Fasting for Physical and Spiritual Purposes

Most of the information that follows was learned while studying for my Certification, and from one of my Nutrition course texts, Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M. Haas, MD. A friend who attended a conference in preparation for the National Day of Prayer several years ago learned of a book that you may want to look for called Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer Towns that may be helpful.

Fasting Defined 


Fasting is abstaining from ALL food and drink for a period of time, but it's use throughout history has included intake of various liquids, (click previous link and search "fasting") as we would die without liquids in a short period of time. 

Fasting has been used as a healing process as well as for spiritual-religious reasons for thousands of years. Many religions, Christianity, Judaism and the Eastern religions, have used fasting for a variety of reasons, including penitence, preparation for ceremony, purification, mourning, sacrifice and union with God, and the enhancement of knowledge and power. The Bible includes many who fasted. Moses, Elijah, Daniel and Christ fasted for purification and communion with God. The Essenes, "authors" of the Dead Sea Scrolls, fasted because they believed that by doing so they cast out Satan, his demons and the diseases that come from Satan, and sins, thereby making their body a temple pure enough for God to reside in. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Paracelsus, and Hypocrites all believed in fasting as a therapy. You may want to do more research on your own into the history of fasting, and in particular, from a Christian perspective.

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Contraindications to Fasting

 
There are some cases where fasting may do more harm than good to the body. I have listed them below. You may want to discuss your plan to embark on a fast with your physician or other health care provider, or you may contact me using the form below, and I will try to help. 

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Contraindications include
  • Being Underweight
  • Pregnant
  • Fatigued
  • Nursing
  • Alkaline system
  • Pre and Post-surgery
  • Low immunity
  • Mental illness
  • Weak heart
  • Cancer
  • Low blood pressure
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Cardiac arrhythmia's
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Cold weather
 
Some of the above conditions may be improved by fasting, but MUST be overseen by a health care provider who is able to watch the person carefully, and deal with complications as they arise. If you want more detail on why you cannot fast for any one of the above contraindications, please contact me using the form below, it is just too much to type here, but there is more detail in my texts.
If you are physically unable to fast from food, you may consider taking a break from some other activity you feel is excessive, like fasting from television watching, computers, cars, talking, one particular food, compulsive eating habit, etc., anything that has enough hold on you that it would be uncomfortable to give it up. 

Benefits of fasting include the following:
 
  • Purification 
  • More Energy
  • Rejuvenation
  • Better Sleep
  • Revitalization
  • More Relaxation
  • Rest for digestive organs
  • Better attitude
  • Clearer skin
  • More clarity mentally and emotionally
  • Improved senses
  • Vision
  • Inspiration
  • Hearing
  • Taste
  • Creativity
  • Reduction of Allergies
  • New ideas
  • Weight Loss
  • Clearer planning
  • Drug detoxification
  • Change of habits
  • Better resistance to disease
  • Diet changes
  • Spiritual awareness
Detoxification
 
When you fast, you are giving many organs in the body a rest. They include the stomach, intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. This allows the most important organ, the liver, to spend more time cleaning up the toxins that will be released into the blood during fasting, and create many new substances for our body to use. 

You must realize that all the elimination functions of the body will be enhanced during fasting. With less energy going to the process of digesting and processing food, the body will focus on cleaning out toxins. Each cell has an opportunity to "catch up" on the work of repair and dumping waste to be filtered through the blood and lymph, liver, etc., and to be eliminated as waste. Many are surprised by the fact that they continue to have bowel movements during fasting as the body cleans itself, despite the fact that no foods are put into the body. 

"Side affects" of detoxification include headache during the first day or two, fatigue or irritability may occur at times, dizziness or feeling headed, senses are enhanced so that common sounds like the TV, music, ticking clocks, refrigerator, etc., may become irritating. Sense of smell is also exaggerated. The tongue of most people will develop a thick white, yellow or grayish fur coating which can be scraped or brushed off. Bad breath and displeasing tastes in the mouth, foul smelling urine or stools, skin odor and eruptions, digestive upset, mucous in stools, flatulence (gas), nausea, vomiting, insomnia, bad dreams, negative thoughts, doubts as to whether fasting is really the right thing to be doing (esp. when you are feeling effects of detox.), are all possible, but will not, necessarily happen. I list them all so that nothing will come as a surprise to you. 

The degree to which your body eliminates toxins will depend upon how you have taken care of your body nutritionally and otherwise in the past. Energy levels go up and down during the fast, as cleansing takes place in cycles. When you are feeling your best, you may be surprised to find that the next day you may feel weak and tired again. This is because the body is, again, strong enough to begin the work of cleansing. You can help your fast by not fighting against what the body is doing and rest when your body tells you to rest. (Personally, I wonder if this is one reason why fasting is a inconvenience to many of us, because we have forgotten how to rest, and let our body restore itself. We are a busy and active people, who do not take the time to rest and restore, both physically and spiritually.) 

What to drink
 
Before we go into how to fast, lets take a look at what liquids will be used during the fast. They include diluted fruit juices - diluted with pure water because they are too rich to be taken full strength. I would suggest that you get organic fruit juices as they are free of pesticides and chemicals. You can find them in your health food store or in the health food section of your supermarket. Do not used canned or frozen juices. Some bottled juices may be used, and most believe that fresh squeezed juice is best of all. Your lifestyle will determine how much time you have for juicing. If you choose to purchase a juicer, Champion Juicer comes highly recommended for juice of the quality you a looking for in fasting. As for vegetable juices, you can extract the juice using a juicer, or you may be able to purchase bottled juices. Of course, pure water is the most important liquid of all. Following is a list of juices, and their benefits: 

Fruit Juices:
Lemon - a strong cleanser, make sure the bowels are clean or moving freely so you do not get sick. Loosens mucous and good for liver, gall bladder, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, colds
Citrus - Cardiovascular, obesity, hemorrhoids, varicose veins
Apple - liver, intestines
Pear - Gall bladder
Grape - Colon, anemia
Papaya - stomach, indigestion, hemorrhoids, colitis
Pineapple - allergies, arthritis, inflammation, edema, hemorrhoids
Watermelon - kidneys, edema
Black cherry - colon, menstrual problems, gout 


Vegetable Juices:
Greens - Cardiovascular disease, skin, eczema, digestive problems, obesity, breath, blood
Spinach - anemia, eczema
Parsley - kidneys, edema, arthritis
Beet greens - gallbladder, liver, osteoporosis
Watercress - anemia, colds
Wheat grass - anemia, liver, intestines, breath
Cabbage - colitis, ulcers
Carrots - eyes, arthritis, osteoporosis
Beets - blood, liver, menstrual problems, arthritis
C
elery - kidneys, diabetes, osteoporosis
Cucumber - edema, diabetes
Jerusalem artichoke - diabetes
Garlic - allergies, colds, hypertension, cardiovascular, high fats, diabetes, antiseptic
Radish - liver, high fats, obesity
Potatoes - intestines, ulcer


>>>> I would encourage you to click this link and search "fasting" or "Liquithon" for an excellent, reasonably priced fasting program.<<<<<


One last thing, before we go into how to fast, here are some other healthy things to consider while you are doing your fast:
 
Fresh Air - needed to support cleansing and oxygenation of the cells
Sunshine - avoid excessive exposure, but needed
Water - bathing important to cleanse the skin at least twice daily. (Remember, your skin is the largest organ in (on) your body, and much detox take place through the pores of the skin. Steams and saunas, where possible.
Skin brushing - with a dry, soft brush prior to bathing - good practice any time
Exercise - walking, bicycling, swimming, etc. as energy level allows No drugs - except mandatory prescription. Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.
Vitamin Supplements - not used during fasting. The food nutrients found in the "Liquithon" program mentioned earlier should be adequate, as well as "Farmacy Pro Power Superfood Green Drink" and "Stardust 2 Hydr8" at the same link. These will provide needed minerals, such as potassium, calcium & magnesium, and vitamin C. Make certain that you know the quality control of the manufacturers of the supplements you are using.
Colon Cleansing - essential. Enemas as suggested at least every other day if you are not "going" regularly.
Commune with God, and work, as your energy allows, most enjoy times of heightened energy during their fasts
Clean - as you clean you body, clean your home, your office, etc., as energy returns allows. Don't overdo.
Fast with others for encouragement and support, pray together
Avoid negative influences of those who may not understand what you are doing or why. You need to stand on the fact, and be certain that you have been lead by God to do this fast, whether it be for physical or spiritual purposes. This is why fasting with others is beneficial, so that you can encourage one another.
Relaxation - very important to help the body through the process, and to free the body from stress.




PREPARING FOR THE FAST

To prepare the body for the fast, it is good to take a few days to a week eliminate certain foods from the diet. Gradually eliminate (in order indicated) caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, red meats and animal foods, milk and dairy products, eggs, and on the last day, nutritional supplements. Many benefit by consuming only fruits and vegetables for 3 - 4 days before they begin the fast. This will begin the detoxification process slowly, so that the actual fasting may be less intense.
 
FASTING
 
Try a one day (from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., 36 hours later) fast to see what fasting is like, and to make certain there will not be any major distress. You can expect to feel occasional hunger, and may feel headache and irritability toward the later part of the day. If anything more extreme is experienced, you may want to end after the one day, and try again at a later date, gradually building on the fast as your body becomes less toxic and more able to handle it. (Those who have the most difficulty fasting usually need it the most. Talk to me about ways that you can change you eating habits so that you can gradually detoxify the body while eating.)

Depending upon how your one day fast goes, you may want to move on to a two or three day fast. And, later, you may even want to build up to a 5 - 10 day fast. But during the process, pay close attention to how your body is responding, and listen to your body, rest when you must, come off the fast if you must. I know many who fast one day a month and find this to be very beneficial. 

I have found nothing to indicate when the particular juices, except the suggested program for the 13 day Liquithin.  Dilute fruit juices to at least 1 part water, to one part juice. Make sure you are getting plenty of liquids to keep the system flushing out toxins. If you are not accustomed to taking enough liquids in the day, you may notice that you need to go to the bathroom quite often, your kidneys will adjust and you will need to eliminate less frequently over time. 

BREAKING A FAST

 
This must be done slowly, gradually, just as preparation for the fast. Hopefully, you will return to eating a healthier diet if your eating habits have not been the best. Start by eating raw or cooked low-starch vegetables, such as greens. Move gradually on to fruits, salads, soups during the first day. The second day you may add grains such as rice or millet. You can then add nuts, seeds and legumes (beans) later in the day. As you continue to add foods, pay close attention to how your body responds to them. People have discovered foods they are allergic or sensitive to. If a particular food upsets you, try it again in a week or so. If it is still upsetting, perhaps you should eliminate it from your diet all together. 

This has been a lot of information to "digest" - but I hope you can use it to formulate a plan for your own fast. 

If you read something that may be helpful on fasting that I can add to what has been written, please use the form below. I would like to keep updating this as I learn, and anything you can share will be much appreciated.

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Updated 1/29/16

2 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful article. I am a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, who advocated 1/week and 2-3/month fasting on orange juice for long term health benifits, and thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad to hear that you found this to be helpful.

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