We fast in search of better health or we fast as a method of spiritual purification. As we’ll see the two are related. Today, though, we’ll focus on fasting to create health, immunity and longevity….
What Exactly is “Fasting”?
That’s not as stupid a question as you may think. That fact is, there are lots of misconceptions out there about fasting. Some people believe that simply abstaining from certain foods or food groups, either temporarily or permanently, is “fasting”. That’s most definitely not fasting. That’s “abstinence”. Fasting is going without eating solid food, and sometimes liquid nourishment as well, for a defined period of time. That could be a matter of hours, days or weeks, depending on what you’re trying to achieve and how.
The Health Benefits of Fasting
So why would you bother? Perhaps because there are few if any other health tools in your arsenal that give you such bang for the buck. Here are just some of the primary benefits of fasting:
Initiates a detoxification / cleansing reaction in the body, enabling you to rid yourself of accumulated toxins.
Enables weight loss.
Puts the digestive system, and the body as a whole, into “rest mode”, allowing the energy usually devoted to digestion to be diverted to healing.
Clears up skin problems and the whites of your eyes.
Naturally lowers blood pressure without drugs.
Makes it easier to overcome bad habits and addictions, and to make a fresh start with a new, healthier diet and lifestyle.
Reduces inflammation throughout your body.
Reduces water retention throughout your body.
Pacifies many allergic reactions and sensitivities.
Historical and biological research strongly suggests proper fasting promotes longevity.
Varieties of Fasting
You may have heard of many types of fasting for health, including water fasts, juice fasts, total fasts and many others. Natural health pioneers like Dr. Bernard Jensen and Victor Irons used fasting together with colon cleansing to achieve remarkable results for their patients and clients for about half a century each! More telling is that both of these great pioneers lived healthy lives to nearly age one hundred.
Here’s a video with Dr. Nicholas Tancheff, a chiropractor who has founded a fasting retreat facility in Hawaii. You can learn a lot by listening to how he went from the typically disastrous North American lifestyle to learning how to self-heal…
Warning: Avoid the Traps!
There are several traps with fasting, so here’s my advice on how to get started:
Check in with your physician or a licensed health-care provider to help you get started. This is particularly important if you’ve never done this before or have a pre-existing medical condition.
Be clear on what you would like to achieve with the fast. This will help you select the proper type.
Don’t make it up on your own: follow a program based on reliable and tested information.
Don’t overdo it. Fasting for just a few days can provide enormous benefit!
Don’t become addicted to fasting and cleansing! These are activities you should do periodically, not constantly. Once your fast is over, start giving your body all the nutritious food it needs to stay healthy!