Life got in the way, and this is my first blog post of 2019. I’m writing this post on a return visit to the Buchinger-Wilhelmi fasting clinic in Germany. The clinic provides an excellent venue for a mental “reset” to capture thoughts and reflect back on life outside of the day-to-day!
Returned to share with family
The primary motivation for returning to the clinic was actually to share the fasting experience with our college-age daughters. Fasting is a centuries-old tradition (often accompanied with religiosity) which modern American society has stifled.
I’m currently at the clinic in Germany with our older daughter (rising college senior) who is on a 14-day program. My wife and our younger daughter (rising college sophomore) will join us after 10 days for a 21-day program. While our older daughter has to return the US, I will stay on the whole time, making for a total of 31 days for me!
Needed the visit for myself!
It turns out this visit to the clinic was well-timed. My weight (and the rest of my statistics) have largely reverted back to levels prior to my last visit to this clinic. Here for example is a graph of my weight, showing it returning to the level I was at before the clinic visit last year!
Along with the weight gain, some other health indicators came back, too. 😢 More on this later!
After completing the first 8 days of the program (arrival day, digestive rest day, and 6 days of fasting), I am reminded of the pros of the clinic and have picked up on (or been reminded of) some cons.
- The fasting program. Buchinger offers a very repeatable plan to make long periodic fasts approachable for everyone. (I documented day-by-day experiences from my first visit previously on this blog.)I am personally down 4.2 kg (9.24 lbs) so far. My older daughter has also been successfully fasting!More significantly, my fasting blood glucose returned to normal levels (below 100) in 4 days with no drugs. This blood glucose normalization is a significant improvement over my first visit when it took 12 days for my blood sugar to return to normal! For this visit, I’m logging my statistics in an Excel Online spreadsheet.
- The operations. Overall, this German clinic in Überlingen is very well run across the medical staff, nursing staff, labs, dining room, housekeeping, therapies, and facilities. (I have not been to the Buchinger-Wilhelmi Spanish clinic in Marbella).
- The guests. The patients come from all over the world and make for interesting conversations!
- The weather in May. This part of Germany can get COLD and WET. Visiting in August was nicer than visiting in early May. Even when it was raining here before in August, it wasn’t so cold. In our first eight days here, the weather has made the early morning walks uncomfortable (it was 36℉ / 2℃ on our first walk this visit!) and has discouraged participation in outdoor activities during the day.That said, we’re here to fast, and that part is going well!
- The repetition. Revisiting the clinic feels a bit like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Part of the power of Buchinger is that they know how to use repetition and routine to foster “duration neglect” allowing the mind to handle a fast of a long duration. The problem is that this subsequent visit feels like a continuation of the first one. The program, the daily hikes, and most of the content are basically all the same from year to year.Still, most people here don’t seem to mind the repetition. I’ve heard that 65% of the visitors here are repeat visitors, and this statistic matches with my experience taking to people on an ad hoc basis. In one discussion group of 6 people, everyone in my group except for me had been to the clinic at least 4 times! On our last visit here, my wife and I met a gentleman from Egypt who had been here 37 times!
- Cost. With our credit card bill coming due during our visit, I am reminded of how much money this place costs. Ouch!Still, this price for this stay for the four of us is cheaper than potential long-term medical bills or even a semester of private college tuition, room, and board! And, to be fair, there are costs on the clinic’s side, as there are about 300 very professional employees on staff to serve just over 160 patients at a time.
Watch this space
While I do not plan to post as frequently as last year, I’ll continue to update this blog with impressions from our second visit to Buchinger Wilhelmi!