Fasting has occurred in every major religion and has been used as a method of transformation and healing since the beginning of recorded history. Socrates, Plato and Hippocrates all recommended fasting for various medical conditions.
Traditionally, fasting had to do with releasing emotions and connecting our souls with the sacred, particularly at significant transition points. However, over the past five hundred years, the purpose of fasting has shifted to the more somatic concern of bodily purification.
With the comparatively recent interest in the “mind-body-spirit connection,” fasting has garnered attention as a method for alleviating physiological problems, psychological disorders and spiritual maladies.
Fasting is an effective method for accessing lower unconsciousness and higher consciousness and facilitating self-transformation through somatic experience, all major concerns of transpersonal psychology.
Fasting is a useful tool for transpersonal therapists to use in their practices as well as their personal lives. To understand the process of fasting, the physiological, psychological and spiritual components must be examined, separately and with reference to how they affect each other.