Fasting: an Exceptional Human Experience

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AuthorHouse, Dec 20, 2012 - Psychology - 533 pages
Fasting An Exceptional Human Experience Since prehistory, fasting has been used in various ways as a means of transformation. As a spiritual practice, it is the oldest and most common form of asceticism and is found in virtually every religion and spiritual tradition. In psychology, studies have suggested that fasting can alleviate the symptoms of some psychiatric conditions, including depression and schizophrenia. In medicine, fasting is one of the most promising therapies, with research suggesting that fasting can cause certain drugs, such as chemotherapy, to work better while reducing drug side-effects. Hunger striking, sometimes called political fasting, may be the most powerful application of fasting. Proof of this occurred in 1948 when Gandhis hunger strike caused millions of Hindus and Muslims in India to cease their fighting. As a practical guide, Randi Fredricks, Ph.D. provides detailed information on the different types of fasting, where people fast, the physiological process of fasting, and the contraindications and criticisms of fasting. Using existing literature and original research, Dr. Fredricks focuses on the transformative characteristics of fasting in the contexts of psychology, medicine, and spirituality. The relationship between fasting and transpersonal psychology is examined, with a focus on peak experiences, self-realization, and other exceptional human experiences. Dr. Fredricks demonstrates how fasting can be profoundly therapeutic, create global paradigm shifts, and provide personal mystical phenomena.
 

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Contents

Planning a Fast
16
The Physiological Process of Fasting
37
Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Fasting
64
Research on Fasting and Mental Health
86
Fasting and Transpersonal Psychology
106
Fasting and Depression
120
The Practice of Asceticism
173
Fasting in Religious and Spiritual Traditions
213
lnedia in Religious Mystics and Catholic Saints
256
Fasting Eating Disorders and Food Addiction
280
Hunger Artists Fasting Girls and Breatharians
304
Hunger Striking and Political Fasting
320
Criticisms and Contraindications of Fasting
351
The Psychospiritual Effects of Fasting
368
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About the author (2012)

RANDI FREDRICKS, PH.D. is a psychotherapist, researcher, and author who specializes in the treatment of mental health using integrative medicine and natural therapies. Her other books include Healing & Wholeness: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mental Health. She lives and works in San Jose, California. Dr. Fredricks’ website is randifredricks.com.

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