My wife and I will be headed to Germany for a 28-day fasting retreat! (She is along for moral support!)
People often ask “why so long?”
I’ll cover more about the “why” and “how” of fasting in future posts. However, to net it out:
- I have excess fat in my liver, like many other TOFI Asian Americans, which led to a diagnosis of Type II diabetes back in 2003.
- I want to do prolonged fasting to “stress” my liver cells to “restart” fat absorption and to reverse the disease.
- Without all the science fully understood, there has been a centuries-old tradition of fasting for health and well-being across many different cultures.
While I’ve done 36-hour fasts and 3-5 day fasts on my own before, I wanted to learn more from extended fasting under medical supervision. There were three different options I considered:
- Intensive Dietary Management, a distance coaching program founded by Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist who has authored very educational blog articles and books about fasting and diabetes treatment. I’ll dedicate a post to Dr. Fung’s work in the future.
- TrueNorth Health Center, a clinic in Santa Rosa, CA, founded by Dr. Alan Goldhamer, lead author of a 2001 paper “Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension.” TrueNorth was founded in 1984 and today treats people with Type II diabetes.
- Buchinger-Wilhelmi, a clinic on Lake Constance, Germany with 100 years of clinical experience in therapeutic fasting.
All three choices sounded viable! However, the Buchinger-Wilhelmi option felt the most “immersive” to me. In addition to just fasting, the program combines:
- therapeutic fasting
- integrative medicine
- psychotherapy and coaching
- nutrition and dietetics
- exercise and relaxation
- inspiration and spirituality
- daily activities (e.g., walking tours, workshops and courses, lectures, training courses, concerts and literary evenings)
The clinic is a fourth-generation family-run business and started after the founder, Otto Buchinger, started a 19-day fast in 1919 to cure his rheumatoid polyarthritis. They have been treating patients with therapeutic fasting ever since!
Plus, look at these surroundings!
We will be doing a 28-day program, which we believe will involve:
- 4 days to ease into fasting
- 20 days of fasting-mimicking diets
- 4 days to ease off of fasting
We will also get medical checkups to ensure all is going well!
We’ve been asked by many to keep them up-to-date on what happens. We’ll let you know on this blog. Subscribe for updates!