Thursday, April 26, 2018

An interview with AlanGoldhamer, D.C.

An interview with Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

Dr. Goldhamer is a Life member of the National Health Association and a member of the NHABoard of Directors. During a recent interview with Mark Huberman, he discussed the expansion of TrueNorth Health Center which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year.

by Mark Huberman

 You have been operating the TrueNorth Health Center since 1984.In 2007 you moved to a much larger facility.How is the new location working out?

In September 2007, we took over a 24,000 square foot facility in the most beautiful area of Santa Rosa, CA. After a comprehensive top to bottom renovation we opened our fabulous new facility. We now have over three dozen private rooms with private bathrooms. We have incorporated modern amenities including private phones with voice mail, broadband Internet access via WI-FI, large screen flat panel TVs with DVD players and cable access. Our goal was to make the experience of fasting somewhat less miserable.

But doesn’t the inclusion of TVs,Internet Access, and DVDs into the fasting experience risk interference with the total physiological rest and lifestyle discipline that is supposed to be the foundation of the process? I mean, what might Dr.Shelton say!

We live in a different world today and the availability of big screen TVs,DVD players, etc., make viewing our outstanding collection of healtheducation videos enjoyable and effective. I think Dr. Shelton would beamazed at the quality of educational materials we have collected. For thosewho prefer to have intense rest during fasting, they can choose to leave theTV and computer unplugged.

I know that your facility has a rich history of attracting some famous patients including movie stars, politicians and some major business executives.Has your new facility increased that interest?

Our new facility makes people from any walk of life feel secure andcomfortable. We have seen a substantial increase in the number of influentialpeople participating in our program.

Has your new facility allowed you to offer programs in addition
to supervised fasting?

Yes, we offer supervised water and juice fasting programs and a healthy eating and exercise option. We have an affiliated fitness center with excellent trainers and a variety of equipment available. We are also adjacent to a lovely walking path.

But is “juice fasting”really fasting?

No, fasting is water-only. However, fasting is not for everyone and a diet of juices only can be a useful tool in helping people move in the direction of health.

Has your larger facility required you to expand the staff?

Absolutely. We now have two medical doctors, a clinical psychologist, five chiropractors, four massage therapists, a wonderful chef, nutrition educators and a support staff of over 20. We offer an education program that includes twice daily live and recorded presentations, cooking classes and question and answer sessions.

Have you also made changes in the food you offer?

We are fortunate to have hired a classically trained chef who has done an outstanding job of using the tremendousvariety of organically grown fruits and vegetables availableto us in California and making a variety of interesting andtasty dishes for our participants. The cooking classes arevery popular as well.

And speaking of food, tell me about your new food service.

We have recently started a new food service called TrueNorth Health Kitchen which is a personal chef service for our patients. Healthy options can be ordered by visiting the Center’s website:

With all these upgrades, is fasting still affordable at your new Center?
Yes, we have not changed our rates. Participants can still secure a private room with private bathroom for $139 a night.

 You have two books, The Pleasure Trap and The Health Promoting CookbookAre there others in the pipeline?

Yes, I am currently working on a new book on fasting.

Tell us about the intern training program for doctors?

I am proud to report that we have been accepted by a number of naturopathic, chiropractic and now medical schools as a training site for doctors. These preceptorships are a part of their medical training and they learn about the use of clinical fasting. The most motivated can re-turn for internships where they can be-come eligible for certification by the IAHP in fasting supervision.

How many interns have you trained, and have many gone on to operate fasting clinics themselves?

In the early years we were limited to training two doctors per year. We currently have seven doctors training atTrueNorth Health. I am also teaching courses in clinical fasting at three schools of naturopathic medicine and one chiropractic college. Many of my students come to the center for preceptorships or internships and the number of doctors applying has increased tremendously. Many of our interns have opened facilities, however, the challenges of keeping a facility open that offers medically supervised fasting is still very difficult.

Do any stand out?

Yes, Stephan Esser, M.D., grandson of Dr. William Esser, isan outstanding new doctor. Stephan was accepted toHarvard Medical School for his residency in physicalmedicine and, with outstanding doctors like him comingalong, the future looks bright.

You have three papers that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals dealing with fasting in the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes. Is there more research on the horizon?

Our first studies entitled “Medically Supervised Water-only Fasting in the Treatment of High Blood Pressure,”were written with the help of T. Colin Campbell at CornellUniversity. We demonstrated the largest effects ever shownin treating high blood pressure in humans with fasting anda health promoting vegan diet. We are currently workingon a prospective study that will look at the clinical and costof care outcomes in treating autoimmune disorders in-cluding lupus (SLE), arthritis, colitis and diabetes withfasting and a health-promoting diet.
The original studies can be downloaded from our website at

 You operate the world’s largest fasting facility, conduct research, train doctors, teach fasting, treat patients and write books.What do you do in your spare time?

I like to play basketball, hike with my lovely wife Jennifer and my son Gar, and play with my four-year-old grandson, Colin.

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