by Emma Deangela
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a sacred honored tradition in many religious and cultural circles. In short, fasting is the abstinence from food or drink, or both. In the past, fasting is usually accompanied by inner soul searching and reflection - it helps to get in touch with your spiritual self. With the right direction, fasting can also aid our body's natural detoxification process and cleanse away all the toxins in our body. During fasting, resting adequately is essential in order to enhance the recovery of the body.
How Does Fasting Come about?
Even thousands of years ago, people have already understood the medical and mental health benefits of fasting. Thousands years ago, fasting was only served as a religious experience and was used to fully focus communal energy into enhancing prayer and spiritual experiences.
Sometimes in order to remember a significant event, fasting were used as a commemoration of many of these events. Fasting hence was thought of something spiritual and special.
Today, people fast for health reasons than religious reasons. Fasting speeds up the body detoxification process and revive your body's organ functions. The common forms of fasting are water fasting and juice fasting. Water fast serves as one of the most efficient ways to detoxify your tissues and blood - it involves total abstinence from food, while continuing consumption of water (and water alone- no soda or juice). Normally, water fast can last from 3 days to 10 days, and even longer if under medical supervision.
The fact that you stay away from food allows cleansing to take place in your body. The first phase of water fasting forces your body to delve into stores of energy that it normally wouldn't (since you're not eating food). The lipid cells that have been dormant for years, storing both good and bad substances, are being freed. Because the lipids contain toxins, when you free the lipid cells, it uses the energy and releases the toxins from those lipids.
Once the toxins are gone, your body immediately begins to detoxify itself. During the first few days of water fast, people usually feel rather ill as their bodies release toxins from their lipid cells. After all, these toxins have been stored inside your lipid cells for years, even decades, as by-products of "junk food" and the Western lifestyle. These signs that your body is releasing the toxins include gastrointestinal upset, fever, headache, neuromuscular weakness and fatigue. After a few days of toxin onslaught, these symptoms clear up and the body finishes detoxifying itself.
What do you gain from water fasting?
When you fast, the water will replenishes your body's source of vital life energy - water. Without water, the human body cannot function, repair or sustain. Drinking nothing but water renews the body's building blocks with fresh raw material (oxygen and hydrogen) to renew itself. Water fasting flushes your cells with this fresh material and forces the old toxins and chemicals into the bloodstream. There, they are detoxified by the liver, kidneys and skin.
Water fasting is considered very challenging but it can be rewarding as you would feel a total cleansed body. Once you have completed a longer fast, you can maintain your new level of health by using smaller water fasts. 1-3 days on water fast every now and then will help keep your body "in tune" and detoxified. But definitely, a proper diet and lifestyle will contribute to keeping your body free and clear of toxin accumulation.
Emma Deangela is the author of detox and fasting site at http://www.edetoxify.com/fasting. Combining both Asian and Western philosophy, discover more about cleansing your body at http://www.edetoxify.com