What is Fasting?
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.
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 healing program, because it gives you immediately an energy boost and increased awareness which might allow that you see things more clearly, allowing you 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 time for contemplation because you aren’t using time amassing, preparing, eating, eliminating and cleaning up all which is used to prepare food. You become more aware of what your body likes and doesn’t like when you start to eat again. You gain self-confidence in your ability to control your life process, to set a goal and carry out an intention.
Fasting enhances mental acuity
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 makes 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, all of which can have a devastating effect on delicate emotions.
Dr. Ehret stated an amazing fact at the turn of the 20th century. He said that, for a water fast to awaken the higher mind functions, it had to be longer than 21 days. Fasting has a history of awakening intuitive senses, creativity, and deeper spiritual questions in those with enough determination to get past the 21 day mark.
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. Whereas modern medical practitioners admit that they have no cures, only drugs that mask the symptoms while causing yet other symptoms to appear.
“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 has been beneficial for these conditions:
Fasting decreases dependency on authorities
Benefits of Fasting
One Day Fast
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 form 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
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
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.
Master Cleanse Fast
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 near 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.
Preparation for Your Fast
Determine your cleanse duration and time period: Try to arrange that your fast is in a time period where you have low activity or lobsters. Avoid heavy kinds of work if at all possible. When it comes to long fasts and inability of somebody to handle a long fast, you just 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 some energy and are a few steps further toward 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.
Frequency of Fasting
Proteins & Fasting
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.
Aiding Elimination of Toxins
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.
Reactions from Fasting
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 to ease the symptom while you are fasting.
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, etc. 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 the following article: Healing Reaction
Going Off Your 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.
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, wisdom whispers, you have had enough.
Eating 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.
Greater Sensitivity - Restored Senses
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 really desire, you can desensitize your body by slowly introducing harmful foods back into your diet, but why you should? You better select your food carefully, even though it is not possible to avoid toxins as these are every where. So fasting as a regular cleaning is important and will keep you healthy.