3Assistant Professor, SRK Medical College of Naturopathy & Yogic Science, Tamilnadu, India.
Introduction: Fasting is a common ingredient of naturopathic prescription in India. However no studies have been conducted to establish the use, approach of naturopathy physicians towards fasting. The present study, a cross sectional survey was conducted to assess the attitude, use, belief and understanding about therapeutic fasting among the naturopathy physicians in India. Methods: A 12 item e-mail based questionnaire was sent among 334 naturopathy physicians, which were designed to obtain demographic data, practice characteristics and multiple choice and multiple response close-ended questions along with an open-response final question. Survey questionnaire data was analyzed using descriptive statistics via frequency distribution and cross tabulations. Results: A convenient sample of total 257 participants was collected. Majority of the respondents were private practitioners with an average experience of 5 years. 50% of the total population confirms the use of fasting in their daily prescription which is mostly for 1-5 days (54%) and for all diseases (38.5%). Physicians mostly prescribe short term mono fasting with fruits or juices (42.8%) along with all other modalities (61.5%) to get desired effect. The end results of fasting therapy was quoted as satisfactory (51.7%) whereas the misconceptions of the patients was a challenge for 1/3 and most of them find it easy to administer in adults (85%). Conclusion:Naturopathy physicians use fasting as a first line management in almost all chronic and acute diseases. However there is a need for strengthening the evidence based practice to bestow better care.