inflammatory markers in patients with autoimmune illnesses.
As you can see, water fasting can cure many diseases. Personally, I can’t imagine my life without fasting regularly. It helps me stay fit, slim, strong, alert, mindful, focused, peaceful, euphoric, and young.
I fast at home by myself but it’s because I have no illnesses and take no medications whatsoever. All doctors whose testimonials I shared above recommend that water fasting must be medically supervised. Except for Drs. Michale Klaper and Sergei Filonov who both confirm that people can do a 3-day water fast at home safely.
To conclude this section, I want to share with you this excerpt from “Cell Metabolism,” which very well summarizes everything discussed above as it relates to the question “Can Water Fasting Cure Diseases?“
Based on the existing evidence from animal and human studies, we conclude that there is great potential for lifestyles that incorporate fasting during adult life to promote optimal health and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, particularly for those who are overweight and sedentary.
One general mechanism of action of fasting is that it triggers adaptive cellular stress responses, which result in an enhanced ability to cope with more severe stress and counteract disease processes.
In addition, by protecting cells from DNA damage, suppressing cell growth, and enhancing apoptosis of damaged cells, fasting could retard and prevent the formation and growth of cancers.Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?
Water fasting was natural for humans in history, yet, it’s radical for modern humans who have access to food 24/7. That’s why it seems so strange to a regular 6-meal-a-day eater that someone would intentionally and purposefully abstain from food entirely. Hence, a common question asked: “Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?”
As mentioned earlier, fasting on water is not for everyone, and there are some side effects that everyone will experience, which are the direct result of detoxification of the body and are normal.
I personally experienced during a water fast nausea, headache, vomiting, stomach growling, foul mouth, fatigue, dizziness, low back pain, muscle cramps, bad body odor, severe body temperature changes, rapid heartbeat, and hunger pangs.
These are normal, expected, and indicative of deep cleansing.
Here are the
The Main Indications for the Use of Fasting
- Hypertension I-II degree
- Neurocirculatory dystonia in hypertensive and mixed type
- Coronary heart disease, angina strain I, II, and III functional classes
- Chronic obstructive bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma
- Lung sarcoidosis stage I and II
- Chronic gastritis with secretory deficiency and hyperacid state, gastroduodenitis
- Cholecystitis and chronic pancreatitis
- Biliary dyskinesia, irritable colon syndrome
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and inflammatory dystrophic genesis
- Neuroendocrinal violations of chronic uterus inflammation
- Adenoma of the prostate
- Alimentary-constitutional, hypothalamic obesity
- Resistance to drug therapy
- Skin allergy (chronic allergic dermatosis, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, eczema)
- Neuroses, depression, continuous sluggish schizophrenia
- Food and (or) medical allergies
Absolute Contraindications to Fasting
- Marked a deficit of body weight (more than 15% of the proper values)
- Malignant tumor
- Active tuberculosis of the lungs and other organs
- Multiple bronchiectasis
- Systemic blood diseases
- Diabetes mellitus type I
- Violations of the heart rate and (or) the conductivity of any genesis
- State after moved large-focal myocardial infarction
- Impaired cardiac function II B – III degree
- Chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver
- Chronic renal and kidney failure of any genesis;
Relative Contraindications To Fasting
- Coronary heart disease with rhythm disorders and impaired cardial function above A phase II
- Expressed hypotension
- Gall-stone disease
- Ulcer of the stomach and duodenum
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Diabetes mellitus type II
- Conditions of fever
- Pregnancy and lactation period
- -Children’s and old age of patients.
There are some side effects that must be taken into consideration. Here’s how the website DoFasting.com addresses this topic.
So, you’re probably thinking is water fasting safe?
The answer is yes but as with anything, there are potential water fasting dangers and risks that you should be aware of when deciding whether to fast or not.
You May Feel Dehydrated
This may sound odd as all you’re drinking is water, how could you be dehydrated? Well, if you’re drinking the same amount of water you usually drink then you have the potential to feel dehydrated. This is because an estimated 20% to 30% of your daily water intake comes from the foods you eat. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, dizziness, nausea, and constipation.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms and listen to your body. Most people tend to drink two to three liters of water per day on a water fast.
It May Worsen Some Health Conditions
There are certain health conditions that may be made worse by a water fast, therefore, some individuals should avoid water fasting. If you have any of the following conditions then you should consult a medical advisor before considering a water fast.
Health conditions that may interact negatively with a water fast include:
Individuals with eating disorders or are severely underweight
Chronic kidney disease
Pregnant or breastfeeding
Taking specific medication for a health condition
Extreme athletes who are in season
May Cause Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic Hypotension is a type of low blood pressure that can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy. It basically means that when you stand up you can experience a sudden drop in blood pressure and feelings of dizziness. Evidence suggests that it can be common in people who are water fasting. This is important to take into consideration if you’re operating heavy machinery as it does present a risk of fainting.Potential Dangers and Risks of Water Fasting
As you can see, the dangers of water fasting are for those people whom we listed as the people who shouldn’t fast. Those people who should not fast are in that category for a reason. What’s the reason? If they do fast, there are risks and dangers! So, we had covered all this already earlier.
When it comes to the people who should fast on water, here’s Dr. Alan Goldhamer answering your question “Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?” He has been supervising water-only fasts for over 30 years now and helped thousands of patients heal.
Many people feel various symptoms associated with the detoxification processes from fasting. These can include headache and joint and muscle ache (especially low back pain), weakness, nausea, and occasionally vomiting, skin rashes and assorted discharges, etc.
Fortunately, these unpleasant symptoms are more than offset by the many positive results that occur as a result of fasting, including weight loss, normalization of blood pressure, blood sugar, lipids, and other metabolic factors, the resolution of inflammation, benign growths, and most importantly neuroadaptation that allows one to overcome their addictions to drugs, salt, sugar, fat, and processed foods. Fasting can make good foods taste good again.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
As you can see, everyone typically experiences detoxification symptoms, which are the very indication that water fasting works. Earlier I explain who should not fast on water, so we discussed that already. There are reasons why those people should not do a water fast. Here’s just one example of what can happen to a person who really shouldn’t be fasting on water only and has pre-existing health conditions.
The fast has a dangerous period during which thrombosis may occur in predisposed patients, and this period extends from the seventh to the 10th day.Controlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia
If you have pre-existing health conditions, you need to be consulting someone like Dr. Alan Goldhamer before you fast, and you need to do it in a medically-supervised facility if you ever are allowed to do fast.
I performed expansive research to give you as accurate information as possible, and I was unable to find any dangers to fasting on water for healthy people with no serious, life-threatening pre-existing health conditions. People heal and improve their lives through water fasting. Remember how we defined what a water fast is at the beginning? No food, no meds, no coffee, no broth, nothing but water!
To answer your question “Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?” truthfully, and I did find a study that mentions the following risks associated with “fasting” which they call “on water only” yet state that the study participants took in 60 calories a day…And it was alcohol! That is not a water fast but a restricted feeding diet, in fact, an unhealthy one, and we already reviewed in The History of Water Fasting how people were killed by restricted feeding diets.
Medical complications seen in fasting include gout and urate nephrolithiasis, postural hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias.
Study method: Fluid intake (water only) was initially two liters a day for the first three weeks, then decreased to and maintained at a liter per day during the final week of the fast. A total intake of 60 caloriesFasting: Complications
from daily communion was recorded during the fast.
Communion implies alcohol. If anybody doesn’t eat anything but drinks alcoholic beverages daily, they will be in danger. It’s common sense! It’s apparent from the methodology review of the above research study that what the study reported was extremely misleading because it was not a study of fasting but a study of a restricted feeding diet with daily alcohol intake. Such diets are dangerous and can kill you, which we already examined and acknowledged earlier in this article.
I can not stress this enough: fasting implies zero calorie intake. Only zero calorie intake activates the natural healing mechanisms in the body, protects it, and begins deep inner remodeling mobilizing its own stored resources. Feeding yourself some calories will inhibit this process and compromise your health. Drinking alcohol daily will compromise your health any time, and water fasting doesn’t allow alcohol.
The method described in the misleading study above leads to starvation and dystrophy, which is the same deadly result of “the fasting method” practiced by serial killer Linda Hazzard who fed a few calories a day to her “patients” until they died. They did not die from fasting but from starvation. The same misleading information applies to the Victorian Fasting Girls who all consumed a few calories and died from starvation. Fasting on water, with zero calories taken in, activates the body’s already existing inner resources. Taking in calories will not allow this natural process to ever be mobilized.
That’s why is so critically important to truly understand what water fasting is, how it works, why it works like that, and how you can benefit from it. It’s essential to differentiate fasting from starvation, and this was addressed decades ago by doctors who actually practiced fasting and healed patients using this ancient healing method.
Keep in mind that fasting properly but for too long, beyond one’s stored resources, does lead to starvation as well, but on this blog I don’t advocate for very long fasts, only a few days. I personally am XS size double-zero and can go for five full days without any food, which I’ve done several times. Never have I starved but healed!
Starvation is a risk also if fasting for too long.
The word starvation is derived from the Old English steorfan, meaning to die. Today, it is used almost wholly to designate death from lack of food. When we mention fasting to the average person and even the average physician, he immediately pictures to himself the dire consequences that he thinks must inevitably result from going for even a few days without food.
To him, to fast is to starve, that is, to die.
This fear of fasting is kept alive by the press, which ever so often carries the story of somebody dying while “fasting,” and invariably death is attributed to starvation.
These deaths are presented as “horrible examples” of the “evils of fasting.” How rare are these deaths!
There is no sense in the panicky fear of missing a few meals that is so prevalent in both lay and professional circles today. The fear of starving, expressed on every hand, is a foolish fear.
“I am not going to starve to death,” says Mr. Average Man, when advised to fast. They warn others who are fasting that they will starve to death.
The uninformed physician imagines that the blood and the vital or functioning tissues of the body begin to break down the moment food is withdrawn; that organic destruction sets in immediately and that every day the fast is prolonged means greater destruction of the vital tissues.
This idea is false.
The body, at all times, has stored within itself reserves of food sufficient to last for a considerable time in the event of scarcity of food, or of sickness, when food cannot be digested.
The body feeds upon this food reserve, and the vital tissues of the body feed off the least essential (autophagy), so that even if actual starvation occurs, there is almost no damage to the vital organs.
So long as the body’s food reserves last, the individual abstaining from food is fasting. When this reserve has been consumed to the point where it is no longer able to sustain the functions of life, further abstinence becomes dangerous; starvation begins.
It is only after this point is reached that any real damage is sustained by the vital organs and their functions. As a general rule, under proper conditions of the environment, one may fast for weeks, and even months, before the starvation point is reached.
“It is perfectly true,” says Sinclair, “that men have died of starvation in three or four days; but the starvation existed in their minds — it was fright that killed them.”
A number of people have died of serious organic “disease” while fasting, and autopsies have been performed in many of these. In every case, there was still considerable subcutaneous fat, whereas, this is always entirely absent in death caused by starvation.
Except in a case or two where the heart had never sufficiently developed or where there was previous heart “disease,” the heart was found to be normal in all cases; while in actual starvation, the heart is always contracted or markedly atrophied.
The pancreas is little, if at all affected, in death during the fast, whereas in death from starvation, this gland is almost entirely absent.
In these cases, the blood was normal in amount with no anemia present; while in starvation, the relative blood volume is reduced and there is usually marked anemia.
Dr. A. Putter, a German physician, who has made a study of fasting, concludes that there is nothing in comparative physiology to show that man cannot live from ninety to a hundred days without food, if he were kept under proper conditions of warmth, rest, fresh air, water, and emotional poise.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
This differentiation between fasting and starvation has been made repeatedly by the practitioners of the actual fasting method (zero calories intake). How long each person can fast is not a one-size-fits-all approach. To answer your question “Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?” I already shared with you Dr. Michael Klaper’s comments that a skinny person should not fast for more than just a few days but a person with extra-fat can go on longer. Here’s another similar comment on the same topic from a different doctor.
Fasting is what happens when you have labile reserves that you are mobilizing and utilizing. If you exceed those reserves, you enter a process called starvation. If you continue starvation, you would die.Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
Feeling dizzy, nauseous, fatigued, or stinky is not dangerous or risky. This is how everyone feels when experiencing the blessing of cellular detoxification and cleansing. The only real danger of fasting is going for too long, beyond your naturally-stored resources, and experiencing starvation. Abstaining from food for a few days is healing, not risky. It’s not dangerous, it’s natural because we as a species evolved doing so.
Patients are going to have all kinds of adverse symptoms. They are going to experience a foul taste in the mouth. They are going to get low back pain in early phases of fasting because of referral activity from changes in the kidneys. They are often going to get skin rashes, discharges from mucous membranes, headaches, irritability, nausea, and vomiting. Orthostatic hypertension is a common issue, so we have to train patients to move slowly as they get up so they do not experience orthostatic events.Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
To summarize my answer to your question “Are There Any Dangers or Risks To Water Fasting?” I must say no, there are no dangers for a healthy person, as long as it’s not a pregnant woman, breastfeeding mother, an addict, or an underweight person. Everyone who has health issues must consult Dr. Alan Goldhamer who offers a free 30-minute phone consultation.
Can Water Fasting Help Lose Weight?
Water fasting leads to weight loss every time for all people who had ever fasted. By fasting on water only, I lost 20 lb, twice. Some of the weight people lose is water weight. Some weight is fat weight. To lose fat, fasting must go beyond the second or third day, which is when ketosis begins, and that’s the mechanism of fat mobilization. However, fasting regularly, perhaps two days a week every week, will lead to fat weight loss.
Average weight loss on a water fast is one pound per day.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Early in fasting weight loss is rapid, averaging 0.9 kg (2 lb) per day during the first week and slowing to 0.3 kg (0.7 lb) per day by the third weekFasting: The History, Pathophysiology and Complications
Our experience and experience of other authors shows that many patients perceive curative fasting as an effective method of weight loss. Indeed, this is confirmed by various scientific publications.
A patient with obesity before therapeutic fasting should preferably be on a reduced diet, which will allow changing food stereotypes typical for such patients and develop new food behaviors. This approach makes it possible to lay down the basic principles of rational nutrition at the beginning of treatment with therapeutic fasting.
The goal of a holistic treatment should be a change in the habitual way of life that has become the cause of obesity. Otherwise, fasting will bring only a short-term result, and the patient will restore the original weight or even exceed it.Therapeutic fasting for obesity
If your only goal for water fasting is to lose weight, I recommend against it because, unless you make significant lifestyle changes and transition to a whole-foods plant-based diet, start exercising, and practicing self-care, you will gain all the weight back, plus some. Fast on water if you are pursuing overall holistic health-optimization with the goal to improve your quality of life and increase longevity.
Here’s before and after of my fasting weight loss.
How Do You Prepare for Water Fasting?
From my experience, preparation for a water fast has four components: your mind, your body, your environment, and your fridge. I do not do or recommend enemas when fasting because they compromise your flora. Also, I dod self-massage for my stomach and legs daily, so I simply continue it when fasting on water. Self-massage is great!
To answer your question “How Do You Prepare for Water Fasting?” I want to elaborate on each aspect of preparation a little bit more.
To prepare your mind, decide why you fast. Your why will help you when you start experiencing detox side effects and want to give up.
To prepare your body, eat only fruits and vegetables for a few days and stop coffee and other addictive substances.
To prepare your environment, take your trash out, get your mail from the mailbox, finish your laundry, clean your dishes, vacuum and mop your floors, and complete whatever chores, in case you will feel weak and unable to do those things. You don’t want to rest in bed with the stinky trash in the kitchen and laundry everywhere.
To prepare your fridge, buy a watermelon and papaya so that you can refeed properly after fasting. This is my opinion, based on my personal experience of completing a water fast ten times.
Here’s Dr. Alan Goldhamer’s answer to the question “How Do You Prepare for Water Fasting?”
For most patients, eating a diet of only fruits and vegetables for several days prior to fasting is the best preparation.Dr. Alan Goldhamer
I don’t recommend that you just stop eating out of the blue, unprepared. I suggest you learn about fasting on water, search inside yourself for your deep why, and take a few steps to set yourself up for success. One more tip – get a physical paper journal and document how you feel and what breakthroughs you experience while water fasting. You’ll thank me later for this. Really! I recommend journaling about your fast.
How Do You Properly Refeed After Water Fasting?
Properly refeeding after a water fast is key to your health. By eating large amounts of food or wrong food, you can make yourself sick, reverse all your positive water fasting results, and even die from what’s called “refeeding syndrome.” Here’s a great scientific study for you to help you understand how important it is to eat only a little bit of very healthy food, slowly, over time, and avoid junk food, harsh food, or large amounts of food. This is something I’ve been figuring out for myself as I have been recovering from a binge-eating disorder via fasting.
Refeeding syndrome encompasses fluid and electrolyte imbalances and metabolic, intestinal, and cardiorespiratory derangements associated with appreciable morbidity and mortality. Although refeeding syndrome has been well documented in concentration-camp subjects, and more recently during parenteral therapy of critically ill patients, little is known about the importance of refeeding syndrome during recovery from a hunger strike. Thus, we studied the response to a four-step dietary replenishment routine in eight hunger strikers who refused food for 43 days. Stepwise nutritional replenishment lasted for 9 days.
In conclusion, we observed the following:
1) Hypophosphatemia and other micronutrient imbalances did not occur, nor was macronutrient intolerance detected.
2) Despite some episodes of diarrhea, nutritional replenishment was not associated with significant enteral dysfunction.
3) There was some fluid retention, but this was mild.
4) Acute-phase markers were abnormally elevated during the refeeding phase, without associated sepsis or inflammation.Refeeding procedures after 43 days of total fasting
I also would like to share with you these descriptions of bad things happening to people when they fail to properly break the fast. Personally, I did overeat once after a fast because I was ignorant when it came to refeeding, and my stomach hurt. Your entire fasting success depends on how you approach refeeding.
While I was down in Alabama, I took a twelve-day fast, and in the end, I was tempted by a delicious large Japanese persimmon, which had been eyeing me from the pantry shelf during the whole twelve days.
I ate that persimmon — and I mention that it was thoroughly ripe; in spite of which fact it doubled me up with the most alarming cramp — and in consequence I do not recommend persimmons for fasters.
I know a friend who had a similar experience from the juice of one orange; but he was a man with whom acid fruit has always disagreed.
I know another man who broke his fast on a Hamburg steak; and this also is not to be recommended.
It has been my experience that immediately after a fast the stomach is very weak, and can easily be upset; also the peristaltic muscles are practically without power. It is, therefore, important to choose foods that are easily digestible.Upton Sinclair, The Fasting Cure
Many people do not ask the important question “How Do You Properly Refeed After Water Fasting?“ They eat whatever they want because they simply don’t understand how the body functions.
I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos from people who claim to have fasted on water only and immediately after that were getting ready to eat a plate of burgers with fries. That’s like a horror movie. I can only imagine their poor body’s response. Please don’t do this to yourself! Learn how to break the fast properly and avoid getting sick.
You want to sustain water fasting benefits for as long as possible, and refeeding properly is key. You can have a healing water fast and mess it up right away by eating what you’re not supposed to eat or consuming food in large amounts. That alone can compromise your health and wellbeing. Here’s your question “How Do You Properly Refeed After Water Fasting?” answered by a practicing doctor in 1974.
During the recovery period, feeding is begun slowly. The menu is increased gradually, and when the patient goes home he eats a diet of fruits, vegetables, not to exceed one liter each day. Patients must not take meat for at least six months. After the 12th day, oranges and apples should be taken in large quantities.Controlled fasting treatment in a research project at the Gracie Square Hospital in New York City
How much food should you eat? To figure this out, it’s important to understand satiety, something I was not familiar with since I was often forced-fed growing up, both at home and in kindergarten. Food was a weapon of abuse, and I shared plenty about it in my article called Narcissistic Mother-Daughter Relationship. I was taught to eat what was on my plate, what was in front of me. So, I did. Or I was punished.
I never knew that actually I was supposed to listen to my body as to when to stop eating. Satiety is a concept I am learning just this year, and I’m 37 years old already! Mindfully listening to my body helps me eat to the point of feeling satiated and not beyond that.
Here’s the answer to your question “How Do You Properly Refeed After Water Fasting?“ that addresses satiety and when you need to stop eating when refeeding after a fast.
The entire period of the fasting is endured relatively easily, but during the recovery period complications occur which are directly related to
the breaking of the diet. Overeating is the most common cause for these complications, which usually happen in the fifth —tenth day of the recovery period at which time protein intake is begun.
The obvious prophylactic measure is strict adherence to the recovery diet, eating only the foods called for in the specified amounts. The education of the patient is extremely important, and this education must be followed up by frequent reminders to avoid overeating.
Eating at each meal must stop before a feeling of fullness develops.Controlled fasting treatment in a research project at the Gracie Square Hospital in New York City
To summarize, I want to say this answering your question “How Do You Properly Refeed After Water Fasting?“ Eat vegetable broth first, followed by watermelon chunks or papaya, and then add other fruits and steamed vegetables. Eat a little, very slowly, chew well, and be mindful.
What Are The Do’s and Don’t’s of Water Fasting?
I have completed ten water fasts personally, at home, by myself. Also, I’ve read every scientific study available to the public about water fasting in both English and Russian. I’ve watched all videos with Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Dr. Sergei Filonov covering the topic of fasting. I’ve watched all documentaries on this topic available on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
So, I have some tips, and I hope that my answer to your question “What Are The Do’s and Don’t’s of Water Fasting?” will be of help. Remember: I am not a doctor and do not provide medical advice on this blog.
- Learn about water fasting, what it is, and how it works
- Understand what a water fast does to your body and why
- Drink water only, don’t eat or drink anything whatsoever
- Exercise 3-4 hours a day or you may feel miserable
- Sleep as long as your body requires
- Drink water only to thirst, don’t overdose on water
- Take a shower twice a day, especially a hot shower at night
- Spent time outside, especially in nature, to detox better
- Brush your teeth, even though you’re not eating
- Fast in secret, don’t brag, keep this between you and God
- Pray and listen for breakthroughs in your heart and mind
- Take fasting one day at a time, keep a daily diary
- Listen to your body and respond with wisdom
- Continue fasting when experience detox symptoms
- Break the fast if you feel like you have to
- Refeed properly with watermelon and vegetable broth
- Transition to a healthy lifestyle and plant-based diet
- Be afraid to skip meals, your body was designed to fast
- Start fasting without a strong why, to merely lose weight
- Pretend to fast while you’re actually consuming food
- Cheat yourself – either do a fast or don’t do it
- Lay around – get up and be active to mobilize your waste
- Brag about your water fasting – fast in secret (Matthew 6:18)
- Waste your breakthroughs by not documenting them
- Cause yourself a refeeding syndrome at the end on fast
- Eat a ton of food or junk food after a water fast
- Go back to bad habits, destroying water fasting results
How Often Is It Safe To Fast on Water Only?
Dr. Alan Goldhamer and his wife, who are both skinny and healthy, answer the question “How Often Is It Safe To Fast on Water Only?” by saying they each fast for five days every year. Below is what the family of Dr. Otto Buchinger, a German water fasting doctor, says as they celebrate 100 years of fasting on water and thousands of patients healed.
Fasting can be used to treat numerous diseases (see Indications). It can also be enjoyed once a year if you are a slim and healthy person as a preventive measure, among others for the treatment of risk factors, such as obesity (particularly abdominal), hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, as well as smoking, a lack of exercise, and stress.
In addition, there are numerous therapeutic indications for fasting, which are increasingly being documented by scientific research. The long list of indications includes joint complaints and rheumatism, chronic digestive disorders, migraine, and many more.Therapeutic fasting and nutritional strategies
Both Dr. Yuri Nokolayev and Dr. Sergei Filonov don’t put a cap on fasting and say fast as often as your body wants and as long as you want. Today, this is the philosophy I follow, and trust me, my body loves fasting!
I did a five-day water fast three times in 2018: March, July, and December. In 2019, I did none. This year, I have been fasting a lot and feel the healthiest and happiest I had ever been in my 37 years of life. I fasted in April, May, June, and July. And now, I am fasting weekly.
Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?
Yes, doctors who are not ignorant, not driven to addict you to drugs, not passionate about taking all your money for needless surgeries, actually are educated and informed and genuinely care about your wellbeing, those doctors do recommend water fasting.
But there are only a few of those!
A few in a million! Why?
Because of such a thing as a profit motive.
Doctors make money only when you’re sick.
Let me rephrase: when you are sick, it’s good for the profit-motivated doctor who gets paid for your visits to him, your surgeries, and your drug intake. Am I clear enough?
Doctors are not exactly interested in recommending a water fast to you – for two reasons: first, it’s free, second, it will heal you. Healing you means income reduction for the doctor. It is much more profitable to have you semi-sick and half-dead.
It’s obviously not profitable to have you dead because your doctor won’t make money on you if you’re dead. Having you not healthy, not yet dead, but chronically sick – that is the ideal situation for the doctor!
Because of the profit motive, a typical mainstream doctor will talk you out of water fasting and make sure you stay chronically ill for the rest of your life. Having you sick, luring you to pay for surgeries, and getting you addicted to drugs is what most doctors like to do. Otherwise, how would they make money?
I worked in the marketing department of one of the largest healthcare organizations in America with 2400 doctors who carried a revenue quota on surgeries, just like a typical salesperson.
I was also married to a doctor.
Doctors are driven by the profit motive.
They won’t recommend a water fast to you because they are either ignorant or corrupted. More about ignorance in a minute. Let’s discuss the corruption of the medical profession first.
Doctors have the profit motive in your consumption of drugs: the more drugs you buy, the more endorsement money can a doctor make. So… It is highly unlikely that you’ll hear from your doctor any encouragement to fast on water.
Let’s talk about ignorance now.
I’m gonna let a doctor do the talking!
Unfounded fear is a peculiar state of disease within the imagination, arising largely out of a lack of knowledge.
If we are slaves to unfounded fears, we are also slaves to beliefs and practices and action, which are inconsistent with our well-being.
It is a matter of necessity that we understand fasting and all its facets if we are to overcome the fears that are associated with it.
Many people attempt to solve the problems of life, the distresses of the body, and the anxieties of the mind with food and drugs. They have great fear about not eating because they have experienced the headaches, the weakness, and distress they associate with it, and they are convinced that food and drugs are the answer to their problems.
How can you convince someone that going without food is a matter of necessity for the recovery of his health?
Only through knowledge to change his attitudes.
The best way to dispel unfounded fear about fasting is with knowledge. The knowledge that breeds confidence, confidence that engenders beliefs, and beliefs that result in correct action.Unfounded fears about fasting by Dr. D.J. Scott, D.C.
So, “Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?”
As you can see, doctors who actually practice fasting on water and help people heal do recommend this method and also do recognize and acknowledge their colleagues’ ignorance. Most Western doctors are ignorant when it comes to water fasting because no one teaches them about its benefits.
However, doctors in a medical school and in continuing education classes are taught to advise their patients to never skip meals or even to eat six times a day, which is the best recipe for a host of illnesses, starting with insulin resistance, early aging, and premature death after long and torturous suffering.
Teaching doctors to teach patients to never skip meals is very profitable for both the Department of Agriculture and The Big Pharma: people eat themselves to the point of getting chronically ill (from which the food industry profits), people go see a doctor who gives them drugs (from which the doctor profits), which gets people addicted and sick for life (from which hospitals profit on surgeries and big pharma profits on drugs sales). That’s how money is made in America.
I personally have spent a lot of time being sick, paying doctors, and buying expensive needless dangerous medications that caused more illnesses in my body. I have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars being victimized by this vicious mainstream medical system, which is misleadingly called health care but it is actually sick care.
Years ago, the remarks shared below were made about the ignorance of most doctors, and these are still valid today, in modern society driven by the profit motive.
Thousands of fasts, even up to 70 and 90 days, had been recorded; but the medical profession and scientists gave no attention to them.
That “common sense” may still be arrayed against the demonstrated facts of experiment and experience. That men, who pose as scientists, may deny what may be known about the body, is amazing proof that there have been ignorant bigots and that they are not all dead.
Sinclair says he talked with a well-known and successful physician, “who refused point-blank to believe that a human being could live for more than five days without any sort of nutriment.” “There was no use talking to him about it — it was a physiological impossibility.”
He refused to investigate the evidence offered that it could be done. Bigotry we have with us always. Men, who form their opinions in advance of investigation and, who, then refuse to investigate, are all too common.The Hygienic System by Herbert M. Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N. Sc., D.N. Ph., D.N. Litt., Ph. D., D. Orthp.
“Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?“ As you can see, water fasting has been recommended and practiced by doctors for decades. Many doctors in Russia, Armenia, Germany, France, Italy, and other progressive countries have leveraged water fasting and helped thousands of people get genuinely healthy: not just get rid of the symptoms but eliminate the causes of illnesses.
Yet, most doctors in America don’t learn about water fasting in medical school. Why? Because it isn’t profitable for The Big Pharma, which has the goal of getting you addicted to drugs for life and influences the medical school curriculum, or the Department of Agriculture, which has the goal of selling more meat and dairy to you for profit and influences the medical school curriculum, as well.
Apparently, the industry, which influences the curriculum in medical schools, is not interested in getting you healthy. The ultimate goal is to actually get you sick and addicted to drugs and bad food, so that you come back repeatedly for more junk food and more drugs, as well as buy expensive surgeries. It’s a clever trap, and you are the target!
“Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?“ Clearly, getting you healthy isn’t the goal of conventional medicine, which is why no one teaches doctors in medical school about the healing benefits of water fasting. The Department of Agriculture fights back viscously any time someone in legislation proposes nutritional training for doctors.
The Department of Agriculture mobilizes its power and money to make sure doctors don’t start recommending to patients to stop eating meat, dairy, and poultry. Why? Because that would be too bad for the bottom line. Profit is way more important than your health when it comes to Uncle Sam. So, you’re on your own, dear, and I wrote about this describing the law that was passed to show you: you’re on your own.
READ THE LAW: Commonsense Consumption Act
That’s why you probably wonder “Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?“ Because you personally most likely never heard about water fasting from your doctor, never explored its impressive health benefits, never were told how water fasting can help you prevent or reverse diseases, and never were informed how abstaining from food can protect your body and brain from aging.
That’s why God put this article on my heart. You deserve to know the truth. We’re about to hear from doctors who recommend fasting.
The most vehement objections to fasting are made by those who have never missed a meal in their lives.Dr. Herbert Shelton
There are medical doctors who do recommend fasting because they genuinely care about your lasting wellbeing, so they want you healed and drug-free. Below is a compilation of such recommendations by doctors who practice water fasting and even reverse diseases.
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Some of the doctors mentioned have lived years ago, and for those, I provide the birth and death years. Of course, the fact that their lives have run the cycle doesn’t make their opinions about water fasting less valid. All I want to do is to answer your question “Do Doctors Recommend Water Fasting?“ in the most comprehensive and truthful way, and those doctors’ opinions count. The doctors who are alive and practice water fasting today, will not have any dates listed.
The professional opinions presented below are from the doctors whose books I read, videos I watched, research I studies, and even patient testimonials I witnessed. I have practiced ten times a water fast based on the teachings of the doctors who recommend fasting of water.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Dr. Alan Goldhamer is a chiropractor and director of the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, which is a multi-discipline outpatient clinic and in-patient residential health care facility specializing in medically-supervised water-only fasting.
He is a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College. He is board certified in fasting supervision and a member of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians.
The International Association of Hygienic Physicians (IAHP) is a professional association for licensed, primary care physicians (Medical Doctors, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, and Naturopaths) who specialize in Therapeutic Fasting Supervision as an integral part of Hygienic Care.
Dr. Goldhamer is the author of the Health Promoting Cookbook, as well as numerous articles, which have appeared in Health Science magazine. He was also the principal investigator of two scientific studies, “Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension,” published in the July 2002 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, and “Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Borderline Hypertension,” published in the October 2002 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Dr. Goldhamer has served as an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University in the Department of Naturopathic Medicine where he has taught courses on fasting and health. He has also lectured on fasting at Cornell University, Western States Chiropractic College, and Life Chiropractic College.
He is a regular speaker on the use of fasting and vegan diets for the National Health Association, North American Vegetarian Association, North American Vegan Society, San Francisco Vegetarian Society, and Canadian Natural Health Society.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer recalls that when he was in 4th grade, his best friend Doug always beat him in basketball. He wanted to get healthier to beat his best friend, and he happened to find a book about fasting by Herbert Shelton.
Herbert Shelton was an American author, naturopath, alternative medicine advocate, pacifist, and vegetarian. He was also a supporter of fasting. But Dr. Alan Goldhamer still failed in beating Doug despite his efforts to fast and adopt a plant-based diet. Because apparently, his best friend Doug took the same program. LOL
Does Dr. Alan Goldhamer recommend water fasting?
Fifty percent of our patients come from out of state. Fifteen percent are foreign. We see about 1000 new people a year.
Those people present with a variety of situations. Typically, the conditions that we treat are the ones that are determined to be the most responsive to fasting: the diseases of dietary excess. These conditions are caused by excess consumption of calories, particularly animal fat and protein or refined carbohydrates.
We are talking about high blood pressure, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. These make up the majority of these people we treat.
Fasting ranges from 5 to 40 days.
Every patient who fasts goes through a refeeding, which means that they have a period at least half the length of the fast for clinical refeeding. So a person who fasts for 3 weeks will typically be with us at least a month.Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times bestselling author, and internationally-recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing. He specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods.
Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his longevity-promoting, nutrient-dense, plant-rich eating style.
For over 25 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses using smart nutrition.
In his medical practice, and through his books and PBS television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
The bio source is his website.
Does Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommend water fasting?
He authored the book “Fasting and Eating for Health.“
Dr. Fuhrman reports extraordinary results with fasting in those with symptoms of heart disease. In Fasting and Eating for Health, he states:
“I find most patients who choose to get well via aggressive nutritional approaches are angry that their other physicians did not give them this option before they were told they must have bypass or angioplasty. Patients must be given this choice of a very low-fat vegetarian diet and fasting because it is safer, cheaper, less invasive, and more effective at extending the patient’s life”
“Besides effectively lowering blood pressure, fasting removes and softens the cholesterol plaque that lines the blood vessels. Surgery, atherectomy, and angioplasty, the invasive approaches to coronary artery disease, will always remain ineffective at significantly extending life. This is because these procedures address only the localized blockage. This small area of the diseased blood vessel, though it may be the source of chest pain, will not necessarily be the area that causes a death should a person suffer a fatal heart attack.
“Concentrating on a localized area of coronary artery narrowing in a body full of vessels with diffuse atherosclerotic plaque is like trying to save a patient with advanced metastatic cancer by removing one surgically accessible mass.”
“Fasting thins the blood and prevents blood clots, or thrombi. Platelets do not clot as easily during fasting, and the ability of the red blood cells to clump together is diminished. Therefore, the fast quickly lowers an individual’s risk of a heart attack.
“The potential of a total fast (water only) to induce biochemical changes within the body that prevent the formation of a thrombus has been well documented and so is the effect of complete fasting on the coagulative and antioxidative properties of blood. In one such study, a fast was undertaken by 22 normal volunteers. The ability of their blood to clot and form a thrombus under fasting conditions was extensively analyzed. Fasting was discovered to lead to the reduction of blood plasma and red cell coagulation, deterioration of platelet aggregation, a rise of the oxidized hemoglobin content, and an increase in red cell resistance to peroxide hemolysis. In short, fasting lowers the risk of intravascular coagulation and thrombus formation.”
“Other studies have shown that after 36 hours of fasting there is a significant increase in the fibrinolytic activity of the blood. Fibrinolysis is the breakdown of clots. This activity continues for 24 hours after the fast is terminated.”
Along with fasting, Dr. Fuhrman advocates a vegetarian approach to diet, a nutrition program based on minimal to no processed foods (he calls the nutrition advice of the USDA “a food pyramid that will turn you into a dummy”) and high nutrient density.
He defines nutrient density as the concentration of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and total vitamin and mineral content per calorie. Foods that are preferable in this approach include raw green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, kale, spinach; solid green vegetables like asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers; non-green, non-starchy vegetables like eggplant, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes; beans and legumes.
It also includes the lower nutrient-dense whole grains barley, buckwheat, oats, brown and wild rice, and quinoa, as well as raw nuts and seeds. Absent from his program are meats, dairy foods, including cheese, and added oils.
Dr. Fuhrman points to the life-extending properties of such eating habits as documented in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s China Study and the largely vegetarian Seventh-Day Adventists study, as well as his own considerable experience.An Interview with Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Master of Fasting
Dr. Michael Klaper
Dr. Michael Klaper resolutely believes that proper nutrition — through a whole-food, plant-based diet — and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health and, in many cases, can make the difference between healing an illness or merely treating its symptoms.
Dr. Michael Klaper is a gifted clinician, internationally-recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. In addition to his clinical practice and private consultations with patients, he is a passionate and devoted educator of physicians and other healthcare professionals about the importance of nutrition in clinical practice and integrative medicine.
Dr. Klaper is the author of Vegan Nutrition; Pure & Simple and has produced numerous health videos, webinars, and dozens of articles for both scientific journals and the popular press.
As a source of inspiration advocating plant-based diets and the end of animal cruelty worldwide, Dr. Klaper contributed to the making of two PBS television programs: “Food for Thought” and the award-winning movie “Diet for a New America.” Dr. Klaper teaches that “Health Comes From Healthy Living” and he is dedicated to the healing and flourishing of all living beings and our planet.
“Health is having a body that moves without pain, breathes without distress, and allows us to perform the activities of life with complete presence and focused energy. Then, we can love fully and enjoy our lives to the fullest.” Dr. Michael Klaper
Dr. Michael Klaper graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1972. He served a medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada, and received training in surgery, anesthesiology, and orthopedics at the University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver. Additionally, he was trained in obstetrics at the University of California Hospital, San Francisco.
As his medical career progressed, Dr. Klaper began to realize (true to what science is bearing out today) that many of the diseases his patients presented – clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult-onset diabetes, and even some forms of arthritis, asthma, and other significant illnesses – were made worse or actually caused by the high sugar, high fat, high salt, overly processed, animal product-based, Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).
Dr. Klaper served as Director of the Institute of Nutrition Education and Research from 1992 through 2015, where he conducted a study that focused on people who ate a completely plant-based, or vegan, diet.
Dr. Klaper practiced acute care medicine in New Zealand for three years and from 2009 through 2018 served on staff at the TrueNorth Health Center, North America’s premier nutritionally-based medical clinic that specializes in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-food, plant-based diet.
A member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Klaper was a member of the American Medical Student Association’s Nutrition Task Force and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Plantrician Project and the “International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention.”
For over 10 years, Dr. Klaper hosted a popular medical information radio program “Sounds of Healing” on WPFW in Washington, DC and KAOI on Maui, Hawaii. Dr. Michael Klaper is licensed to practice medicine in California and Hawaii.
Bio from his website.
Does Dr. Klaper recommend water fasting?
Water fasting cleanses the body on a deep, cellular level
Thanks to molecules called ketones, by day four or five of a water fast, hunger is usually gone and is replaced by a feeling of great well being.
People emerge from a water fast feeling lighter and cleaner on the inside because they really are!
All of us, in our body cells, have remnant molecules of every restaurant meal, fast food snack, and processed food dessert we have ever eaten.
There are flavorings, colorings, preservatives, dough conditioners, stabilizers, and thousands of other compounds that compose a chemical soup of modern cuisine in all the cells in our body.
These substances accumulate in our tissues over time, contributing to feelings of chronic fatigue and bodily dysfunction.
A water fast has the effect of “taking your cells through the car wash” where, day after day, nothing but pure water washes through each and every cell. This markedly lowers the concentrations of the foreign, disruptive molecules.
Thus, it is no wonder that people predictably emerge from a water fast feeling lighter and cleaner on the inside because they really are.
A water fast lasting longer than three days should be done in a facility where medically-trained staff can supervise the process.
Such supervision is necessary so that pulse, blood pressure, and other clinical parameters can be checked daily and laboratory tests can be performed on a regular basis.
There is an art to supervising a fast, and experienced health professionals are essential to make sure that all goes well and that the fast is ended before any significant problems arise.
The action of all medications, herbal supplements, vitamins, etc. are all potentiated on a water fast. For that reason, all medications, except thyroid replacements, must be stopped prior to the fast. The dosage of thyroid medication is cut by half during the fast.
For people who are on medications that they cannot stop, such as prednisone, antidepressants, etc., a water fast is contraindicated. These people should not water fast, but rather, do a juice cleanse.
The water fast is broken in a gentle matter, starting with vegetable juices or fruit chunks like watermelon, and progressing through phases of gradually increasing fiber content, namely raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, and eventually denser foods such as rice and beans.
One of the greatest benefits of a fast is that it “re-tunes” the tongue’s taste buds through a process called neuroadaptation. Whole, natural foods begin to taste really delicious again.
This opens the way for one to retool their dietary choices and let a truly health-promoting food stream of whole, plant-based foods pour through the body every day, thus creating lasting and glowing health.Fasting – Effective Therapy For Health Concerns
Dr. Frank Sabatino
Dr. Frank Sabatino is the past Health Director of the Shangri-La Natural Hygiene Institute in Bonita Springs, FL, the Regency Health Resort and Spa in Hallandale, FL, and Health Director-Owner of Ocean Jade Retreat in Lauderdale by the Sea, FL.
During his career time, he cared for, lectured, and inspired thousands of people over the past 40 years. He is currently a contributor and special guest host of the Balance for Life Retreat Program in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is is a vegan lifestyle education center specializing in plant-based vegan nutrition, health rejuvenation, stress management, and therapeutic fasting and detoxification.
Bio from here.
Does Dr. Sabatino recommend water fasting?
Fasting is one of the most profound yet misunderstood therapeutic approaches in health care. The word “fasting” comes from the Old English “faestan,” which means to be strict and have discipline.
By definition, water-only fasting is the complete abstinence from all food and liquids except water – for an extended period of time.
In our culture of gluttony and overeating, the idea of voluntarily abstaining from food may seem somewhat absurd and insane.
Yet, there is an extensive body of evidence, including lab studies involving a variety of species and clinical observations in humans, supporting the use of water-only fasting for a wide range of health problems, including obesity.
These data are consistent with the idea that throughout evolution, all life forms, from bacteria to humans, have experienced periods of starvation and food deprivation alternating with periods of abundant food availability. As a result, they have evolved the ability to adapt to long periods of food deprivation.
The loss of appetite and fasting are natural to all animals, including humans, in response to disease and stress. If you observe animals in the wild, or even your own house pets, you will notice that when they are injured or diseased they will often retire to a quiet and comfortable place, drink water, and stop the intake of all food.
The loss of appetite in disease is also present in humans. But the idea of complete abstinence from food for most people in our culture is such an abhorrent, frightening notion that they will continue to eat even when all their natural instincts are telling them to stop.
However, it is important to understand that when less energy is required for eating and digesting and procuring food, more energy is available for healing and repair.Dr. Frank Sabatino, Balance for Life
Dr. Nathan Gershfeld
Dr. Nathan Gershfeld is currently in private practice in Southern California where he specializes in health promotion through nutrition and chiropractic.
He earned a degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2006 before changing his career path in order to more directly help people with their health. This led him to health promotion through healthy living and the Blair Chiropractic Technique, a system of analyzing and adjusting the upper vertebrae of the spine.
While an intern at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, Dr. Gershfeld published a paper “A Case of Non-Pharmacologic Conservative Management of Suspected Uncomplicated Sub-Acute Appendicitis in an Adult Male,” which appeared in the February 2011 edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
He currently serves on the board of the True North Health Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to research in the areas of health promotion and medically-supervised water-only fasting.
Source of bio here.
Does Dr. Gershfeld recommend water fasting?
Yes, and he practices it himself, too!
The plan was that I’d fast for four to six weeks. In reality, I only lasted five days because I was so miserable. I felt so bad that I actually snuck into the kitchen at midnight on day five to eat an apple, hoping that it might stop the unpleasant effects of the detoxification process.
I completed my re-feeding at True North and headed home.
All was not lost, though, because this time, I felt a little more confident. I was lucky enough to have heard lectures by Dr. Alan Goldhamer and Dr. Doug Lisle while I was at the Center, and what they said made a lot of sense to me.
I was interested in giving their recommendations a fair shot. What happened in the next month was unbelievable.
My junk food cravings subsided since my fast had sensitized my taste buds to natural food, and I was able to stick to a junk-food-free diet.
Most important was that my tumor shrunk to half of its original size. And over the next few months, it kept shrinking. The icing on the cake was that my autoimmune disease (called “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis”) and my hypothyroidism (both of which were brought on by the tumor) reversed, as well.My Journey from Patient to Doctor by Dr. Nathan Gershfeld
Dr. William Esser
Dr. William Esser (1911-2003) was preaching the gospel of good health. He was a visionary far ahead of his time. He was a writer, speaker, and clinician best known for Esser’s Health Ranch, a lifestyle change facility specializing in plant-based nutrition, exercise, and therapeutic fasting.
He directed Esser’s Ranch for 65 years and personally supervised the care of an estimated 30,000 patients. The Ranch was for many a “land of miracles” where health flourished and newfound vitality was commonplace.
Source of bio is here.
Did Dr. Esser recommend water fasting?
Fasting, or the abstinence from food, is a means used in nature by all creatures from the beginning of time. Either by instinct or intelligence, this means has been used to assist the body to relieve itself from discomfort, pain, and disease.
Regulatory and reparative processes of the body are given unimpeded encouragement by the temporary omission of food. No other form of health care can boast the rewarding and gratifying results in the elimination of disease and the restoration of health.
Fasting, once considered a fad, has gained acceptance not only by a constantly increasing segment of society and has also earned the stamp of approval by many in the scientific community.
Under the qualified and experienced supervision, fasting is the greatest gift that can be given to an overburdened, sick body without the benefit of any other form of therapy or treatment.The Benefits of Fasting by Dr. William Esser
Dr. Jason Fung
Dr. Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist and is a Toronto-based kidney specialist. Having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001, he is the author of the bestsellers “The Obesity Code” and “The Complete Guide to Fasting.” He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type two diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.
Bio source is his website.
Doe Dr. Jason Fung recommend water fasting?
Fasting is a time-tested and ancient tradition. It has been used not only for weight loss but also to improve concentration, extend life, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent insulin resistance, and even reverse the entire aging process.
“There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten” – Marie Antoinette
So the forgotten question of weight loss is “When should we eat?” We don’t ignore the question of frequency anywhere else. Falling from a building 1000 feet off the ground once will likely kill us. But is this the same as falling from a 1-foot wall 1000 times? Absolutely not. Yet the total distance fallen is still 1000 feet.
All foods will increase insulin levels to some degree. Eating the proper foods will prevent high levels, but won’t do much to lower levels. Some foods are better than others, but all foods still increase insulin.
The key to the prevention of resistance is to periodically sustain very low levels of insulin. If all foods raise insulin, then the only answer is the complete voluntary abstinence from food.
The answer we are looking for is, in a word, fasting.
The answer to this vexing problem lies not in the latest and greatest diet trend, but in the tried and true fasting. Instead of searching for some exotic, never-before-tried diet miracle, we should focus on ancient healing traditions of the past.
Fasting is one of the most ancient healing traditions in human history. This solution has been practiced by virtually every culture and religion on earth.
Whenever fasting is mentioned, there is always the same eye-rolling response. Starvation? That’s the answer? No.
Fasting is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons. The two terms should never be confused with each other. Fasting may be done for any period of time, from a few hours to months on end. In a sense, fasting is part of everyday life. The term ‘break fast’ is the meal that breaks the fast – which is done daily in the morning. Fasting is one of the most ancient and widespread healing traditions in the world.
Hippocrates of Cos (c 460 – c370 BC) is widely considered the father of modern medicine. Among the treatments that he prescribed and championed was the practice of fasting. Hippocrates wrote, “To eat when you are sick, is to feed your illness”.
The ancient Greek writer and historian Plutarch (cAD46 – c AD 120) echoed these sentiments. He wrote, “Instead of using medicine, better fast today”.
Ancient Greek thinkers Plato and his student Aristotle were also staunch supporters of fasting.
The ancient Greeks believed that medical treatment could be observed from nature. Humans, like most animals, must not eat when they become sick. For this reason, fasting has been called the ‘physician within’.
The ancient Greeks believed that fasting improves cognitive abilities. Think about the last time you ate a huge Thanksgiving meal. Did you feel more energetic and mentally alert afterward? Or, instead, did you feel sleepy and a little dopey? More likely the latter. Blood is shunted to your digestive system to cope with the huge influx of food, leaving less blood going to the brain. The result is food coma.
Other intellectual giants were also great proponents of fasting. Philip Paracelsus, the founder of toxicology and one of three fathers of modern Western medicine (along with Hippocrates and Galen) wrote, “Fasting is the greatest remedy – the physician within.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of America’s founding fathers and renowned for wide knowledge in many areas once wrote about fasting “The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”
Fasting for spiritual purposes is widely practiced and remains part of virtually every major religion in the world. In spiritual terms, it is often called cleansing or purification.
The practice of fasting developed independently among different religions and cultures, not as something that was harmful, but something that was deeply, intrinsically beneficial to the human body and spirit.
Fasting has withstood the test of time.Fasting History
Dr. Otto Buchinger
Dr. Otto Buchinger (1878-1966) discovered the benefits of fasting when, in 1918, after decommissioning from the German navy due to ill health, his colleague Gustav Riedlin recommended that he fasted.
Buchhnger tried fasting for the first time, and after the 19th day of fasting, his condition started to improve rapidly. He then turned with full interest and enthusiasm to fasting as a therapy.
At the time, Buchinger suffered from tonsillitis that never completely healed and led to rheumatism in his joints. After 19 days of fasting, Buchinger found that strength and movement quickly returned to his crippled fingers.
Following his complete recovery, he dedicated his time to research to understand why fasting was so effective. His book “The Therapeutic Fasting Cure” influenced the opening of many fasting clinics across Europe, and especially in his native Germany.
Bio source is here.
Did Dr. Buchinger recommend water fasting?
“During a fast, the body is fine, it is the soul that is hungry!” – Dr. Otto Buchinger
With 6,000 guests from over 60 countries every year, more than 250,000 successful fasting treatments in total, and 100 years of fasting expertise over four generations, Buchinger Wilhelmi is the world’s leading company for therapeutic fasting.
How did Dr. Otto Buchinger develop his therapeutic fasting method?
Dr. Otto Buchinger was a doctor, philosopher, and pioneer of medical fasting. He lived an eventful life in eventful times.
Born in 1878 in Darmstadt to a civil servant, he studied medicine, was awarded a doctorate, and spent the First World War as a naval doctor until he was thrown off course in 1917 by infected rheumatism of the joints caused by septicemia.
His mobility was soon so severely restricted that he was forced to retire from the navy as an invalid. The personal strain and the powerlessness of conventional Western medicine led him to consider alternative forms of treatment.
In 1919, he was referred to Dr. Riedlin in Freiburg, who prescribed therapeutic fasting following traditional methods. It was a resounding success and saved his life, which he devoted from then on to developing and refining a method for a medically-sound fasting therapy.
As a doctor, he focused on all aspects of integrated medicine. As a spiritual person, he concerned himself with the correlation between the body’s emotional and physical self-healing powers. As the founder of medical therapeutic fasting, he combined the two to create a holistic form of therapy – Buchinger therapeutic fasting – which he successfully applied and continued to develop in different clinics from 1920.
In 1935 he published his most important work, “The Therapeutic Fasting Cure,” which is still in print today. In it, the “pioneer of fasting” systematically described fasting physiology and the diseases that are considered fasting indications.
Dr. Buchinger held “collective consultation sessions,” among others, in which music by Beethoven was played or poems by Goethe and Rilke recited. He was convinced that “spiritual and cultural nourishment are equally important for human beings as food.”
In the same way, he regarded fasting under experienced medical supervision and in an inspiring atmosphere not simply as a one-time corrective measure for an imbalanced state of health. Rather, he considered it to be the “true path of holistic medicine” that can help people achieve a more responsible lifestyle and activate their self-healing powers.
In 1953, Dr. Otto Buchinger was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his pioneering work. In the same year, together with his daughter Maria and son-in-law Helmut Wilhelmi, he set up a new clinic in Überlingen on Lake Constance, which he continued to manage for several years as a senior consultant.
Throughout his lifetime, he felt the need to fast regularly. It gave him strength for a long, healthy, and active life, in which he achieved a great deal before he died in 1966 aged 88.Looking back on 100 years of Buchinger fasting
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev (1905 – 1998) was first exposed to the practice of fasting in his early childhood. Whenever he or his brother Lev would get sick, their mother treated them with 2-3 days of fasting.
He was very inspired by Upton Sinclair’s book “The Fasting Cure.” The two communicated in letters. These letters together with Sinclair’s book would have a profound influence on young Yuri’s personal experience with fasting, as well as the implementation of therapeutic fasting in his medical practice.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev treated more than 7,000 patients suffering from various conditions – all by using therapeutic fasting. The average duration of a fast would be 30 days.
Bio source Fasting for Health.
Did Dr. Yuri Nikolayev recommend water fasting?
Yes, and he did it himself!
The Five Stages of Fasting by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev
1. Food Deprivation – Eating Cessation – The First 2-3 Days
During this first initial stage, the patient is being given a solution of MgSO4 (magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salt) to trigger complete bowel discharge. The bitter after-taste is usually masked with a sip of juice. For this purpose, lemon water is used.
In the initial phase, the patient is very sensitive to any reference to food – visual, olfactory, or even a mere discussion about food. Any perception of food triggers salivary effects and may cause stomach cramps. Sleep is reduced and superficial, patients are irritable and may develop exacerbation of their symptoms. Weight loss is between 800 grams to 1 kg per day, blood pressure remains stable, while the cardiac rhythm may be easily intensified and irregular.
2. Acidosis Phase, Day 3-5
Between the 3rd and 5th days of fasting, food no longer stimulates the patient. There are occasional headaches, dizziness – especially upon waking or going from sitting to standing. Nausea and generalized weakness are also reported.
The tongue is usually coated with a white layer. Blood sugar may decrease to 65% of its initial level. The feeling of nausea is due to the increased blood acidity. In reality, as the body adapts to the lack of food intake it starts burning its own fat, and the incomplete oxidation may result in products that increase acidity.
The protocol demands increasing water intake, as well as exercise – 3 hours daily.
This active routine is that helps the body ventilate, and sweat. This engages organs of elimination to eliminate toxins from the body (skin, kidneys, bowels, liver). Daily colonics are also used for this. During this stage ketosis has started. Your body is using fat stores for energy.
Burning fat has several benefits for your health—the first being weight loss. Ketosis is a predictable way to target fat stores that otherwise remain untouched even with a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, getting rid of that extra fat has a detoxifying effect on the body. Your body’s natural defenses use fat stores to store toxic metals and other toxins so they can’t wreak havoc on your system. However, during ketosis, these toxic metals and toxins are safely expelled from your body as fat reserves get used up. This cleansing effect may temporarily alter some people’s complexion or cause other signs of a healing crisis.
3. Compensation and Balance, Day 4-7
During the 4-7 day the body suddenly regains balance and the overall status of the patient is radically altered. With the feeling of gone, the patients feel strong, motivated, with significant improvement in mood. After the tenth day, weight loss stabilizes at 200g/day, the white tongue coating clears and the tongue regains its pinkish color.
During stage three, your body starts to enter into a “healing mode.” This healing process begins as your digestive system takes a rest from daily toxins. Consequently, free radicals are reduced and oxidative stress decreases.
Fasting causes a kind of “mental power stress” that provides health benefits. This is a kind of mild stress that is comparable to the stress caused by the discipline of exercise, which ultimately makes you stronger and your immune system more resilient.
When the cumulative effects of this stage add up, they can be the catalyst for significant health improvements. Limiting free radicals and oxidative stress is the cornerstone of healthy aging. This healing process seems to improve health for some.
Another tremendous benefit is the accomplishment of personal goals and growth. Getting this far, the benefits becomes personal and extremely empowering. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes tremendous dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages plus the accomplishment of a personal challenge.
4. Breaking the Fast – Reintroducing Foods
Once the patient passes the crises and gains a feeling of euphoria. The symptoms begin to disappear, until the stored energy source is consumed. This occurs after about 30 days. By that time, the patient’s tongue is clean, his skin color is a healthy pink, bad breath disappears.
Food is reintroduced gradually. Diluted fruit juices are used first, then whole juices and grated fruit mixed with yogurt. Cooked vegetables and boiled cereals follow. Near the 40th day, normal eating is resumed. The doctor said the hunger treatment gives the entire nervous system and the brain a rest. The body is cleaned of poisons and the tissues and glands renovated.
5. Normal Alimentation (eating)
The fourth to the sixth day after breaking the fast the appetite of the patient may be significantly increased. This is when, at his request, he may be provided with more fruits, bread, and plenty of vegetables.
If the fasting cure was successful, the pathologic disorders of the patient will show improvement. Their blood pressure and glucose levels stabilize at their initial values. The increased appetite and the increased mood usually last for 2-3 weeks after which they resume to normal.
Dr. Nikolayev was a vegetarian; therefore his recommendations were low meat consumption.
In conclusion, therapeutic fasting may be a very powerful tool in optimizing wellbeing.Fasting for health
Dr. Yakov Koyfman
Dr. Yakov Koyfman (1947-2016) was a Russian doctor here in Atlanta where I also live. Two days ago, I called his clinic to ask him some questions, but his son’s wife informed me that he had passed years ago. I watched again and again his YouTube interview and appreciated his thought-provoking ideas about wellness.
“In the interview “The Raw Life Health Show YouTube interview with Dr. Yakov Koyfman from July 10th, 2011,” Dr. Koyfman talks about people in Russia living to 168 years old, and another guy who only eats 1/2 cup of wheat berries for the whole winter. Dr. Koyfman also shares some other great cleansing tips and exercises we call all do to stay healthy. Dr. Koyfman learned what he teaches from experiments he personally did to heal his sinus and digestive issues. Then he did extensive study and self-research under famous doctors from India, Russia, and Japan. He studied nutrition, dietology, and fasting therapy in Russia. He has several degrees, Certifications and Diplomas In 1994, Dr. Koyfman founded his Center in America, and has helped thousands of people since then. People come for help from not only Atlanta, but also from other states and all over the world.”
The source of bio is The Raw Life Health Show YouTube interview wiith Dr. Yakov Koyfman from July 10th, 2011.
Did Dr. Koyfman recommend water fasting?
Here were his thoughts.
To start the healing process, it is necessary to have a clean diet. A clean and healthy diet includes living, unprocessed foods: fruits, berries, vegetables, greens, sprouts, nuts, seeds, fresh juices (fruit, vegetable, and greens), smoothies, soups, and correctly prepared cooked foods in moderate amounts. These include steamed or slightly cooked vegetables, whole grains, etc.
There are 3 levels of physical cleansing:Dr. Yakov Koyfman’s Philosophy
I Level — Cleansing of the whole Digestive System
II Level — Cleansing of the liver, kidneys, lungs,
prostate, joints, etc.
III Level — Cleansing of the blood vessels, blood,
lymph and cells.
Depending on your goals, health problems, and experience, fasting in can be done from 5 days to one month or more.
Dr. Tyler A. Allen
Dr. Tyler A. Allen, Ph.D. is a scientist, public speaker, and entrepreneur currently living in Raleigh, NC. I called his cell phone listed on his website a few days ago, aspired by his 13-day water fast described on his blog. He was very helpful and even sent me two research studies on water fasting and cancer. The bio is in his words from his site.
I am Tyler A. Allen, Ph.D, a scientist, public speaker, and entrepreneur currently living in Raleigh, NC. I was born in Houston, TX, the last of three children to Craig Allen, and his wife Alveda Allen. In 2005, I, along with my family, moved to Durham, North Carolina where I attended high school.
Following high school, I earned B.S. degrees from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Molecular/Cellular Biology, and Plant Biology. Immediately afterward, I began my PhD studies in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. As a PhD student, I was a part of the team that discovered a novel mechanism certain cells employ to exit blood vessels, termed Angiopellosis.
Additionally, my dissertation researched focused on the discovery of how circulating tumor cells utilize this method to spread (metastasize) in cancer patients, leading to a what is now known as the “Cancer Exodus Hypothesis”. My research has been funded/supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), GeneWiz and others. My accomplishments have been highlighted by Forbes 30 Under 30, TheRoot, iBiology, and more.
Currently, I am a postdoctoral scientist working at Duke University’s Cancer Institute, in Durham, NC. My current research focuses on cancer health disparities as well as improving the understanding of how cancer spreads (metastasizes) in the body.
Does Dr. Allen recommend water fasting?
He fasted on water only for 13 days in 2020.
Let’s hear about it!
This past holiday season I underwent an extended 13-day water fast. During this fast I eliminated all foods and liquids from my diet – except for water. When I told my friends and family about this, one of the first questions I usually got was, “is there a specific reason why you’re doing this”? The main reason I was interested in performing a water-fast was wanting to give my body a rest and allow it a chance to reset and recuperate. I am no stranger to fasting – I have done 8- and 5- day water fasts in the past, but this was indeed my longest one undertaken. I won’t go into the specifics, but there are many studies that’s show benefits of extended fasting on both improving the immune system and even extending healthy living.
Although a superficial effect of a water fasting is weight loss, I will not be focusing on this aspect – I did not perform it for this reason. Additionally, I am not a proponent of using water-fasting for weight loss, unless you have already made the long-term changes that allow for a healthy life.
Although not the first, this was the longest fast I have attempted thus far. After the first few days it was not difficult. I was off from work and had told my family I would not be partaking in any holiday meals beforehand. I also did somewhat of a break from technology and emails – allowing me time to fully focus on myself and my body.
The mental clarity I experienced as a result of this fast was well worth it, and although I did not get any testing or blood work before the fast, I do feel healthy.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I was not doing this fast for weight loss and do not recommend using water fasting as the major focus of a weight maintenance strategy. If you are already in a lifestyle and eating a diet meant for your body, you will either already be at the natural weight you are supposed to be at, or your body will instinctively adjust to reach that weight over time without fasting.
Water fasting while still having an unbalanced nutritional lifestyle before or after the fast will cause an undue amount of mental stress causing you to likely rebound binge after you finish fasting – this will diminish any benefits you received and may make things worse.
The mind can only handle so much, this is why it is a good idea to have an exceptional grip on your lifestyle and nutrition before attempting something as drastic as a water fast. With that being said, I did lose a significant amount of weight; I am opting not to share how much since I do not want the focus of this post to be centered on weight loss.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Having the time off work was beneficial, as I could foresee having project deadlines and experiments to perform on some of the days that I felt tired, would have been a difficult undertaking – though not impossible.My 13-Day Water Fast Experience by Dr. Tyler Allen
This is officially the longest blog post on my website. It’s 50,000 words long. Apparently, I’m very passionate about water fasting and eager to share my knowledge and experience with you to help you optimize your own health, improve the quality of your life, and increase your longevity.
The purpose of my life is to help alleviate suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Jesus expected us to fast, asked us to fast in secret, and led us by example, completing a 40-day fast Himself.
Fasting on water helped me heal from my own suicidal depression. It also helped my acne disappear, my 20 extra pounds melt away, my hair regrow after depression, my mental health improve, and my physical wellbeing soar. I believe that every woman can enjoy excellent health.
In this article, I shared a lot of science, demonstrating to you the benefits of water fasting. From autophagy and ketosis to weight loss, type two diabetes reversal, and even curing alcoholism, depression, and schizophrenia. Fasting unlocks the miraculous super-powers of your own body. The healing mechanism is already within you.
The truth is that, for me personally, just the water fasting results I personally achieved are a good enough reason to fast regularly. And I have been! I fasted on water ten times in the last two years.
As I’m typing up this conclusion on the last day of July 2020, I just completed my fast number 11, which was not a water fast but a dry fast: I had no food for 29 hours and no water for 24 hours.
It was the celebration of my 12 years in America. I came here on July 31st of 2008. And I was al first shocked to see what people ate and how little people moved here in the States. Over the years, iron sharpened iron, and I picked up some negatives lifestyle habits. However, today, I am a whole-foods plant-based vegan and practice water-only fasting weekly. After the dry fast, I feel amazing! I want you to feel good, too.
If this content is helpful, donate to support my blog.
There’s one more thing.
Water fasting is about drawing closer to God and conquering your own flesh, choosing to walk in the Spirit. I was raised by a very violent, cruel, angry, jealous, vicious, abusive, and hateful mother. Actually, I lived with ten people in my family, and they all were abusive and hateful.
My family members were adulterous alcoholics, and I grew up into alcoholism and sex addiction as my own battles to fight. Also, I violently abused a security guard in a Russian hospital many many years ago when I still lived there. I was jailed for the night.
Why am I bringing tis up?
How does thing relate to fasting on water?
I know that in me lives someone I have to conquer: my flesh who was taught and was used to drinking herself to death, sleeping around, fighting physically, and living the lifestyle I do not accept today.
The last time I had sex was December 5th, 2016 when I was still married to Michel. I live a single and celibate life, with God, in peace. Water fasting helps me conquer my flesh, like celibacy. Abstaining from food is the same as abstaining from sex, alcohol, drugs, violence, etc.
And there’s something even deeper…
I attempted suicide twice.
I know that suicide is a split-second decision.
And that’s the true reason why I care about fasting so much and practice it now weekly: it trains me to delay gratification, not act on my impulses, and have communion with God every moment of every day.
Ultimately, from my perspective and experience, fasting is a way to help yourself get rid of addictions, stop sleeping around, quit drinking alcohol, ditch drugs and drama, and choose Christ, practice self-control, and live in peace. Weight loss and high energy are just a side effect!
In this blog post, I answered very clearly What Is Water Fasting? and I told you that if you drink or eat any calories while fasting, it means you’re on a restricted feeding diet, not on a water fast, and those often end up in death. In fact, I shared with you a few such cases in the section about The History of Water Fasting.
I talked about how long it’s ok to fast on water only. Also, I answered the question How Do You Fast on Water? And I provided many testimonials from people who cured themselves by fasting on water only, as well as helped others heal naturally. I shared my personal diary with you, as well as pictures. I gave you plenty of science to support the benefits of water fasting. Now, I’m going to tell you one final secret.
I haven’t mentioned it yet.
The secret is this: you must have a genuine desire for health and longevity in order for you to be able to abstain from food. I didn’t have such passion a few years ago. I was miserable: abused, in a narcissistic marriage, manipulated and discarded, I was not only sick but also suicidally depressed. My problem was that I felt unworthy.
God drew me close. I discovered what God says about me and started choosing every day to believe His opinion about me over that of others – wholeheartedly. I wear my identity as a helmet of salvation every day.
Also, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. I’ve specifically been focusing on identity in Christ. From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His daughters. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women.
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Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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