The question of whether or not fasting is healthy is a highly controversial and often sensationalized topic. If you ask a medical doctor for their “opinion” on fasting, they will quickly tell you it is downright dangerous, insane, and can result in all sorts of deficiencies including death by starvation in a matter of days.
The fact is, fasting has been a common practice by men and women, as well as by animals since the beginning of time. It was a well-known practice among the ancients for clearing the mind and body prior to taking on great intellectual feats, it was applied throughout biblical history as a means of purifying the spirit and drawing closer to God before, during, and after a crisis and ironically, practiced by medical doctors in the 19th century as a way for allowing the body to heal itself.
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, a doctor in modern-day America, known for supervising over 40,000 fasts himself is well-known for his famous writings on fasting as well as case histories that have resulted in successful and healthy patient outcomes.
Fasting is one of the most healthful forms of detoxification you and experience. The purpose is to cleanse and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit freeing it from both internal and external toxicity. It’s preventative care at its finest but if not conducted properly, it can lead to dangerous outcomes.
“A properly conducted fast will enable the chronically ill body to excrete the toxic load that is responsible for the trouble, after which a corrected mode of living enables the individual to evolve into a more vigorous state of health.” – Dr. Herbert Shelton
There are several types of fasts you can undergo including a water and juice fast which can typically be done in 3 days without supervision for those who are in high health standing.
Then there’s the Complete Fast which is the ultimate fast for healing and detoxification. This one requires supervision and a get away retreat. (retreat options are listed at the end of this post)
A complete fast can take as long as 4-5 weeks more or less. Depending on your energy reserves, you may or may not have enough to fast this long in which case you would have to undertake a series of fasts over a period of time in order to reach completion.
Another thing to consider when undergoing a complete fast is that you may experience various stages of detoxification symptoms and a possible series of healing crisis. This is until the body reaches its highest state of purification. Although it is not recommended, breaking a fast during a crisis may sometimes be necessary.
A healing crisis is the manifestation of a symptom or group of symptoms while the body undergoes its detoxification and repair. This simply means your body is regenerating and cleaning itself out from toxic build up.
Not everyone experiences a healing crisis during their fasts so it isn’t something to worry about. It all depends on how toxic your body is and how much work your body has to do to cleanse and detoxify itself.
This type of fast is not for everyone but if you are strong and healthy, then I would highly recommend it. Remember to consult your physician or holistic health practitioner prior to beginning any type of fast.
Things to know when undergoing a fast
A fast must be properly supervised by a trained practitioner who will monitor your vital signs and subjective experiences on a daily basis.
For a fast to be successful, you must experience 5 kinds of rest:
- Physical rest – getting plenty of bed rest, relaxation, and sleep.
- Physiological rest – resting the digestive system to allow it to repair, restore, and renew the mind, body, and spirit.
- Sensory rest – using the eyes, ears and other sensory organs as little as possible while increasing rest periods.
- Emotional rest – undergoing fast in a “retreat” setting and away from the hustle and bustle of life while steering clear of all potential stressors.
- Mental rest – resting the brain and allowing its nerve energy to recharge. This means putting away any concerns or projects that demand concentration or mental efforts.
Your body will experience 4 main activities while fasting:
- Excess body fat is consumed which leads to weight loss.
- Energy is redirected from digestive processes to other tissues in need of repair and rejuvenation.
- Deep physiological rest is secured for every organ and system of the body restoring it’s nerve energy and resuming normal bodily functions.
- Morbid tissue is broken down and the elimination of waste occurs allowing deposits to breakdown and tumors to undergo autolysis and absorption.
The process of fasting can sometimes be difficult, but can ultimately enhance your overall well-being, optimize vitality, and reap great rewards as a result.
Who should fast?
Because the majority of Americans live in an ongoing state of toxicity, lacking some of the most important healthful living practices such as proper nutrition, daily exercise, and substantial rest, just about everyone could benefit from undergoing a fast.
Who should not fast?
- Those who have a fear of fasting
- Those who are extremely emaciated
- Those who are extremely weak or of extreme degeneration
- Those who have inactive kidneys in conjunction with obesity
- Those who experience difficulty breathing as a result of heart disease as well as those with advanced stages of heart disease
- Women who are pregnant
- Those who take insulin
Fasting Retreat and Alternative Healing Options
The Tree of Life Center, founded by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, is a well-known, highly recommended holistic healing center and fasting retreat in Arizona for anyone looking to explore fasting and healing alternatives.
Dr. Cousens is a renowned Holistic Physician, Homeopath, Psychiatrist, Family Therapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and a Chinese Herbalist well known for his work in diabetes research. He offers his expertise on curing diabetes in his book, “There is a Cure for Diabetes, Revised Edition: The 21-Day + Holistic Recovery Program”.
“The time to fast is when it is needed. I am of the decided opinion that delay pays no dividends; that, due to the fact that the progressive development of pathological changes in the structures of the body with the consequent impairment of its functions res not cease until its cause has been completely and thoroughly removed. Putting off the time for a fast only invites added troubles and makes a longer fast necessary, if indeed, it does not make the fast futile. I do not believe that any condition of impaired health should be tolerated and permitted to become greater. NOW is the time to begin the work of restoring good health; not next week, next summer, or next year.” – Dr. Herbert Shelton
Please keep in mind that fasting is not for everyone and can be potentially dangerous if not properly conducted. Remember to consult your physician or a certified holistic health practitioner prior to beginning any type of fast.
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Sending love and light,