The ancient tradition of fasting is filled with examples of famous teachers from Jesus to Gandhi. These notable figures spent days, weeks or even months without food and sometimes water. Although those were extreme fast, everyone experiences a mini fast on a daily basis. This fast occurs from the time of the last meal eaten until the time of when the first meal is eaten the next day. Occasionally extending these daily fast to several days can bring long-lasting physical and spiritual benefits.
One of the best reasons to fast is to clean up bowel toxicity. Today we live in a world that is filled with toxins and fasting is the most profound way to detoxify the body and mind. Most adults have a lifetime of accumulated toxins from pollution, processed foods, medications, over eating, cellular and metabolic waste and stress that impair the digestive system. The build up of this toxin can wreak havoc on the body.
Fortunately, nature has a simple yet powerful remedy to alleviate the toxins from our bodies and this remedy is fasting or in Ayurveda, it may be a full Pancha Karma treatment (Ayurveda Detox). It should be noted that fasting also has some additional benefits to our body besides eliminating toxins; it actually stimulates new cell growth and turns on the “youthing” genes that restore health, reverse the aging process and increase longevity.
There are several schools of thought when it come to fasting however since I recommend a holistic approach to fasting, I recommend contacting an Ayurveda Health Practitioner for a complete assessment to determine what is the best course of action for you to begin your Fasting or Detox program.
All fasting programs have a “pre” fast plan, a “during “plan and a “breaking” the fast plan. It is important that you follow the advice of your practitioner so that your mind, body and spirit can experience the true benefit and all goodness from this very powerful natural healing tool.
Here are some things that you may experience during your fast. For the first few days as you detoxify you may have an increase in body odor, rashes, a coating on the tongue, with flu-like symptoms ranging from headaches, muscle aches, dizziness and fatigue to waves of anger, sadness and fear. All of these surfacing toxins are more easily released with the assistance of massage, light exercise, decreased sensory stimulation, meditation, quiet time and journaling to name a few. In a seven day fast, you can expect to feel by the third day hunger to fade and the desire for and attachment to food will have diminished, freeing the mind and spirit for contemplation. The last few days of the fast (detox) are often accompanied by a renewed sense of joyful well-being, physical vitality, flexibility, strength, mental clarity and awareness.
Natural beauty will also begin to reappear. Gone are pale or dry and crepe-like skin; wrinkles; puffy, dark circles under the eyes; and cellulite and replaced by a glowing, peachy, complexion, vibrant eyes and a toned body that can only come from renewed inner health.
The purification that results from an experience like this often leads to appreciation for the human body, compassion for oneself and others and a deeper connection to spiritual truth and inner wisdom. Although one fast (detox) is not enough to detoxify the body and mind completely, it will begin to reveal how true health feels. The practice of detoxing opens a path to boundless health and spiritual growth and allows one to move beyond the limiting desires and diseases of the mind-body complex. For some, this freedom also strengthens communion with the divine and sets them forth on their journey to feeling fabulous.
Rochele M. Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS