Today's Notables

My Fasting Diet Experience

August 2004
Hisashi Furuichi
President and C.E.O.

Yuumi Ishihara, M.D. specialized in hematology at Nagasaki University School of Medicine and received a Ph.D for research about white blood cells from the perspective of sports medicine and nutrition at the same university. After studying in Caucasus in the Republic of Georgia where life expectancy is very long and at Bircher-Benner Diet Clinic in Switzerland, he opened the Ishihara Clinic and in 1985, established the Hippocratic Sanatorium in Ito. He says that most major illnesses are caused from poor circulation and excess waste in the system. Many people with health problems have flocked to the Sanatorium for the therapeutic affects. Even well-known politicians have visited the clinic for its health benefits. I went to the Hippocratic Sanatorium without doing much research but at a lecture given by Dr. Ishihara, I learned the following health theories that the clinic operates under.

"During the 2,000,000 year history of man, there has not been a time like today when man can eat until he is more than satiated. Our ancestors have survived floods, major snowfall, drought, starvation and war on little or no food, and although, in extreme conditions, starvation is life threatening, it can be an important part in addressing overeating. Overeating has been blamed for obesity, diabetes, cancer, allergies and many other ailments. In the past 30 years, the number of doctors in Japan has increased from 100,000 to 250,000, and about 1/3 of the national budget or about 30 trillion yen is spent on healthcare yet the number of cases of illness continues to increase. For example, 30 years ago the mortality rate for cancer was 130,000 people annually and last year it was 300,000 people. When we overeat, the body is unable to fully excrete waste and causes poor circulation, inhibiting the body's natural healing ability. In Russia, you cannot even establish a hospital without a fasting therapy section. That is how much fasting is believed to improve the bodyfs natural disease-fighting function. Keeping the body warm at all times is also been shown to be a key to maintaining health."

The name of the clinic, Hippocratic Sanatorium, is hard a term to understand but Dr. Ishihara established the clinic with this name for a reason. He wanted to emphasize the bodyfs natural preventative and healing ability through the proper balance of diet and exercise that is suggested in the Hippocratic Oath. The word is derived from the Latin word, sanatorius, which means an establishment for therapeutic treatment through a regimen of diet and exercise. Dr. Ishihara selected the name of the clinic based on the meaning of these terms. The clinic is located in Ito over 30 minutes by car in a resort area with golf courses nearby. It is hard to find and in order to get there without any problem, it is best to do some homework ahead of time.

I am not particularly plagued by a serious ailment, however, I weighed 53kg during my university days when I was active in sports to 6 months after I entered FMI, I gained 10kg. Over time, the weight gain added up and by June of last year, I weighed 90kg and my waist was 98 cm. Last year in April, I visited an endocrinologist who told me that my system secreted enough insulin and I was not at risk for diabetes but because of high triglycerides in my blood, I was at risk for clotting and hardening of the arteries. Actually, my cousin, who happens to be a doctor, warned me that my cholesterol and uric acid were too high. Since then, I decided myself it was time to change my diet and lose at least 10kg and that's when I heard about the Hippocratic Sanatorium from my mother. Prior to that, I had some curiosity about fasting but did not like the idea of being closed in at one place and I thought I would go crazy just fasting so I was not very enthusiastic. Naturally I thought that since I would have to fast, I probably could not drink or smoke either. Everything would be prohibited---no alcohol, no food, no smoking---what, except maybe jail, could be worse?

I would like to say that it was the lecture that made up my mind to go to the clinic but I must say there was an ulterior motive. I found out that the clinic is located between the club house of a golf course and the start of the back nine holes and that Dr. Ishihara strongly recommended exercise. I asked at the clinic and found out that it was alright to leave and you could do just about anything you wanted. Some people even left during the day to return to Tokyo to attend meetings or take care of other important matters. I could fast, do what I wanted, play golf and even be in Tokyo in two hours if necessary. I was even able to stay in touch with my cell phone. Really, these conditions worked perfectly. However, it would be a lot easier to go with someone so I thought about asking someone to join me but did not have much luck finding someone until I asked some friends of my brother's who looked like they could use a little fasting, might like to play some golf and wouldn't complain about the ¥15,000 per night charge. In the end, myself and three friends went to the Hippocratic Sanatorium. ( To be continued )

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