Thursday Therapy| Fasting to cure|
Fasting as a therapy dates back to the Ancient Greek civilisations. The great greek physician Hippocrates prescribed fasting during diseases. Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. The word is derived from the old English , ‘ Feastan’ means to fast, observe, be strict. In Sanskrit ‘ Vrath’ means ‘determination’ and ‘Upavasa’ means ‘ near to God’.A fast may be total or partial concerning that from which one fasts, and may be prolonged or intermittent as to the period of fasting. Fasting is an important treatment modality for health preservation. In fasting, mental preparedness is an essential pre-condition. Prolonged fasting should be done only under the supervision of a competent Naturopath or medical advice.
The duration of the fast depends upon the age of the patient, the nature of the disease and amount and type of drugs previously used. It is some times advisable to undertake a series of short fasts of two or three days and gradually increase the duration of each succeeding fast by a day or so. No harm will accrue to fasting patient provided they take rest and are under proper professional care.
The are various ways of fasting, some are water, juices or raw vegetable juices. The best, safest and most effective method is lime juice fasting. During fasting, the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes. We can help this cleansing process by drinking alkaline juices. Sugars in juices will strengthen the heart, juice fasting is therefore the best form of fasting. All juices should be prepared from fresh fruit immediately before drinking. Canned or frozen juices should not be used. A precautionary measure, which must be observed in all cases of fasting, is the complete emptying of the bowels at the beginning of the fast by enema so that the patient is not bothered by gas or decomposing matter formed from the excrements remaining in the body. The total liquid intake should be approximately six to eight glasses. A lot of energy is spent during the fast in the process of eliminating accumulated poisons and toxic waste materials. It is therefore, of utmost importance that the patient gets as much physical rest and mental relaxation as possible during the fast.
The success of the fast depends largely on how it is broken. The main rules for break in the fast are: do not overeat, eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly and take several days for the gradual change to the normal diet.
Benefits and Physiological effects of Fasting -Physicians of most cultures, throughout history, have recommended extended fasting as therapy for various conditions from ancient to modern. Though earlier observations were studied without scientific methodology or understanding they still point to utilization of fasting as a therapeutic modality. Earlier observations were based on animal behaviour but today they are based on animal physiology.
Prominent among the physiological effects conferred by fasting (Calorie Restriction and Intermittent Fasting) are the following: increased insulin sensitivity that results in reduced plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and improved glucose tolerance, reduced levels of oxidative stress as indicated by decreased oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and DNA, increased resistance to various types of stress including heat, oxidative and metabolic stresses and enhanced immune function.
Both gross and cellular physiology is profoundly affected by caloric restriction (CR) or intermittent fasting (IF) regimes. With respect to gross physiology there is of course a significant reduction of body fat and mass, which supports a healthy cardiovascular system and reduces incidents of myocardial infarction.
3 Ways to test fasting benefits are following:
Intermittent Fasting can be done in many ways. One of the popular ways to do intermittent is 16/8 hours method. This involves fasting every day for 14–16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to 8–10 hours. This is a good start in case you are not used to fasting process. This surely ensures that your system is getting adequate rest.
Fast once or twice a week is also another way to ensure that you are giving rest and also allowing yourself to detox. This could also be associated with your prayers to help you build your resolve during fast. This could also be water-juice or vegetable/fruits fasting.
Warrior Diet -OMD or One meal a day is gradual process of getting used to fasting process as a therapy for your body and mind. This might take sometime if you are not used to. You can have fruits-juice -salads through day to compensate for any hunger and one large meal or a brunch/linner to combine two meals merged into one.
Do share with us your experience in fasting and how its helped you.
To know more about fasting and natural cure to your simple yet uncomfortable health issues try the following reads: