Water fasting, as the name suggests, is based on drinking only water and no other substance. It is a complete contradiction to the high-octane rush of your normal lifestyle. It could be a period of profound inner reflection.
It has been adopted from ages as an effective detox method. It relies on the self-healing nature of the human body. Our digestive system works day and night without rest. It not only has to process the food that we eat, but also has to remove the waste matter and toxins. Imagine your car that runs 100 miles every day without oil change or maintenance for a couple of years. The life of the car would be short. It is likely to breakdown anytime. That is exactly what happens to our digestive system too. Without rest, it doesn’t get time for essential re-building or repair and the digestive efficiency can also go down.
It is observed in nature, that many animals instinctively take to fasting whenever they fall sick. They cure themselves by natural means using fasting, sunlight, fresh air and rest. They are programmed by nature to do the right thing when they are sick. Fasting, of course, is not a cure for “all problems.” But it sets a stage for the body to heal itself, without our intervention.
Fasting involves not eating anything, except taking water, for a period of time – ranging from half a day to even 10 days or more. Most practitioners do a 24-hour water fast, once every week to maintain their health. There is a misunderstanding that intermittent fasting can make one weak. That is not true. On the contrary, the health and vitality improves. You feel more energetic after the fast. When you start fasting, the body triggers your pituitary gland to release the HGH (human growth hormone). This hormonal surge causes your body to use more fat for energy, instead of breaking down muscle.
A one-day fast is good enough to maintain the health and vigor. But what if one has chronic health problems that need to be solved? Well, then one has to take up long term fasts, anything from 3 days to 21 days or more.
Most ailments can be cured by moderate diet and fasting under the guidance of an expert.
A fast that is appropriate for your situation will allow for you to experience some or all of the following:
- More energy
- Healthier skin
- Healthier teeth and gums
- Better quality sleep
- A clean and healthy cardiovascular system
- A decrease in anxiety and tension
- Dramatic reduction or complete elimination of aches and pains in muscles and joints
- Decrease or elimination of headaches
- Stabilization of blood pressure
- Stronger and more efficient digestion
- Stabilization of bowel movements
- Loss of excess weight
- Elimination of stored toxins
- Improvement with a wide variety of chronic degenerative health conditions, including autoimmune disorders
Preparation for Water Fasting
Water-fasting demands mental preparation. If you are fasting for the weekend, clear the calendar, the fast will be an event enough. The less pressure and responsibility you have during a water-fast, the better it is. Think of it a holiday away from the normal patterns of living. EHC also recommends the week before your fast, drink fresh juices and eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse the body so that the detoxification during water fasting will be less aggressive.
Water-fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly and can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively.
Water Fasting for Weight Loss
If you have a slow metabolism and are juice fasting, a few days on water will intensify the fast and assist with weight-loss. Dropping into water is something you can do during a day of little or no activity.
Points to Ponder
1. Avoid water straight from the faucet. Distilled water is the best for cleansing because of its inherent, magnetic properties and ability to absorb and suspend large quantities of toxins, flushing them from the body. The value of mineral water is misleading because the inorganic minerals are like huge boulders to the cellular membranes, making them impossible to assimilate.
2. There are no calories or nutritional value in water. On a water-fast, you have given your body no options but to turn to its internal stored energy for fuel. This can create a problem when you have spent years eating dirty fuel. Living exclusively on stored dirty fuel during a fast requires tremendous courage and strength. To ease into water-fasting, we recommend juice fasting with periods of water fasting. For example 3 days on juice, 2 days on water, 5 days on juice, then 3 days on water.
3. Get plenty of rest during your water fast. You may experience a drop in stamina and energy during this time. Don’t overexert yourself. Maintain healthy sleep patterns.
4. Break your fast with the cleanest and easiest foods to digest. This means fruits as a primary, and vegetables secondary. Stay away from the processed junk that got you clogged up in the first place.
5. Avoid intense exercise during this time. Instead, try yoga. It is a calming way of stretching the body’s muscles, and getting the good exercise that a fasting body needs. You may also do light walking to keep your muscles strong and to aid in the detoxification process.
6. Eat foods high in vitamins and mineral the day before your fast.
7. The most important rule of a fast is to always be under a doctor’s watchful eye, especially if you are doing a 5-30 day water-fast. The best idea is to consult your doctor and ask which fast is right for you. Water-fasts should not be taken lightly.
8. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, try a juice fast.
9. This can be a means to weight loss, but if you go back to eating junk food, instead of eating healthy foods you will regain weight and reload your body with many toxins you worked so hard to rid yourself of.
People Who Should Not Fast
Although most people can fast, there are a few who, because of special conditions, should not.
- People who are extremely emaciated or in a state of starvation.
- Those who are anorexic or bulimic.
- Pregnant, diabetic women.
- Nursing mothers.
- Those who have severe anemia.
Pregnancy & Children
Fasting during pregnancy if a woman is not diabetic has not been found harmful to either mother or fetus. However, fasts for non-diabetic pregnant women should be no longer than 2-3 weeks duration and be monitored by a health care provider. Children, even infants, can also fast without complications if the fasts are of relatively short duration. These fasts should also be monitored by a health care provider unless of short duration. The need for infants and young children to fast is rare.
EHC has recognized water-fasting will make you grow spiritually. You will be able to enjoy less rich foods and start to have an appreciation for everything around you.
Image courtesy: remed.com.au ,