How can I study while I am fasting?

Fasting according to Buchinger: definition and methodology

Dr. med. Christian Kuhn

"Fasting is as old as the peoples of the earth" With this sentence Otto Buchinger began his book "The Therapeutic Fasting" in 1935, with which he helped fasting in the form he modified to achieve worldwide dissemination and recognition. Fasting takes hold as a holistic experience of the human being in his unity of body, soul and spirit.

In earlier times, fasting was practiced as a mental and spiritual exercise to strengthen the soul and spirit powers, and as such it has its place in all major world religions to this day. At the same time, it is used in naturopathic medicine in a preventive and therapeutic-healing manner as the most intensive of all draining procedures to cleanse and stimulate the self-healing powers.

What is fasting

Fasting is the conscious, voluntary (in contrast to starvation) renouncing solid food and luxury foods for a limited time. It is nutrition from within. Fasting cleanses and regenerates. Fasting requires an individual amount of exercise and sufficient rest. When fasting is carried out correctly, there is no hunger and full physical and mental performance is maintained.

Who shouldn't fast

Those should not fast who cannot make or cope with conscious, voluntary renunciation because they are mentally or mentally severely impaired. Fasting is also contraindicated in people who have no reserves for "nutrition from within", that is, who are seriously underweight with advanced cancer, for example, or with malnutrition, severe hyperthyroidism or anorexia nervosa (anorexia). People with advanced liver or kidney disease cannot fast. Pregnant and nursing mothers should not fast because the metabolic changes caused by fasting could harm the child. As a rule, children and adolescents should not fast either, so that no deficiency symptoms are risked during the growing season.

How to fast

According to the definition, the following inner attitude should be brought into fasting: the voluntary willingness to renounce, the desire for inner purification, the positive confidence that fasting is a great holistic experience (no fear of media reports or comments from people who have never fasted themselves or have insufficient knowledge of the methodology), the joy of movement, rest and reflection.

The outer frame

Holistic fasting should be done away from everyday life. The biblical image of "going into the desert" means seclusion, peace and quiet. Fasting is therefore very well combined with days of silence, relaxation exercises, meditation and spiritual practice. Every kind of stress damages the fasting organism, which switches from extrovert (directed outwards) to introvert (directed inwards) and from sympathetic (high-performance) to parasympathetic (regeneration-oriented). At least the first fasting experience should take place under experienced guidance so that the methodology can be properly observed and helpful interventions can be made in crises. It is also useful to experience the first fast in a small group.

The preparation: the discharge day

After internal attunement and organization of the external conditions, one prepares the organism for fasting with one or two days of relief. There are about 600 calories, mostly carbohydrates, no fat, very little protein. Usually you do a good dose of vitamins with one

  • Fruit day: 1.5 - 2 kg of fresh fruit spread over 4-5 meals throughout the day.
  • Stomach and / or intestinal sensitive people prefer a day of rice: cook 3x50 g brown rice in double the volume and eat with 200 g unsweetened compote or 200 g steamed vegetables. Or one
  • · Oat day: Briefly cook approx. 35 g wholemeal flakes 3 times in water, plus 100 g fruit or vegetables each.

Such a relief day can also be "interposed" once outside of fasting, to compensate for a "gourmet day", with a full or new moon or for other reasons. Of course, you shouldn't drink coffee or alcohol, eat sweets or smoke on the day of relief. You should drink plenty (at least 2 liters) of calorie-free fluids (water or tea).

Getting started with fasting - thorough bowel evacuation

The next day fasting begins with a thorough emptying of the bowel, usually with 40 g (2 heaped tablespoons) of Glauber's salt in ¾ l of warm water, drink quickly for about 15 minutes, then drink 1 l of water or tea after about ½ hour. Then the diarrhea-like bowel movement begins, which lasts 2-3 hours. Those who are sensitive to the stomach or intestines only take 20 or 30 g of Glauber's salt or instead drink a laxative tea the evening before or take laxative drops or initially make enemas.

The fasting process - stimulation of all elimination processes

Fasting should encourage all elimination processes. This is done through

  • Daily exercise; this causes:
  • Increase in general blood circulation
  • Improvement of the general purification
  • Increase in breathing
  • Better oxygen uptake
  • Better (carbon) acid exhalation
  • Increased heat production (the fasting organism is more likely to freeze due to a lack of heat production from the digestive processes)
  • Active sweating promotes excretion through the skin (see below)
  • Avoidance or reduction of protein breakdown from the muscles (see below)
  • Stabilization of blood pressure
  • Stimulation of the lungs. The lungs are important organs of elimination for (carbon) acids
  • Stimulation of the kidneys
  • by drinking a total of approx. 3 liters of calorie-free liquid per day. The urine should be almost colorless.
  • Stimulation of the liver with a hot pack (hot water bottle wrapped in a damp cloth in the area of ​​the right upper abdomen). The liver empties its excretion with the bile into the intestine.
  • Regular bowel cleansing: Since the bowel, which is thoroughly emptied at the beginning of the fast, hardly moves when there is no food supply during fasting, regular bowel evacuation is necessary to dispose of the bile and to excrete the intestinal mucous membrane cells that are sloughed off daily and dead intestinal bacteria, usually by an enema with one liter of chamomile water at body temperature every second day; Alternative methods are laxative tea, laxative drops or 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in a glass of warm water.
  • Stimulation of excretion through the skin: Excretion through the skin is promoted through active sweating during physical activity or passively in the sauna and through regular skin cleaning and care.

The classic fasting drinks in Buchinger therapeutic fasting are:

  • Mornings and afternoons each ¼ l tea with a little honey, in the case of low blood pressure also black tea, green tea or ginger tea
  • At lunchtime ¼ l fruit juice, freshly squeezed if possible
  • In the evening ¼ l of hot vegetable stock (wash and chop various vegetables and boil in ¼ l of water for 10-20 minutes, strain and season with herbs and spices. If you have low blood pressure, add a little more salt.
  • In addition, at least 2 liters of calorie-free liquid with mineral water or tea. Before and after exercise, two to three teaspoons of honey with tea are helpful for blood sugar levels; Lemon wedges help with sticky taste in the mouth. If you have a sensitive stomach, avoid honey, fruit juices and sour teas and instead drink chamomile / fennel tea and / or some oat or rice gruel, butter or skimmed milk.

The soul-spiritual dimension

In a holistic sense, the human being is a unity of body, soul and spirit. In addition to the coarse physical effects, fasting has its actual roots and its helpful effects in the spiritual and subtle realm. In fasting, by renouncing material nourishment from the outside in, the person becomes more sensitive to psychological emotional perceptions and spiritual spiritual experiences. In addition to the body and the metabolism, the inner person should also be set in motion, especially in times of calm and introversion. Therefore, ideally, holistic therapeutic fasting is combined with relaxation exercises, turning inward, meditation and possibly spiritual practice. In addition to cleansing and clearing the metabolism, clearing processes in the mental area and spiritual knowledge in the spiritual area can also be made possible during therapeutic fasting.

Conclusion and transition to everyday life - "breaking the fast" and "building up time"

Breaking the fast is the end of the fast. On the last day of fasting, an apple is eaten slowly and consciously and gratefully at lunchtime (like when leaving paradise) (possibly also steamed apple compote). It's best to chew each bite 25-30 times. This slow conscious eating should be maintained for as long as possible. On the evening of the fasting day, instead of a vegetable broth, there is a thick, non-strained potato and vegetable soup. On the first days of building up, the metabolism that has fallen during fasting is slowly and gradually increased again. The 1st build-up day should have approx. 800, the 2nd approx. 1000, the 3rd approx. 1200 calories, then 1500, then 1800 calories. If the calories are increased more quickly, the result will be too rapid weight gain. The so-called The yo-yo effect is a lack of discipline! To avoid this, there should be enough time and rest for the first few days and stress should be avoided. Because of the high calorie content, fat and alcohol should be avoided for the first few days. Animal protein should only be increased slowly and carefully, yoghurt and quark go well, lots of fruit and vegetables. A spontaneous emptying of the bowel should take place on the 3rd day at the latest. This requires sufficient fiber in the food, i.e. whole grain products such as muesli and / or whole grain bread, prunes and figs, and an abundant amount of water to drink. After 5-7 days you will be back in everyday life, but hopefully more consciously and more attentively for a healthier lifestyle, for good nutrition, exercise and balance of body, soul and spirit.

Photo: Maren Beßler /

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