Breaking a Water Fast at True North (Part 6) : The Renegade Health Show #635

Monday Aug 16 | BY |
| Comments (33)

After day 5 of my water fast, I was ready to eat…

Today, I share with you my meal as well as some of my thoughts about breaking the fast.

There’s also a clip of Dr. Michael Klaper explaining more about the mental side of water fasting.

Check it out…

Your question of the day: How much of your pain do you think is emotional?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!If you’d like to learn more about the True North Health Center, please visit their website here:

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Cindy says:

    It so crazy how much of our physical problems are caused by emotions. It might be a little high but 90%

  2. Page says:

    I would say 90% – when I’m stressed, my osteoarthritis starts hurting to let me know – I take some deep breathes, direct relaxing thoughts toward my knee and the pain goes away. I don’t have any chronic issues.

  3. Debbie Grezik says:

    It all starts in the mind I think, our thoughts, which can be happy, sad, joyful, PAINFUL, the list goes on. So I would have to say 99%. But if we’re feeding our bodies, spirits, mind correctly a balance can be achieved, maybe. Hmmm good question.

  4. Dodie says:

    I am convinced that the percentage is high, and yes, perhaps often 90%! If you have worked with EFT,(emotional freedom technique)you’ve seen pain reductions which happen almost immediately! Pretty wild!

  5. looking foward to tomorrows show. im beleive it is Mary. looking foward to going again to truenorth in jan.

  6. Andrea says:

    Wow! What a question. I know a lot of my pain has come from healing. I don’t have much now. If I do I know I need more water. A big part of my life has been filled with emotional pain. I barely remember it now. I am healthier now than ever emotionally and physically. Thank you for your commitment to health and your show.

  7. Maggie says:

    “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7) and “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22). These quotes from the Bible get right at the heart of what Dr. Klaper is talking about. Our minds affect everything about us. I would say that well over 90% of our illnesses, aches and pains all start with what’s going on in our heads. When we transform our minds by putting in the truth, it can change our lives.

  8. Jolie says:

    Probably most of my pain is exacerbated by stress. I say this b/c I notice when I’m around people who are carefree and happy I don’t notice my pain as much. Or if I have a place I’m going to that I’m excited about or if I’m doing an activity I love I seem to forget about my pain more. Unfortunately these are all rare occurrences.
    Your fasting has helped me understand something.
    Once I stopped a juice fast b/c I was dreaming of turkey. Succulent juicy turkey and how often do I have turkey? Maybe on Thanksgiving occasionally and that is all. I assumed my body was trying to tell me I needed protein so I quit.

  9. diane says:

    I would say 50/50 I believe you need to feed the phyical self the correct diet for the emotional self to function properly , and also have a connection to the whole, so we need mind /body/soul .a delicate balance.

  10. Barbara says:

    I think all pain has an emotional component. Most of us have a difficult time just “being” with pain and therefore we try to fight with it or escape from it and the stress of that makes it even worse.

    I was quite surprised to see that your fruit plate combined regular fruit and melons. Proper food combining would be to eat all melons separately as they require a different enzyme to digest them. That makes me wonder about True North ……

  11. denise says:

    i think the discipline of eating as healthy as you can(plus sun, water, nature etc) leads to a spiral upwards of mental well being. and the reverse (bad eating, being inside too much, coffee/pop,) leads to a spiral down taking your mind with you into depression, anger, sadness.

  12. Janet says:

    Our physiology is so complex. It can’t be that black and white that physiological issues are ???% emotional. Surely there underlying microbial, nutritional, genetic or toxicity factors the results of which are influenced by our past history, our environment, stress and our current emotions. So we each manifest health or disease differently because of these factors.
    Dr. Kaper’s talk was very interesting. It definitely makes sense that a person would be empowered by their ability to complete a long fast. And how that could be a huge shift for someone who has been continually disempowered through their life experiences. I like the outward bound analogy. A long fast seems so incredibly challenging!!
    I really enjoyed your blogs on the fast. Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to get a glimpse of True North & water fasting.
    Thanks so much Ann Marie and Kevin for all your great work.

  13. Molly says:

    As someone who lives with chronic illness, my experience with pain is quite different. I definitely believe in the ability of the mind to “rise above” pain, but there is only so much rising above I can do. There are many times that my body just does not work the way it should, and it causes me pain that cannot be meditated away. For me, the balance is about 50%/50%. Though my mind may be in a happy, peaceful place, my body does not want to go along. It’s a frustrating way to live.

  14. Michael says:

    I think pain can be amplified by how we relate to it, but for me, my experience is that it’s about 20-30%. I’ve not had chronic pain that I couldn’t relieve in some way, but I did have a 6 month episode of chronic fatigue, and it’s interesting to go through the experience of rising above it, and distinguishing truly low energy from what could otherwise be perceived as depression. The irony I’ve experienced is that to find relief, I must go into the pain and feel it. That to me is healing, or at least coping in an honest way.

  15. Kuru says:

    These women in their 40’s and 50’s Dr. Klaper sites are likely women who serve the rest of the world: their husbands, children, community, and rarely get any nurturing themselves. In some circles it’s called caregiver burnout. Tagging it emotional invalidates it somewhat, as Debbie above, and to some degree Dr. Klapper imply. Just think happy thoughts. I imagine the solitude coupled with a feeling of equality among the participants, as well as being nurtured by the staff helped these women heal and feel empowered. Hopefully some thoughtful time about eating well and cherishing themselves will keep them away from whatever habits might have been the physiological culprits.

  16. D1 says:

    I know what he means about that “I did it,” and the consequent loss of “I can’t do it” as a rationale. I changed in the same way after jumping out of an airplane. Once I skydived, it became apparent that there was nothing I could use “I can’t do that” as a rationale for not doing. I mean, I jumped out of an airplane—left my ride flying away from me 4000 feet in the air—and lived.

  17. Lilith says:

    I don’t agree it is the accomplishment.
    I have been to an antrosophical hospital, and they don’t waterfast.
    What they do is they LISTEN TO THE PATIENTS!

    I think what does women need is someone taking them, and their complaints seriously. Hearing them out, trying to fulfill their needs.
    RESPECTING them as humans.

    THAT is whats healing!

  18. Pat says:

    Could it be that the cleansing is getting rid of the chemicals that might undermine the emotional spirit also?

  19. Dee says:

    Amazing interview, really eye opening, lots to think about. Yes, I think alot of our pain is emotional. I know that when I am stressed I experience more hot flashes.

  20. Diana (Ohio) says:

    What a clip!!

    Well, being about in the middle of Dr. Klapers subset of women in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s I would have to say about 90%.

    “Seeing that this group of women have been dealt some harsh blows by life and the medical system” ( by the way, according to HRSA, 75% of U.S. doctors are male and the female doctors earn about 18% less than their counterparts)” there seems to be an anger under all this toward doctors and men”.

    Now one has to wonder if a womans “harshness and anger” and illness is a by-product of living in a male dominated world. I know that sounds terribly sexist and I mean no harm, but as I look at all the pieces of the puzzle, I just have to wonder.

    I am not saying that everything a woman goes thru is a mans fault (that would be too easy, not to mention a cop-out) But I do wonder if the way society has been set up thus far IF IT HAMPERS A WOMANS ABILITY TO BE TRUE TO HERSELF?

    We know that there are places in the world where women are still treated as property. Here in the U.S. women didn’t even have the right to vote until the 1920’s. Heck, according to Legal Zoom’s “craziest laws still on the books” In Memphis Tenn a woman cannot drive a car unless a man with a red flag is in front of the car to warn other drivers!! ( yes, hubby is rolling on the floor laughing) but I’m trying to make a point here. In Michigan, a womans hair belongs to her husband and she needs his permission to have it altered!!!

    I know things are changing, but its no wonder women have been affected physically and mentally by this kind of thinking.

    In many religions women are either subtly or even blatantly told what to do or what to think, what to wear, where they can and cannot go or even when they can speak or pray.

    I read a little book a couple of years ago written for young girls and young women ( I do not want to give the title or the denomination, for the theme I think crosses so many realms, they put things in a very blantant way, but again I know this still looms in one way or another and that many women are influenced or affected by it) here is a little snippit:

    ” A young woman states “I am doing what I know I should be doing, but I know I am not happy”.
    Answer: If you are not happy in the will of _______ (insert God, Jehovah or other title)it is because you are rebelling in your heart against it and not accepting it gladly as you SHOULD, YOU HAVE NOT FULLY GIVEN UP YOUR OWN IDEAS IN YOUR HEART. In the word, 1 Corn 11, a woman is under God and man… ACCEPTING THIS IS THE FIRST STEP TO TRUE HAPPINESS. A woman was made for the man, not man for the woman. SHE DOES NOT SEEK HER OWN HAPPINESS FIRST, NOR DOES SHE ATTEMPT TO SATISFY HER OWN NEEDS AND DESIRES. Her place is to be a helpful worker and companion for man. This place she will realize most fully in marriage, but when young she is learning this submission and helpfullness to man in her home and with her own family. The woman should be in subjection to man and BE SUBMISSIVE TO HIS DECISIONS FOR HER.

    Sorry about throwing religion in there but since a high percentage of women attend church, they are probably getting some aspect of this message.

    I belive women have lost contact with their true inner self in one way or another, especially thru the first half of their life when they feel pressured to play the role others expect of them such as wife, mother, role model etc. etc. Then after years of neglect, their true inner self has to resort to sickness and illnesses just to be heard.

    About midlife, kids are almost grown and the woman is just sick of being sick, she finds a way (consciously or subconsciously) to take her life back. It’s a chance to get to know herself again, to take back her power. That can be seen in ways Dr Klaper mentions such as water fasting, climbing ropes across a canyon, or I’ve even seen it happen thru a divorce (as “bad” as that sounds).

    I’m not saying that all role playing a woman chooses to play are “bad” or forced upon her, but I don’t think young women know what choices are available to them, they just follow what is around them. As time goes on, those choices are expanding and more women are choosing to step out of the box that society has constructed. No matter what choice is made, the experiences help us to discover who we are or are not.

    WOW, KEVIN, that was VERY theraputic!!!! I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders!!!
    Sorry this ended up so long, but thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

  21. Cindy (Syndey, Australia) says:

    WOW. Such confronting words that hit me like a tonne of bricks. I am a 43 yo woman who has had a hard life,been let down by everyone important to me and who has IBS(20 years) & CFS(18 years) and disc injuries in my spine causing chronic, severe back, neck & shoulder pain (10 years). As much as i try not to I do define myself by my illness/pain, it is so debilitating & restricting, it is hard not too as I feel i need an ‘excuse’ to not be working or doing what the mainstream people are doing. I have been unable to have children (unexplained infertility) so I don’t even have the reason of being a stay home mother. I totally understand what he said about the women that he sees as I am one of them. Hard to find a way out sometimes when your mind is affected by depression (brought on mainly through grief of losing my dream of having children)and pain, both physical & emotional. I do believe there MUST be a link between physical & emotional pain, not sure about the % but i would guess the emotional is alot higher. Maybe alot of the reason that EFT helps people with physical pain, released through dealing with or unblocking the emotions… I have tried it on myself but not with longstanding effects, but maybe it’s because what the Doctor said, I have deep seated beliefs that I am my illness/ problems/ pain etc. I think it all boils down to not feeling worthy or deserving, and where did I learn that, from my birth parents, relatives, friends, teachers, etc. You are so lucky to live in a country that has such a fantastic facility as TRUE NORTH. Thanks so much for showing me your experience and especially this video. It has meant more than you know. Have a great day.

  22. Kim says:

    On the rare rare times I have pain,I believe it would really high, and what is left over would be just carelessness.(not taking care of self)which goes hand and hand….unfortunately.



  23. Kim says:

    hand in hand

  24. john says:

    Great interview Kevin with Dr. Clapper.My experience has been that low income peoples emotional health is in grave danger due to WORRY about money, low pay jobs, family ,ones health and families unhealthy loved ones,etc. This over time will deplete ones vital force or immune system ,leading one to apathy . When the mind is horrifically shocked it is opened to suggestion or a humane robot ,the mind is then able to compartmentalize many personalities etc..Research —MK ULTRA— done by your government. I agree and concur 100% with –#7

  25. Erika says:

    Thank you Kevin –

    yup, 80 % emotional
    20 %, residue physical problems from old emotional, traumatic buidlup

    all best

  26. anne says:

    I found Dr.K. from True North comments and attitude to be very disrespectful to women and I agree with many of the points that Diana from Ohio posted on your blog.

    Dr.k. seems to not realize how detrimental all of the energetic messages about self worth that women are given and have been given over the centuries. it may take the rigorous water fasting to develop the self-discipine necessary to resist these messages and not internalize them, though they still exist. The women may develop self-respect in the process and do not allow others to treat them poorly or give them messages of being the “sick” person.

    Both western and alternative medicine practitioners often take this “one up” position of them being the one with the knowledge and the patient being compliant. They often are very vested in people being the sick ones and they being the healthy one with the answers. They rarely involve the patient in the decisions, where the patient would get to use their reasoning and intuition, which would build their self confidence. The relationship only serves to build the confidence of the practitioner. Many organizations, businesses, and relationships are built on this one-up position and compliance is what most people do. There are companies like google who value their employees ideas and health, but the reality is that women have to find ways to value themselves, because society has still not reached a point of respect for women. Illness is often the result of trying hard in a difficulty society, and not being able to progress.

    When you fast you get clearer on your own ideas, your own sense of self and start to value yourself and therefore project this message to others. Often you may still need to choose to not be around people who give these messages.

    What I am amazed at is that Alternative Health practitioners are often as guilty as western medicine doctors. Many alternative practitioners suffer from low self esteem and use the position of power over the “sick” person to boost their own self worth. It is always an artificial way to boost your self-worth and is dependent on getting it from others who you put “lower” than you – the “sick” person.
    Also I believe that the heavy metals in our bodies and other toxins attract these low vibrational messages, so clearing the physical is very important.

  27. Sue Paterson says:

    All combined – emotion exacerbates. It is interesting that the fact that a male MD is addressing womans issues which is separating and dominating in itself, however, he is addressing what is presenting itself to him. I am in that age group and it all applies to me. I think caregivers burnout is a pretty accurate description. However, as we move beyond these issues, I think the future will find more men with their own crisis, some already evident. All moving toward some better balance I hope.

  28. Ronda says:

    Hi Everyone – Great Thread!
    I would like to place a slightly different emphasis on the issues at hand. It looks to me like the larger context of what we are working with here in terms of emotions is the way that emotions naturally swing between receptive and assertive. These are two poles and one is feminine and the other masculine. Often an individual can find themselves stuck in a very unbalanced state and in fact the world we live in is out of balance (doesn’t take a genius to see this!) The video is pointing to the fact that generally more women show up for help at places like True North and will need a nurturing environment to try to swing back into receptivity – a far more healthy place to be for both sexes. Just think about our beautiful brothers out there who are sucked into the military or end up in prison or trapped in loveless marriages and all other kinds of trauma that really need help finding their center. Both sexes suffer in an unbalanced world. Churchy type religions get this all screwed up when they want women to be “passive” – this is a kind of retardation that we have suffered long enough! The trick for both men and women is to balance their masculine and feminine aspects within themselves,within their day and this is what finally leads to emotional wellbeing. The diet is of course key but it is not the main ingredient – actually if you want to move into receptivity and receive all the wonderful free nutrition that is in the airwaves (call it Chi if you like) you could try being totally silent and receptive – a fast can either help or be a total distraction. In closing I would just like to say that Kevin and Ann are most excellent examples of emotionally balanced people and you can tell just by looking at them! It makes me wonder if they both might have had a really good start in life? I think sometimes we can be a bit too fetishistic about our nutrition but of course it is so interwoven with how we feel that we will do anything to feel better. For those who had such not great starts in life or have suffered other devastations the prospect of eating (or fasting) our way to nirvana is such a temptation. The art of receptivity (healthy feminine) begins with getting oneself into a situation where you are actually safe enough to de-armor and then it all unfolds from there. Men need this now more than ever – let’s all give each other that gift of safe haven – be your own walking paradise – and eat your veggies for heaven’s sake!

  29. Melina says:

    The pain in the conditions he mentions is very much a physical issue (lupus, fibromylgia, CFS and other autoimmune conditions). These people often get labled so incorrectly as having a psychological issue. If you research these issues in depth you learn that there is a very physical cause. Also, I have seen several people feel better from such conditions doing a juice fast or water fast, but the important part is how they feel after they return to food even if it is healthy food. Often their symptoms come back because they still have unaddressed issues like leaky gut (the cause of food intolerances)and other related gut issues that have not been healed by fasting. They feel better without food because they are having immune responses to a lot of foods they eat due to gut issues. Please be careful about assuming autoimmune related pain is predominately psychological, it can wound people to feel so misunderstood on this level. Look at people who have truly healed for good from such issues and notice how it was not a psychological shift that was required (people like Jordan Rubin, Ann Boroch, Donna Gates, Weston Price’s patients, Donna Pessin, etc). They all mention the pain of being misunderstood by doctors and being told it’s in their head. If they had believed that they would still be sick and in pain.

  30. zyxomma says:

    All pain has an emotional component, which varies widely (even wildly!) from individual to individual. Thus, I can’t place a percentage on it.

    One thing stands out in the comments on this thread: Emotions are not just in our “heads,” they are physiological as well as psychological. Most of us in this society are so disconnected from our healthy, real emotions — whether because of trauma, neglect, parasites, metals, chemicals, or toxic foodstuffs masquerading as sources of nutrition — that we don’t recognize “feeling” as a state of body as well as a state of mind. Live life from the heart — not the blood pump, but the energetic chakra that contains the thymus, source of much of our immune response. Emotions are total-body experiences. Their origin goes *way* beyond the mind/brain alone.

    Health and peace.

  31. Often when one is in a body focused environment, the only thing they pay attention to is the physical aspects. Dr. Klapper has brought out a most important element that the emotions are an integral part of what’s going on, whether you’re a woman in your 40’s-60’s who easily expresses her feelings because she’s a woman, because the conventional medical system promotes this anger he talks about, and because this age category for a woman is hormonally related…however, everyone experiences feelings, many are simply repressed and get expressed through back pain, migraines, etc. which is where Dr. John Sarno’s work would likely come into play. The point is this: you cannot separate the mind from the body! What occurs in the mind and all the traumas and stresses of daily living will deeply affect the body and what goes on in the body will equally affect the mind. Therefore, a complete program addresses the mind, and body AND the spirit. I am presently on my 12th day of water fasting at True North and I find the doctors here wonderful. Thank you!

  32. michael says:

    Can you fast and go about your normal working week while fasting, without any side-effects?

  33. susiequeue says:

    Does this clip mean Dr Klaper believes that the woman who did the 41 day fast and who had had a headache for 16 years had a psychological headache and NOT a physiological one?

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