بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
THE BENEFITS OF FASTING
According to recent medical science and researches
Dr. MIAN IHSAN BARI (m.b.b.s, r.m.p, phs(1)
In this article you will come to know
some of the tremendous benefits that can be derived from a properly
conducted fast. When properly utilized, fasting is a safe and
effective means of maximizing the body's self-healing capacities.
The results can be truly amazing. Before going on to describe some of
the many advantages of fasting, let's define it. Fasting is the
complete abstinence from all substances except pure water, in an
environment of total rest. Let's also keep in mind that fasting
is only one part of the total health-supporting program we call Natural
Health results from healthful living.
No matter how successful a fasting experience might be, it needs to be
followed by a consistently healthy lifestyle. The requirements of
health must continue to be provided — especially in the areas of
diet, environment, activity and psychology.
The examples that follow are just a few of the many beneficial uses of fasting.
An aid in transition:
It is astonishing to see that
thousands of patients from all over the world who had a wide variety of
disorders <health concerns> and a great many of these patients
required a period of supervised fasting to achieve their health
goals. Virtually all of them needed to make lifestyle changes to
achieve improved health. Fasting made the transition easier!
My observation is that the best
motivating factor in helping people adopt healthful living practices is
often the positive reinforcement that comes with feeling good and
Fasting, for as few as five days to
as many as 40 days, will often dramatically shorten the time it takes
for an individual to make the transition from a conventional diet
and lifestyle (with all the associated addictions, pains, fatigue and
disease) to the independent and energetic state associated with
People who undertake a fast in
a supervised setting, tend to achieve health more quickly than those
who attempt changes without a fast. The intensive health
education, plus the emotional support they receive during their stay,
result in increased compliance with dietary and lifestyle
A speedy recovery:
When individuals try to make major
dietary changes without the benefit of a fasting experience, they often
become frustrated. The transition to a healthful eating pattern
can make you feel sick. Symptoms such as fatigue, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, joint pain, headaches,
skin rashes, irritability, depression, etc. are just a few of the
common problems that can arise as the body attempts to eliminate
toxins, metabolic byproducts, etc., and adjust physiologically to a
health promoting diet.
It is difficult to get people to
practice new healthful living habits for long unless they begin to
experience some benefits quickly. Changes that may take months
(or even years) with careful eating may occur much more quickly if a
properly supervised fast is utilized. This is an important
consideration because once people begin to realize their health
potential, they become a likely candidate for a lifelong commitment to
Addictions to drugs such as alcohol,
cocaine, nicotine and caffeine are examples where fasting can
dramatically reduce the often protracted withdrawal symptoms that
prevent many people from becoming drug-free. Most people are
surprised at how easy it is to quit smoking or drinking with the help
Uterine fibroid tumors:
Fasting can often be especially
important in situations where drugs or surgery have been
recommended. When uterine fibroid tumors contribute to pain and
excess bleeding, a hysterectomy — removal of the uterus —
is often recommended. A proper fast will often dramatically
reduce the size and effect of these tumors. I have treated
numerous women who have been able to successfully avoid hysterectomy
using conservative methods. Ovarian cysts and cervical dysplasia
also often respond favorably.
Back and neck problems:
Back and neck pain are remarkably
responsive to conservative care. In my institution I utilize
fasting, rest and exercise, improved posture and body use, and when
appropriate, chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy. It
is interesting to note that often patients with chronic pain who have
received extensive treatment, including drugs, surgery and
manipulation, will experience dramatic improvement through the use of
A case history:
Recently a young man was treated who
was a Natural Hygienist since birth, who had been in a severe
automobile accident four years ago. He had suffered with constant
neck pain and headaches since the accident. His greatest concern
was his tendency to pass out unexpectedly. Apparently the
dysfunction in his neck had interfered with the autonomic portion of
his nervous system altering blood flow to his brain.
After a period of four weeks of care,
which included a fast, followed by careful re-feeding and, in his case,
spinal manipulative therapy, this individual made an excellent
response. At his three month follow-up he reported complete
absence of neck pain and headaches and had not felt faint or passed out
since his stay at the Center.
Most cases of cardiovascular disease
are also responsive to conservative care. In 154 consecutive
cases of high blood pressure [hypertension] that I have fasted, 151
(98%) have been able to achieve and maintain normal blood pressure
without the use of medications. [Complete details of this study will
appear in an upcoming issue of Health Science.]
Angina and intermittent claudication
are examples of conditions that will often respond rapidly to
fasting. Often patients can achieve freedom from pain and
medications within a few days or weeks. It is not unusual to see
cholesterol levels drop as much as 100 points with diligent effort.
Disturbances of the gastrointestinal
system — including esophagitis, gastritis, colitis, constipation,
bloating, and the symptoms associated with so-called "candidiasis"
— usually respond well to conservative care.
My most recent case of
gastrointestinal disturbance was a young woman with severe colitis
[inflammation of the colon]. She reported severe, constant
bleeding through the rectum. She said that despite continual
medical treatment with cortisone, implants, and a wide range of other
medication, she had bleeding with every bowel movement for eight
years. Her physician had explained that surgery would have to be
After we had eliminated her
medications, a period of fasting was undertaken. Within a week,
the constant pain was resolved. By the 10th day, the passing of blood
and mucus had stopped. After two weeks of fasting we began to
carefully feed her. Her bowel movements were blood-free from the
first. At her three-month follow-up she reported feeling great
and completely free of any significant bleeding or problems.
Many chronic degenerative conditions respond well to fasting and a Natural Hygiene lifestyle. Diabetes is no exception.
Working with diabetic patients is
very satisfying because the consequences of the disease are so
devastating and the results with conservative care are usually so
dramatic. Most adult onset diabetics can be brought under control
and freed from the use of insulin and other medication through the use
of fasting and a carefully followed diet and lifestyle program.
Such a program will allow most diabetics to achieve a high level of
function and the ability to maintain normal sugar levels without
There are exceptions:
Not everyone is a candidate for
fasting. There are a number of factors to consider before a fast is
recommended. My procedure is to first review the patient's
medical history and perform a comprehensive physical examination
including appropriate laboratory or specialized diagnostic tests.
I then review my findings with the patient and make appropriate
recommendations. These may include dietary and lifestyle
recommendations. These may include dietary and lifestyle changes,
exercise programs, etc., and, when indicated, fasting. When
fasting is indicated, patients stay at my institution.
Not every individual or every
condition will respond to conservative treatment. Occasionally
medical care may be necessary. When a medical consultation or
treatment is indicated, the safest methods available should be utilized.
Where to fast:
With the possible exception of very
short fasts in acute disease — such as a cold, fever, etc.—
all fasting should be undertaken in an institution under the direct
supervision of a doctor trained in fasting supervision. A
certified member of the International Association of Hygienic
Physicians would by far be your best choice.
Fasting in an institution offers
several advantages. The most important is the constant
availability of an experienced doctor to guide and advise you.
Most institutions have an educational program designed to help you
better understand Natural Hygiene — the science of health.
The benefits of being in a clean, quiet and emotionally supportive
environment should not be underestimated.
In addition, a timely and proper
termination of each fast is critical to the long-term success of the
patient. Fasting under the supervision of a trained, qualified
doctor is your best assurance of a well-conducted, beneficial fasting
A Case Study:
Chronic gastrointestinal disorder:
"A woman came to a medical center who
had suffered chronic constipation for more than 20 years. She
complained that she had not had a single spontaneous bowel movement
during that time without the assistance of enemas, colonics or
"She fasted for a period of 12 days,
during which time she experienced mild discomfort and referred low back
pain. On the fifth day of feeding after the fast, she was having
spontaneous, normally formed bowel movements — and she had
continued to have them since.
"The long-term follow-up for people
who stay on the Natural Hygiene dietary program is excellent.
Chronic constipation is definitely a problem that people can learn to
A natural process:
"Fasting, or the abstinence from
food, is a means used in nature by all creatures from the beginning of
time. Either by instinct or intelligence this means has been used
to assist the body to relieve itself from discomfort, pain and disease.
"Regulatory and reparative processes
of the body are given unimpeded encouragement by the temporary omission
of food. No other form of health care can boast the rewarding and
gratifying results in the elimination of disease and the restoration of
"Fasting, once considered a fad, has
gained acceptance not only by a constantly increasing segment of
society — and has also earned the stamp of approval by many in
the scientific community.
"Under qualified and experienced
supervision, fasting is the greatest gift which can be given to an
overburdened, sick body without benefit of any other form of therapy or
An empowering rest:
"Fasting is simply a process of deep
physiological rest. This rest period helps you rebuild
functioning power and recover from the energy dissipation caused by
hectic daily schedules and abusive living habits.
"When outside stressors, dietary and
therapeutic influences are eliminated during the fasting state, fasting
reveals the baseline status of your body. This enables you to
become more sensitive and connected to your body. This connection
fosters a greater awareness of the instinctive biological and emotional
requirements that are essential for the maintenance of health and
Unfounded fears about fasting:
"Unfounded fear is a peculiar state of disease within the imagination, arising largely out of a lack of knowledge.
"If we are slaves to unfounded fears,
we are also slaves to beliefs and practices and action which are
inconsistent with our well-being. So it is a matter of necessity
that we understand fasting and all its facets if we are to overcome the
fears that are associated with it.
"Many people attempt to solve the
problems of life, the distresses of the body and the anxieties of the
mind with food and drugs. They have great fear about not eating because
they have experienced the headaches, the weakness and distress they
associate with it, and they are convinced that food and drugs are the
answer to their problems.
"How can you convince someone that
going further without food is a matter of necessity for the recovery of
his health? Only through knowledge and enough suffering to change
"The best way to dispel unfounded
fear about fasting is with knowledge — knowledge that breeds
confidence, confidence that engenders beliefs, and beliefs that result
in correct action."
Making wise decisions:
"Not everyone is a good candidate for
fasting. Many factors need to be considered before a fast is
undertaken. Not every condition will respond optimally to fasting
and conservative care alone. Occasionally, medical care may be
" When a medical consultation or treatment is indicated, the safest methods available should always be utilized."
Heightening your awareness:
"A wonderful thing about fasting is
that it puts an interval between the behavior that you are accustomed
to and the behavior that you aspire to. We tend to be creatures
of habit, and the ways that we are accustomed to eating and living feel
as natural to us as breathing. That is why it is so difficult for
people to stop bad habits. But fasting brings your present
lifestyle to an abrupt halt. It gives you an opportunity to
pause, reflect and decide how you are going to conduct your life
afterwards. This enables you to make a break with your past and
set off in a new, more positive direction.
"There is nothing routine about
eating after a fast. Each meal is a celebration. After
fasting, you tend to be very conscious about what you are eating, and
why. Fasting heightens your awareness, as well as your
appreciation for food. By fasting, we learn to eat with reverence.
"It is the non-doing aspect of
fasting that enables us to make behavioral stopping and pausing and
interrupting our usual patterns, as we learn to take more conscious
control of ourselves.
"There is no better way to stop a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior than by fasting."
Dr. MIAN IHSAN BARI (m.b.b.s,r.m.p,phs(1)
CHAIRMAN ANJUMAN FALAH-E-MAZLOOMAN PAKISTAN
BARI FREE SERVICE PAKISTAN(FOR PHYSICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, LEGAL, MEDICAL AND GOVERNMENTAL DISEASES)