Fasting for Health | National Health Association

Fasting for Health

A unique aspect of the NHA Health Program has been its recognition of the extraordinary health benefits of water fasting which is defined as  complete physiological rest involving the complete absence of all food and drink except pure water in an environment of complete rest.  Rest must be encouraged since even moderate activity can significantly increase the metablolism, altering optimum adaptation to the fasting state.  To maximize the benefits of fasting, unnecessary mobilization of nutrient reserves should be avoided.

The NHA believes that fasting is a powerful and effective tool in a comprehensive program designed to promote the restoration and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Fasting can help people get on (or back on) track to healthful living.   Fasting is not a cure. It is a process that may facilitate the body's own healing mechanisms.  It is a gift to an overburdened body.  It can be extremely effective at creating an internal environment where the body can do what it does best--cleanse and heal itself!

For over 65 years, the NHA has dedicated a large part of its educational mission and programs to preserving the history of fasting, publicizing its benefits, promoting its availability, defending the legality of its practice, and most recently, funding research into its efficacy and safety.

At its annual Conventions and Conference, the world's leading authorities and proponents of fasting supervision have been principle speakers including Drs. Herbert Shelton, Gerald Benesh, Christopher Cursio, William Esser, Robert Gross, D. J. Scott, Keki Sidhwa and Drs. Alan and Nejla Burton. The NHA recorded many of these historic lecture and is in the process of digitizing them for easy availability.

Through its membership publications like Health Science Magazine, the NHA has provided a literary forum for numerous articles on all aspects of water fasting and its specific application to various conditions.


In 1948, the NHA (originally called the American Natural Hygiene Society) was co-founded by a group of like-minded American physicians who operated Health Institutes where fasting supervision was offered to tens of thousands of health seekers as an integral part of the larger Natural Hygiene Health Program.  The most famous of these were Dr. Shelton's Health School in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. William Esser's Health Ranch in Lake Worth, Florida, Dr. Gerald Benesh's Health Ranch in Escondido, California, and Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio's _____________ in Lido Beach, NY.  Later institutes included Dr. Robert Anderson's Hygieology in Rhinebeck, NY, Dr. Robert Gross's Pawling Health Manor in Rhinebeck, NY, Dr. John Broscious's Bay & Gulf Health Resort in Redington Shores, Florida, Dr. Ralph Cinque's Hygiea Health Retreat in Yorktown, Texas, Dr. John Martin's Health Manor in Gromley Ontaria., Dr. D.J.Scott's Natural Health Institute in Strongsville, Ohio, the Regency Health Spa under the direction of Dr. Frank Sabatino, and Dr. Alan Goldhamer's Center of Conservative Therapy in Penngrove, California that has evolved into the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California.

For over 65 years, the NHA has dedicated a large part of its educational mission and programs to preserving the history of fasting, publicizing its benefits, pr