Introduction – Fasting Academy Bauer
A fully functional body is the fundamental precondition to fully live one’s potential as a human being.
This refers to the physical structure of the body, its macroscopic and microscopic constituents, anatomy and histology, as well as all bodily functions (physiology) and a person’s interactions with the environment and its constituents, plants and animals (botany and zoology), down to the fundamental laws of nature as described by physics and chemistry, but also the mental and spiritual side and behaviour of a human being.
For an individual cell of the human organism as for the entire organism life is defined in terms of metabolism, growth, multiplication, the ability to process stimulants, to react to stimulants, and movement.
In this context, the life function metabolism plays a particular and prominent role. Only if a cell’s metabolism is unimpeded with respect to quality and intensity, cells and the organism as a whole can perform the other life functions.
Realisation and maintenance of their shape and the ability to self-regulate count among the elementary phenomena of living beings which both have their roots in fully functional metabolic processes. Living organisms also exhibit the property of variation and adaptation which result in the emergence of new species. This process, however, far exceeds the live-span of the individual organism.
Human beings, after all, differ markedly from animals in their mental and spiritual abilities which characterise our human species. These abilities allow us to shape our lives and to deal with diseases and disorders affecting the organism.
It follows from this brief definition of the characteristic of all living beings that their main objective is inevitably the preservation of their structure and function in harmony; for humans this refers to their health status. This objective is dictated by nature, whether we are aware of it or not. There are situations, however, when the state of harmony is in danger and when we become acutely aware of the lack of health. Fortunately, in many cases we survive such borderline situations.
What are the factors and causes that lead to illnesses, and how can an individual react to them, if not prevent their emergence or at least further deterioration?
For the sake of a better understanding, we distinguish between external and internal causes of illness.
Every new-born is subject to a great number of environmental factors as of day one. These factors may vary and they need not result in a disease. The human organism is very apt at responding to external factors activating counter reactions and regulative functions before any disorder manifests itself as a disease.
External causes mean, in this context, all sorts of physical and chemical agents, foodstuffs and pathogenic agents. Internal causes are either hereditary or acquired – factors that have been passed on by our parents, or our constitution or disposition, or causes that reflect a malfunctioning control system of our body. These are effects of the neuro-humoral and/or neuro-vegetative-vascular system.
Then there are the illnesses that come with age or are age-related. Our understanding of the processes and causes undergoes permanent change, as scientific research advances.
The issues of cancer, stress and fasting are considered under the heading of growth: cell growth and growth of the human body. As a consequence of metabolic processes, living beings grow and develop, in other words, the body gains in size “through the generation of new living substances” (Erich Letterer)
This simple explanation of growth involves a number of disorders such as insufficient or excessive growth as well as malformations.
Replacement growth, e.g. in wound healing, triggered by growth factors, is an entirely different issue. A very comprehensive and, in our times, very important topic is tumour growth. It is defined in principle as a local increase in cells and tissue mass caused by autonomous growth. Where it occurs, normal tissue is displaced due to the tumours expansion; in some case it may infiltrate healthy tissue or even result in its destruction. Tumours may also release cells that carry the growth to other places in the body (formation of metastases).
The properties of infiltration, destruction and the formation of metastases usually characterise a malign cancer.
Fasting offers a great opportunity to regain or maintain one’s full health and, through enhanced awareness of body and mind, to reconnect with one’s environment. But its benefits do not end there; fasting also offers a fundamental way of preventing circulatory disorders or to slow them down, in case of prevailing risk factors.
- The, by far, leading, risk factor is smoking, followed by
- high blood pressure
- fat metabolism disorders (in particular hypercholesterolaemia)
- overweight (adipositas)
- lack of movement
- diabetes mellitus
Literature for more detailed information:
Franz Büchner: Allgemeine Pathologie, Verlag Urban & Schwarzenberg, München-Berlin, 1959
Erich Letterer: Allgemeine Pathologie, Verlag Georg Thieme, Stuttgart, 1959
Wolfgang Mahringer, Dr. med.