At all times some of our patients can be found fasting; but they do not begin until the right physiological and psychological moment has arrived, until the fast is indicated. When the organism, or rather the individual cell, is ready to begin the work of elimination, then assimilation should cease for the time being, because it interferes with the excretory processes going on in the system.

To fast before the system is ready for it, means mineral salts starvation and defective elimination.

Given a vigorous, positive constitution, encumbered with too much flesh and with a tendency to chronic constipation, rheumatism, gout, apoplexy and other diseases due to food poisoning, a fast may be indicated from the beginning. But it is different with persons of the weak, negative type.

Ordinarily, the organism resembles a huge sponge, which absorbs the elements of nutrition from the digestive tract. During a fast the process is reversed, the sponge is being squeezed and gives off the impurities contained in it.

However, this is a purely mechanical process and deals only with the mechanical aspect of disease: with the presence of waste matter in the system. It does not take into consideration the chemical aspect of disease. We have learned that most of the morbid matter in the system has its origin in the acid waste products of starchy and protein digestion.

In rheumatism and gout, the colloid (glue-like) and earthy deposits collect in the joints and muscular tissues; in arteriosclerosis, in the arteries and veins; in paralysis, epilepsy and kindred diseases, in brain and nerve tissues.

The accumulation of these waste products is due, in turn, to a deficiency in the system of the alkaline, acid-binding and acid-eliminating mineral elements. In point of fact, almost every form of disease is characterized by a lack of these organic mineral salts in blood and tissues.

Stones, gravel (calculi), etc., grow in acid blood only, and must be dissolved and eliminated by rendering the blood alkaline. This is accomplished by the absorption of the alkaline salts, contained most abundantly in the juicy fruits, the leafy and juicy vegetables, the hulls of cereals and in milk.

How, then, are these all-important solvents and eliminators to be supplied to the organism by total abstinence from food?

Prolonged fasting undoubtedly lowers the patient's vitality and powers of resistance. But natural elimination of waste products and systemic poisons (healing crises) depends upon increased vitality and activity of the organism and the individual cells that compose it.

For these reasons we find, in most cases, that proper adjustment of the diet, both as to quality and quantity, together with the different forms of natural corrective and stimulative treatment, must precede the fasting.

The great majority of chronic patients have become chronics because their skin, kidneys, intestines and other organs of elimination are in a sluggish, atrophied condition. As a result, their system is overloaded with morbid matter.

Moreover, during the fast the system has to live on its own tissues, which are being broken down rapidly. This results in the production and liberation of additional large quantities of morbid matter and poisons, which must be eliminated promptly to prevent their reabsorption.

However, the atrophic condition of the organs of elimination makes this impossible and there are not enough alkaline mineral elements to neutralize the destructive acids. Therefore the impurities remain and accumulate in the system and may cause serious aggravations and complications.

Is it not wiser first of all to build up the blood on a normal basis by natural diet and to put the organs of elimination in good working order by the natural methods of treatment before fasting is enforced? This is, indeed, the only rational procedure and will always be followed by the best possible results.

When, under the influence of a rational diet, the blood has regained its normal composition, when mechanical obstructions to the free flow of blood and nerve currents have been removed by manipulative treatment, when skin, kidneys, bowels, nerves and nerve centers, in fact, every cell in the body has been stimulated into vigorous activity by the various methods of natural treatment, then the cells themselves begin to eliminate their morbid encumbrances. The waste materials are carried in the blood stream to the organs of elimination and incite them to acute reactions or healing crises in the form of diarrheas, catarrhal discharges, fevers, inflammations, skin eruptions, boils, abscesses, etc.

Now the sponge is being squeezed and cleansed of its impurities in a natural manner. The mucous membranes of stomach and bowels are called upon to assist in the work of housecleaning; hence the coated tongue, lack of appetite, digestive disturbances, nausea, biliousness, sour stomach, fermentation, flatulence and occasionally vomiting and purging.

These digestive disturbances are always accompanied by mental depression, the blues, homesickness, irritability, fear, hopelessness, etc.

With the advent of these cleansing and healing crises the physiological and psychological moment for fasting has arrived. All the processes of assimilation are at a standstill. The entire organism is eliminating.

We have learned that these healing crises usually arrive during the sixth week of natural treatment.

To take food now would mean to force assimilation and thereby to stop elimination and perchance to interfere with or to check a beneficial healing crisis.

Therefore we regard it as absolutely essential to stop eating as soon as any form of acute elimination makes its appearance and we do not give any food except acid fruit juices diluted with water until all signs of acute eliminative activity have subsided, whether this require a few days or a few weeks or a few months.

Some time ago I treated a severe case of typhoid malaria. No food, except water mixed with a little orange or lemon juice, passed the lips of the patient for eight weeks. When all disease symptoms had disappeared, we allowed a few days for the rebuilding of the intestinal mucous membranes. Thereafter food was administered with the usual precautions. The patient gained rapidly and within six weeks weighed more than before the fever. During the entire period I saw the patient only twice, the simple directions being carried out faithfully by his relatives.