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Fasting: Good Health Insurance at Bargain Prices
By Frances Adelhardt (NHF Life Member)
June 09, 2004
A few days ago I attended a discussion on the bio-chemistry of depression and its cure. I particularly wanted to attend because I had twice suffered severe depression, and I was eager to learn if anybody else had come across my method of recovery.
Usually, professors will be reasonably competent in public speaking, and, if they don’t have a strong voice that carries well, the lecture hall will be equipped with amplifiers. But that was not the case at this meeting and lecture. The “Hall” was one of the dining rooms in a restaurant, and the expectation that the participants would order meals was enough to justify their free use of space.
The speaker’s mumbling was mixed with the other noises of waiters and eaters, and nobody seemed to be primarily concerned with what was going on at the podium. A few asked questions that were as inane as the professor’s answers. She had done research on anti-depressant medication and outright admitted “we are funded by the pharmaceutical companies”. And when discussing treatment options, she stressed the fact that one of the drugs used had to be carefully measured; even the tiniest overdose could kill the patient.
I wasted no more of my time there and decided to look for a more receptive audience, which I am sure I will find in readers of Health Freedom News.
It is well known that the U.S.A. is the biggest consumer of resources on this globe. No matter how much we have, we always want more- more money, more space, more tools, more food, more everything. When it gets to the point where we can’t consume it all, we waste it. The government gives away surplus food to poor people, but they, too, are glutted. I regularly find unopened boxes and bags of figs, raisins, cranberries, dried milk and other commodities in the dumpsters.
And is all this surfeit making us happy or healthy? On the contrary, it appears that depression is becoming a growing problem. Even children are killing others and themselves. Although they appear to have everything, there still must be something more that they need. The chemical companies think they need drugs to act on their brains; the health food purveyors think they may need vitamin pills to supply what’s missing in today’s food, and so forth. More. More. Always more.
But if “more” hasn’t worked, maybe we should try “less”, particularly less food. Ever since I learned in my early adult years that fasting is the means to retain, regain, and renew life, I have practiced it on a regular basis. After my first few successful attempts, I took nine months off from my job at the OAS in Washington, D.C. to work and study fasting under Dr. Gerald Benesh and Dr. James McEachen, both practitioners of Natural Hygiene in Escondido, California. Some years after that I completed a 50-day fast under the supervision of the doyen of Natural Hygiene, the late Dr. Herbert Shelton of San Antonio.
I tried not to let too many years pass between moderate fasts of two or three weeks, whatever I could manage on my own, without burdening others with my care. But twice I was in such bad shape, with severe mental agony and depression, that I prevailed on a friend to see me through. I was suicidal, but there was still that small urgent voice inside me saying, “you must fast “, so I obeyed. My friend thought it was just another one of my attempts to kill myself. That fast lasted 40 days, during which I just rested, read, wrote letters, drank only pure water as thirst indicated, and took short walks in the sunshine.
After I had my “breakfast”, I was amazed at how different everything looked. No longer were problems my downfall. They were all challenges, almost like games, and the people I had associated with before were astounded-some were even dumbfounded and thought I had been putting on an act during the previous months.
My second bout of severe depression occurred about eleven years later, during all of which time I had found no opportunity to do any “upkeep” fasting. In 1985 I had moved from Texas to Illinois to take care of my mother, who was in such a deteriorated condition that I had to obtain guardianship for her. After her death, two years later, I still could not fast because I was living with an elderly lady whose sole joy in life was cooking meals for us. In return for her hospitality, I had to eat with her. It was not long before she, too, needed around-the-clock care, and it was up to me to give it. After she died, I returned to Texas, completed a 27-day fast, and all my symptoms of depression vanished.
Now that all my family responsibilities are over, I am determined to take care of myself as I should, and fast often enough to prevent the onset of depression or any other condition of ill health. Yes, I believe fasting is a cure-all. During my 50-day fast I eliminated gall stones and tumors, all without surgery. This is how it works: There is only one disease-toxemia-that is, poisoning. But as the poisoning affects different areas or organs of the body, different symptoms surface. The doctors look up these symptoms and discover what disease they go with, and, so, what medicine will cure it. But the medicine is only a drug, and all drugs are poisons. So, what they are doing is adding more poison to an already poisoned body, and such allopathic treatments never work, as is common knowledge now that American medicine has become the leading cause of U.S. deaths.
On the contrary, what fasting does for a toxin- laden body is to give it a chance to rest. With no food to digest, the stomach changes from a digestive organ to an eliminating organ, and the poisons are rounded up and expelled. Oh, yes, the process is sometimes painful and must be endured. Taking a pain-reliever would, again, be adding more poison. I endured fifteen hours of sharp pain while a gallstone was passing. That pain also had its purpose, to keep me as motionless as possible while the important work was going on.
There is never any danger of accidentally starving to death while fasting. Hunger disappears after the third day or so, and when it returns, that’s the signal to break the fast. It means that all bodily reserves are expended. I never got down to those minimums during any of my fasts, but I always looked forward to eating again. The first sip of fruit juice was a thrill, and after a few meals, my whole being delighted in every fragrance, sight and taste as if it were a new experience. That alone was worth fasting and waiting for, but considering it all happened because I had become internally cleaner, more vigorous, and “renewed”, I think it was a bargain.
There may be other ways to cure depression, but if any of them work, I’m sure its because they are close to the “give nature a chance” school of thought.
Frances Adelhardt, now in her mid-eighties, has been a life long conservationist, practiced organic living since the 1950’s, lives on acreage and keeps fit by traveling almost totally by bicycle. Her long life began in Illinois where after attending Blackburn College and the University of Illinois she became a WAVE, and a skilled photographer and pilot amongst other adventures. Frances does not use vitamins, supplements nor doctors care and believes the human body is a magnificent self-cleaning and self-healing entity.