A few weeks ago a friend came for supper. I couldn’t help notice how well she looked. Glowing, energetic, lighter, vibrant - the transformation was quite overwhelming. T shared her secret.....she had just returned from a Fasting Therapy Clinic in Germany - Buchinger Wilhelmi.
There and then I got my diary out and blocked 10 days in early January.
The few weeks post Christmas, I cleared my desk to ensure I would not be stressing and off I went.
I flew to Zurich and was taxi’d for about one hour 20 to the medieval town of Uberlingen on the shores of Lake Constance which incidentally is one of Germany’s mot popular holiday destinations during the summer months.
Upon arrival, I checked in and was shown to my very comfortable, cosy room which overlooked the Lake Constance. Little did I know this room was to be my cocoon for the next 10 days. I had big intentions of going on long walks and participating in each and every activity there was on offer.
I in fact became almost reclusive for the first five days, only leaving my room to swim in the heated outdoor pool and have a treatment or two.
I read three books. I did a little work but mostly I rested! Totally rest!
The actual “fast” does not start for two days. Guests are broken in gently, eating very light plant based foods. Day three I was given a very potent liquid which was to help start the cleansing program quite dramatically and was advised not to leave my room for at least 4 hours and if I did, make sure there was a loo very nearby.
During the stay guests are allocated a Doctor who basically follows your progress throughout the program. The Dr and I had a half hour meeting on the first day during which time we discussed my medical history and anything which concerned me about the program. Bloods are taken and analysed to ensure there are no abnormalities. In addition, she recommended treatments she felt would benefit me during my stay. One in particular with the Osteopath, Dr Kaiser, the man with magic hands who sorted out my jaw and shoulder.
I also had the most incredible under water massage which I am still thinking about daily.
Each day from 7-9am guests check in with the on duty nurse to have blood pressure taken and weight monitored. My only real concern was that I struggled with sleep and had a few headaches. A few Herbal sleeping pills and herbal aspirin were administered. I was assured this was completely normal and I was checked up on me 3 -4 times a day to make sure I was not uncomfortable. The biggest treat was being brought a hot water bottle twice a day and almost tucked in to rest.
Oddly, I did not feel hungry at all. So much so that when it came to the reintroduction of food on day eight I was totally disinterested.
On day three I had a meeting with the utterly charming, quietly spoken, Dr Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, the wife of Raymond Wilhelmi who is the grandson of the founder of the clinic Ullrich Wilhelmi who talked me through all aspects of the theory behind the therapy:
- Fasting mobilises the energy stored in the fatty tissue of the human body. The metabolism switches from glucose to fat and ketone consumption, causing many beneficial effects. The metabolic change was documented in the study by the permanent presence of ketone bodies in the urine.
- Fasting leads to significant weight loss, a reduced abdominal circumference, and lower cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
- Fasting also normalised blood pressure and improved diabetes parameters such as blood sugar and HbA1c, thus improving many factors that contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Furthermore, in 84% of cases, serious health conditions such as arthritis, type two diabetes as well as fatty liver and hyper cholesterolemia, high blood pressure and fatigue improved through fasting.
- 93% of the subjects did not feel hungry during fasting, which contributed to their emotional and physical well-being.
- Medically supervised fasting had only very few side-effects, which could be treated easily and without interruptions to fasting. In individual cases, subjects experienced restless sleep, headaches, tiredness or lumbar spine complaints during the first three days.
Evenings are spent in the quiet of your room or if you wish there is a very comfortable sitting room where many of the guests meet for evening herbal tea. There are also talks and cookery demonstration most evenings. I attended a talk on the powers of Vitamin D which was incredible - I discovered of all vits, it is the Godfather!!
The cookery demonstrations are really useful as they give you tips on how to improve your diet post fast.
I could go on and on about my experience but suffice to say, it is without a doubt the best thing I have done for myself ever. I returned feeling recharged and so motivated. I am 5kg lighter in weight and I have a waist, haven’t had one of those for a very long time. Since returning my diet is much improved. I basically ditched coffee for herbal teas. I read daily and I'm much more in control of my life. I am going to do my absolute best to make this happen annually. Truly!
Check out the full experience on Buchinger Wilhelmi.