Naturopaths also consider fasting as one of the most important tools to combat many diseases and to maintain health. Fasting is both physical and spiritual. What we are discussing here is the physical aspect and effects of fasting.
Principle of fasting
- Fasting gives complete rest to the digestive system.
- It is a method of purifying the body and mind.
- It rejuvenates our vitality.
- Promotes prompt removal of formed and accumulated wastes.
- It promotes a natural feeling of hunger (how many times do we just have a meal, not because we are hungry but because it is a meal time?)
Fasting should not just be a random exercise. There are prescribed methods of fasting and how you should proceed with this is different when you are healthy and when you are suffering from some illness.
When we are healthy, we should fast to keep our stomach clean, cool and light, To improve digestion and to stimulate appetite. Also it is a useful technique for those aiming for weight loss.
You could follow one of the following :
1. Abstain from breakfast or lunch or dinner –
If you want to follow this method on a regular basis then this can be done for a day or couple days in the week. It is preferable to abstain from dinner since dinner takes the maximum time to get digested, mostly because there is not much time between dinner and bed time.
Another example where this method can be applied is by skipping breakfast, if you have had a very heavy dinner the previous night and you are suffering from indigestion, fullness in the abdomen, dyspepsia.
2. Abstain from eating once a week or day fast –
Before commencing this fast it is advisable to take enema. During the day have nothing but warm water, lemon water and honey water, both preferably warm. Do not eat dinner that day as well. You can break your fast the next day at breakfast time. (Refer to correct way of breaking your fast)
3. Three day fast –
Like the one day fast, it is advisable to take an enema a day before commencing the fast. You should not have any cooked food for the entire 3 days, but should have fruits and fruit/ vegetable juices. (Refer to recipe section for interesting fruit and vegetable juices). Also you should have warm water as well as lemon water and honey water. Break the fast by having breakfast on the 4th day. (Refer to correct way of breaking your fast)
4. Seven days fast –
If you have been practicing the above 3 methods for a long time then this method can be practiced when healthy. Else when suffering from any disease this method is used
Three days prior to this fast you should take enema for 3 consecutive days. You should not have any cooked food for the entire 7 days but should have fruits and fruit/ vegetable juices, sprouts, cereals, dry fruits (Refer to recipe section for interesting recipes). Also you should have warm water as well as lemon water and honey water. Break the fast by having breakfast on the 8th day. (Refer to correct way of breaking your fast)
Note : This is a long term fast and requires medical supervision. It may prove injurious if proper careis not taken or if it is done in cases where not required