Nutrition at the Centre of Healing

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Dr. Peter Erdelsky & DF Philippe Gamondes

Dr Peter Erdelsky, Specialist in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, DF Philippe Gamondès, Nutrition Expert, Leukerbad Clinic, Willy Spühlerstrasse

July 6, 2021

Nutrition in the Healing Center will bring you health – hair, skin, organs, whole body! In addition to bringing health, it also helps to lose weight because in the Center of Healing all patients move and exercise. Of course, such a diet will be bad for your body if you do not implement it as a treatment at the Center of Healing. Something like this is not for everyone, but nutrition for everyone at the Center of Healing can be done. Each menu is made separately for each person and every moment is carefully monitored. If the patient’s condition worsens, treatment is discontinued and not continued. 

For more information, read the article by Dr. Peter Erdelsky & DF Philippe Gamondes.

Hippocrates, founder of the medical sciences and “father of medicine”, already confirmed in ancient times that food is the best remedy. This viewpoint is also held by the Leukerbad Clinic in the canton of Valais. At 1400 m above sea level, Dr Peter Erdelsky, specialist in orthopaedic surgery and traumatology, and nutrition expert Philippe Gamondès combine their skills to heal patients. In particular, they are convinced of the health benefits of therapeutic fasting. But how can abstaining from food, such an important element for our energy and health, have a positive effect on certain ailments? The successful duo, who firmly believe that nutrition is a key to healing, answered a few questions for us.

What is therapeutic fasting?

Philippe Gamondès, nutrition expert: Therapeutic fasting is the complete or partial abstention from food. At the Leukerbad Clinic, our goal is primarily to fight inflammation by preventing the development of inflammatory processes. We work with a special approach to therapeutic fasting, which we combine with chronobiological nutrition, that is, with the intake of the “right food at the right time”. For example, our patients are not given fruit juice in the morning as it spikes blood sugar levels, which in turn hinders the production of natural anti-inflammatory elements that the body produces in the morning. Instead, we offer them herbal juice which, in addition to a glyco-modulator, contains 92% of the 116 minerals useful to our organism and helps heal the intestinal mucosa, which plays a crucial role in the body to optimise self-healing.

How did you find out that therapeutic fasting and the chronobiological diet can have a positive effect on certain clinical pictures?

Peter Erdelsky, orthopaedic surgeon: The Leukerbad Clinic has specialised in musculoskeletal rehabilitation for more than 60 years. We treat all patients with diseases of the musculoskeletal system, in the chronic phase or after an operation. For example, the patients have had knee or hip surgery. Or they suffer from rheumatism, arthritis, joint or back pain. The second speciality of our clinic, which has been deepened for about 10 years, is integrative medicine, with a focus on nutrition and traditional Chinese medicine. One day we had a young 13-year-old patient who was overweight. The kilos he weighed too much were causing him severe joint pain. We treated him for his pain, but he wanted also take the opportunity to lose weight. After a conversation with my colleague Philippe Gamondès, we suggested a global therapy to the youngster. After 3 to 4 weeks, the boy had lost several kilos and his joint pain was also decreasing. We established a link between the diet and the anti-inflammatory effect. The results were so good that his whole family decided to follow the same diet, and apparently later even his whole neighbourhood joined in! We then repeated this global approach in other patients. And each time the results were surprising. This convinced us that diet, or rather not eating, plays an essential role in the anti-inflammatory process.

One could assume that fasting is rather harmful for the body: lack of energy, malnutrition etc. How is it beneficial for the organism?

P. Gamondès: A healthy, balanced diet necessarily includes a period of fasting to allow the body to regenerate… After all, any healthy diet includes breakfast to break the nightly fast! During this fasting period, the cells can regain their balance. It is known that the cause of chronic inflammations often lies in the intestines. So fasting, this rest period for the digestive system, has a direct effect on reducing inflammation. It is a kind of “reset”, like a computer! Inflammatory phenomena are normalised and the body’s self-healing process is activated. One can legitimately confirm that patients with severe inflammation benefit from controlled fasting under certain circumstances. It has been proven: Fasting relieves inflammation.

Is therapeutic fasting suitable for all patients?

P. Gamondès : No, there is no general protocol. It is a personalised diet adapted to the patient’s clinical symptoms and the evolution of their condition during the course of treatment. We carry out a series of tests to determine whether the patient is suitable for fasting, whether his body can tolerate it. For example, it is not always suitable for patients who are too thin or too weak. We create a personalised diet, taking into account chronobiological nutrition, the famous principle of the right food at the right time, and monitor the situation. If the patient’s physical condition allows, we plan fasting periods.

Does this particular type of diet really enable patients’ health to be improved?

P. Erdelsky: It undoubtedly actively contributes to improving patients’ health. Current studies prove the positive effects on health. We also have the certainty that weight loss plays an essential role in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. It is particularly noteworthy that therapeutic fasting is suitable for almost all patients, except in rare exceptional cases. However, to have a long-term effect, patients must continue the chronobiological diet after treatment. Specifically, we train them to follow a special diet, just as we show them gymnastics and water gymnastics exercises which have a positive effect on joint pain in particular. However, symptoms may return if the patient does not maintain the good habits after returning home. Therapeutic training of patients is thus the basis of our approach to enable patients to apply what they have learned in the long term, also at home. This is an essential prerequisite for recovery. In this way, the use of anti-inflammatory drugs is also inevitably reduced as we try to promote the body’s natural self-healing process through exercise and controlled nutrition.

Do you have a case study that proves these health benefits?

P. Erdelsky : I remember a case that made a big impression on me. A patient of about 65 years old was suffering from particularly severe rheumatoid polyarthritis and cancer at the same time, which caused immune problems. Because of the immune problems, the modern rheumatism therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs and immunomodulators were out of the question for her, as she had an allergic reaction to them every time. We treated the lady who had been suffering from severe inflammatory pain for years: she could not move her fingers. At first we prescribed a chronobiological diet, physiotherapy and water gymnastics, which quickly improved her condition. After a while, when her body was strong enough, we prescribed a fasting cure. After her 3-week stay, the patient was able to move her hands almost completely again. Her inflammatory signs in the blood, especially the CRP level, which was more than 50 mg/l when she arrived, had dropped below 10 mg/l (the normal value is below 5!). The stay changed her life. Given her initial condition, it was a small miracle for us … After leaving the clinic, the patient continued the chronobiological diet according to our recommendations and was able to prolong the positive effect of the treatment resulting from our global approach.

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