3 Day Fasting
Fasting is one of the quickest ways to increase the elimination of wastes and enhance the reparative process of the body. Fasting has been practiced throughout history and is universally employed in the animal kingdom.
Scientific research into fasting has existed since the early 1900’s. Medical journals have carried articles on the benefits of fasting in diabetes, epilepsy, obesity, psychological illnesses, arthritis, heart disease, skin disease, and toxic poisoning.
The short fast of 3-5 days, is a chance for the body to acquire optimal rest both mentally and physically. This is an opportunity to build health, break old habits, and increase awareness of oneself. Although longer fasts are required in chronic disease, the short fast can be conducted at home, rather than at an in-patient facility. Although short fasts are generally safe, you will need an appointment for a physical exam and evaluation before undertaking a fast. This will allow us to evaluate your progress during and after the fast. If you are on any medications or have any chronic illness, slight alterations may be necessary.
The ideal time to begin a fast is when hunger disappears or at the first sign of an illness. A short fast can be implemented at any time. Choose a weekend or period of time when you can decrease your activity. Remember the more rest the better the results. Your energy can be directed towards healing, instead of other bodily functions.
A positive mental outlook towards fasting is important. The benefits include: decreased weight, clearer skin, increased elimination, tissue repair, decreased pain and inflammation, increased concentration, and relaxation. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the satisfaction that you can play a major role in optimizing your health.
Only water should be taken by mouth while fasting and filtered or spring water is best. Some authorities recommend juice, but this is would actually be considered an elimination diet since nutrients are ingested. The quantity of water should be dictated by thirst, but you need to drink several glasses each day. Losing vitamins or minerals is not usually of concern in a short fast. Humans have adapted biochemical mechanisms to exist for long periods without food.
Exercise is not usually encouraged while fasting. It is important to conserve energy and allow maximal healing. Short walks or light stretching are permissible but heavy workouts tax the system and impair elimination.
Cleansing the skin with lukewarm water is encouraged, but extremes in temperature can be enervating. Try to avoid deodorants, soaps, sprays, detergents and synthetic shampoos.
Sunlight is essential for healthy cells. Try to obtain at least 10-20 minutes per day, although this may be difficult during winter. Many fasting institutions have solariums in which their guests may sunbathe.
Rest is the most important aspect of the fast. Try to take a nap or two during the day. You will probably require less sleep at night, since your daily activity has decreased.
Enemas or colonics are not usually necessary during a fast, but this will depend on your individual health. If you are worried about constipation, a pre-fast meal of fresh fruit or vegetables will assist elimination.
Body temperature usually drops during a fast along with decreased blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. This is further evidence of the inherent wisdom of the body to conserve energy. Try to stay warm. You may want to use a hot water bottle to stay warm at night.
Most discomfort during fasting is usually brief as the body works quickly to restore homeostasis. You may experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, a coated tongue, bad odor, mild palpitation, or mucous discharge. These symptoms are generally all normal. Many people fasting may experience any or none of these. If your symptoms are intolerable and persist, notify your physician or break your fast with an orange and resume fasting when symptoms disappear.
If you plan to fast on a weekend, start with a meal of fresh fruit or vegetables Thursday evening. After your meal, brush your teeth and consider your fast begun!!
No coffee, tea, juice, pop, cigarettes or anything else by mouth except water. Avoid the smell and sight of food if possible. If you have to prepare food for other family members, satisfy your senses with the aroma. No sampling!
Try to keep your mind away from food by reading a book (especially a book on fasting) listening to music, writing a letter, or watching a movie. Do not spend too long at any one activity. Remember: rest is the key to a successful fast.
Breaking Your Fast
You should break your fast with foods that are simple whole foods which are easy to digest. Eat the food slowly and chew thoroughly, limit the quantity, and enjoy! Overeating can undo the benefits derived from a fast, so be careful.
Be sure to check with your physician if fasting is right for you! Fasting is completely contraindicated for anyone with a history of eating disorder as well as for various chronic health conditions.