BENEFITS OF FASTING

Benefits of fasting

 

The first question you might ask “Why should I fast?”

A thorough answer to that question could comprise an

entire book. The short answer is that fasting helps

the body to normalize itself

 

Think about what happens when you go to sleep at night.

Your body immediately goes about the tasks of repair

and recovery (as much as possible) from the wear and

tear of the day’s activities. A renovation takes place

in your brain and throughout your entire body that

enables you to arise refreshed and raring to go the

next day.

 

The restorative power of a night’s sleep involves many

factors, and the process is not completely understood.

But one factor that definitely helps facilitate this

process of rejuvenation is your nightly fast. While

you are sleeping each night, you are not eating—you

are not adding to your body’s digestive work. This

period of digestive rest allows your body to devote

more of its energy to its nightly restoration.

 

You probably know from experience that eating a heavy

meal late at night interferes with the quality of your

sleep and leaves you feeling groggy the next day.

Heavy eating late at night, much like heavy

drinking late at night, can leave you with a hangover.

 

Abstinence from food at night facilitates the process

of biological renewal, allowing your body to proceed

with its repairs and restorations. Of course, one

does not remain asleep throughout a fast, but when

fasting is combined with rest, your body treats it

as an extended period of renovation and renewal.

 

During fasting, your senses become more acute,

including taste, smell, and hearing. Even sight has

been known to improve during a fast, although that

does not always happen.

 

Balance and stability

 

Most people are familiar with the term homeostasis,

which refers to the body’s balancing, centering, and

stabilizing mechanisms. Homeostatic mechanisms are what

enable your body to adjust to the relentless changes

in your external and internal environments.

 

It is easier for your body to maintain homeostasis

when you are resting and fasting than when you are

eating and engaging in activity. The conservation

of energy during such a profound period of rest

creates a favorable condition for the biological

process of healing. The human body is programmed to

always seek normality, and a properly conducted fast

supports and encourages that process.

 

Absence of hunger

 

Your next question might very well be, “Won’t I be

hungry all the time when I am fasting?” The surprising

fact is that after one or a few days of fasting, most

people experience little or no desire for food.

 

The desire to eat is dictated by a combination of

physiological and psychological factors. It is

thought that hunger is triggered by the activity

of certain brain cells within the “appetite center”

of the hypothalamus which respond to the blood

glucose level.

 

During fasting, the body begins to burn fat as a

fuel, and the appetite center becomes temporarily

desensitized to blood glucose.

 

This makes it possible to fast without a gnawing hunger.

 

Most people report little desire for food while

fasting. They do not have a powerful, overwhelming

urge to eat. This helps make it possible for most

people to fast comfortably for several weeks or longer.

 

What to expect on your first fast.

 

Fasting has been an integral part of Natural Hygiene care

for more than 100 years. Many thousands of people have

restored their health through fasting. Some, ill and

distraught from years of discomfort and discouragement,

try fasting as a last resort.

 

Some of the conditions that respond well to fasting and

aggressive dietary changes after the fast are headache,

rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, heart disease, high blood

pressure, diabetes, colitis, psoriasis, lupus, and

uterine fibroids.

 

Fasting to heal oneself can mean the difference between

living life pain-ridden and dependent on drugs, going

from one doctor to another for relief and living a

normal, pain-free existence into old age.

 

Health Science asked longtime Hygienic physician

Ralph Cinque, D.C., to describe some of the experiences

a person might encounter while considering and,

ultimately, undertaking their first fast.

 

 

What to expect on your first fast.

Answers to the most commonly-asked questions!

By Ralph Cinque D.C.

 

 

Fasting is not the solution to every health problem,

but it can have a powerful effect in reversing pathology

and establishing a foundation for health.

 

If you have never fasted before, you undoubtedly have

many questions about it. Perhaps you have read a book

about fasting, and you are hopeful that fasting will

help you overcome a particular problem and improve

your general health.

 

But since fasting is not yet a regular part of medical

practice, it may be difficult for you to seriously

consider it. This is unfortunate because fasting can

have a powerful effect in reversing pathology and

establishing a foundation for health. Fasting is not

an all-encompassing solution to every health problem,

but it has great promise to bolster the recovery process

for many ailing people.

 

In order to make an intelligent decision about fasting,

you need reliable information that is accurate, factual,

and scientific. It is good to talk to people who have

fasted and to doctors who are experienced in the use of

fasting. Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985), who was one of

the founders of the American Natural Hygiene Society,

probably had more experience with fasting than anyone

else who ever lived. It is estimated that he supervised

more than 40,000 fasts. Dr. Shelton used to say that

the most vehement objections to fasting are

made by those who have never missed a meal in their lives.

 

Think twice before accepting condemnations of fasting from

those who know nothing about it and have no experience with

it, whether they a physicians or lay persons. if you

objectively look at the evidence about fasting, you will

see that it has improved health and life for countless

people under a broad range of circumstances.

 

Psychological factors

 

It is important to recognize that psychological factors

can affect people differently during fasting. Some

people have a habit of thinking and talking about food

much of the time —  whether they are hungry or not. Some

people even dream about food while fasting. But most

people experience little or no psychological discomfort

about not eating for a period of time. Some even enjoy

the feeling of lightness and freedom they get while

fasting. Do not assume that you will feel like you are

“starving” because you won’t be starving.

You will be fasting.

 

Fasting, not starving

 

There is an important difference between fasting and

starving. Fasting is a period of abstinence from food

during which the body’s nutrient reserves are adequate

to meet the body’s nutritional needs. Starvation can

occur only if you abstain from food beyond the point

where you have sufficient nutrient reserves.

 

The differences between fasting and starving are

unmistakable to the trained eye, and that is why it

is important that you fast under the supervision of

a member of the International Association of Hygienic

Physicians (IAHP) who is certified for fasting supervision.

 

Will I experience discomfort?

 

While fasting, everyone tends to experience some

“locomotor weakness,” which refers to the withdrawal

of energy from the muscular system as the body tries

to conserve energy. Sometimes it is surprisingly mild.

Some people fast for two weeks without becoming

discernibly weak. They move about as easily as they

did before they began their fasts.

 

In general, those who are large and heavy tend to remain

more energetic than those who are small and light. The

body enforces an earlier slowdown of caloric expenditure

in those who have the least reserves. Thin people can

become weak rather early in a fast. Interestingly, women

tend to hold up better energy-wise while fasting than do

men. I presume it is because women tend to have greater

fat reserves, on average, but hormonal factors also may

be involved.

 

Symptoms may arise during fasting, such as headaches,

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin eruptions.These all

are related to the increase in your body’s eliminative

activities during the fast, and they are considered to be

constructive. Dr. Shelton used the term “orthopathic,”

which means “right suffering,” to describe these events.

Nevertheless, they can be uncomfortable and distressing.

 

The vast majority of people are able to fast for a

sufficient period of time without major discomfort.The

most frequent complaint I hear from people who are

fasting is that they are bored. However, there are

instances when a situation arises that may necessitate

terminating the fast.That is why it is important that

you fast under the supervision of a physician trained

in fasting supervision.

 

Low blood pressure

 

Blood pressure tends to drop during a fast, which is a

good thing if your pressure is too high. But if you have

normal or low blood pressure, this further drop in blood

pressure during fasting can occasion orthostatic

hypotension—a sudden feeling of weakness and

lightheadedness that occurs when you try to stand up too

quickly. While fasting, you must be careful to move

around slowly in order to give your body time to adjust

to different postures.

 

There are special receptors in the neck called

baroreceptors which regulate the blood pressure to the

brain. These baroreceptors tend to respond more slowly

during fasting; they take longer to read conditions and

elicit a response. People have been known to faint while

fasting, but the only danger in fainting is that you may

hit your head on something hard or sharp as you fall down.

The way to prevent such a mishap is to be slow and careful

each and every time you shift positions during fasting.

Pause between postures to give your body time to adjust

to the effects of gravity.

 

Sometimes it is necessary to end a fast because of low blood

pressure. How low you can allow your blood pressure to drop

during fasting before terminating a fast depends upon what

your blood pressure was originally, and your size, age, sex,

and other factors.An experienced physician can make that

evaluation.

 

A good and safe experience

 

To maximize the benefits from fasting and ensure your

safety, obtain professional supervision from a certified

IAHP physician. Fasting beyond several days requires

professional supervision in order to be safe.

 

Moreover, there are some fragile and delicate individuals

for whom even one day of fasting would be ill-advised

without an IAHP doctor’s approval and supervision.

Stability is achieved during fasting because of adaptations

the body makes, and individuals vary at how well they make

those adaptations.

 

As I mentioned, the biggest complaint I hear from people

who are fasting is that they are bored. Here is where mental

discipline can be a major factor. No one will deny that it

can be mentally challenging to lie around fasting day after

day. But, if you take it just one day at a time (and don’t

decide ahead of time how many days you will fast), you can

get through your first fast without too much difficulty.

 

Dr. Cinque, 1996

 

 

 

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 FARM WISHLIST

5 gal buckets with lids

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Old tires

Boots

Planters and pots for planting

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