Article #2: Fasting Not a Cure By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
In 1959, a veterinarian who was employing fasting in the care of his animal patients and had done experimental work with fasting, wrote me: "In running down Dr. Pochedly's bibliography on fasting, I find that an extensive amount of fasting was done by medical men and osteopaths as recent as 1930, with excellent results being obtained in many symptom-complexes—the greatest factor in the subsequent failure of the laudation of fasting seems to lie in the fact that no one knew how to direct the patient to live so that he would not sink back into his symptom-complexes. Nothing is said about removal of causes."
The doctor here puts his finger on a vital point. The after-care of the faster is every bit as important as the proper conduct of the fast itself. All of the benefit derived from a lengthy fast may be wiped out in a few weeks or in a few months by improper living following the fast. The assumption, so commonly made, that fasting is a cure and that all one has to do is to fast and he will be well, has resulted in many failures. It is important to understand that health is rebuilt by a total way of life of which fasting is but a part.
It is also important to know that fasting does not make one proof against the effects of wrong ways of life. If one is addicted to smoking or drinking alcoholic liquors, the fast will not enable him to continue these practices with impunity. Only "cures" hold out to man the hope of recovery from the effects of causes while these causes are still in operation. Only "immunizers" hold out to man the hope of being made cause-proof. "Cures" and "immunizers" are thaumaturgic processes—they belong to voodooism, not to science.
The doctor's statement underscores the importance of proper supervision of the fast and the subsequent program of living which is vitally essential to full results. It also, by inference, stresses the importance of education in correct ways of living. Not merely should one eat correctly following a fast, but one's whole pattern of life should be brought into harmony with natural law. If this is not done, the results of the fast will not be lasting.
It is important, in this connection, to emphasize the fact that, if one is to maintain the gain made during a fast, one must rigidly adhere to a Hygienic plan of living, at least, sufficiently long to consolidate the gains made. Were it possible to wipe out the effects of a lifetime of wrong living by a few days to a few weeks of fasting and completely restore health by this means alone, it would mean that the wrong living was not so bad after all. It would mean that one may drink, smoke, overeat, overindulge, and neglect himself to his heart's content, and then take a fast and wipe the slate clean. Only cure-mongers would hold out such a promise and false hope to the suffering.
Altogether too many members of the cure-oriented schools of so-called healing have dabbled in fasting. It is a matter in which they are untrained and for which they are unqualified. No amount of training in drug therapeutics, in manipulations, in spinal adjusting, in electro-therapy or in surgery can possibly qualify a man to conduct fasts. Fasting is a subject that must be studied and in which one should have guided experience, before attempting to conduct a fast.
Home > Lesson 48 - How To Break A Fast; After The Fast
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