Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.

The Buchinger fasting cure

Over the last hundred years or so, two completely different fasting cures have materialised. One focuses on religious fasting. Christianity practises fasting during lent and Islam uses Ramadan as an exercise of religious obedience. Beyond that many religions and cultures use fasting to open up the spirit for spiritual and religious experiences.

In medicine, fasting is used therapeutically. As early as Hippocrates, physical and psychological diseases were treated with fasting. A pioneer of the scientifically proven fasting cure was the German doctor Otto Buchinger (1882-1970). In 1932 he founded a fasting clinic in Bad Pyrmont. The Buchinger’s method concentrates on prevention. Although a fasting cure is sometimes recommended to people already suffering from disease, the best protection against disease is to have an annual pure fasting cure. It is advisable that only people who have sufficient physical and psychological reserves should fast. In Buchinger’s opinion, the most important factor is to have the right attitude when doing a fasting cure. It is essential to have the willpower to be able to follow a strict fasting cure. Everyone has different reasons for fasting, like weight loss, rejuvenation or to improve the symptoms of a chronic disease.

It is also essential that external circumstances are right to do the Buchinger fasting cure. Those who don’t have the opportunity to do a fasting cure in a clinic should try and adapt their own environment. Everyday stress should definitely be avoided. It is also important to have enough time to exercise and to relax. Both are elementary components of the Buchinger fasting cure. When doing the Buchinger fasting cure, there are one or more exercise days planned in which the patient is only allowed 600 calories. These should mainly consist of carbohydrates. Fat is not permitted at all. The fasting starts with an intense bowel cleanse using Glauber salt or by doing an enema with warm camomile water. During a fasting cure it is necessary to have a bowel cleanse every other day. When doing Buchinger fasting, you drink a quarter of a litre of herbal or mild black tea, sweetened with honey if preferred. At lunchtime you will have a quarter of a litre of vegetable broth, tea with honey in the afternoon and a quarter of a litre of fruit juice in the evening. During the day, two litres of water have to be drunk. Coffee, alcohol or cigarettes are forbidden during the fasting time. Plenty of exercise helps the detoxification process to eliminate the toxic protein rather than lowering the muscle protein in the body. To maintain the success of the fasting cure, it is important to adjust your nutritional intake slowly. Buchinger recommends three build up days, which includes mainly small carbohydrate rich meals. Fat and protein should be increased slowly.

On the Buchinger diet, drinks are not completely calorie free but contain enough vitamins and minerals so that there is less strain on the metabolism than when doing a more radical type of fasting. Side effects like headaches are less likely because the blood sugar level does not drop as much through adding carbohydrates in the form of honey and fruit juice.