Part I – What is Fasting & What are the Benefits?
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a period of abstinence from all food or specific items. Fluids are consumed in sufficient quantity to satisfy thirst and physiologic requirements. During the absence of food, the body will systematically cleanse itself of everything except vital tissue. Starvation will occur only when the body is forced to use vital tissue to survive. Although protein is being used by the body during the fast, a person fasting even 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids. In the breakdown of unhealthy cells, all essential substances are used and conserved in a most extraordinary manner. There is an unwarranted fear of fasting that strength diminishes from the catabolism of proteins from muscle fibers. Even during long fasts, the number of muscle fibers remains the same. Although the healthy cells may be reduced in size and strength for a time, they remain perfectly sound.
A. J. Carlson, Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago, states that a healthy, well-nourished man can live from 50 to 75 days without food, provided he is not exposed to harsh elements or emotional stress. Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound. Each extra pound of fat will supply enough calories for one day of hard physical labor. Ten pounds of fat are equal to 35,000 calories! Most of us have sufficient reserves, capable of sustaining us for many weeks.
Rest is understood to be a big factor in enhancing recovery, as it is when the body is at rest that it is able to direct the most energy towards the various chemical and mechanical processes of detoxification. When fasting, a person experiences recovery at a rate that is swifter than normal. He is ridding his body of toxins and excesses; allowing the body to use its own wisdom to healthfully reorganize itself from the atomic level. As the toxic load is reduced, the functioning of every cell is enhanced. In the same way that vital nerve energy is accumulated during a night’s sleep, the faster builds nerve energy through rest, sleep, and detoxification.
The human body has many ordinary modes of achieving elimination: the liver, lungs, kidneys, colon, etc. When these are overloaded, the body will resort to “extra ordinary” methods of elimination: boils, mucous and other discharges, sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, and many others. Should elimination be impossible or uneconomical of body energy, the toxic overload will go into storage forms in the joints, vessels, muscles, organs; almost any tissue in the body. While fasting, the body is highly conservative of its energy and resources. During this deep and profound rest, toxin intake and production are reduced to a minimum while autolysins and elimination proceed unchecked. Anabolic processes such as tissue and bone healing also proceed at a maximal rate during the fast.
In the body, the first stage of cleansing removes large quantities of waste matter and digestive residues. The first few days of a fast can be rough due to the quantity of waste passing into the blood stream. The tongue becomes coated and the breath foul as the body excretes waste through every opening. After the third day of the fast, there is little desire for food. The second stage is the cleansing of mucous, fat, diseased and dying cells, and the more easily removed toxins. As the fast continues, the cleansing process becomes more thorough. The last stage is the cleansing of toxins that have been accumulating in your cellular tissue from birth, and the microscopic tubes that carry vital elements to the brain. Cleansing of the last layer is only possible through a combination of juice fasting, water fasting, and a healthy diet high in raw foods. To overcome a severe disease like cancer, it is important to continue through a series of fasts, to the point where the full scouring action of catabolism removes the disease from the tissue.
During extended fasts the body removes: dead, dying and diseased cells; unwanted fatty tissue, trans-fatty acids, hardened coating of mucus on the intestinal wall; toxic waste matter in the lymphatic system and bloodstream; toxins in the spleen, liver and kidney; mucus from the lungs and sinuses, imbedded toxins in the cellular fibers and deeper organ tissues; deposits in the microscopic tubes responsible for nourishing brain cells and excess cholesterol.
Nearly everyone who fasts, discovers the same thing, that when they fast they actually have no hunger and more energy than they normally have. It is indeed liberating to find out that if we let go and trust, that we will be taken care of. Fasting is the simplest, easiest and most effective way to find out that we do indeed have the power and freedom to heal and take control of our bodies.
Proteins & Fasting
It was theorized that protein loss during fasting was harmful and that a fast should be supplemented with protein. Fasting with protein became known as the Opti-fast. Fasters took nothing but water and a protein drink. Sadly, several people died. Protein digestion during the fasting state created an overload of urea and the blood become acidic. In this condition, the organs become more damaged instead of healing. To the body, fasting is a natural process. During water or juice fasting, the protein levels of the blood remain constant. Although protein is being utilized, a person fasting 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of either protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids. In the breakdown of dying and diseased cells, all essential substances are available while fasting for reuse within the body. These dead cells are utilized in a systematic manner.
Protein deficiency is non existent in North America. You never hear of anyone being diagnosed with protein deficiency. Fruit and vegetable juices have water-soluble highly absorbable proteins. The body has a store of protein, and it uses it selectively. Dying cells are the first to be used and healthy and vital tissues are the very last and will only be used as a last resort. Only during starvation is protein being stripped from healthy tissue to be used to survive. This may take 30 to 80 days of fasting on water to reach this point.
The systematic searching of cells to be metabolized is crucial in the healing of cancer. A cancer cell represents protein and calories. Some cancers are so persistent that you have to force the body to choose between healthy cells and cancer cells. This requires a long fast on small portions of juice combined with days of water fasting.
Probably the most important reason is that the body uses quite a bit of energy to digest food, and when fasting this energy becomes available for other healing in the body . In the fasting state, the body will scour for dead cells, damaged tissues, fatty deposits, tumors, abscesses, all of which are burned for fuel or expelled as waste. The elimination of these obstructions restores the immune system functionality and metabolic process to an optimum state. Fasting restores good digestion and elimination, and peristaltic action is quickened. Fasting allows a deep, physiological rest of the digestive organs, and the energy saved goes into self-healing and self-repairing. By eliminating obstructions, by cleansing, detoxification, and purifying the intestines, the blood, and the cells, we can overcome many of our physical ills or handicaps as well as getting a boost in energy and heightened awareness . Fasting not only removes obstructions and helps the body to heal itself, it is also rejuvenating and life-extending. These resulting benefits can have lasting affects in your mental and emotional health.
The other very important aspect is that your self-awareness will be elevated. If you are sick and depressed, then this might be the most important thing you can try in your self-healing process, because it gives you an immediate energy boost and increased awareness. The increased awareness may allow that you see your situation more clearly, allowing you to take the first step out of your sickness and onto the path of recovery. While fasting you become more aware of your body process, your life and with everything you are doing. It becomes a period where you can evaluate all that you’re doing more objectively, and you naturally have more free time for contemplation because you aren’t using time amassing, preparing, eating, eliminating and cleaning up all which is used to prepare food. You will become more aware of what your body likes and doesn’t like when you start to eat again. You also can gain self-confidence in your ability to control your life process, to set a goal and carry out an intention.
Fasting enhances mental acuity
Perhaps the most instructive testimony as to the acuteness of mental powers during fasting comes from Dr. Herbert Shelton who supervised the fasting of more than 40,000 people over a period of fifty years. His message is that the freer the body is of toxic materials flowing through the blood and lymphatic system, the clearer is the ability to think.
These facts are due to physiological causes. Large amounts of blood and nervous energies have to be sent to the digestive organs to digest a meal. If these energies are not required there, they may be used by the brain for better thinking. This increase in mental acuity doesn’t usually happen until after the first few days of a fast, because the body is busy cleaning out excess toxins and substances and so the first few days can be a period of depression, with headaches and various pains as this process is underway. This can make the first stage of fasting difficult but after the body has thrown off it’s load of toxins, then the brain is fed by a cleaner bloodstream and the mental powers and clarity of thought are extraordinarily increased and the other senses also become more acute.
One’s mind becomes clearer and one’s ability to think and solve intricate problems is enhanced. One is simply more alert, and one’s mind seems to open up into new fields. The mental and physical senses are heightened, and often there can be a feeling of euphoria, especially during longer fasts. Some, for the first time, will experience emotional stability. The reasons for this are multifold – the elimination of the emotional dependence on food, exclusion of stimulating foods like caffeine, processed sugars, recreational drugs, tobacco and trans-fatty acids, and increased energy and awareness making one calmer and less reactive.
Fasting is a Metamorphosis
During a fast, a metamorphosis occurs. The body undergoes a tearing down and rebuilding of damaged materials. For this reason, fasting is famous for its ability to rejuvenate and give the body a more youthful tone. Why does fasting have such a powerful effect in healing the body? Fasting dissolves diseased cells in a systematic manner, leaving healthy tissue. The result is a thorough cleansing of the tube, membrane and cellular structures. There is a remarkable redistribution of nutrients in the fasting body. It hangs on to precious minerals and vitamins while catabolizing on old tissue, toxins and inferior materials.
Each cell of your body is a complete living entity with its own metabolism. It needs a constant supply of oxygen and sufficient nourishment. When due to nutritional deficiencies, sluggish metabolism, sedentary life, overeating and consequent poor digestion and assimilation of food, lack of fresh air and sufficient exercise and rest, our cells are deprived… they start to degenerate… the normal process of cell replacement and rebuilding slows down and your body starts to grow old, its resistance to disease will diminish and you become ‘sick’.
Animals will naturally fast when they are sick or injured, and when we are ill, our hunger diminishes. If we get out of the way and allow nature to take its course, we will find that we can heal from any problem. Since the dawn of recorded time, in fact since before the word “doctor” came into existence, priests provided sanctuaries where people could go to fast.
“I had a medical practice for 20 years in NYC, supervised hundreds of long fasts, and I found that the physical healing or weight loss was but a pleasant side effect. What really happened is that the person got in touch with their higher self, their true self, and came to the experience that healing can take place at every level, simply by letting go and allowing Mother Nature to do her work.” – Dr. Rai Casey
Fasting decreases dependency on authorities
How many of us believe that when we get sick, that a doctor is going to save us from pain and death? We just assume that the technology is going to be able to repair us when we break down, by giving us a pill, a treatment or a surgery. We are so alienated from our bodies that we think that a doctor knows more about us than we do. The reality is that doctor’s don’t have the cures that we need, what is mainly offered by the traditional system of medicine is usually a treatment for our symptoms, which never address the root cause of our problem. When we take treatments only to suppress our symptoms then that cause, which is the underlying reason we are sick, goes unattended, then in fact our illness continues to grow. We will never be fully healthy until we take responsibility for our own health . We need to stop blaming the outside for making us sick, whether it is corporations, a person, our immediate environment or a government, and to recognize instead that our sickness is a symptom telling us something inside us needs to be addressed. For sure there are outside influences that we can’t control, but there is much that we can control by taking responsibility for ourselves and working to change our habits.
Fasting has been beneficial for these conditions:
Although fasting is not recommended in every situation, (cancer of the liver is one instance where fasting is contraindicated), in many situations fasting is the only known solution. Fasting has been beneficial for arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, lupus, chronic fatigue, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, spastic colon, irritable bowel, cases of paralysis, neuritis, neuralgia, neuroses, and mental illness as well as many others. Fasting will also break down tumors and for this reason, many have overcome cancer with fasting.
Summary of Benefits of Fasting
- Mental clarity is improved and brain fog is lifted.
- Rapid, safe weight loss is achieved without flabbiness
- The nervous system is balanced
- Energy level and sensory perception is increased, with longer fasts one has greatere increases in vitality. You normally need less sleep.
- Organs are revitalized
- Cellular biochemistry is harmonized
- The skin becomes silky, soft, and sensitive
- There is greater ease of movement
- Breathing becomes fuller, freer and deeper
- The digestive system is rejuvenated and is more effective; peristaltic action of the intestines (the cause of a natural bowel movement) is stronger after fasting.
- Fasting retrains your tasting sense back to more healthy food as acute sensitivity is restored.
- Fasting can increase confidence in our ability to have control over our lives and our appetite, and that our body is self-regulating and a self-healing organism capable or establishing balance when given the possibility to do so.
- Normal metabolic and cell oxygenation are restored.
- Detoxification – as soon as the body realizes that it’s fasting it will begin to eliminate those things that cause disease, such as fat cells, arterial cholesterol plaques, mucus, tumors, stored up worries and emotions.
Part II – Preparing to Fast, Fasting and Going off the Fast
Preparation for Your Fast
Inform yourself about fasting: by doing your own investigation, reading all you can about the fasting process, the various kinds of fasts and what you can expect as side affects. If you have a preexisting health condition then you should find out if there are contrary indications with fasting and your condition, checking with your medical professional.
Determine the total time you will fast (include days you will fast, and days to go off your fast). Try to arrange a time period for your fast where you have low activity or can take off from work. Avoid strenuous kinds of heavy work if at all possible. Do the best you can. When detoxification increases as it does during fasting, the liver, kidneys, lungs and immune system work extra hard to handle the load. If these systems were already compromised before the fast, one must proceed carefully. You go as long as you can tolerate it, whether physiologically or emotionally, and then come back to eating again. Once you have higher energy and are a few steps further toward better health, you can consider doing another fast. Several short fasts can definitely do wonders if one long fast cannot be undertaken. Long fasts are preferable to short ones because once the body is in the fasting state it cleanses systematically into the harder to get at body tissues. For this reason, most of the recoveries from illness have taken place in the latter parts of long juice or water fasts. Long fasts give the body the uninterrupted time to do the work of healing. The first few days of fasting gets rid of the gross waste products of digestion, but only after this can the body pull out its tools to get to work on healing.
Heart Disease: Include bananas and avocados when juice fasting to balance the blood sugar level. Toxins in the blood and reduced blood sugar levels may cause a weak heart to labor. Like any other organ, the heart needs nutrients, a toxin free environment, and time to heal. Also if one has the disorder of POTS it is advisable to take salt so that the blood pressure does not get too low.
Hypoglycemia: Do not juice fast unless you use bananas and avocados to balance the blood sugar level.
Kidney problems: Fasting can irritate damaged kidneys due to the amount of toxins they filter. Try short juice fasts of 3 to 5 days before progressing to longer fasts.
Liver Disease: The liver can become toxic due to abuse. If the liver is badly degenerated, cleansing must be done in stages. Start with short juice fasts and lead up to fasts over five days. Avoid heavy proteins, refined flours and fatty foods. Eat meals of fruits or vegetables between the fasts. One should also consider doing a liver cleanse.
Age: Nobody is too old to fast – it is exactly what the body needs to feel young again. Shorter fasts are recommended to start. Assess your physical state as you proceed. If juice fasting becomes too intense, bananas and avocados will lessen the intensity by slowing the cleansing.
Ulcers: Fasting will help significantly. Choose the juices that do not irritate the condition.
Please note that I am not a medical health professional and all above is information I share which I have known has helped others with similar conditions. I recommend you check with your preferred professional health provider, any time you are considering a fast, and especially if there are pre-existing conditions. Please read my website disclaimer at bottom of my website.
Aiding Elimination of Toxins
Enemas: If you are not having natural bowel movements then an enema is advised to move out the toxic material that is being scoured by your body. You will feel much better after taking an enema. An enema can be taken daily in the beginning days of a fast, then bi-daily for the remainder using just plain water.
Mucus: . It is common, during fasting, for the nose and throat to pass sticky mucus, clogging the sinuses. White strands of mucus may be found in the stool. You may find that you are more comfortable if you use a Neti Pot to clear the sinus cavities, to prevent getting a cold with the clogged sinuses. You can also drink lemon juice with water to help clear the mucus.
Showers/Bathing: Plan to shower or bath daily to aid in cleaning the pores and assist the removal of toxins. The skin is a large organ and many toxins are removed through the pores causing a gummy deposit on the surface of the skin. It may help to brush the skin removing the sludge that is deposited there.
It is good to at least have mild exercise and movements with short walks to keep the lymphatic fluid moving and to the keep the vascular system working. The amount of exercise you can do is very much dependent on your existing condition and how you are feeling that day and what kind of fast you are doing. Basically one needs to be alert and listen to one’s body and not to overdo. Fasting is resting, not a marathon! You may feel weak during a water fast and may need to rest more often. Sleep is good, it is another way to assist the healing process! While juice fasting, you may experience an abundance of energy that makes exercise easy. If you experience energy loss, limit yourself to stretching exercises, light walking or deep breathing.
Types of Fasts
One Day Fast
One way to start is to fast one day, working towards fasting regularly, one day per week or for longer periods of time. You can fast from all food, or only from solid food, or from any particular substance you feel is not good for you. You can choose a one day fast with only:
- fresh fruit juice
- fresh vegetable juice
- raw fruit
- raw vegetables
- Drug free day, no sugar, caffeine, drugs, alcohol, tobacco
- healthy food day, no junk food (see below)
During any fast avoid these:
Cooked vegetables, cooked whole grains, whole grain flour products, bread, pasta, etc. vegetable protein, soy products, protein supplements, dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, eggs, meats, fast food, junk food, prepared foods, fried foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, street drugs, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol
You can fast from 1 to 40 days. Try to drink 2 quarts (liters) of water or more per day.
The ten day water fast has become a recommended number of days. Ten days on water will cause the same weight loss as 30 days on juice. But water fasting is far more difficult, especially if you have a fast metabolism. Water fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly. Water fasting can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively. Water fasting demands mental preparation, the less pressure and responsibility you have during a water fast the better. Think of it a holiday away from the normal patterns of living. Some recommend that the week before your fast, you drink fresh juices and eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse the body so that the detoxification during water fasting will be less aggressive. Water fasting should always include two of three days of juice fasting before and after the water fast. This alternating between juice and water fasting is the most effective method of achieving a full cleansing through fasting.
Water Fasting Tips
Avoid water straight from the faucet. Distilled water is the best for cleansing because of its inherent, magnetic properties and ability to absorb and suspend large quantities of toxins, flushing them from the body. The perceived value of mineral water is misleading because the inorganic minerals are like huge boulders to the cellular membranes, making them impossible to assimilate. Plants are able to break down the minerals from the soils, allowing them to be completely absorbable to the cells of the body. The best water is distilled, secondly, spring or filtered.
There are no calories or nutritional value in water. On a water fast you have given your body no options but to turn to itself for fuel. This can create a problem when you have spent years depositing counterfeit fuel. Living exclusively on dirty fuel during a fast takes tremendous courage & strength. To ease into water fasting some recommend juice fasting with periods of water fasting. For example 3 days on juice, 2 days on water, 5 days on juice, then 3 days on water. You can juice when you have to work and water fast on the weekend when you can rest.
Water Fasting Concerns
It is not advisable to water fast under the conditions of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, schizophrenia or a chronic heart condition. If you have existing conditions it is best if you consult with a fasting expert and/or be monitored throughout your fast.
Be careful of dizziness and black outs. The heart is resting as much as it can during water fasting. Before you stand up, take one or two deep breaths to get the heart pumping. If you start to black out, sit down or crouch down on one knee. This will immediately stop the dizziness.
Juice fasting is safe and can allow the body to clean itself of toxins while greatly improving conditions for health. A benefit is that your energy level is high because you are receiving sufficient nutrients from the juices, so you can carry out nearly normal activities. A juice fast takes some burden off the digestive system and frees up some energy for accelerated healing though a water fast does much better in that regard. Also, juices can make available extra quantities of nutrients that a person might lack. Juices are easy to assimilate and take hardly any digestive energy from the body, allowing the body to put more energy into healing and rejuvenation. Packed with vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals, yet low enough in calories to force the body to cannibalize on its filthy waste, propelling you to vigorous physical health and clarity of mind.
For your first fast and for the purpose of healing disease most experts recommend a juice fast over a water fast. Fasting on water has become a nearly impossible exercise for a body that has been nurtured on poisons. The juice of fruits and vegetables are filled with healing and cleansing properties that allow the body to gently and safely detoxify. Juice fasting has become an effective stepping-stone to water fasting. Through juice fasting, thousands of individuals have been freed from serious diseases such as cancer, leukemia, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disorders, skin infections, liver disorders, alcoholism and smoking.
The thirty-day juice fast is a standard. This length of fast feels about right because after 30 days it seems like you have been fasting forever. Less then 30 days and you can miss the best experiences of the fast. If you are juice fasting, a few days on water occasionally will intensify the fast and assist with weight-loss if you have a slow metabolism.
Most people can juice fast safely for up to 30 days. The exceptions are those with hypoglycemia, diabetes, hypo thyroid, and Wilson’s Syndrome. For these conditions, eat slices of avocado and banana every few hours, add high quality vegetable source protein powder to your juices, and add psyllium or another good bulking agent to your juices twice a day to regulate blood sugar levels. Do not juice fast if you have impaired kidney function.
The amount of juice you drink will determine the intensity of cleansing. Drinking small amounts of juice supplies fewer calories, thereby increasing detoxification. The more intense the cleansing, the greater the discomfort. Juice fasting allows you to have control over the process of elimination. However, when the body enters a cleansing crisis due to toxins in the blood, no amount of juice will eliminate the discomfort. You must wait it out.
Drink all-vegetable or all-fruit juices, never combine fruits & vegetables to create juice. Make your juice from fresh vegetables or fruits. You can also include herbal teas with honey, vegetable broth, Barley Green, wheat grass juice and supplements helpful for your specific condition. Drink juice whenever hunger develops until pleasantly full as opposed to stuffed full. It is best if you filter or strain the juices, removing any excess fiber or pulp so that you continue to give the digestive system a rest. Also if it looks like you are not losing weight on your fast, you can dilute the juices with water.
You may consider modifying the fast by including quarter slices of avocado or banana to slow the cleansing process. Modified juice fasting is good for those with health restrictions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia. Bananas and avocados are slow to digest and maintain a stable blood sugar level. Their high calorie content slows the intensity of the fast and, because they are easy to digest, the body still devotes energy to cleansing.
Master Cleanse Fast / Lemonade Diet
The Master Cleanse or Lemon Cleanse diet is therapeutically between a water fast and a juice fast. Basically it consists of drinking a mixture of freshly squeezed lemons, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for a period of 8 to 40 days. It is easier to do than a water fast because you are still getting nutrients and energy from the lemons and the maple syrup. This fast can be done while still maintaining your normal work, yet is less calories than what you would get from a juice fast. It is normal to lose weight on this fast and it is excellent for cleansing the colon.
Going Off Your Fast
It’s a fact that eating causes a cycle of hunger. It’s only when we stop eating that we lose hunger! Think about it. All fasting experts agree that hunger sensations are usually lost on or shortly after the third day of fasting, and sometimes don’t return for weeks, but when they do return, usually very strongly, it’s the time to break the fast.
But all fasting experts point out that it is important to resume eating very lightly, and very gradually, in exact relationship to the duration of the fast. Therefore, if breaking a 40-day fast, you may want to start with only small quantities of fruit juice for several days up to a week, before actually resuming with solid food like regular fruit.
Important: Keep the first solid meal light and simple even though the mental temptation to dive into heavier favorites will probably be high. Be gentle with your digestive system and your digestive system will not only thank you but the overall benefits of the cleanse will last much longer. If you were on a water fast, then your first day can be juices, if your were on a juice fast, then your first day should be raw vegetables or fruits. The next meal may include heavier items such as potato, avocado or corn, but in any case you will notice that your body is very sensitive to what you eat and you should use this period of transition to learn more about what your body likes and doesn’t like you to put into it.
When waking up a slumbering digestive system, the desire to eat will be intense. The flavors and textures of food will be enhanced by super clean nasal passages. Eating will be a brand new experience. This is the time to flex your new-found muscles of discipline and self-control. As the body screams, I want more, hear your wisdom whisper: you have had enough.
Eating frequent meals in small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables for the first five or six days will allow the body to gently wake up the digestive system. The body will continue to detoxify and cleanse during this period. Any toxins that have accumulated will begin to move due to the sweeping action of the soft fibers of fruits and vegetables.
For six days gradually increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. To break a fast and gorge on meat, bread or junk food will be disaster. Jarring the system this intensely when the digestive system is in a sensitive state can cause stomach cramps, nausea and weakness, negating much of the benefits of the fast.
Eat slowly and chew your food well. Saliva has enzymes that assist in digestion. Up to 80 percent of the starch, 30 percent of the protein and 10 percent of the fat can be digested by the enzymes in saliva.
Do not overeat! Discover the amount of food that your body needs to live a vibrant, healthy life. Discern the difference between cravings and hunger. Never feed your emotions.
When breaking a fast over ten days, the break-in period should be extended one day for every 4 days of fasting.
Frequency of Fasting
Of course, the best is that people stay on a good daily health regime and then when the need comes to fast to go ahead and do it for a week to 10 days or longer as needed. At least long enough to move completely into the fasting physiology and accelerated detoxification. Ideally people should fast once or twice a year just as a tune-up to deal with the environmental toxins and junk in our foods as well as the emotional build up. Traditionally people have fasted in the spring and fall, when the weather is mild, and other traditions recommend doing a fast 1 day a week, normally on Sunday.
Part III – Reactions & Concerns with Fasting Process
Reactions from Fasting
The healing reactions you get from fasting are dependent on your existing health and the toxic load present in your body when you start. The first three days can be the most difficult until one’s appetite for food goes away, which it normally does after the third day. Many people experience headaches, joint pain and other discomforts in the first few days. Your tongue will become coated and your breath foul, and you may notice increased body odor. These are all normal detox reactions as the toxins move out of your body. With extended fasting you will notice some days are symptom free, then as you move into deeper layers of detoxification you will experience episodes of symptoms as your body cleanses these other systems. In the later stages you remove the mucous from your system and this can increase your likelihood to catch a flu or a cold. At times you may feel weak or tired, so you should listen to your body and rest. Periods of high-energy and mental clarity will be experienced and can be variable, alternating between periods of healing reactions and symptom free days. With extended fasts it is normal to also have strong emotional reactions that have been suppressed, as the body brings these to the surface for healing. This can be a difficult period, but can be dealt with more easily with various tools such as journaling, meditation or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). The cleansing response that happens is dependent on experience with fasting, current health and level of toxins and sickness in your body. If you have an existing health condition, it is possible that you get a strong healing reaction or healing crisis.
If cleansing responses arise (headache, stomach upset, mental fog, lethargy,.etc) exercise great patience and take rest until symptoms pass. It’s all part of the process. Always go to your capacity but never over-do. If unreasonably strong physical or emotional symptoms occur, it may be wise to discontinue. The following are common reactions and what can be done if wanted, to ease the symptom while you are fasting.
As your body detoxifies, many of the spiritual aspects of ourselves that have been waiting to come through for a long time are finally able to surface. A person, hopefully fasting in an environment that is calm and serene and peaceful and loving, will be able to express and deal with these spiritual phenomena such that it can have a very beneficial and positive effect. Meditation, body relaxation, and other tools can be used to help relate to spiritual and emotional phenomena.
Weight loss can initially be as high as three to four pounds per day, but as the fast continues, the average loss will be one pound per day. If you are juice fasting and not losing weight, the juice is supplying all the calories you need. You may have to cut down on the juices or alternate between water fasting and juice fasting if losing weight is part of your goal. The slower your metabolism the slower the weight loss. If you are thin or average weight and you fast for 30 days on juice or 10 days on water, you will become thin. Ribs will show, the face will become gaunt, and friends and family will display concern. But the body will quickly normalize its weight in 5 to 10 days after the fast. If you are thin to start with, fasting may allow you to gain additional weight after the fast. Metabolism is normalized due to the cleansing process. It is very important not to try to gain weight too quickly. The body can rebuild only at a set rate. Overeating will burden the body and undermine the rebuilding process.
You may experience dizziness, if you do get down on one knee and the dizziness will stop immediately. Be aware to not get up from lying down or sitting postions too quickly, rise slowly and be aware of your heart and feeling of balance as you do.
Back pain may increase due to toxins in the lower intestine. The blood vessels that draw nutrients from the colon are very close to the nerves of the spine. Back pain often decreases after elimination of the toxins. Back exercises also can relieve some pain. A cold pack also will help. An enema may also be in order…
Waste passes through the lungs which are an elimination organ. Brushing the tongue with a tooth brush, using dental floss and rinsing with mouthwash will reduce bad breath.
These may develop from a toxic buildup in the mouth. Unhealthy bacteria increases between the teeth. The tongue becomes coated with waste. To stop cankers, gargle with sea salt mixed with water several times daily. Dabbing the sore with tea tree oil or vitamin E quickens the healing process.
Mucous is the perfect food for viruses. Toxins weaken the immune system. When large quantities of toxins and mucus are in the blood due to a fast, they can cause a susceptibility to colds. To fight a cold, continue fasting to eliminate the mucus. Reduce the liquid intake and drink lemon juice. Use a neti pot.
During fasting the body conserves energy. The heart pumps slower and blood pressure lowers. Standing or moving quickly from a resting position will cause the blood to flow to the legs. For a few seconds, the brain may not get enough oxygen, causing blackouts and dizziness. To stop a blackout get down on one knee or sit. Lowering your center of gravity will instantly stop a blackout. Blackouts are more frequent during water fasting.
Fruit juices have a laxative effect that is more pronounced after water fasting. It can be stopped by using the enema. Using psyllium husk during diarrhea will help regulate the system.
Toxins can cause muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. This can result in tension headaches. Massaging the neck and shoulders will help relieve the tension. One can also try acupressure techniques, see quicken touch
Drink lemon juice with water, combine with Neti Pot.
The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected as toxins accumulate in the legs. A self massage, hot baths, stretching and exercising will help to release the toxins.
When waste is released too quickly by the lymph glands, some of the toxic overload is taken by the liver and secreted with bile into the stomach. This causes nausea. Drinking water or carrot juice will dilute the bile and toxin mixture helping to flush it from the system.
The elimination of toxins can irritate damaged nerves. Exercise will relieve tension. Use quarter slices of avocado or banana to slow the fast or drink fruit juice if on a water fast. However, you should note that any food intake may cause one’s hunger to return and make it more difficult to stay on the fast, just do the best that you can.
The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem free skin may have a few days of pimples or boils. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. When cleansed of mucus and toxins, the skin will be healthy, soft and unblemished.
Tiredness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. If the tiredness is too much, increase the quantity of sweet juices like melon and carrot juice. The most important is to listen to your body, so you simply might need to sleep more.
Healing Crisis – Detox or Herxheimer reaction
During your fast you may enter into a healing crisis, which indicates that a deeply seated sickness is being healed, but also this means that you are going in reverse through the reactions that you went through as your sickness progressed. This is normally a good thing, because it shows that there is a major healing happening, but the downside is that it is not easy to go through because of the uncomfortable reactions that cause pain and discomfort as tissues are healed. If you are feeling quite ill then you should read through the healing reaction article to try to determine if this is what is going on with you or not. It may be advisable to check with your medical professional at this point, to try to determine if you want to continue the fast or not. For more information read my Healing Crisis article.
Greater Sensitivity – Restored Senses
An interesting phenomenon occurs after a fast. The years of conditioning your body to tolerate unhealthy foods is reversed. The body is as clean as a newborn baby. Try feeding a newborn baby Grandma’s apple pie.
When the body is full of toxins, its defense systems are not able to operate effectively. After a fast the natural defenses are restored and sensitivity to unhealthy food is increased. You will feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food and sluggish and tired when overeating. Rich foods, full of fat, salt, and processed sugars will cause nausea, headaches and weakness. A handful of fruit will be thoroughly satisfying. Because the digestive system has to work less, there will be boundless energy to spare.
Why? After a fast your body is clean, and has far less tolerance to the poisonous foods that you were used to eating previous to the fast. Understand, feeling sick when eating poison is a sign that your body is functioning normally. Fasting restores the body’s ability to violently react to harmful, health damaging, food. If you desire, you can desensitize your body by slowly introducing harmful foods back into your diet.
After successive fasts you may start to question what place ‘food’ really has in your diet. You will come to notice how much energy it takes to process the food you eat and how little you get back from that after all is done. You may notice how much energy you have when you’re not eating compared to how sluggish and lethargic you feel when you eat. Also that it is difficult to moderate one’s eating because any eating sets off the trigger of hunger to eat again. Many of the existing breatharians today, claim to have went to this next stage after their experiences with successive fasts. Perhaps it’s worth exploring the possibility that our inefficient digestive process is only a temporary stepping stone for survival until we learn how to master our bodies and impulses to be able to get the energy we need to live in another more efficient and direct way?
While this is an interesting thought, I personally believe that humankind is not even near to this level in an evolutionary sense to be able to go without eating and live on pure prana or air. I am not convinced there is yet an authentic Breatharian on this planet or ever has been. I do see it though as an obvious evolutionary step that humans will eventually pass through, and eventually the digestive system will be unnecessary. But this could take a thousand years before it’s our physical reality. It needs a complete change in our DNA and different type of body to be able to do this.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting