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Isaac Jennings, M.D.
December 29, 2021
Isaac Jennings, M.D.

(1788-1874)

Isaac Jennings deserves credit as being the father of medically supervised water fasting. He was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1788. He studied medicine at age 20 and started a practice. He found that a regimen that included fasting, a vegetarian diet, pure water, sunshine, clean air, exercise, and rest was more conducive to health than the allopathic drugs (a system in which healthcare professionals treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery) of the time. From this, he concluded that most diseases were reactions to unfavorable environmental factors rather than entities of their own, a philosophy that he called “Orthopathy.” Disease results from a ‘deficiency of force.’ Rest and non-interference with the body’s innate healing mechanisms are the best means to regain health. Fasting as complete physiological rest was employed extensively to regain and maintain good health. Soon, the only drugs he prescribed were bread pills and colored water that he gave his patients, along with detailed instructions for lifestyle change. After many years of a successful practice, he announced that he had no faith in drugs and would no longer make any pretense of prescribing them. This confession and discontinuation of the use of placebos cost him most of his practice. In 1839, he relocated to Oberlin, Ohio. The town was designed as a health-promoting model colony of what later developed into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, the experiment ended as a disappointment for Isaac Jennings, as it proved difficult to find general acceptance for what he regarded as a healthy lifestyle. He died in Oberlin, Ohio, on March 13th, 1874.

(Excerpt From Fasting Supervision and Lifestyle Care (Burton, Burton and Krackler)

“None who believe in the existence of a Supreme Creator and are in the habit of observing the exact order and harmony that prevail in all the material substances and bodies around them, will question that their own bodies, which are so “fearfully and wonderfully made”, are constituted in accordance with fixed principles and that ordinarily, at least, all the vital machinery of their physical systems is controlled by expressed law.”

“Obedience to physical law will render obedience to moral law comparatively easy.”

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