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Otto Buchinger I.

The founder of the therapeutic fasting cure

The founder of the BUCHINGER-Method is born on February 16th, 1878 in Witzenhausen an der Werra. Shortly after his birth the family moves to Darmstadt where his father takes on a civil servant position with the Hessian grand duke.  Otto Buchinger graduates from secondary school in Darmstadt – even if, it is said, his mathematical ability almost let him down.

At the behest of his father, Otto Buchinger enrolls in the study of law at the Hessian Ludwigs University in 1897. Had he followed this path, we would probably not know therapeutic fasting cures in the way that we do today. Thankfully Otto decides to go against the wishes of his father and changes to medicine after only one semester. Apparently it was not only the young student’s predisposition, but also the later lecture times, that led to this move. Following a break to complete his military service, Buchinger continues his studies in Munich. It is here that he receives his approbation on December 30th, 1901.

After university, Otto Buchinger begins working towards his Doctorate, titled „Symptoms of character misjudgments”, which he does not complete. In 1902 he receives his Doctorate for his work on the topic of “how pepsin changes the electric conductivity of milk “.

Otto Buchinger subsequently begins working as a naval doctor. This job sees him in many locations around the world. When his ship springs a leak on the coast of Cape Town, Otto Buchinger meets his childhood girlfriend Else Sander. Back on home territory they agree to marry on 12. December 1908. Together they move to Wilhelmshaven and their marriage produces four children: Hans Wolfgang, Hertha, Otto Hermann Ferdinand and Maria Johanna.

Once discharged from his career as naval officer, Otto Buchinger is plagued with strong rheumatoid arthritis. Several treatments, one of which is a longer stay in an officer‘s clinic, do not seem to help mitigate the pain. Otto Buchinger decides to try a fasting cure with Dr. Riedlin in Freiburg, which seems to bring the expected relief. Following this experience, Otto Buchinger dedicates a lot of his time and energy into the research and development of the therapeutic fasting cure.

In 1920 he founds the „Kurheim Dr. Otto Buchinger“ in Witzenhausen, his place of birth. There, he works as lecturer for tropical hygiene at the German colonial school. The following 15 years sees an influx in numbers of spa guests in Buchinger’s clinic. In 1935 the fasting clinic moves to the spa town of Bad Pyrmont.

The rule of the national socialist party also has its effect on the clinic. There are frequent house searches, and in 1941 Otto Buchinger’s assistant is arrested. Later on some of Buchinger’s property is confiscated, and the clinic is only able to run at minimum capacity. Once the tyranny has ended, the clinic is handed back its property. In 1946 Otto Buchinger II. returns from captivity to Bad Pyrmont. From here on father and son manage the fasting clinic together.

In 1953 Otto Buchinger hands over the Directorship of the clinic and moves to Lake Constance, where he spends the remaining years of his life. Otto Buchinger I. died on April 16th, 1966 at the age of 88 years.

A glimpse of the life of Otto Buchinger I.