Fasting: the history of the method

Statue Of Starving Buddha

Perhaps no period in human history when people would not have used starvation for the purpose of improvement. Almost all the written sources all peoples regardless of religion, area of residence, race, there is mention of fasting. All of this suggests that this method for centuries has shown its effectiveness. At all times it was used by doctors, philosophers and priests. In Ancient Egypt, in ancient India and Greece dosed starvation was used as for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes, and to strengthen the spirit.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 BC) stated that "the Egyptians are the healthiest of mortals, for every month in the course of three days, carry out the cleansing through vomiting and clitherow, believing that all illnesses a person receives through food."

There are indications of the use of fasting in ancient India, Tibet and China. In the book "a popular guide to medical science of Tibet — Zhud-Shi" says: "About the treatment of vpityvanie and fasting".

It is known that Pythagoras (580-500 BC), Greek philosopher and mathematician, founder of a famous school of philosophy, systematically starved for 40 days, rightly believing that it enhances mental perception and creativity. A strict 40-day fast on water only he demanded from each of his numerous disciples and followers. In addition, Pythagoras himself and his followers adhere to a strict vegetarian diet. According to the testimony of biography, Pythagoras was satisfied with honey, bread, not drinking wine. Its main food was cooked or raw vegetables. Rejecting the conventional animal food already at the age of 19, Pythagoras lived to very old age, maintaining clarity of thought, purity of spiritual thoughts and aspirations.

Plato (427-347 BC), student of Socrates, Greek philosopher, shared the medicine to "true", which really gives health, and "false" that gives only "the Ghost of health." To the first he took the treatment by fasting and diet, air and sun.

Hippocrates (460-357 BC) — a physician who owns a great medical commandment: "do Not harm!", was an ardent supporter of moderation and treatment of hunger. He wrote: "go to the addition of food should be much rarer, as it is often useful to completely take it away where the patient can stand it, until the force of the disease will not reach its maturity. The person carries a doctor yourself, you just have to help him in his work. If the body is not cleansed, the more you feed it, the more you'll hurt him. When the patient is fed too liberally, and also feed the disease. Remember — every over is contrary to Nature".

Asclepiad (90 BC) practiced methods of treatment, called them "Leasingrate and reoperate", which were not than other as use of periodic fasting with parallel appointment of baths, rubbing, and gymnastics.

Plutarch (45-127 years BC), the greatest biographer of antiquity, was also a supporter of abstinence and vegetarianism. He spoke with deep conviction: "Instead of taking medication, it is better to starve one day."

The idea of fasting for health continued to wander in the minds even in the middle ages — the period of obscurantism and ignorance. And, of course, with a new force, they broke out during the Renaissance. Indicative in this sense, the history of Ludwig Cornaro (1465-1566.). Venetian nobleman, Cornaro was no different from the people of his circle: also indulged in drinking, excessive eating and drinking. It is not surprising that for 40 years Cornaro was bedridden with severe illnesses. Neither the best doctors of Italy, nor various medicines not been able to help him. All (including doctors) were confident that Cornaro days are numbered. However, there was a doctor who, contrary to professional superstition of the time, suggested that Cornaro periodic strictest abstinence from food. And a miracle happened. Cornaro died. Moreover, during the year he got rid of all their ailments. On 83-m to year of life, he wrote his first treatise "a Treatise on the temperate life." Then wrote several treatises, the last at the age of 95 years. Cornaro died at the age of 102 years in Padua a century, once asleep in the chair and did not Wake up.

In this historical excursion not to mention about the English doctor Tea (1671-1743.), which he himself passed through all the circles of hell that is associated with excessive eating pork chops and a propensity for ale. Dr. Chine the first of the doctors called for fundamental reforms in diet and treatment of diseases through fasting.

And, of course, mention should be made of the physician Friedrich Hoffmann (1660-1742.), which is widely used fasting, claiming that it indicated for plethora, arthritic, rheumatic and catarrhal phenomena in apoplexy, scurvy, skin diseases, malignant ulcers, and cataract. His first rule was: "every disease of the patient is best not to eat anything".

The same rule preached and the founder of rational hygiene. Guepard (1762-1836.), who wrote the book "МакробиотикаиИскусствопродлитьчеловеческуюжизнь". He also recommended that patients not is, "because the very nature of the abomination of a man in sickness to food shows that we are not able at this time to digest".

Yes, over the last century hundreds of scientists in different countries studied the physiological effects of fasting, putting the laboratory experiments are mainly on animals. They conducted surveillance on the people, making a major contribution to science, expanding our knowledge about the biological aspect of the dosed starvation.

In America for a long period of fasting for therapeutic purposes began to apply in 1877 Dr. Edward Dewey. He argued that all diseases, accompanied by loss of appetite, furred tongue, patient must not eat until then, until he appears appetite and is not clear language that indicates the ability to digest food again.

Dr. E. Dewey was a proponent of fasting long duration. Some patients refrain from eating in the appetite and cleanse the language of up to 50 or even more days. After Dr. Dewey starvation with the purpose of treatment experienced American doctor Tanner, who called periodic abstinence from food "elixir of youth".

"During the course of medical science, — wrote Dewey, I began to doubt the efficacy of medicines, but after I first treated with conventional methods. Among my patients was a girl, sick with typhus, who instinctively demanded to be allowed to starve, since all food was distasteful to her. Because everything she ate caused her vomiting, I had to let her hunger. The girl has recovered. This case induced me to use starvation and other their patients. The experience further convinced me of the healing properties of fasting. I increasingly began to rely on starvation and was expelled from his practice of medicine."

A student of Dewey and a follower of the doctor Linda Bathild, Hazzard published popular inengland and America the book "the Hunger — cure diseases." It complements the method of Dr. Dewey, putting to use enemas, Spa treatments, massage, exercises and a vegetarian diet after treatment.More widespread fasting received at the turn of XIX and XX centuries after the reform movement in medicine in favor of natural, non-drug therapies. A great activity in this direction has developed a prominent hygienists, and dietitians such as Bircher Benner, Noorden, Hague, Paid, Mueller and others. Fasting was recognized by them as a natural method of therapy. In Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States was even opened a special hospital for those wishing to undergo treatment for starvation. First of all, these resorts have a lot of empirical experience of treatment by starvation, however, without appropriate experimental studies.

A significant contribution to this issue has made an outstanding Russian scientist pathophysiology head of the Department of pathological physiology of the Military medical Academy of St. Petersburg, V. V. Pashutin and his disciples. They have found that in starvation the loss weight by 20-25% in the organs and tissues of the body is not observed any pathological changes, and only with weight loss to 40%, they are felt. With these data, fasting many doctors have become widely used even in outpatient practice. By the way, not only doctors. Before world war II in Russia, therapeutic fasting has actively popularized Alexei Suvorin, son of the famous publisher and owner of the printing house in St. Petersburg. The Soviet government, however, was not very fond of the enthusiast, and he was forced to emigrate to Yugoslavia, where Belgrade has published several books: "the Improvement of hunger and food", "Treatment by fasting" (publishing house "New man", Belgrade, 1931). Meanwhile in Russia, the disciple and follower of A. suvorina Moscow economist N. Sutkovoi continued his work on the popularization of fasting. He has published several pamphlets on therapeutic fasting. However, in 1957 N. Sutkovoy was arrested at the railway station in Rostov-on-don, was placed in Rostov prison, and soon executed without a trial...

By the way, the proponents of fasting have experienced pressure not only on the part of representatives of official medicine. In the US, the world-renowned Dr. Allan Cott was forced to close his clinic. He was tired of getting letters threatening to kill and listen to the same threatening phone calls from representatives of the pharmaceutical mafia, who feared that the widespread introduction and application of fasting-diet therapy (RDT) will undermine their business.

In 40-ies of XX century Moscow doctor N. P. Narbekov has successfully used the method of fasting in bronchial asthma, hypertension, obesity. Since 1956, academician L. N. Bakulev successfully applied fasting in the treatment of cholecystitis, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, many cardiovascular diseases.

A great contribution to the development of the method was published in Moscow in 1969 the collection "problems of fasting" that was the hallmark of many of the developments of dozens of scientists, such as academicians of the USSR Academy of medical Sciences, P. K. Anokhin, A. Pokrovsky, N..Fedorov, Professor ys Nikolaev. The collection consists of 4 big parts, which gave a deep rationale the neurophysiological, the biochemical and pathophysiological bases of fasting. This is "the Neurophysiology of hunger and satiety", "Pathophysiology of fasting", "the Biochemistry of fasting", the "Clinic of medical starvation". Of great importance for the introduction and spread of fasting was the work of a number of foreign scientists – Herbert Shelton, Arnold de Vries equation, Field Bragg (USA) since the beginning of Motoo (Japan). All of these authors on the vast statistical material confirm the high effectiveness of the method.

A major role in the scientific substantiation and practical application of the method played experts: Y. I. Polishchuk, G. I. Babenkov, B. A. Bryuzgin, V. B. Gurvich, M. N. Volgarev, V. A. Maximov, V. A. tutelian and A. M. Coco, V. A. Mironov, M. P. Nevsky and others.

But the most significant contribution to the development of the method and its implementation in our country and abroad was made by the academician S. Nikolaev. It is the first time so fully substantiated the main indications and contraindications, described in detail the clinical stages of fasting, has developed the most effective and safe methods of its implementation. Due to fundamental scientific works of Yu. P. Nikolaev starvation in the 50s of the last century has been approved by the Ministry of health of the USSR, as an official method of treatment, called fasting-diet therapy (RDT). Academician Y. S. Nikolaev rightly called the Patriarch of fasting in Russia and abroad.

A great contribution to the development of the theory and practice of fasting has made George A. wojtowicz, who developed the method of fractional starvation.

Starvation as a method of treatment of most diseases, despite the opposition of conventional medicine and pharmaceutical companies, though slowly, but continues to evolve. It's not lost in the mists of time and there will be a great future.published



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