Therapeutic Fasting

An Introduction to the Benefits of a Professionally Supervised Fast

When the body is provided with the requirements of health, including appropriate diet, environment, activity and psychology, optimum health can be maintained.  If these requirements are not adequately provided, health will be compromised.

Often, the best means of facilitating the restoration of health is therapeutic fasting. It allows the body to create a unique physiological healing response that is unparalleled. Therapeutic fasting is defined as the complete abstinence from all substances except pure water in an environment of complete rest.  There are no substitutes.  When therapeutic fasting is indicated, nothing else can be considered “just as good.”

Going without food, even for a few days, while working, exercising, worrying, etc. is not therapeutic fasting.  A noisy, high stress and/or non-supportive environment will not provide the body the opportunity to maximize the self-healing mechanisms.  To maximize the benefits of therapeutic fasting, complete rest is essential.

Eating only certain foods or drinking only juices is not therapeutic fasting.  The physiological and clinical impact and benefits are different.  This is not to say that juice diets or so-called elimination diets do not have a role.  But they are not the same as therapeutic fasting.

When properly applied and conducted, therapeutic fasting is one of the most potent tools available for assisting the body in healing itself.  When abused or applied injudiciously, harm can result.  The most important advice I can give anyone regarding fasting is this.  If you are going to undertake a fast, do it right or don’t do it.

Professional Supervision

With proper supervision and careful clinical monitoring, therapeutic fasting is safe and effective as a means of helping the body heal itself.  But as with any activity there are inherent risks.  I advise anyone contemplating a therapeutic fast to consider utilizing a certified IAHP professional who is trained in its use.

The International Association of Hygienic Physicians is an association made up of primary care physicians who specialize in the supervision of therapeutic fasting.  Each certified member is a licensed medical doctor, chiropractor or osteopath who has completed a minimum six-month residency program in an accredited institution specializing in therapeutic fasting.

The IAHP has established standards of practice for fasting supervision and is currently conducting fasting research.  With the recent increase in number of certified professionals, a safe and effective fasting experience is more readily available than ever before.

For more information on Fasting, visit our page: Therapeutic Intermittent Fasting


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