Fast your way to health Indian sages, from time immemorial, have been stressing the importance of fasting and its curative powers. And now modern science is slowly waking up to the idea. Fasting, according to studies, triggers the healing process of the body. It is, in fact, one of the important natural healing therapy.

Fasting is one of the three aspects of nutrition--balancing and building (toning) are the others. Most people overeat, eat too often, and eat a high-protein, high-fat and congesting diet more often than they need.

The most stringent form of fasting is taking only water; more liberally, fasting includes the use of fresh fruit juices as well as herbal teas. But fasting is not starvation. "Fasting should not be confused with starvation. It is said that ôStarvation is destructive,"

Individual experiences with fasting depend on the condition of the body (also mind and attitude). Juice fasting is very common. Juice fasting is also safer than water fasting because it supports the body nutritionally while cleansing and probably even produces a better detoxification and quicker recovery.

In a booklet, 'Healing by God's Unlimited Power', (1947), Paramahansa Yogananda had suggested, "Fasting is a natural method of healing. When animals or savages are sick, they fast." He continued, "Most diseases can be cured by judicious fasting."

Interestingly, the use of fasting to treat fevers is controversial. Traditional Indian healing method believes that fasting will worsen fever as it increases body fire. Fasting to treat cancer is also a controversial topic. Many alternative clinics use fasting in the treatment of cancers. Digestive upsets, mousy stools, flatulence, or even nausea and vomiting may occur during fasting.

People with bad constitution and without experience in fasting should be kept under supervision while on fast.

Fasting is not suggested for pregnant or lactating women. Problems related with fasting can be aggravated with lengthy, non-caloric or water fasts and can be reduced with juice fasting of reasonable length (one to two weeks).

A sensible daily plan is one where fasting is mixed with eating. Many do well by preparing for their fasts with three or four days of consuming only fruit and vegetable foods. These nourish and slowly detoxify the body so that the actual fasting will be less intense. Feeling great usually begins around day three, so longer juice fasts are really needed for the grand experience.

Fresh juices and vegetables are what most fasting clinics and practitioners recommend. And once the practitioner gets a hang of it, he or she could continue to fast once in a week or thrice in a month.

But then, how do one knows how long to fast and when to stop fasting? Generally, during cleansing period hunger is minimal. Breaking a fast must be planned and done slowly and carefully. With juice fasting, it is easier to make the transition back to a normal food-intake schedule. Most vegetable juices are a little milder than lemon juice.



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