Fasting is an old way to gain insight and direction, especially if it is done alone in a remote place without distraction. But did you know it’s good for your body and soul too? Here’s an article by Jack Eidt written for wilderutopia.com (Environmental Health section) about spirit healing and rejuvenation through fasting. He first discusses some well-known fasters such as Jesus, Muslims during Ramadan, Gandhi and Jews during Yom Kippur. Then he explains the health benefits of fasting.
Spirit Healing and Rejuvenation through Fasting
Many health practitioners follow the rapidly advancing research field of autophagy, the study of how cells metabolize and eliminate damaged cellular debris, a process which increases under conditions of nutrient starvation. Hence, fasting and cleansing diets that reduce nutrient intake induce detoxification at the cellular level that does not otherwise occur. According to Dr. James Balch in his book Nutritional Healing, during a fast:
- Natural toxin excretion continues without new toxin replenishment, reducing total body toxicity.
- Energy used for digestion redirects to immune function, cell growth, and eliminatory processes.
- The immune system’s workload is reduced and spares the digestive tract inflammation due to allergic reactions to food.
- Lowered of serum fats thin the blood, increasing tissue oxygenation and moving white blood cells more efficiently.
- Fat-stored chemicals such as pesticides and drugs, are released.
- Physical awareness and sensitivity to diet and surroundings are increased.
A three-day fast helps the body rid itself of toxins and cleanses the blood. A five-day fast begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system. A ten-day fast can help fight off illness, including degenerative diseases common to our chemically polluted environment.
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The article ends by suggesting a couple of common fasts and suggests avoiding fasts of water only as toxins get released too fast, causing strong reactions such as headaches and muscle cramps. This is good advice as we are all not Gandhis or native Americans of old. However, what he fails to mention is that a fast needs to be done in a time when the person is not pressured by work or other commitments and preferably in the warmer months as your fasting body does feel the cold most strongly. If you would like to know more about spirit healing and rejuvenation through fasting, I recommend The Miracle of Fasting: Proven Throughout History for Physical, Mental and Spiritual Rejuvenation by Paul Bragg.