Fasting: Rebooting Your System
Joseph Kukucka, M.H.
We have learned that the best way to deal with many health problems is to cleanse and nourish. Sometimes the body needs a period to concentrate its efforts to rid itself of toxins. By abstaining from solid food and drinking plain water only, the body can extend all its effort and energy on clean-up and repair. That is what fasting can do for you.
For centuries man has utilized fasting for cleaning, healing and strengthening, not just physically and mentally, but spiritually as well. Fasting has been practiced by every religion. We can read accounts of fasting in the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments. This was not only done for atonement, but for strengthening, and at times the fasting lasted for 40 days. Almost every Native American tribe incorporated fasting as well. Today fasting is largely viewed as a practice done in the past, and not for modern times. In fact, the very idea of going without food for any extended period terrifies many.
Stomach grumblings, headaches, nausea and other discomforts that arise a few hours after a meal, are perceived as hunger pangs because they go away after eating something. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, those aren’t the symptoms of true hunger. Rather, when digestion of a meal is complete, the body shifts into a cleansing mode to rid itself of toxins & built-up waste from the typical American diet. This is the real cause of those uncomfortable symptoms.
Anyone who has worked closely with animals has probably observed that when not feeling right, they will refrain from eating. The animal is following its instincts to work toward wellness.
Eleven years ago I learned of fasting’s ability to help the body heal. Once, I fasted for 7 days and numerous times I’ve done 2-day and 3-day fasts. But my usual routine is to fast one day a week. Fasting one day a week is easily achievable, but I don’t recommend that anyone should start fasting even one day a week without some preparation. This is because as your body goes into detoxification mode, it shuts down the digestive system. Any food that is in the system will remain in the lower bowel and become hard as the body draws water from it, no matter how much water you drink. Therefore, the best way to fast is to follow Dr. Christopher’s recommendation of the 3-day juice cleanse routine, then continue fasting on water for 1 or 2 days. Once you have done it a few times you will start looking forward to it.
Each time you fast it will be different. Sometimes you will have aches and pains and feel foggy. Other times you will feel full of energy and quite lucid. You will also learn to strengthen your inner discipline as you control temptations to take a little snack.
Fasting is not only free but it will save you money as you are eating 3 meals less a week. Also, the time usually spent shopping for, preparing meals and then cleaning up, can now be utilized for other endeavors: yoga, prayer, meditation or simply relaxing.
When dealing with chronic problems, fasting should be considered as part of the healing regimen. Fasting will make you healthier, detoxify your body and bolster your immune system for resisting disease. It’s like pushing a reset button or rebooting the computer.
Joe KuKucka is a Master Herbalist Graduate from the School of Natural Healing. He lives and works in Ohio and would be happy to answer questions via email. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.