I have learned a great deal during periods of abstinents, the most profound being the sensation of feeling connected to something much greater than one can possibly comprehend during these times. When asked, I find it exceptionally difficult to describe the feelings that emerged through these experiences. A distance memory of striving to achieve sensations of balance, harmony & connectivity were always present during my infancy into a more conscious lifestyle.
Exploring periods of fasting allowed me to gain insight along with an appreciation of genuine hunger. I witnessed my own addictions, cravings along with emotional connections dissolve naturally, these hurdles now crossed & being in touch with my bodies natural rhythms, I can discern my bodies requirements, sustaining optimum health, as simple as it is breathing.
Despite the realisation, my times of fasting were not a necessity, I still recommend periods of abstinence to various people dependent on their circumstances. I believe fasting accompanied with the correct guidance can have a profound impact on one’s life, in some cases, assisting the mind & body reach a place of calmness, allowing awareness to prevail once the hold of addictions carried over us have been realised.
Documented History of Fasting:
The history of fasting cannot have a beginning point because there is no reason to think that early man did not fast in the normal course of his existence; every other animal, even today, will fast during times of stress or illness, & sometimes even at the slightest uneasiness. It is a natural tendency for the organism, whether human or animal, to seek rest, balance, & to conserve energy at critical times.
The early great philosophers, thinkers, & healers used fasting for health healing therapy. Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle & Galen all praised the benefits of fasting. Paracelsus, one of the three fathers of Western medicine, is quoted as saying, “Fasting is the greatest remedy – the physician within.” Early healing arts recognised the revitalising & rejuvenating power fasting promoted.
Documented Fasting Techniques:
Fasting is a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast (dry fasting) is normally defined as abstinence from all food & liquid for a defined period, usually a period of 24 hours, or a number of days. Water fasting allows drinking water but nothing else. Other recognised fasts may be partially restrictive, limiting only particular foods or substances.
Also known as Absolute Fast, Black Fast, & Hebrew Fast are the most extreme of the types of fasting, dry fasting has spiritual roots, consisting of foregoing food & water for short periods.
As the name implies, this is fasting on liquids only. Liquid fasting is the abstaining from all solid foods where only liquids are ingested.
Is the simplest & perhaps the oldest form of liquid fasting. It delivers the greatest level of therapeutic benefit physically & in a short period of time, as detox occurs more quickly. But a water fast can be more difficult to commit to for the beginner.
Is extremely popular & offers a modicum of nutritional support in a pure & natural form. Almost any fruit or vegetable can be juiced with the powerful juicers on the market.
Sometimes called selective fasting, partial fasting includes some solid food, anywhere from a very little to a lot of solid food. It’s not the amount of food, but the exclusion or limitation of certain foods that make it a partial fast. Cleansing diets & mono-diets, like rice fasting, are partial fasts.
Science & Health:
It is now common medical knowledge that there are many important physical benefits to fasting. Among other things, it detoxifies the cells, strengthens the immune system, controls blood sugar, and improves dietary habits. People also commonly use fasting to lose weight. The physical benefits are actually secondary to the psychological & spiritual advantages.
It has also been widely reported the ideal duration in today’s toxic world is a 7-10 day fast, as it takes exactly 7 days to completely purify the blood stream & cleanse the lymphatic system of all residual wastes, however, 2-3 or even one day fasts are a great way to start preparing your body for periodic cleansing.
It is believed that many health problems are caused, or made worse, by unhealthful accumulations within the body. These accumulations may be in the form of chemical toxins such as PCB’s, Dioxin, pesticide residue, etc. or normal metabolic products that are present in abnormal amounts. Fasting has become one of the most efficient ways to eliminate toxins & get to physical health, mental health & spiritual health
Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself. – St Augustine