Since prehistory, fasting has been used in various ways as a means of transformation. As a spiritual practice, it is the oldest and most common form of asceticism and is found in virtually every religion and spiritual tradition. In psychology, studies have suggested that fasting can alleviate the symptoms of some psychiatric conditions, including depression and schizophrenia. In medicine, fasting is one of the most promising therapies, with research suggesting that fasting can cause certain drugs, such as chemotherapy, to work better while reducing drug side-effects. Hunger striking, sometimes called political fasting, may be the most powerful application of fasting. Proof of this occurred in 1948 when Gandhi’s hunger strike caused millions of Hindus and Muslims in India to cease their fighting. As a practical guide, Randi Fredricks, Ph.D. provides detailed information on the different types of fasting, where people fast, the physiological process of fasting, and the contraindications and criticisms of fasting. Using existing literature and original research, Dr. Fredricks focuses on the transformative characteristics of fasting in the contexts of psychology, medicine, and spirituality. The relationship between fasting and transpersonal psychology is examined, with a focus on peak experiences, self-realization, and other exceptional human experiences. Dr. Fredricks demonstrates how fasting can be profoundly therapeutic, create global paradigm shifts, and provide personal mystical phenomena.
Dr. Randi Fredricks, Ph.D. is a researcher and practicing psychotherapist and marriage counselor. She specializes in preventing and reversing mental health problems through natural methods. The focus of her practice, writing and research is on the development of models that incorporate complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders and related problems. For more than 20 years, Dr. Fredricks has been at the forefront of addiction research. As an advocate of using alternative and complementary medicine in combination with traditional psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Fredricks' books, research, and approach to psychotherapy have assisted people in developing more effective personalized approaches to treating mental health. Her work has helped people to reduce their dependence on psychotropic drugs as well as reduce medication side effects. Dr. Fredricks is considered a national expert in the area of fasting and psychiatric disorders. Her discoveries in how fasting affects psychological problems is essential for understanding the manner in which diet, nutrition, and calorie restriction can resolve these issues. In addition to her work in the area of mental health counseling, Dr. Fredricks is an award-winning artist and designer. She maintains a number of blogs on natural medicine and mental health, cinema therapy, and the therapeutic use of film. Her dedication to helping people develop personal and shared exceptional human experiences speaks to these lifelong interests. She lives and works in San Jose, California. To learn more about her work, visit her website at http://www.DrRandiFredricks.com.