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9 elements of nourishment for our soul according to Otto Buchinger

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What nourishes our soul?

In our everyday life, the hunger of the soul is often mistaken for the need for food. Fasting offers us the opportunity to attend to our own spiritual needs, which become more apparent.

“During fasting, the body thrives, but the soul hungers”, said Dr. Otto Buchinger.

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9 elements that nourish the soul of a person

Dr. Otto Buchinger described nine elements that were important to him and that can nourish a person’s soul – not only during fasting, but throughout their life. He called them the “Nutrition for the soul”.

It may be easier to forgo material indulgence or addictions, like over-eating, smoking, drinking alcohol, if we manage to introduce these nine elements of nourishment for our soul into our lives.

Fulfilling work

“Plentiful, meaningful, structured, dutiful, and enjoyable work including appropriate breaks.”


Yes, it is important how I feel about my work, my profession. Do I approve of what I do? Do I find my job meaningful? Does it fulfil me? If I can identify with my work and not simply look forward to having free time, I will have plenty of joyous moments in my life. Happy people (according to today’s happiness research) are those who can truly relate to their profession without being overworked. *


“Any spiritually motivated person, who is always seeking for improvement, must read.”


I feel the same way. I especially enjoy reading when I am fasting.

Reading requires time and an inner openness, so that what I read has the space to resonate. The statements interact with my experience, my associative world,
and enrich it. *

Good companions

“I do believe that we humans have invisible companions, and that each of us has a guardian angel. How do I find good companions? With spiritual food for thought: memorized proverbs, mantras, short prayers, my own happy impressions, lyrical passages, verses from psalms and hymns, contemporanean theatrical quotations, passages from dramatic monologues, and verses from heartfelt songs of praise.”


I think of synchronicities, those unbelievable so-called coincidences in life, of helpful encounters that were unlikely but happened anyway. I find the idea that angels are at work quite poetic. Otto Buchinger called these synchronicities signatures. The idea that it is possible to lure and attract angels is truly motivating! The more I wish for an angel or a sign, the more I pay attention, the more will appear because I am open to perceiving them. *


“Nature: a health spa.
Let us walk and hike more often.”


Whenever I’m hiking or in-line skating, or back when I used to ski, nature is also a source of energy and joy to me. Particularly during a fast, I get carried away in the contemplation of nature. I need to be outdoors every day, no
matter how the weather is! I love gardens. In a garden, you can be active in the fresh air and marvel at its beauty, which is simply for its own sake. *


“Rhythm, sound, and melody always have an effect on man and beast (who knows, maybe also on sensitive plants) that is certainly impressive, it can change moods and it’s influence flows deeply from the soul into the body.”


When I am fasting, I avoid constant background music and look forward to music that I carefully choose and celebrate. It amplifies my inner silence.

Sometimes I sing, just for myself, all of this is an act of connecting and being present; listening attentively – to the music and the emotions that arise within me. *

Appreciation of visual art

“What we see on the walls
is also nourishment for our soul.”


We exhibit contemporary art on the walls of our clinics. Our guests also have an art studio at their disposal where they can be creative, through painting or sculpture. Every human carries a museum in their imagination in which they store all pictures, some of which come to the fore in association with an encounter or a situation. *


“Are we born with the golden blessing of a special God-given character trait?
Does one possess it? Or is it sometimes completely missing? Can one acquire it or can it be taught? Blessed are those who possesses it, because it is one of the best things for a healthy soul.”


I cherish the ability to laugh about myself, especially when certain behaviour patterns are repeated or if my ego pushes me to complain or be overdramatic. When I fast, I feel more serene and light-hearted. It may come as a surprise to fasting sceptics, but there is much laughter in a fasting clinic. *

Volunteer work

“Naturally, this refers to
charitable service to mankind.”


Volunteer work brings us back to the idea of giving alms, which is linked to fasting in all religions. When we fast, we are more accepting of others. We give our time, attention, and sometimes money for certain projects. This is not about giving to be a better person, but about selfless acts that bring joy to all those concerned. *


“’Meditation’ and ‘adoration’,
reflecting on the meaning of my life.”


For me, meditation primarily means being present and interrupting all mental activity. It means perceiving people, places and situations with all my senses, without judging, labelling, or criticizing them in any away; practising life in the here and now, feeling alive in every cell of my body. In our clinic, we create a spiritual atmosphere, not least thanks to our former head of medicine, Dr. Christian Kuhn, who introduced Zen meditation to our clinic, in other words, meditating in silence. Creating spaces, where people can learn to let go. Through my own religious tradition, I am well acquainted with prayer and inner dialogue. *

* Extract from the book “Therapeutic Fasting: The Buchinger Amplius Method”
by Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo

History of the company

Buchinger Wilhelmi is a successful, family-owned business, which is managed by the fourth generation. Yet the spirit of the founding generation continues to have a vibrant and undiminished effect. This unique blend of change and continuity can be explained by what we do and how we do it.

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