In over-fed America, fasting may seem a far-fetched idea. Why would anyone in their right mind want to starve themselves? The reasons are many and may surprise you. It is also a practice that has been practiced for thousands of years, and was often prescribed by the ancient physician, Hippocrates. A revolutionary physician known as Paracelsus, during the Middle Ages stated, “Fasting is the greatest remedy – the physician within.”
What is Fasting?
First of all, fasting has nothing to do with starving yourself. In its most basic form, fasting is abstaining from food and liquids other than water. There are different kinds of fasting, but the one thing they have in common is the exclusion of selected foods or liquids for a specific period of time.
In today’s modern world, the definition of fasting has been expanded to include different varieties of modified fasting. Modified fasting permits the addition of certain foods such as fruit juice or broth, or other healthy food. Technically, these are actually “diets.” They are sometimes called “detox diets,” “cleansing diets,” or even “fasting diets.” There are many shades of grey when it comes to fasting, cleansing and a regular diet.
In his book Fasting Can Save Your Life by Herbert Shelton, he states that fasting is abstaining from food when a person has enough nutritional reserves to provide nourishment to vital organs. Starvation begins when a person’s reserves are exhausted and vital organs begin to suffer damage.
The Benefits of Fasting
Over the centuries, fasting has been encouraged as a way of healing many health problems, as well as providing mental benefits. The benefits of fasting are:
- Allows for detoxification and cleansing of the body
- Cleanses and heals “stuck” patterns of emotions
- Rests the digestive system
- Promotes mental clarity
- Provides an increasing energy level and a feeling of physical lightness
- Enhances spiritual connections and promotes inner peace
Many call fasting a “miracle cure” because it can be used to treat most any ailment, among them, arthritis, digestive disorders, allergies, cardiovascular disease, asthma and skin disorders.
The body becomes overworked with the constant influx of food, which takes energy to process. When we fast, that energy is turned to other processes in the body, such as healing. While fasting, the body does housecleaning and rids itself of toxins, repairs cells, and produces new healthy cells.
Doctor Gabriel Cousens, a doctor of psychiatry, family therapist and doctor of holistic medicine probably sums it up best. He speaks about observations he made during a study on fasting. He observed that after four days, the participants’ concentration and creative thinking appeared to improve, insomnia stopped, depression and anxiety lifted, and the mind became more calm and the spirit more joyful. He believed that the act of fasting allows the body to rid the brain of harmful toxins that inevitably leads to clearer thought processes.
The clearing of toxins from the body and the energy made available during fasting
allows the body to renew and heal itself.
Even a short, one day fast can be beneficial, but two or three days is more effective. You might try an apple fast over the weekend. Eat 3-4 apples each day and drink 2 quarts of water. During your fast, you may experience flu-like symptoms, as when you have the flu, your body is working to heal itself.
The body truly has the ability to heal itself when provided the opportunity. Your body can be its own internal medicine doctor through holistic medicine and integrative medicine practices. Achieving health and wellness takes work, but the benefits are priceless.
If you would like to learn more about holistic and integrative medicine, contact Dr. Jorge Bordenave at Miami Integrative Medicine and learn what a difference alternative treatments can make to your health and life.
Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing