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Buchinger Guidance

Questions & answers about the BUCHINGER method

The original BUCHINGER method is renowned for its excellent support and gentle introduction into daily life once the fasting is completed. Our clinic offers you the best conditions to see out your fasting cure. There are a few questions, though, that our guests would like to have answered prior to their arrival at the clinic.

Our medical director, Dr. Verena Buchinger-Kähler, will answer the most common questions on the BUCHINGER therapeutic fasting cure here. These answers do not aim to replace a medical examination. Carrying out an anamnesis at the start of your stay is an essential part of therapeutic fasting.

Why take part in a fasting cure?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: First of all, a therapeutic fasting cure physically improves the health of your body. Therapeutic fasting can improve all health issues, where conventional treatment with medicine would otherwise be the commonplace alternative. It is a wonderful therapeutic option, particularly for afflictions such as metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthropathy or autoimmune illnesses.

Experiencing a therapeutic fasting cure is not only wonderful for the body, but for the mind too. In our clinic we encourage our guests to break with their daily routine. Our daily lives are often dictated by mealtimes which are not required when fasting. This allows a fasting person to contemplate many other aspects of his / her life. Patients often lose several kilograms in the process. They learn to better consider their own personal circumstances.

We support this form of strategic finding on many levels. Our psychologist helps to bring light into the darkness, in group and individual sessions. Therapeutic fasting is a good way of engaging in this catalytic process.  The Detox aspect of fasting literally encourages the purging of inherited burdens.

For all intents and purposes, fasting is a spiritual experience. My great grandfather put a lot of emphasis on the religious dimension of fasting. Today, this has taken more of a subordinate role in our method, even though we continue to see ourselves as a Christian home.

A lot of our religious patients experience a moment of absolute clarity during fasting. They benefit from being removed from their daily routines and the ability to focus on their own wellbeing.

This is a very important aspect of therapeutic fasting: It is not only the physical aspect that is considered, but also the emotional realization: what have I been missing? What do I enjoy? How do I treat my body? The interaction of these dimensions is an important focus during the process of therapeutic fasting

We have two groups of guests: There are those that fast for physical reasons. These people often tell us of spiritual experiences that occur to them during their stay. Conversely, the other group consists of spiritual guests that are often amazed at the physical effects of fasting.

How long should you fast?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: There is no across-the-board answer to this question. It depends on whether you want to resort to the preventative or therapeutic aspect of fasting. Preventative therapeutic fasting can be carried out in shorter stays. Most of the individual residencies are shorter, but more frequent. Our guests that fast for preventative reasons, often come to us twice a year for seven to ten days.  

In general, I would recommend a minimum of 14 days for the first residency. This allows you to experience the complete cycle, from anamnesis to re-adaptation.  If fasting for therapeutic reasons, such as illnesses of the joints, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or similar illnesses of the bowels, the first fasting cure should last at least three weeks.

What is the maximum amount of time you should fast for?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: In theory, there is no maximum amount of time. My great grandfather spoke of patients that fasted up to 60 days. In our clinic we do not allow anyone to fast for more than 28 days. This ensures that all the positive effects of fasting as experienced.

How often should you fast?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: Again, there is no guideline in this regard. It would be advisable to fast regularly. Scientific studies prove that regular fasting stimulates the brain. It promotes the cross-linking of the brain cells. Patients that have had a stroke usually experience a quicker regeneration of the brain, if they have fasted regularly. How often you need to have fasted, in order to speak of regularity, has not yet been proven.

Diabetes patients also report that they require smaller doses of medication up to three months after a therapeutic fasting cure. Regular fasting is therefore helpful for many groups of people.

In practice we often experience guests changing their eating habits after a fasting cure. After some time, circumstances change and many of them revert back to “fast” food. They then come back to our clinic and are pleased to receive the help and support that we can offer them.  

Why is it necessary to purge during therapeutic fasting?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: Purging is an essential part of the BUCHINGER method. To start off the fast, the colon is cleansed. This is traditionally carried out with Glauber’s salt, but other purging agents can be used if there is an intolerance. The intestine reabsorbs less toxins, when cleansing has taken place. The patient is less prone to headaches and the feeling of hunger is significantly reduced.

Colonic cleansing needs to be repeated during the fasting cure. Patients are given an enema every two days or Passagesalz as an alternative.

When do you lose the feeling of hunger during fasting?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: Once intestinal voiding has taken place, most patients lose the feeling of hunger. Headaches are seldom, particularly when the patient drinks sufficient amounts of fluids. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the individual needs of the patient. If someone enjoys drinking a lot of coffee, they should not have to give this up completely as the body may otherwise react with headaches.

What does traditional European medicine mean to you?

Dr. Buchinger-Kähler: Traditional European medicine is a type of medical science that has been practiced in Europe for many hundreds of years. Over the last decades we have seen a rise in popularity for traditional Eastern methods, but there are also European approaches in medical science that consider the treatment of a person as a whole.

The term as such is fairly new, although many methods are already known under the term naturopathy and have been applied in our clinic for many years. Traditional European medicine includes methods such as liver packs, Kneipp-medicine, herbal medicine according to Hildegard von Bingen, homeopathic and anthroposophical medicine, to name but a few.