Posted by admin on November 29, 2012
A Fast Way To Health — Water-Only Fasting
Alan Goldhamer, D.C., Director TrueNorth Health Center | VegSource
Fasting to achieve physical and psychological health benefits has
been practiced for thousands of years. However, until recently,
scientists had not systematically evaluated its effectiveness. Ongoing
research is now confirming that fasting, in conjunction with other
important healthful practices–such as eating a plant-based, SOS-free
diet (salt, oil, and sugar-free diet)–offers tremendous benefits. As the
director of TrueNorth Health Center, the oldest and largest inpatient
facility specializing in medically-supervised fasting in the United
States, I have seen how effective fasting can be in both building and
restoring health. Over the past thirty years, I have supervised the
fasts of over 10,000 patients.
Therapeutic fasting (also called “water-only fasting”) is the complete
abstinence from all substances except pure water in an environment of
complete rest. It is important to emphasize that simply abstaining from
food—even for a few days—while continuing to work, exercise, and worry
about day-to-day cares is not therapeutic fasting. Likewise, eating only
certain foods or drinking only juices is not therapeutic fasting. Juice
diets and “elimination” diets can be healthful, but they are not the
same as therapeutic fasting. The physiological and clinical benefits are
When to fast
The clearest indication for fasting is the loss of appetite that
characterizes acute disease. Fasting is extremely effective in helping
to quickly resolve the problems that cause symptoms like fever,
inflammation, and other temporary pains. It can be very helpful to stop
eating until the crisis has resolved and hunger returns. That might mean
skipping a meal or two, or it might mean skipping many meals. Fasting
also has been proven to be effective in a variety of other situations,
including helping the body to heal itself from high blood pressure,
diabetes, and autoimmune diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis,
osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, eczema,
and psoriasis. Fasting gives your body the opportunity to purify and
heal its tissues and to eliminate undesirable tissue accumulations and
The most important advice for anyone considering a fast is this: If
you are going to fast, do it right, or don’t do it at all. To maximize
the benefits of therapeutic fasting, complete rest is essential.
Complete rest is hard to get in a noisy, high stress, and/or
nonsupportive environment, so finding a safe, supportive environment is
necessary if you want to get the most from your body’s self-healing
Who should fast
The decision to undertake a fast should be made in consultation with a
knowledgeable physician, ideally one who is certified in fasting
supervision. The procedure we follow at TrueNorth Health Center is to
review the patient’s medical history and perform a comprehensive
physical examination, including appropriate laboratory and specialized
diagnostic tests. The findings then are reviewed with the patient, and
appropriate recommendations are made. These may include dietary and
lifestyle changes, exercise programs, and, when indicated, fasting.
You don’t have to be seriously ill to benefit from a supervised fast.
A fast can be of great help if you need to make lifestyle changes to
achieve improved health. Fasting for as few as five days often will
dramatically shorten the time it takes to make the transition from a
conventional diet and lifestyle (with all of the associated addictions,
pains, fatigue, and disease) to the independent and energetic state
associated with healthful living. People who undertake a fast in a
supervised setting tend to achieve health more quickly than those who
attempt changes without a fast.
Where to fast
Once you have made a decision to fast, selecting a facility that will
meet your requirements is paramount. TrueNorth Health Center provides an
ideal environment for those undertaking a fast. In addition, it
provides knowledgeable medical, psychological, and other therapeutic
care as needed and (when you start eating again) healthful meals
designed especially for you by expert chefs. As a bonus, TrueNorth
Health Center provides daily lectures on healthful living that will
teach you how to continue living healthfully when you return home.
For more information, visit the TrueNorth Health Center website www.TrueNorthHealth.com or get a copy of our book, The Pleasure Trap.
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About the author
Dr. Alan Goldhamer is the founder and director of TrueNorth Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides medical, naturopathic, chiropractic, and psychotherapy services.
Dr. Goldhamer has supervised the fasts of more than 10,000 patients.
Under his guidance, TrueNorth has become one of the premier training
facilities for doctors wishing to gain certification in the supervision
of therapeutic fasting. He is on the faculty at Bastyr University where
he teaches the course on clinical fasting. He was the principal
investigator in two landmark studies: “Medically Supervised Water-Only
Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension,” Journal of Manipulative and
Physiological Therapeutics June 2001 and “Medically Supervised
Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Borderline Hypertension,” Journal
of Alternative and Complementary Medicine October 2002. Currently, he
is directing a prospective study on cost and clinical outcomes in the
treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure with fasting and a
plant-based, SOS-free diet.
Dr. Goldhamer is a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College in
Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering
The Hidden Force That Undermines Health and Happiness and the author of The Health Promoting Cookbook.
Thanks to: http://www.thehealersjournal.com