Heilfasten: So fasten wir – Was Sie noch nicht über Fasten wussten

Therapeutic fasting: This is how we fast - What you did not yet know about fasting

More and more people are looking into the topic of fasting. With the first Marienkron Fasting Survey, our partner, the Kurhaus Marienkron, shed light on the state of knowledge, motives and experiences of the Austrian population regarding the conscious renunciation of fasting. We have summarised the most important results.

(Digestive) rest through starvation

Even early humans benefited from the fact that their digestive system - through phases of starvation followed by phases of food intake - was repeatedly allowed to rest. This ancient programme is still anchored in our genes. For Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen, chief physician at Immanuel Hospital Berlin, fasting is the therapeutic supreme discipline: "It is easy to perform, costs little and is very effective for treating and preventing diseases - for example, high blood pressure, rheumatism, type 2 diabetes, allergies, migraines, sleep disorders, neurological diseases and much more.

Dr Ulrike Göschl, head spa doctor at Marienkron, describes the reasons for fasting as follows: "Fasting is primarily seen as an anti-aging measure and health prophylaxis. Many also understand it as time out to find their way back to a healthier, more conscious lifestyle."

Over 500 Austrians were surveyed in the Marienkroner Fasting Survey and the survey reveals the following results:

Majority already have experience with fasting

Already 58% of the respondents have had their own experience with fasting. Almost two thirds fast "according to their own assessment", without professional guidance or obtaining information in advance. "Healthy people in middle age who do not have any major health problems can normally go on a five-day soup fast without any problems," Dr. Göschl knows. "However, it must always be discussed individually with the doctor on a case-by-case basis," she advises. "As soon as fasting is used therapeutically, care must be taken that fasting also influences the effect of medication and other therapies," says internist and nutritionist Michalsen. For this reason, ideally, there should always be medical supervision. Furthermore, there are many legends and myths about fasting that are not scientifically proven. Here, sound advice is important.

In the survey, the majority of those with fasting experience (60.8 %) said they fasted for between 2 and 7 days. Dr. Göschl advises to take enough time for a fasting cure, also before and after: "When starting fasting, relief days should be taken beforehand and especially after fasting, time is needed for the build-up days".

Loss of weight and detoxification as motivations for fasting

The primary motivations given for fasting were losing weight (30.7%), and cleansing and detoxifying the body (29.7%). "By reducing to the essentials and relearning satiety and a fine sense of taste, fasting can promote a change to a healthier lifestyle," says Dr Ulrike Göschl.

This is also confirmed by the results of those who have already fasted once. When asked about the effects of fasting, the most frequent mentions of those who had experienced fasting were weight loss (37.9%) and improved well-being (20.5%).

Intermittent fasting is the most popular type of fasting

When asked about the different types of fasting, half of Austrians know about intermittent fasting. "Interval fasting - especially the 16:8 method, which involves eating in an 8-hour period and giving the body a 14-16 hour break from eating - seems to be a megatrend," says nutrition specialist Prof Michalsen. A comprehensive scientific review published in the New England Journal of Medicine at the end of December 2019 emphasises the numerous benefits of fasting with a focus on interval fasting. The mechanisms of action - first and foremost autophagy, the formation of new cells - have been scientifically confirmed.


Also very well-known forms of fasting are therapeutic fasting (45.6 %), soup fasting (43.8 %), and fasting according to F.X. Mayr (22.8%) or the Buchinger fasting method (4.6%), which is also practised as part of the Accompanied Saint Charles Fasting Week.

 

We are Health Allies - The Saint Charles Partnership with Marienkron

In 2020, we have a number of activities planned together with the Marienkron Spa House. In spring we started with some lectures on fasting. Special emphasis was placed on the correct use of fasting cures and on the best-known type of fasting, interval fasting. On 31.03. our last lecture with Dr. Ulrike Göschl on the subject of "Interval Fasting" will take place in our Saint Charles Complementary.

From 19-26 April 2020 there will also be a 7-day fasting cure, incl. 3 workshops on naturopathy, aromatherapy & herbal salves, in collaboration with our Saint Charles Apothecary at the Kurhaus Marienkron.

Registration for the fasting week is now possible at info@marienkron.at or by calling +43 (0) 2173 80205-0.