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Fasting For Detoxification

Fasting has been practiced by both humans and the animal kingdom since the beginning of time.  It has been used to clear the mind and body prior to intellectual feats, and in biblical history, it was a method of purifying the spirit and drawing us closer to God.  Animals will instinctively fast, or eat only grass when their system is imbalanced or they need to purge waste.

Fasting is also used by some doctors, Naturopaths, and Natural Hygiene practitioners as a method of giving the body the time and space to heal itself, freeing it up of the tremendous energy required to digest and eliminate food.  An interesting fact is that during a fast, hunger continues for the first day or two, but by the third day, it usually disappears.  Not being hungry all the time is a big advantage in a fast! 

Digestion is an Energy Hog

Water with lemon & mint

Biologists estimate that the body spends over 50% of its energy on the digestion, assimilation, and elimination of food.  When the body undergoes a fast, the entire gastrointestinal tract can rest, freeing up this substantial energy that the body can now divert towards healing itself.  Toxic waste throughout the body is broken down, tumors are absorbed, and the build-up of waste is slowly and steadily excreted.  

Our body is constantly fighting against toxins not only in our food, but our stress level, environmental toxins from household cleaners, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the highly chemicalized personal care products we put on our skin.  Without realizing it, we create waste faster than the body can eliminate it.  Fasting helps the body to catch up and "clean house."

Fasting is different from starvation, which is when the body becomes exhausted from a lack of nutritional reserves and begins breaking down its vital tissues.  During fasting, only water is drank, and the fast is conducted under the supervision of a trained practitioner who monitors the health and well-being of the person undergoing the fast.

Fasting is not playtime.  It is a serious undertaking.  It is not a "cure" and fasting does not "fix" any health problems.  But what it does do is provide the body with the quiet time and space needed to heal itself, and excrete years of accumulated waste and any diseased tissue.  During a fast, not only is food removed.  Physical, emotional, and mental rest is just as important because many of the illnesses we experience are not just a result of our diet.  Some are directly induced by stress.

The Importance of Fasting & Detoxification

Popular health websites, traditional doctors, and government educated nutritional "experts" often claim that any type of fasting or detox is completely unnecessary as our elimination organs (lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin) are more than capable of removing toxins themselves.  If this were the case, then disease would not exist and we would all be healthy!  Such statements show a complete lack of understanding of the root cause of illness, not at all surprising as many healthcare "experts" are focused on treating symptoms with prescriptions and supplements rather than addressing root cause.

Detoxification IS necessary.  The problem is not that our organs are not capable of removing toxins.  It is that these organs are taxed to the point of overload, and are beginning to break down.  Fasting and detoxification gives our organs a chance to recover from the continual daily onslaught that we subject them to.

Detoxification Symptoms During Fasting

When a chronically ill person undergoes a fast, detoxification symptoms can be very intense and very uncomfortable as the body suddenly begins to release substantial quantities of stored waste.  This is because during a fast, detoxification occurs very rapidly.  The bloodstream carries waste away from the tissues, and in the process, can cause all sorts of temporary symptoms ranging from headaches to acne, tiredness, and brain fog.  The worst of these symptoms are usually short lived and run their course within 3-5 days.  But the more toxic the body, the more uncomfortable the symptoms can be.  This is why the time to fast is before a health condition becomes chronic to the point where fasting is too dangerous.

It is important to never artificially prevent or suppress detoxification symptoms with medications or supplements, but rather allow the body to heal at its own pace.  When we use medications to suppress symptoms, the body has to work even harder to expel these foreign substances, along with the other toxins that created the health condition in the first place. 

Symptoms of detoxification...

Why Should Fasts Be Supervised

Although many people fast with no professional help, any fast beyond 2-3 days should be done under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner who is an expert in the field of health fasting.  While for many people it is a safe practice, a qualified person can help you know what to expect, and understand signs of trouble to watch out for during the fast. 

In ALL cases where there is a chronic illness, such as cancer or heart disease, even a short fast should be supervised, and periodic check-ups are vital.  The body must be strong enough to sustain a fast, and if it is not, the symptoms of detoxification can cause serious damage.  Instead, a detox (also known as cleanse), followed by diet and lifestyle modifications may be recommended where the body detoxifies at a manageable pace.

Learn how to detoxify yourself...

Contraindications to Fasting

Under the following conditions, a fast is not recommended:

  • People who are extremely weak or emaciated.
  • People in the advanced stages of heart disease, or with any abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People on insulin.
  • People with kidney and liver disease (waste may be broken down faster than the kidneys and liver are able to eliminate them, causing the bloodstream to become overloaded).
  • During cold months when the body needs to maintain its temperature.
  • People who are underweight.

After the Fast

When a fast is complete, signs in the body often include healthy skin, the disappearance of body and breath odor, bright and clear eyes, and a sense of well-being.  As all the waste is released from the body, because this waste is often the root cause of chronic conditions, these conditions can spontaneously resolve themselves.  Moving forward with a healthy diet and other lifestyle changes, we can prevent them from ever returning.

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