How Water Fasting Works for Me

By Marion Lewis

Note from Chet: Although Dr. William Esser passed away at the age of 91 in 2002, you can click here to read an interesting interview with him.

Fasting is a difficult subject to explain to people. I find that being isolated and completely alone is the ticket for me. I prefer no socializing during a fast, just bring me my water and leave me alone. It is a wonderful time to rest both mind and body and to contemplate life and the meaning of same.

Since 1980 I have done eight 21-day fasts, four supervised and four alone in the mountains in Colorado. I did the solo fasts only because I knew I was in very good health and would not experience any ill effects. This is usually not recommended, but there were no adverse effects for me. My only intake was purified water during these fasts.

I prefer no TV, radio, telephone, newspapers or outside influences of any kind while fasting. I do read and do some hand work and writing when in the mood. The above was the regime at Dr. Shelton's clinic near San Antonio, TX, where I first enrolled in 1980. Dr. Shelton was bedridden at this time and died shortly thereafter and the clinic was taken over by his assistant, Dr. Vetrano. She moved the clinic to Brownsville, TX, which I visited, but in a year or two she was not able to keep her clinic open. I did a third fast at another small clinic south of San Antonio, which has since closed.

My last supervised fast was in Ft. Worth, FL, last March with Dr. Esser. In the intervals between the clinical supervised visits I conducted my lone fasts in the mountains of Colorado. I found Esser's ranch the least comfortable for fasting because of the traffic noise and the proximity of other clients was invasive but Dr. Esser himself is a wonderful man, and his retiring is sad to contemplate.

This last fast in March 2000 was needed as I had become quite ill having come down with an upper respiratory infection I couldn't shake. As I did not want to take antibiotics, I flew to Florida to Dr. Esser's. I was hardly able to walk. My immune system was low after two years of caretaking my husband, and the stress of his illness and death on 12/26/00 resulted in my becoming ill also. On arrival at Esser's, I went directly to bed with my water pitcher, and after ten days my lungs were clear and I was on the road to recovery and have been healthy ever since.

I know that my fasting regime is not for everyone. I grew up in a simpler time when life was less hectic, and I learned early how to amuse myself and enjoy my own company. I am not anti-social and love being with people, but I have learned what my central nervous system can handle as far as being in this now fast-paced world is concerned.

I am a strict vegetarian sans meat of any kind, dairy products, sugar or fats. I do use a little extra virgin olive oil, nuts, soy milk, humus, rice, tofu, fruits and vegetables, legumes and spelt. My life style is simple and eliminates most of the planning and cooking of meals. If necessary, I lightly steam veggies and the rice of course.

I live in Oregon at present but am moving back to my "home" in Minnesota this spring after being away for 25 years. I will be among family and old friends once again. Truly the New Millennium is a time I am looking forward to.

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