|Fasting: The Therapeutic Fast |
If chronic illnesses are evident, such as arthritis, malignant states, ulcerative colitis, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, it is very advisable to stay permanently away from red meats such as pork, beef and lamb and consider the vegetarian way of life. If this is too difficult after a period of really good progress in overcoming the signs of the previous disease, it might be permissible to add fish, shell fish and chicken. There are several reasons for the use of vegetable proteins rather than animal that have already been discussed in the chapter on nutrition. It is also of interest to note how many people lose their appetite for meat on completion of the fast. Another benefit is that the appetite can once again discriminate between foods that are health building and those that destroy the body. The latter are very likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth that may persist for as long as several days. The so called junk foods destroy this discriminative sense and induce cravings for sugar, salt and other harmful foods.
The Significance of the Fast
Returns from a follow-up letter Meadowlark sent to fasters who were in a position to evaluate their fasts after a period of three or more years, reveal these remarks:
"was able to eliminate most of my migraine problems" . . .
"for at least six months there has been no evidence of hypoglycemia" . . .
"exhaustion gone, no depression" . . .
"the sustained weight loss was certainly helpful" (10 pounds lost on 11-days' water fast still sustained). . .
"malabsorption problem is lessened" . . .
"It cleared my excess mucous problem" . . .
"able to stay off prednisone" . . .
"blood pressure now normal."
Most of the fasting guests have noted that they have made permanent changes for the better in their diets with a greater feeling of health and well being; this usually means far less use of meats, refined foods and a greater consumption of vegetables in particular. The majority have kept on a regular, increased use of exercise as a part of their ways of life. Several have made a practice of finding time for daily meditation.
In conclusion may I share the comments of a housewife/psychologist who captures the meaning of her fast through reviewing her personal journal and sharing it with us:
My fast of 14 days at one time and 21 on another occasion, drinking only water and herb teas, took off 25 pounds. I have kept 10 to 15 off since then. It is like leaving one country and going to another. I still fast one day a week. My blood pressure is now normal, the blood sugar has leveled off, exhaustion is gone and I no longer have periods of depression. I came to fasting exhausted from too much concentration on my job, home, friends, children, community activities . . . Fasting is a place removed from daily toils and has allowed me to open up the emptiness inside of me . . . I have wept freely, I feel no regrets and desire to go deep inside so that my steps in the future represent the path the Real Me wants to tread, not just continuing on with the conventional pattern that is not an expression of my life. I am renewed and invigorated by finding my inner resources and goals and dreams are still there and in good order. I fasted 11 days at Meadowlark, then two week of reflection at home, eating again and now my second fast at Meadowlark . . . I am feeding my long needed hunger. I shall leave here in a few days much more in tune with the beauties of nature, the joys of my life and with strength, courage and resolve to change the things that must be changed. As I make the needed changes, I know the empty places will be filled with joy. For I saw sign in my first dream that said, 'the joyous Spirit of God is within you.'
Cadbury, Henry 1., George Fox's Book of Miracles, pp. 33, Cambridge University Press '48
Stechschulte, D. and Dunn, M.; Starvation and Heart Failure, J. of Kansas Medical Society, Nov. '65 pp.5OO Suzuki et al.; Fasting Therapy for Psychosomatic Diseases with special reference to its indications and therapeutic mechanism; Tohuku J. Experimental Medicine, 118 Suppl. 245, 1976.
Duncan, Garfield—In fasting 1300 patients, Allan Cott reports his success with the treatment of hypertension, impaired pulmonary function, chronic heart disease and psoriasis
Cott, Allan; Fasting; the Ultimate Diet, Bantam Books '75
Shelton, Herbert; The Hygenic System, Fasting and Sunbathing Vol. III Dr. Shelton's Health School, San Antonio, Tex. 1934 revised 1963
Knutson, K.E. and Selinus, R.; Fasting in Ethiopia; An Anthropological and Nutritional Study; Am. J. Clinical Nutrition 23 (7) July '70.
Gandhi, M.K.; Gandhi's Autobiography, the Story of My Experiments with Truth; Public Affairs Press; Washington, D.C. '48 7. Coca, Arthur F., The Pulse Test; Arco Publ. Co. N.Y.
Randolph, Philpott and Mandell; various papers delivered to groups interested in Medical Ecology. Also see Dickey, Lawrence; Medical Ecology; Thoms, Springfield '76
Bircher, Ruth, Ralph, Alfred and von Brasch; Eating Your Way to Health, A Penguin Handbook; Baltimore '72
Luce, Gay Gaer; Body Time, Pantheon Books '71
National Institute of Mental Health, Chevy Chase, Md., '70; Biological Rhythms in Psychiatry and Medicine '70; Tompkins and Bird; The Secret Life of Plants; Harper and Row Publ. '72
Sakr, Ahmad; Fasting in Islam; Am. Diabetic Ass'n. Vol. 67, July '75.
Boyd, Doug: Rolling Thunder; Random House, N.Y. '74
Theosophical Research Center, London: Some Unrecognized Factors in Medicine; Theosophical Press, Wheaton, Ill. '39.
Assagioli, Roberto: Psychosynthesis; Hobbs, Dorman Co. N.Y. '65.
Levi: The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ; Leo Dowling, publisher, Los Angeles, 1908.
Potassium supplement: Sodium bicarbonate 2 parts Potassium chloride or citrate 1 part Citric acid 2 parts.
PH indicator papers - obtainable through Micro Essential Lab. Brooklyn, N.Y. specify range 6-8.
Spencer: Lancet '68 Mount: Lancet July 6, 1944 Sakr, Ahmad (see note #10)
Bieler Broth: Equal amounts of green beans, celery and zucchini are placed in a saucepan with a small amount of parsley. Water is added. Cook on low heat for ten minutes until vegetables are just tender. This is blended till of a creamy consistency and then served.
Wine, D.B., Crumpton, E: Group Psychotherapy with 27 Starving Men, Psychiatry Digest 29 (7): 17-20, July '68.
Muesli: Note 8 above
About The Author
Regarded as “the father of holistic medicine,” Evarts G. Loomis, MD, was an internationally known homeopathic physician, surgeon, author, lecturer, and visionary. Preferring to be called “Evarts” rather than “doctor,” he was inspired to conceptualize holistic medicine while a young doctor working for the Grenfell Mission in Newfoundland....more