What is the meaning of healthy fasting?
The purpose of fasting is to give complete rest to the digestive system. In fact, it is only during the period of fasting that the digestive system gets to rest, as ordinarily, we eat two or three times daily because of which it must work constantly.
In India fast has been given much importance since ancient times. In our religious books fast has been regarded as a means for the purification of mind and body. Among the beliefs of Jainism fast has a special place in their religion even today and to a great extent is so among Hindus.
Fast is a powerful means to get rid of foreign matter, which is the cause of sickness. During fasting all the vital force is engaged in curing the diseases. Fast by itself does not give new vital force, but it removes the poison in the body which is the cause of ill-health.
Many people make the mistake of regarding fast as something like starvation, if we do not take food, first the foreign matter is consumed and then those substances are consumed which are necessary to keep our body alive.
If the fast is continued even after the foreign matter is removed, it is indeed harmful and would lead to the destruction of various organs in the body.
“Fast begins with giving up food and ends when one feels hungry, and starvation begins with the feeling of hunger and ends with death” - Dr. Carington
It is wrong to regard fast as intake of a reduced quantity of food than required, it is not the law of Nature that one takes less food than is needed to extinguish hunger.
Experiments have proved that there is no benefit to health, no matter how long one lives with a reduced diet. If one takes less food than required, he becomes weak.
Types of Fasting
This is the easiest fast, in this only morning breakfast is given up. Lunch and dinner are taken. This is known as the “No Breakfast System”.
This is known as a Half fast or one-time fast, in this only one meal is taken during the day and no dinner is taken. Those who are suffering from chronic disease benefit greatly from this fast. One should take natural food during this fast.
Fast by Taking One Thing at a time
In this fast only one food item is taken at a time, for example, if bread is taken in the morning, only vegetables are taken in the evening.
The next day one kind of fruit is taken in the morning and only milk is taken in the evening. This fast is useful for any ordinary aliment of the body.
Fast on Juice
During this fast no solid food is taken, only fruit juices are taken or soup of vegetables, and milk is also not allowed. During the fast enema is taken to keep the intestine clean.
Fast on Fruits & Vegetables
During this fast, fruits and juices are taken, and an enema is also taken to keep the stomach clean, during this fast, only those fruits should be taken which a person may easily digest. If the fruit is not suited to a person, he may take cooked vegetables instead.
Fast on Milk
This fast is also known as “Milk Treatment (Kalp)”. During the fast only milk should be taken four or five times during the day. The milk should be of a healthy cow.
Fast on Buttermilk
If the digestive system is weak, one should fast on buttermilk instead of milk, buttermilk used in this fast should be such that its butter content has been taken out by the churning process.
In a complete fast one takes only clean water and no food, either solid or liquid, during a complete fast many rules should be followed to avoid any consequences.
This fast is especially for those who spend an entire day staying in the office, this helps to keep one healthy, and chances of any disease are reduced. It would be desirable to undertake an enema once or twice during the day one is observing the weekly fast.
Headaches, heaviness in the body, and many other physical and mental ailments are removed by weekly fasts.
If one observes a complete fast for three to seven days, it is known as a short fast.
This fast is for generally incurable diseases, in this fast, all the rules of complete fast should be strictly observed.
During a broken fast complete fast is observed for two to seven days and then for a few days light natural food is taken. Then again complete fast is observed for the same number of days as before.
The series of complete fast and light food should be continued till the disease is cured, this fast is used to cure painful diseases.
In this long fast, a complete fast is observed for a long time. No fixed period is decided beforehand, it may last from 21 days to 50-60 days.
Generally, this fast is broken only when natural hunger is felt, or when after the consumption of all foreign matter the necessary and healthy tissues of the body begin to be consumed.
The long fast should not be undertaken without full preparation and full knowledge of the art of Fasting. It is recommended that this type of fast is taken under the guidance of a fast specialist.
Effects of Complete Fasting on the Body
Just as when we eat too much, its effects are seen on the stomach, similarly when we fast its effect is seen on the stomach. During the fast, the body’s power for self-treatment is at work, as the quantity of the poison in the body is reduced and the intensity of the disease begins to subside.
The stomach becomes light and real hunger appears, and at the same time the tongue becomes clean, and the body begins to feel light.
Fasting also affects the intestine, the cells of the intestine must work less, and their powder is regenerated.
Evacuation of bowel
Fasting affects the expulsion of waste from the intestine, first, the quantity of foreign matter is reduced. Often there is a pain in the expulsion of foreign matter, and sometimes there is bleeding.
After two or three days, foreign matter does not come out of the natural process, and it is then necessary to take an enema.
As an engine need fuel to run it, similarly our body needs food, it provides heat to the body. Therefore, when we fast, our body temperature should go down, but it is seen that there is no change in the temperature of the boy for 4 days. After that sometimes the temperature increase.
“How such facts could be if we derived our bodily heat from the food consumed as is usually thought is a mystery” – Dr. Macfadon.
The pulse fluctuates during the fast, during some stages of fasting, the pulse remains normal, while in some stages the pulse rate is reduced.
During fasting, there are some changes in the composition of the blood, here are these.
- The number of blood cells first goes down and then it increases.
- The number of white cells is reduced as the fast goes on.
- The number of uninuclear cells is reduced.
- The number of eosinophils and poly-nuclear cells increases.
When the intestine is full of foreign matter the blood pressure increases, during fast when the intestine is cleared the blood pressure goes down.
Generally, when one eats too much, his liver is enlarged because it must over-work, during fast, more bile comes out of the liver because of which the waste matter deposited in the intestine is cleared. The color of the stool becomes dark yellowish.
If sufficient water is not taken during the fast the quantity of urine goes down, however, if water is taken enough, the discharge of urine is normal or slightly below normal. The urine becomes acidic.
During fast the sweat glands in the skin expel urea, which is poisonous, because of which the sweat has a bad smell has come out. The skin becomes soft and smooth, and many diseases disappear which were caused by the presence of poison in the blood and the body.
Because of fast, the blood is purified and the bad effect of toxins on the brain and the nervous system is removed. Many ailments of the nervous system are cured fast, during the fast as the poison accumulated in the body is expelled the ailments of the nervous system are removed.
If a healthy person fasts, there is not much change in his weight but if an overweight person fast, he loses about 2 kg in two or three days, after that he loses half kg weight per day.
For two or three days, after the beginning of the fast, the bad smell comes out of breath, but after 5-6 days the bad smell goes away.
How do manage Crises during Fasting?
During the fast, sometimes serious symptoms develop and of which people become panicky and break the fast. However, by the Nature cure methods, the condition of the patient can be improved without breaking the fast.
To discontinue the fast in the middle because of these symptoms is also harmful. Here are listed some symptoms and how they can be managed.
Fainting is caused because of a reduced supply of blood in the head. The patient should lie down, and his legs should be raised. This improved blood supply in the head. No attempt shul be made to make the patient stand. That may even cause his death.
This is also caused by a reduced supply of blood to the brain, and its treatment is the same as that of fainting, but sometimes giddiness is also caused by too much blood going in the brain. Under this condition, the patient should lie down but his head should be raised.
These symptoms generally develop at the beginning of fast and after some time disappears.
Reduced Pulse Rate
Only sometimes this symptom develops, it is not dangerous, and the patient should be given a hot water bath or massage. He may also do light exercise to remove these symptoms.
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Frequently Asked Question
Q - Is fasting for a day healthy?
The main purpose of fasting is to give complete rest to the digestive system, it is a natural condition. Fasting is an excellent and powerful way to get rid of foreign matter, which has accumulated in our body and is the main cause of illness.
Q - What is the benefits of fasting?
During fasting, the body's power of self-treatment is at work and the quantity of poison in the body is reduced and the intensity of disease begins to subside.
Q - What happens during a fasting?
When someone is fasting, his or her body's power of self-treatment is at work. The quantity of foreign matter in the body is reduced and the stomach becomes light and real hunger appears.
Q - How long is it safe to fast?
How long a person should fast, totally depends upon the ability and the purpose of the fasting, there is no special rule for this. Normally a healthy person can do 5-7 days of complete fasting.
Q - Does fasting help lose weight?
Yes, fasting helps to lose weight, but it depends upon how you are doing the fasting. If you are on OMAD (One Meal a Day), it helps to reduce belly fat and overall fat.
Q - What are the health benefits of fasting?
Fasting helps to keep the body fit and away from any disease, it means physical and mental purification. The full benefits of fasting can be taken only by one who knows how to fast otherwise it may be harmful and may even lead to death.
Here are some health benefits of fasting.
- Fasting helps to reduce body fat and weight.
- It affects the fast expulsion of waste from the intestine.
- During the fast, more bile's come out from the liver because of which the waste material deposited in the intestine is cleaned.
- Fasting helps to purify the blood and the bad effect of the toxins on the brain and the nervous system is removed.
- During fasting the sweat gland of the skin expels urea, which is poisonous.