Otto Buchinger – doctor and pioneer of therapeutic fasting
As the son of a civil servant, the boy followed Otto Buchinger I. initially his father's wish to study law. However, his passion for medicine led him to his true calling after only a short time. So he changed his field of study and received his doctorate at the University of Giessen. He then worked as a military doctor in the Imperial Navy.
But as is the case in life, everything suddenly turned out differently for Buchinger - severe tonsillitis and the health consequences of it cost him his job. He suffered from severe rheumatism in his joints, which could not be treated with the treatments known at the time.
After two years, Buchinger decided to abandon the tried and tested methods and look for answers outside of conventional medicine. So he ended up with a doctor friend and under his supervision completed a 3-week fast. And lo and behold: giving up solid food and consciously dealing with one's own body led to the relief of his symptoms - and thus to the birth of the Buchinger Fasting .
Driven by his own success, Otto Buchinger I studied everything there was to know about therapeutic fasting and opened his own clinic in 1920 to pass on his findings to others. By linking mental and physical health, he created a holistic approach that is still practiced today - among others in the fourth generation Buchinger Clinic .
What characterizes Buchinger fasting?
The Fasting according to Buchinger involves much more than just abstaining from solid food. Because it focuses not only on the body, but also on the mind and soul, which are intended to find peace during the fasting cure. Buchinger therefore referred to therapeutic fasting as a “diet for the soul”. The aim of Buchinger fasting is to trigger the body's own self-cleaning processes and thus activate its healing powers.
Otto Buchinger I used this method to treat numerous health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and gout. Even today, therapeutic fasting is still a popular tool for taking a break and cleansing your body, mind and soul.
How does Buchinger fasting work?
In contrast to total fasting, Buchinger fasting involves consuming around 200 to 300 calories a day through vegetable broth, freshly squeezed juices and teas. Solid food is completely avoided. The treatment is therefore also referred to as a low-calorie drinking diet. The Fasting duration Traditionally it is between two and four weeks. Basically, the Buchinger fast is in three phases which are also part of our Body & Mind fasting treatment:
In the relief days the body is prepared for therapeutic fasting. Eating light foods reduces your calorie intake, which gradually changes your metabolism. At I·DO we focus on four coordinated juices for a day Raw food quality . Finally, the stomach is completely emptied, which, according to Buchinger's method, is traditionally done with Glauber's salt.
2. Fasting phase
From now on, only water, tea, organic vegetable broth and fresh juices will be drunk every day. The digestive tract comes to rest, the body changes its metabolism and begins Ketosis , in which fat reserves are used for energy. In order to relieve the strain on the intestines, bowel evacuation is carried out regularly during longer fasting treatments.
It was important to Otto Buchinger during the Fasting phase also to pay attention to the psyche. Exercise in the fresh air, self-care units and mindful workouts such as yoga are expressly encouraged during Buchinger fasting. On the one hand, sporting activity helps to clear your head and on the other hand it prevents the body from drawing too much protein from the muscles.
To support the mental aspect of the treatment, our Body & Mind fasting package is equipped with soothing extras, such as alkaline bath salts, a dry brush and a Redondo ball.
Tip: In the first few days of the fasting treatment you may experience mild side effects such as headaches and dizziness. These usually subside quickly - and you get a fasting high!
3. Breaking the fast
Otto Buchinger I celebrated the end of the fast - the so-called breaking of the fast - in his clinic by handing over an apple. In the following construction days The body gradually gets used to solid food again. He should gradually be given more calories again: on the first day around 800 kcal, on the second around 1,000 kcal, then 1,200 kcal and on the fourth day around 1,600 kcal. The body begins to gradually recover energy from the carbohydrates provided and ends ketosis.
By the way: Easily digestible raw food is the optimal choice for breaking your fast, which is why we are once again relying on the energy kick from fresh juices for our Body & Mind fasting treatment.
What does the therapeutic fasting cure bring to Buchinger?
Buchinger himself was convinced that his fasting method could alleviate numerous health problems. Both physical ailments such as obesity, high blood pressure and migraines as well as mental illnesses are still treated according to his example.
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) there are scientifically proven effects of therapeutic fasting for certain complaints, for example for metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation or psychosomatic illnesses. Overall, however, the data on effectiveness is quite limited, which is why the success of fasting cannot be guaranteed and always depends on the individual case.
As an introduction to a conscious lifestyle, Buchinger fasting is always advisable for healthy people. Because through conscious abstinence and careful handling of body and mind, self-perception and awareness of one's own (eating) behavior are trained. The therapeutic fasting treatment acts as an energizing new start.
Who is Buchinger Fasting suitable for?
The traditional therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger is used both for health prevention and for the treatment of certain diseases. The fasting cure is usually supervised by a doctor or carried out in a fasting clinic. This ensures that the method meets the needs of the patient and is carried out correctly. So if you want to combat health problems with a therapeutic fasting regimen, you should definitely clarify this with an expert.
In order to bring body, mind and soul into balance, healthy people can also undertake a fasting regimen on their own. But here too, you shouldn't just give up solid food overnight. With the help of special fasting packages such as our Body & Mind cure, starting and maintaining fasting is made much easier.