Saturday, February 12, 2011
Benefits of a One-Day Fasting
Fasting for long periods (many days) can be a difficult and even dangerous experience for many, especially for those living in stressfull or polluted environments. Yet fasting is the only real natural way to cure or alleviate almost any ill. It's powerful, effective, quick (that's why it's called "fast"ing), and best of all - it's free. No need to go to the doctor, wait in line, or pay exhorbitant fees for treatments that rarely solve your problem or often just make it worse.
Of course, some problems, such as a broken bone or serious injury may require medical help or assistance, but for most ailments or diseases, fasting is the answer. Your body is your own best doctor and is always trying to heal or regenerate itself - if you let it. That's just the problem; most of us are so ignorant about our bodies and so addicted to certain bad habits that we never really give it a chance to heal properly. Only through pain and discomfort (the body's danger signals) are we made to listen. And even then we do not always understand what it is our bodies are trying to tell us.
We just haven't been taught the truth - that there is a price to pay for our sins, errors, or indulgences, and that they have a cumulative effect. Rich, unnatural, or chemically-laden foods will play havoc with your body, as will stress, overwork, pollution, or dangerous chemicals. Constant exposure to these and other negativities will slowly but surely break you down until you become ill, old or even die. That is why it is important to give you and your body a break from the maddening world around us. This can be in the form of a long vacation, relaxing weekend, or a fast. Vacations, weekends, or days off do not always turn out to be restorative, but you can't go wrong with fasting.
Fasting is the oldest, simplest, and surest way to put your health and spirits back on track. Nothing else works like it. The idea of refraining from food or water for regenerative purposes sounds strange or even frightening to most Westerners, but this is exactly what the (true) doctor ordered. In Eastern countries such as India and the Middle East, fasting is common and encouraged, and we would do well to follow their example. While it is true that stress and pollution make fasting today more dangerous than fifty or sixty years ago, this only applies to the longer fasts of about a week or more. Shorter fasts of one, two, or three days, when done properly, are perfectly safe and beneficial.
The one-day fast seems to be the ideal for most, whether you are a novice or experienced faster. By fasting one day a week (no food whatsoever -water is optional) you are giving your body a much needed true rest and time to catch up on neglected repair or cleaning. Important note: fasting of any kind is not recommended if you are pregnant, infirmed, on medication, a child, or in any other abnormal circumstance that requires supervision. Also, it is best to fast in a clean and quiet environment.
This author has taken frequent one-day complete fasts (no food or water whatsoever) and can attest to their safety and benefit. For novices, the first fast can be a challenge, but every succeeding fast will be much easier. For myself, it has gotten to the point where fasting for twenty-four hours every now and then has become quite effortless and even a joy. This is because I am thoroughly familliar with it and can count on its efficacity or benefits, which are immediate, both during and after the fast.
Naturally, there will be some weight loss, discomfort, dizziness, and other withdrawal symptoms, especially for beginners, but this is all part of the body's way of cleansing and healing itself: excess fat or weight will be burned off and chemicals and other poisons will be released into the bloodstream for expulsion. Only diseased or worn out tissue is burned or expelled. The body is not stupid enough to consume its own healthy tissue. The sicker you are, the more will be thrown out or eliminated. This is why those with advanced diseases must be supervised, and require longer and more frequent fasts.
By fasting, what you are in effect doing, is marshalling all of the body's energy (much of which would normally go into digesting) and focusing it on whatever needs to be cleaned or repaired. Rest or the conservation of your energy is also important to your fast. Sleep in itself (that we do every night) is a kind of enforced fast that allows us to recover from our days' activities.
Your first one-day fast may not cure you of a long-standing illness or ailment but it will certainly help. Frequent or repetitive one-day fasts(once or twice a week), or even alternate day fasting, will be much more effective. I used to suffer from arthritic pain in my shoulder due to a work accident and found out that the shorter fasts were more effective in healing and eliminating the pain than the longer fasts. The first one-day fast greatly diminished the pain, but it wasn't untill the third or fourth fast that I felt completely pain free. In cases where the injury never healed properly the fast will back-track and the original pain or condition may resurface before the healing occurs.
One way fasting works is by shrinking or constriction. Your tissues and arteries constrict, loosening whatever garbage or material is stuck to its walls that is causing the problem. When you eat again, the tissues and vessels expand again and the material is forced out. Of course, if you wait long enough the body has its own (better) way of eliminating the waste. Also, during fasting, the blood thins as it expels its waste, and this is what causes the dizziness. This dizziness, however, goes away as the blood rebuilds or normalizes. Sitting before getting up from a lying position is recommended.
Fasting improves blood flow or circulation and the body's capacity to eliminate resulting in better overall health. One will feel more energetic and alert and be more resistant to all forms of disease or illness. It will even slow down the aging process which is little more than the accumulated effects of our bad habits or wrong ways of living.
One-day fasting will teach you control or discipline. It will greatly help you to break those bad habits or addictiions that are destroying you and help you start to acquire new and positive ones. Nearly everything we do is habit or addiction, including eating and sex. We were not meant to be ruled by our stomachs or base desires. It is our lower carnal desires which enslave us and keep us bound to this material plane and which cause us to continually reincarnate. If we are to rise above our animal state to that of the angels or higher, we must begin by conquering our lower natures, and fasting is the key.
Fasting one day out of seven is not a huge sacrifice to make, especially when you consider the benefits or rewards. Begin your fast in the evening, right after your last meal. By the time you wake up, half the fast will already be over. Resume regular eating in the evening. The braver ones can extend it to thirty-six hours although I don't recommend this unless you've had previous experience or feel compelled to do so. Many people like to fast on their Sabbath day, reflecting the biblical or scriptural injunction to rest on the seventh day. The beauty of the one-day fast is that you do not have to slowly work your way in or out of it as in the longer fasts. Twenty-four to thirty-six hours is just long enough before the fasting process starts to get really serious.
Of course WHAT one eats is also important. Try to improve your diet with each succeeding fast. Learn to break those sugar and salt habits. Eat less junk food. Cut down on meat and dairy products, and try to grow or prepare your own food. Your taste buds may not like it, but your body will love you for it. Most people don't realize that the more stimulating a food is the more damage it will do. Endless additives and enhancers are increasingly adulterating our food, and our endless desire or addiction for more and more flavour or stimulus is quickly driving us to the grave.
Fasting helps rebalance our unnatural cravings or desires by eliminating the chemicals or properties that cause them. Remember, your body is your friend and wants the best for you, but you must give it a chance to do its work, and fasting gives it that opportunity. Short-term fasting can also correct weight problems, energy imbalances, blood pressure, sleep disorders, depression and mood swings, nervousness, and just about every other ailment or disorder. It can also improve eyesight and hearing and the better functioning of your senses in general. I have often noticed being wittier and more quickly able to come up with solutions to problems during and after my fast. I am also amazed at how quickly and effortlessly I am able to drive my car while fasting -the concentration is perfect.
It's best to do your one-day fast privately or without much fanfare as most people are ignorant about fasting in general and will not understand and may even try to dissuade you from it. Society in general is still so ignorant on so many basic issues and untill we wake up we will continue on the path to misery and destruction. This is partly due to our own lethargy and partly to our government and social leaders who are more interested in controlling us or putting us to sleep than they are in awakening or liberating us.
Once you are comfortable with the one-day fast and are convinced of its benefits, you can then cautiously go on to the longer and more powerful fasts, if that is your desire. By mastering the one-day fast you have taken an important step or foothold on the long and narrow road to regeneration.