The Miraculous Power of Fasting
I've practiced intermittent fasting for the past couple of years, mostly for longevity reasons. I want to live a while to enjoy my military retirement. By intermittent fasting I mean I eat one meal a day (OMAD), sometimes two meals a day (2MAD). In other words most days I don't eat any food or drink calories for at least 16 hours a day.
Once or twice a year I do a prolonged fast which I would define as not eating food or drinking calories for a period greater than 24 hours.
Last fall I was building a shed and fell off a 6 foot ladder. On the way to the ground my shoulder struck a work table. At the time I thought it had just knocked the wind out of me. But a few days later my left shoulder experienced extreme pain. It hurt when I moved it, and it even hurt when I didn't move anything. I went to my GP who prescribed some pretty serious pain killers which didn't help all that much. I got a referral to an orthopedic doctor who gave me steroid injections to my shoulder.
An interesting thing happened, my left shoulder improved but then my right shoulder started hurting even worse than the left one was. To me that was very strange. The orthopedic doctor said I had been over compensating with my right side because the left was out of use and I strained it too. She put me in physical therapy.
Three months of physical therapy and I still had pain though much of the range of motion and function had returned, I still felt weak.
Bear in mind, I am a Hapkido teacher and I didn't neglect my students. I couldn't mix it up with them but I still came to every practice and guided them verbally as much as I could and only went hands on when I had to. Pain was just constant, always there. The painkillers would reduce it some but after a few hours it would be back.
Saturday night I ate with my family and decided maybe it is time to fast again for a few days. All I permitted myself was water, herbal tea, and black coffee. No food so no pain killers. After 24 hours of fasting I noticed the pain was greatly reduced, I suspect this represents a reduction in inflammation primarily. I pulled up a graph by Dr. Mindy Pelz, a YouTuber I follow. Her fasting graph is based on three massive studies which are cited at the bottom of the graph.
You can see her chart here: Fasting Benefits Chart
By hour 46 of my fast the pain was completely gone! A fast of that duration would have numerous health benefits but the one I think I am experiencing is an increase in musculoskeletal stem cells which begins around hour 20 and really starts to amp up around hour 45. No pain, no pain meds, I feel like a new man.
I at hour 50 I went and taught Hapkido, I was able to get in there and physically mix it up with my students which felt great! I went home after and still no pain. Today is the day after and I feel fine. As I write this I am at hour 61. According to Dr. Pelz's chart musculoskeletal stem cell production will peak at hour 72-75 and then it just kind of hangs there at max stem cell production.
I'm planning to break my fast at hour 67 and have dinner with my family. I'll be curious to see if the pain returns after eating. I'll let you guys know.
After a winter of pain I feel like a miracle happened.
Teacher and Hapkido Online Developer.