(Last Updated on : 01/12/2010)
Fasting therapy is one of the most ancient customs. This is nature`s oldest, most effective and yet least expensive method of treating diseases, recognised as the achievement of natural healing. Throughout medical history, it has been regarded as one of the most dependable curative methods. It refers to complete abstinence from food for a particular period pertaining to a specific purpose. The common cause of all diseases is the accumulation of waste and poisonous matter in the body which results from overeating. The majority of people eats too much and follows sedentary occupations which do not permit sufficient and proper exercise for utilisation of this large quantity of food. This surplus overburdens the digestive organs and clogs up the system with impurities or poisons. Digestion and elimination become slow and the functional activity of the whole system gets deranged. Every disease can be healed by only one remedy - by doing just the opposite of what causes it, that is, by reducing the food intake or fasting. By depriving the body of food for a time ,the organs of elimination such as the bowels, kidneys, skin and lungs are given opportunity to expel, unhampered, the overload of accumulated waste from the system. Thus, fasting therapy is merely the process of purification and an effective and quick method of cure.
Duration of Fasting
The duration of the fast depends on the age of the patient, the nature of the disease and the amount and type of drugs previously used. The duration is important, because long periods of fasting can be dangerous if undertaken without competent professional guidance. It is, therefore, advisable to undertake a series of short fasts of two to three days and gradually increase the duration of each succeeding fast by a day or so. The period, however, should not exceed a week of total fasting at a time. A correct mode of living and a balanced diet after the fast will restore vigour and vitality to the individual.
Fasting is highly beneficial in practically all kinds of stomach and intestinal disorders and in serious conditions of the kidneys and liver. It is a miracle cure for eczema and other skin diseases and offers the only hope of permanent cure in many cases. The various nervous disorders also respond favourably to this mode of treatment.
Methods of Fasting Therapy
The best, safest and most effective method of fasting therapy is juice fasting. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes and trace elements in fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juices are extremely beneficial in normalising all the body processes. They supply essential elements for the body`s own healing activity and cell regeneration and thus speeding the recovery. All juices should be prepared from fresh fruit immediately before drinking. The patient should get as much fresh air as possible and should drink plain lukewarm water when thirsty. Fresh juices may be diluted with pure water. The total liquid intake should be approximately six to eight glasses. Only very simple exercises like short walks may be undertaken during the fast. A warm water or neutral bath may be taken during the period. Cold baths are not advisable. Sun and air baths should be taken daily. Fasting sometimes produces a state of sleeplessness which can be overcome by a warm tub bath, keeping hot water bottles at the feet and by drinking one or two glasses of hot water.
Benefits of Fasting Therapy
There are several benefits of fasting. During a long fast, the body feeds upon its reserves. Being deprived of needed nutrients, particularly of protein and fats, it will burn and digest its own tissues by the process of autolysis or self-digestion. But it will not do so indiscriminately. The body will first decompose and burn those cells and tissues which are diseased, damaged, aged or dead. The essential tissues and vital organs, the glands, the nervous system and the brain are not damaged or digested in fasting. Here lies the secret of the effectiveness of fasting as a curative and rejuvenating method. During fasting, the building of new and healthy cells is speeded up by the amino acids released from the diseased cells. The capacity of the eliminative organs, that is, lungs, liver, kidneys and the skin is greatly increased as they are relieved of the usual burden of digesting food and eliminating the resultant wastes. They are, therefore, able to quickly expel old accumulated wastes and toxins. Fasting affords a physiological rest to the digestive, assimilative and protective organs. As a result, the digestion of food and the utilisation of nutrients are greatly improved after fasting.
Breaking of Fast
The success of the fast depends largely on how it is broken. This is the most significant phase. The main rules for breaking the fast are no overeating, eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly; and taking several days for the gradual change to the normal diet. If the transition to eating solid foods is carefully planned, there will be no discomfort or damage. The patient should also continue to take rest during the transition period. The right food after a fast is as important and decisive for proper results as the fast itself.
Thus fasting therapy helps in the cure of a number of diseases.