History of Fasting

Theory of Fasting

The Technic Of Fasting

The Hygiene Of The Fast

Natural Therapy



AT ONE point in the discussion comment is made to the effect that one of the chief difficulties presented by the fast is its simplicity of application. In a sense this statement is paradoxical, but the method has been criticised adversely because of injudicious trial by subjects who deemed that the sole essential of this natural aid to health is abstinence from food. There are reasons that are obvious for this erroneous conception, which is based upon generally displayed and deplorable ignorance of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Physical pleasure and physical pain are recognized sensations, but their causes, save as to the acts that produce them, are most infrequently investigated and are still more seldom understood, even when scientifically explained. The author believes that most mature intellects are capable of grasping the essentials of human anatomy and physiology, and for that matter those of any of the systems of therapeutics, that of medicine included.

But science has invented a language of its own--its terms are more or less foreign to the lay mind. And suffering humanity is not at all prone to devote many moments to the translation of prescriptions in order to discover the nature of their ingredients. What it wants is relief, and it wants it delivered with despatch. And because humanity in general spends little time in educating itself in the care of its bodies, excepting in superficial ways, when illness occurs, it is necessarily dependent upon its physicians, to whose interest it is to offer to the patient assistance but not knowledge. It is really an attempt at release from this sort of dependency that causes the average mortal to grasp at some suggested remedy, whether it be a palliative that has relieved a suffering neighbor, or whether it be the promise of systemic purification which he is told will result from the omission of the ingestion of food for a time. But, again, in the average case, because of anatomical and physiological ignorance, difficulties are sure to arise. It is the desire of the author to present the details of the method described herein in statements so plain, so free from technical wording, that any seeker for truth in the cause of disease and its natural treatment may at once read and understand.

A fast should be undertaken only in the presence of disease, and it should be scientifically conducted. The latter statement should be taken as meaning that, in so far as the anatomical and physiological state of the patient may be discovered by symptom and examination, they should be observed and understood. Only in this manner may it be determined whether systemic purification by the interrupted fast or by one protracted to the return of natural hunger is the course to be pursued. If morbid conditions, other than those that are at first apparent, are latent, if the body has been carrying the burden of organs that are structurally defective, the fast is certain to uncover the facts, and it is then altogether probable that symptoms will develop that will need to be coped with by competent experienced hands. When, however, derangements that are purely functional are in question, a self-piloted case may progress to the end of the period of abstinence with success, but may not be able to solve the problem of breaking his fast assured of conserving all of its benefits.

An experienced director of the method is well aware that there are subjects, in number sufficient to be distinguished as a class, who, through physial defect in organs, store within the system food-poison in amount greatly in excess of that which is discovered in ordinary cases of functional disease. These subjects are to be grouped under Class 2 in the division of general disease forms tabulated previously. In them, constant stimulation, which is directly due to cumulative poisoning in progress, prevents recognition of the presence of the toxins themselves until some more serious indiscretion completes the overturn of physical balance. If now a fast is begun without preparation, difficulties are immediately encountered, for elimination commences with a rush of impurities seeking escape from the system, and, for a time, the tide is irresistible. Food cannot be taken, even though the will to eat exists, and abstinence must continue until systemic purification is accomplished. In these circumstances, during the first days of fasting distressing symptoms may develop, and dread of the outcome may lead to an attempt to supply food. If this is done, the trouble will be aggravated, for the whole organism is saturated with toxic material, and nourishment added then is just so much poison the more. Fear now takes full possession of family and friends, and perhaps of the patient as well, and the deadliest foe to the means that nature employs in dealing with disease is called to offset the work already accomplished. Medicine and neglect of the enema will then no doubt complete what food occasioned, and the chances are that death will ensue. In an instance such as this no defense of the method is accepted, and it is visited with wide-spread and emphatic condemnation; whereas, were the conditions observed received at their real worth, they would be recognized as natural and salutary in origin and action, and as evidences that extreme and successful organic effort towards cure was at work.

To break a fast in the manner described is a much more serious matter than to do so upon an incorrect dietary at the logical end of abstinence. But the point of greatest import here to be given attention is that of the confidence that should be engendered and the care that should be taken lest, when distressing symptoms occur, fear step in and with it food and drugs. Relief for localized pain and distress lies in the administration of copious enemata, duplicated and reduplicated, for only in this manner may prompt removal of their toxic causation be effected.

In the ordinary instance a successfully completed fast should be broken by the ingestion of the juices of ripe fruit or of broths prepared from vegetables. The juices of fruits that are fully ripened are most easily changed in mouth and stomach for subsequent digestive processes, and there is but small effort in handling them. The same reasoning is applicable to the use of vegetable broths, strained through a coarse kitchen sieve so as to remove fibrous material and hard solid particles. There are many vegetables that lend themselves readily to the preparation of these broths, and, when the latter are made as indicated so as to exclude all but finely comminuted solid matter, they are easily digested and their products are assimilated promptly and without difficulty. When using the juices of fruit to break a fast, it is suggested that those of sweet fruit be not mixed with those of acid. One fruit at a time is the rule. At first the broths should be confined in preparation to one vegetable, such as the tomato or the onion. Later they may be varied in ingredients, and combinations may be made of two or three kinds. The tomato is perhaps the one vegetable that lends itself most satisfactorily to the breaking of a fast, and it is in constant use for this purpose by the author.

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