The new trend for a healthy, Zen life
Did you know that in Germany, more than 5 million people have already gone on a fast? Now I don’t know if this says more about German cuisine and the “Naturheil-kunde”, a lively tradition of natural medicine, or if it’s just a case of them rapidly taking up on what is becoming the latest fashion in diets.
There is no disputing the fact that the world’s population is becoming increasingly obese – you need only look at recent statistics to bear this sad fact out.
Modern lifestyles of increased consumption of fast foods, more time spent sedentary at work with less time for physical exercise and a very tense and accelerated pace, and, in many countries, just plain over-eating, are a fact of life nowadays in many parts of the “industrialized” societies around the globe. Not, by any means, a good situation for longevity and healthful lives.
So it’s little wonder that fasting – and this does not mean just stopping eating – is being adopted by many as a way to improve their health, well-being and overall physical and emotional condition. But for such an approach to work successfully, it is necessary to take certain precautions – not the least of which is to fast in a “healthy” fashion, preferably under proper supervision by those who know what’s best in order to enhance your health and immunity instead of continuing on the dead-end downslope to obesity and all the in-herent dangers to your life and health this can lead to.
A civilized solution:Therapeutic fasting
Aware of this new trend for fasting and its therapeutic benefits, the Buchinger Clinic on the German bank of Lake Constance offers a unique place to find – finally – the right answers to breaking the vicious circle of over-working, overeating, alcohol and tobacco consumption, lack of sleep and of positive emotions, stress and all the rest of the negative inroads to your health brought about by “modern” life and to get back in touch with well-being and joie de vivre.
In an idyllic, bucolic setting, the clinic is a place apart where the body and soul can get back into harmony. Being a hotel, spa and clinic for more than 50 years, Buchinger has been following an approach of “integrative medicine”: each person having treatments is under the responsibility of and monitored by a doctor throughout their stay. Nothing is left to chance – laboratory tests, check-ups at the start of the day, daily appoint-ments with the most attentive care staff and a final check-up before leaving.
Through an experiment that is recognized throughout the world, Buchinger’s core know-how, referred to as “therapeutic fasting”, conducted in an atmosphere of confidence and self-esteem for absolute relaxation and interruption of all patterns of everyday routine.
The fasting philosophy at Buchinger Clinic is quite simply: “Less is more”.
With the Buchinger fast, you live on your reserves – the body’s cells are fed by the fat and the substances that can be drawn from the reserves, with the result that fasters do not feel hungry at all.
The faster’s menu is made up of mineral water – between 1.5–2 litres a day – fruit juice, vegetable broth and herbal teas with honey (adding up to about 250 kcal) and, depending on medical advice, protein and vitamins. These supplements stimulate the burning of fats and encourage the body to save its proteins thereby rendering the 250 kcal per day a catalyst to mobilize your own reserves better.
The keys to a successful fast
In undertaking a fast at Buchinger, the success of a stay there relies on 7 main factors:
- A good balance between rest and Daily physical activity (suitable for the individual’s level of training).
- Simulation of the elimination process by the skin, kidneys, liver, intestines and lungs to enhance detox.
- More than 80 different individual and group therapies as well as cultural and entertainment programmes.
- Individual, continuous, medical therapeutic care.
- Fasting supplements and a stepwise return to a healthy, balanced diet.
- An alternative detox procedure, a creative yet tasty vegetarian diet with 100% organic products.
- “Soul food”.
During a fast, you obviously lose weight – from 200–500 g a day. But that’s not all. You will also notice cell decongestion, better quality sleep, a deep feeling of calm, improved blood and lymph circulation, younger-looking skin, the elimination of retained water and salt, and even – should you be a smoker – the desire to give up smoking.
At a psychological level, fasting also increases self-confidence and sensory perception. You feel stronger, happier in yourself and ready to take up challenges that seemed insuperable before. Your mood is more in harmony. In short, fasting enables you to adopt a new attitude to food and to have a different relationship with it, which will ultimately make it easier for you to maintain the right weight.
Reviving your taste buds and more
Whether the regime is supervised fasting or the 800–1200 low-cal per-day alternative, at Buchinger this does not mean that you will be ingesting sundry titbits devoid of taste. From the various varieties of vegetable broths, fruit juices and herbal teas to the low-fat, fresh, organic dishes such as red pepper stuffed with a vegetable ragu of tofu and roasted pine nuts to the clinic’s famous muesli, your taste buds will not only revive but you will regain the joys of savouring tasty, well-prepared, nourishing food again.
By resetting your palate to zero, you’ll rediscover the real meaning of “the pleasures of the table” – a pleasure multiplied ten fold by being able to appreciate and enjoy food once more, even the simplest foods.
But as well as its renowned fasting and low-cal programmes, Buchinger Clinic also comprises within its six houses in a verdant park overlooking Lake Constance a spa providing programmes ranging from biocos-metics to shiatsu massage, essential oils therapies and hair care, together with a heated swimming pool open year round and a quiet room for meditation and contemplation, while enjoying the magnificent view over the lake.
Above all, your stay at Buchinger’s will put you back on the right track to a healthy lifestyle and physical and spiritual well-being. Could there be a better reason?
A note from the publisher
As publisher, I rarely if ever express my personal opinion on speci-fic subjects in this magazine. In the case of the Buchinger Clinic, I will, quite happily, derogate the rule. I was introduced to the Buchinger method in 1990 and have visited the clinic on the shores of Lake Constance numerous times since. I have come to the conclusion that whether the strains or stresses of everyday professional or family preoccupations are getting the better of you or if you feel overweight and unresourceful, this is the one place you should consider for some time off with yourself.
The Buchinger Clinic is not your run-of-the-mill spa. It is a haven of peace and a place where to review body and mind. I can but strongly recommend you visit them. Do so and I guarantee that you will find your new self.
John François Béguin
Founded by Dr Otto Buchinger (1878–1966), a medical officer in the Imperial Navy at the beginning of the 20th century who contracted acute rheumatoid arthritis but recovered after he fasted for 19 days and who welcomed his first faster as a patient in 1920, Buchinger Clinic Bodensee in Überlingen opened in 1953.
Dr Buchinger’s daughter, Maria Buchinger Wilhelmi opened a Buchinger centre in Marbella in 1983. Today, the Buchinger Clinics are run by the third generation Raimund and Dr Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo.