Fasting / Detoxification is an important initial step taken with many, though not all of our patients. This is a period of time, differing with each person, to allow the body to rest and undergo a period of cellular detoxification. This initial step is often critical to the success of a patients health recovery program.
Easier to Give Up Addictions
Patients commonly find that in addition to accelerating their recovery process, detoxification/fasting is an excellent way to begin the process of breaking addictions to toxic habits such as tobacco, alcohol, junk food, coffee, etc. Giving up such unhealthy habits can be very difficult unless the body is first purified.
Once the body has been given the opportunity to undergo a period of extended rest and detoxification most people find their old toxic cravings to have vanished. They discover (often to their surprise) that old toxic cravings are gone and that they now find themselves desiring the healthy bounties of nature such as raw, juicy, fresh fruits, crisp flavorful vegetables, raw nuts, pure water, etc. Sleep becomes deep and restful, the mind becomes clear, thoughts become more peaceful and many experience an overall calm.
Rejuvenation and Repair
Detoxification permits years of accumulated metabolic wastes in the cells to begin to be eliminated, and allows the gastrointestinal, immune, and other systems a chance to rest and repair.
Good nutrition and good health cannot be achieved simply by putting foods, even "natural foods" into our mouths. Our bodies must be able to digest, absorb, and assimilate the nutrients to the cellular level and to efficiently dispose of the waste products produced in the metabolic processes.
When wastes have accumulated faster than the body can rid itself of them, the cells can no longer utilize nutrients efficiently and become compromised in their ability to stay healthy.
This is evidenced by such symptoms as fatigue, indigestion, sluggish bowels, diarrhea, headaches, menstrual problems, depression, skin disorders, musculoskeletal aches and pains, and eventually by degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, colitis, allergies, etc.
A period of total abstinence from food, taking water only (fasting), or being on a liquid diet or eliminative diet of some type, when properly supervised and executed allows the body the opportunity to catch up on its housecleaning chores and discard cellular wastes.
After this is accomplished, the cells work much more efficiently and are better able to utilize the nutrients ingested. Many patients experience dramatic improvements in the way they feel after just a few days, and "hunger pains" generally disappear between days two to four.
Note: Not all patients at our clinic fast. This is an individual choice made in consultation with each patient. In some cases fasting is contra-indicated and there are better options for the patient to take. All fasting is conducted on an out patient basis or at The Retreat at Brooks.
The Fasting/Detoxification Process
The major objective of fasting/detoxification is to allow for the body to regain its energy reserves. It is therefore important to rest as much as possible during the detoxification period. The more energy expended through work, exercise, or other forms of physical exertion, the less benefits one receives. Rest is essential!
During fasting/detoxification there may be discomforts as the body unloads wastes from junk foods, drugs, overeating, bad emotions, polluted air and water, pesticides in the foods, and metabolic wastes the body had not been able to discard previously.
Withdrawal symptoms from coffee and other drugs may occur as well as from sugar and foods that one is allergic to. Common symptoms include restlessness, headache, nausea, and a temporary worsening of whatever prior symptoms the patient had as the body directs its energies towards correcting those problems.
Please read Bumps on the Journey by Dr. Goldberg to understand this in greater detail.
During the fasting process Drs. Goldberg and Tener check patients on a daily basis if the fast is conducted beyond three days. Rest is essential during the fasting period. See below.
After Drs. Goldberg and Tener decide to terminate the fast or liquid diet, patients are given a transition program to follow. This is an important time and directions should be carefully followed. The benefits of a fast can be ruined if the transition period is not adhered to.
Patients are then given a health program to follow which will include personalized recommendations for them to follow including dietary measures, sleep, rest, exercise, sunlight, water, supplements (as required) and other particulars in light of the patients condition, examination and lab findings.
Questions And Answers
Is it safe to fast?
Every animal in the wild stops eating when ill, as do young children instinctively when they are not feeling well. Fasting is a process as old as life on this planet. Every night when one goes to sleep one fasts until the next day. Only man eats more based on psychological appetite rather than true physiological need. Overeating is one of the single greatest reasons for diseases of all kinds.
"We live on one third of what we eat. The physician lives on the other two thirds." --Benjamin Franklin
Fasting has been utilized throughout the eons by peoples around the world as a restorative measure back to good health. It was used by Hippocrates and the ancient Hebrews including Moses and Jesus who each fasted for forty days and forty nights.
Fasting is extraordinarily safe and effective if done properly under competent supervision. Done haphazardly without supervision, it can be dangerous. Each person is different as to how long they should fast and must be supervised each step of the way. We do not recommend fasting without experienced supervision.
What qualifies Dr. Goldberg or anyone else to supervise a fast?
Experience. Dr. Goldberg worked at a Natural Hygiene Institute as a resident student from 1976 to 1977 learning how to properly conduct fasts. He was involved on a day-by-day basis over the period of a year in the fasting supervision of over one thousand five hundred (1500) resident guests.
At the Natural Hygiene Institute in Florida he was trained by Dr. R.J. Cheatham, a renowned Natural Hygienist, and later Dr. Goldberg was appointed Health Director of the Institute. Since that time Dr. Goldberg has supervised over five thousand (5000) additional persons in his clinic with a wide variety of health problems. He has studied the fasting and Natural Hygiene literature extensively, particularly the works of Dr. Herbert Shelton. As a Professor of Clinical Nutrition, Functional Gastroenterology and Functional Rheumatology, Dr. Goldberg has taught University Students and Physicians for over thirty years on the Physiology of Fasting.
Dr. Goldberg is a member of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians of whom there are less than twenty-five certified members in the United States. This organization certifies doctors in fasting and the hygienic care of patients.
Dr. Goldberg completed a Fasting Internship under famed Hygienic Practitioner Dr. William Esser of Esser's Hygienic Rest Ranch in Lake Worth, Florida. Dr. Esser who passed away in 2003 at the age of 94 was co-founder of the American Natural Hygiene Association. Dr. Esser supervised over 40,000 fasts over sixty years of practice.
Clinical fasting is not part of the curriculum at any medical college, graduate school, or professional school in the United States. It is only through experience and internship that these skills are acquired.
Four thousand fasting patients later our clinic has not had one adverse outcome. On the contrary, we have had numerous rejuvenated clients who have improved their health, revitalized their tissues, and greatly decreased their risks for developing serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease in the future.
Once I have completed my fast can I go back to my old eating and other habits?
If you do you will develop the same health problems again. The fasting procedure is not a cure, it is a beginning. You must follow up by following the right hygienic health habits.
Do you ever have the patient complete more than one fast?
Yes. For some a single fast is not enough, particularly if they have been following destructive health habits for many years and/or if they have a serious illness. For some patients several short fasts may be preferable over a single longer one.
Can I continue to exercise while fasting?
The objective of the fast is to rest the body. To expend energy exercising during the fasting period would be counterproductive to our goal of rejuvenating the body and restoring its vital energies. Exercise is gradually resumed after the fast is completed.
Do all your patients fast?
No. Some initially follow a liquid diet of some type. Some do not undergo a detoxification program until later and others do not undergo any stringent detoxification program at all. Each case is different.
Do you put some of your patients on a juice fast?
There is no such thing as a juice fast. If one only drinks juices, then one is on a juice diet. A fast is when one takes water only.
When a patient is unable to stay home and rest during the fasting period, a liquid diet of some type such as a juice diet may be recommended to allow the patient to continue light work during the detoxification period.
I noticed by the second day of the fast that my tongue began to get heavily coated and that my breath began to get bad. Why?
As wastes are eliminated from the cells of the body they will be eliminated through the normal avenues including the gastrointestinal tract, the lungs, and the skin. When the elimination process is sped up and made more efficient during fasting the excess toxins often result in a bad odor to the breath and skin. The entire gastrointestinal tract will frequently develop a coating from the excess wastes being eliminated including a coating on the tongue. One should be pleased that the body is eliminating the wastes now and avoiding many serious health problems in the future.
What drugs may I take while fasting?
Taking drugs and fasting is strongly contra-indicated. Patients on drugs must first take preliminary steps to allow sufficient recovery to get off any drug(s) prior to consideration of fasting.
Have you ever had an emergency with somebody you were supervising for a fast over the past thirty-five years?
None with my own patients following the directions given to them.
I have been called upon by other practitioners, their clients, and by an occasional student when I was teaching at the University who were fasting without experienced supervision, regarding problems they encountered - some of which were significant. No one should fast without experienced supervision.
How can I learn more about fasting?
The best way is to undergo a supervised fast yourself. It is a grand experience physically, mentally, and spiritually. Afterwards one finds themselves able to think more clearly, better able to appreciate the natural tastes of fresh raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other natural foods that nature provides, and generally more capable of enjoying life overall. It can be a life changing experience.
You may also wish to read books on fasting. I recommend reading Fasting Can Save Your Life by Dr. Herbert Shelton to start with. Another good book is Therapeutic Fasting by Arnold DeVries, which you can find at this free online library http://soilandhealth.org.