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Is Now the Best Time to Fast? The Doctor Says Yes

Interview With Andreas Michalsen, MD, PhD

plate with food and spoons positioned like a clock to symbolize fasting

Getty/nambitomo

Dr. Andreas Michalsen, author of The Fasting Fix, uses fasting to treat a number of diseases from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension to cardiovascular disease, early stages of dementia, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel disease.

Andreas Michalsen, MD, PhD, is the director of a hospital in Berlin with beds for 90 patients. Typically 90 percent of those patients are fasting. Why? Because he believes the diseases these patients present—osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, early stages of dementia, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease—are all an indication for fasting. When Dr. Michalsen does rounds, sometimes his younger doctors say, “Isn’t this a little bit exaggerated? Surely, everything can’t be cured by fasting.” Dr. Michalsen replies, “Fasting is not a miracle, and not all diseases are cured. But fasting is how you start the way back to health.” It’s also the classic start of a spiritual journey. In your latest book, The Fasting Fix, you write that you first had to accept your own family medicine. Yes. I’m from a family of MDs, but they were all natural doctors. My grandpa was a natural doctor. My father was a natural doctor. So, I was a bit bored as a child because it was always about herbs and nutrition and water. Then about age 16—when you are against everything your …

About the Author

Stephen Kiesling

Stephen Kiesling is a former Olympic rower, co-creator of the Nike Cross Training System, and editor at large of Spirituality & Health. A 35th anniversary edition of The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence has just been published.

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