Doctor Reveals How Water Fasting Unlocks Secret Healing Powers

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Doctor Reveals How Water Fasting Unlocks Secret Healing Powers
Doctor Reveals How Water Fasting Unlocks Secret Healing Powers Graphic © Background photo: Pixabay (PD)

Water fasting is a buzzy topic in the naturopathic health world. The practice is touted to help manage diseases of dietary excesses, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. [1]

At the forefront of the water fasting approach is Dr. Alan Goldhamer, a doctor of chiropractic and the founder of TrueNorth Health Center, where he provides medically supervised water fasts. In an interview with Tom Bilyeu, Dr. Goldhamer breakdown the idea behind water fasting and how it may be key to unlocking your body’s innate healing powers.

In this article, we take a detailed look at Dr. Goldhamer’s suggestions to understand how water fasting works and how to practice it safely if you’re considering the diet type.

The Mechanisms Of Water Fasting

According to Dr. Goldhamer, water fasting is the “complete absence of all substances except pure, distilled water in an environment of rest.” [1]

There are no clear-cut guidelines on how long a person should fast, but Dr. Goldhamer’s program at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, supports fasts of up to 40 days (though such an extreme length of time is discouraged by most healthcare professionals).

The idea behind water fasting is the belief that it forces the body to “reboot” and sort issues in our body systems—from chronic inflammation to the balance of gut flora. The practice supposedly creates a conducive environment for the body to mobilize and eliminate accumulated toxic by-products of metabolism. By removing these intermediary products, the body is able to heal itself more efficiently.

Dr. Goldhamer argues that the eating pattern may help eliminate diseases of dietary excess (or “diseases of kings”) by addressing the cause of the problem. He says this is in contrast to conventional medicine, which focuses more on suppressing symptoms associated with health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. [1]

In addition to practicing a water fast, Dr. Goldhamer warns against falling into a “dietary pleasure trap.” This is persistent overeating as a result of overstimulation by artificial calories that confuse your satiety signals. He particularly advises against some oils, sugar, salt, and processed foods.

Benefits Of Water Fasting

So, what does the existing scientific research say about water fasting? Does the practice help heal the body, as Dr. Goldhamer and other proponents suggest?

• May Lower Blood Pressure: In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, a research team led by Dr. Goldhamer followed a group of 174 people diagnosed with high blood pressure. The respondents were placed under a medically supervised water-only fast for 10-11 days. At the end of the fast, 90% of them had normal blood pressure levels. [2]

• May Promote Autophagy: Water fasting may help promote autophagy, a process whereby parts of old or damaged cells are broken down and recycled. [3] Some studies suggest that autophagy may play an important role in disease prevention and extending life span. [4][5]

• May Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases: Some studies claim that water fasting may increase anti-aging biomarkers and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases—but more research is needed. [6][7][8][9]

• May Improve Your Body’s Sensitivity to Leptin and Insulin: There is some evidence that water fasting may improve your insulin and leptin sensitivity. [10][11] This could make your body more efficient at managing blood sugar levels and processing hunger signals.

Water Fasting Complications

According to Dr. Goldhamer and some studies, water fasting could help reduce your risk of chronic diseases, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. But just because the practice has potential health benefits does not mean it’s safe.

Anyone considering going on a water fast should be aware of the possible dangers and risks. These include losing the wrong type of weight and aggravating existing medical conditions like eating disorders, dehydration, and orthostatic hypotension. [12][13][14][15]

Ultimately the severity of water fasting complications depends on who’s doing it and the length of the fast.

How Do You Water Fast Safely?

If you’ve never fasted before, spending a few days preparing your body for the calorie restriction is advisable. Eat smaller portions and fast for short periods.

During fasting, ensure you drink adequate water to account for the amount you usually take through the food you eat.

After the fast, Dr. Goldhamer warns that you risk developing a serious condition known as refeeding syndrome—where your body undergoes rapid changes after eating large meals following a long fast. Instead, start small and introduce larger meals gradually.


Could water fasting be key to unlocking your body’s secret healing powers? Could the practice help reverse aging, as touted by Dr. Goldhamer? Maybe. But we still need more studies to better understand the mechanisms of fasting and its impact on our systems. Regardless it’s important to adopt a healthy diet that prioritizes organic over processed foods.



[1] Gustafson, C. (2014). Alan Goldhamer, dc: Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 13(3), 52:

[2] Goldhamer, A., Lisle, D., Parpia, B., Anderson, S. V., & Campbell, T. C. (2001). Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 24(5), 335-339:

[3] Cao, W., Li, J., Yang, K., & Cao, D. (2021). An overview of autophagy: Mechanism, regulation and research progress. Bulletin du Cancer, 108(3), 304-322:

[4] Bagherniya, M., Butler, A. E., Barreto, G. E., & Sahebkar, A. (2018). The effect of fasting or calorie restriction on autophagy induction: A review of the literature. Ageing research reviews, 47, 183-197:

[5] Luo, L., & Qin, Z. H. (2019). Autophagy, aging, and longevity. Autophagy: Biology and Diseases, 509-525:

[6] Teong, X. T., & Heilbronn, L. K. (2021). Evidence gaps and potential roles of intermittent fasting in the prevention of chronic diseases. Experimental Gerontology, 153, 111506:

[7] Jiang, Y., Yang, X., Dong, C., Lu, Y., Yin, H., Xiao, B., … & Jia, L. (2021). Five‐day water‐only fasting decreased metabolic‐syndrome risk factors and increased anti‐aging biomarkers without toxicity in a clinical trial of normal‐weight individuals. Clinical and translational medicine, 11(8), e502:

[8] Nencioni, A., Caffa, I., Cortellino, S., & Longo, V. D. (2018). Fasting and cancer: molecular mechanisms and clinical application. Nature Reviews Cancer, 18(11), 707-719:

[9] Horne, B. D., Muhlestein, J. B., Lappe, D. L., May, H. T., Carlquist, J. F., Galenko, O., … & Anderson, J. L. (2013). Randomized cross-over trial of short-term water-only fasting: metabolic and cardiovascular consequences. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 23(11), 1050-1057:

[10] Jørgensen, S. W., Hjort, L., Gillberg, L., Justesen, L., Madsbad, S., Brøns, C., & Vaag, A. A. (2021). Impact of prolonged fasting on insulin secretion, insulin action, and hepatic versus whole body insulin secretion disposition indices in healthy young males. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 320(2), E281-E290:

[11] Rahmani, J., Varkaneh, H. K., Clark, C., Zand, H., Bawadi, H., Ryan, P. M., … & Zhang, Y. (2019). The influence of fasting and energy restricting diets on IGF-1 levels in humans: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 53, 100910:

[12] Laurens, C., Grundler, F., Damiot, A., Chery, I., Le Maho, A. L., Zahariev, A., … & Wilhelmi de Toledo, F. (2021). Is muscle and protein loss relevant in long‐term fasting in healthy men? A prospective trial on physiological adaptations. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 12(6), 1690-1703:

[13] Guelinckx, I., Tavoularis, G., König, J., Morin, C., Gharbi, H., & Gandy, J. (2016). Contribution of water from food and fluids to total water intake: analysis of a French and UK population surveys. Nutrients, 8(10), 630:

[14] Taylor, K., & Jones, E. B. (2022). Adult Dehydration.[Updated 2022 May 15]. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing:

[15] Cuccolo, K., Kramer, R., Petros, T., & Thoennes, M. (2022). Intermittent fasting implementation and association with eating disorder symptomatology. Eating Disorders, 30(5), 471-491:

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