The Ancient Practice of Water Fasting
Fasting has been practiced throughout human history, and physicians in the United States have been prescribing it for health benefits with excellent results since the early 1800s. But only in the last decade or so have studies begun to show why fasting is beneficial.
The benefits of fasting may derive from its role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and boost cell protection. Fasting decreases glucose and IGF1, blood pressure and heart rate, insulin, inflammation and oxidation, and total microbial load. It increases leptin, insulin sensitivity, cellular stress resistance, cellular stress adaptation, and autophagy; it normalizes gut microbiota; and it stimulates B-cell immunity. Fasting appears to reverse all major abnormalities of metabolic syndrome.
In animal studies, fasting has been shown to extend longevity and protect against diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and neurodegeneration. In humans, fasting has been shown to reduce obesity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. The British Medical Journal reported on a case where a 21-day fast, followed by an exclusively plant-food diet, free of added salt, oil, and sugar, resulted in the reversal of follicular lymphoma. A three year follow-up study, also published in the British Medical Journal shows no sign of cancer. In addition to its potential to delay aging and help prevent and manage diseases, employing fasting as a means of treatment may help patients avoid the untoward side effects often associated with other approaches.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer, the founder of TrueNorth Health Center in California, is both a chiropractor and an osteopath.
TrueNorth has done 20,000 water fasts in 36 years — 5 to 40 days on water alone.
Dr Goldhamer is the co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness.
Water fasting is an ancient practice because it’s so effective. It’s the wisdom of “doing nothing intelligently.”
How does water fasting “reboot the body”?
How long does the average patient stay on a fast? Do they exercise during fasting? What about Yoga?
How does the body heal itself during fasting? What kind of diseases are healed? Are so-called “incurable” diseases healed?
Do you need to fast even if you’re living healthfully? Are most diseases “conditions of dietary excess”?
Is intermittent fasting as effective as longer-term fasting?
What is autophagy? Why is this “self-devouring” process so important to water fasting?
How does fasting intervention alter the five pounds of microbiome in an average human being? How does a contaminated microbiome cause high blood pressure?
How are bowel movements affected during and after fasting?
Is water fasting a good way to lose weight? What’s the difference between lean tissue fat and visceral fat, and why is it so important?
Can dementia and Alzheimer’s be forestalled by exercise? Why is exercise contraindicated during water fasting?
Where does fasting end and starvation begin? How does a therapist tell the difference?
Do you continue to take pharmaceutical drugs and supplements during fasting? Does it depend on your present health? Is thyroid medication an exception to the rule?
Are coffee enemas recommended? What about the Master Cleanse modified juice fast?
Do you recommend acupuncture during fasting? What about chiropractic or osteopathic adjustments? What about saunas?
What can water fasting do for thyroid health? Is overweight involved? Can a thin person fast as long as an overweight person?
What is a plant-based SOS-Free Diet, and what diet does Dr. Goldhamer follow?
How does psychological stress and sleep deprivation affect us? What causes cravings and binging?
Why is terminating a fast so critical? What do you eat immediately after stopping? What are the long-term changes?
Whole foods taste better after fasting. Is this a temporary effect?
How do “non-healing wounds” heal after water fasting? How are “diseases that can’t be healed” healed? Why is this regarded by doctors who never actually healed anyone as “criminal quackery”?
Dr. Goldhamer is interested in the “actual causes of death rather than disease management.”
TrueNorth Health Center has a two-and-a-half-month waiting list. Why are prospective patients screened? Is water fasting for everyone?
The goal is healthy life expectancy and avoiding debility. People don’t want to end up with their kids changing their diapers.
Health results through healthful living. Fasting is not magic, just a tool.
Dr. Alan Goldhammer D.C., many have walked out “cured” from his facility with simple water fasting, April 1, 2021