Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fasting And Health (Part 1) Dry Fasting

In addition to the regular consumption of Kefir for health, Fasting should also become something you do on a regular basis.  Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several daytime periods. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance. The fast may also be intermittent in nature (see: Intermittent fasting). Fasting practices may preclude sexual and other activities as well as food.

There are a number of different ways and recommendations for going about a fast.  After extensive reading and experimentation with fasting, I have come to appreciate the idea of "Everything in Moderation".  There are those with serious illnesses and chronic conditions that under strict medical supervision may do well to completely cure themselves with an extended fast.  Some of these longer fasts can last from 3 weeks to 90 days from what I've read.  Although the majority of "Long Fasts" seem to end around 30-40 days.  This is also historically significant with religious circles, as many of the religious leaders take on a 30-40 day fast and recommend periodic abstinence from food by their followers as well, for both religious and health reasons.

In India, there are always extreme accounts of fasting, ranging from only a few months, to years without food.  There are even those that claim to have plant like abilities, needing only sunshine, fresh air and water to life a happy and healthy life...Well...without going any further into these claims, let's take a look at the approach I have come to appreciate and the benefits I believe you can derive from my approach.

When I first started fasting this past winter, I did it out of my bodies need for something.  I had been relatively tired and had low energy.  I also felt achy and the long cold winters in the north didn't seem to be helping.  I read everything I could read about fasting before I concluded that it should be the next thing to try out.  I'm what you could call a research fanatic and Google is my God.  I had observed all my life how animals would fast when they were sick and how humans don't.  After reading numerous account of people healing themselves from a variety of different ailments simply by abstaining from food, I decided it was time to try it out!  After all, we are but glorified animals.  Why should we be any different from every other creature on the face of the earth when it comes to naturally healing ourselves.

So I decided to start off with a 3 day fast.  Because I have a tendency to be an extremest, I attempted to do a dry fast.  I believe that we consume too much water on a regular basis anyways.  A recent study testing city water around the United States discovered antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and guess what else...anti psychotics.  You should be able to achieve proper if not more beneficial saturation from a regular consumption of real whole fruits and vegetables without the need for excess water consumption.

Anyways, from what I had read at the time, the dry fast seemed to a more extreme and therefore more inviting method for me to try.  Thus began my experiment with dry fasting.  I tried not to pay much attention to any thirst I may have felt early on.  I had slept until about noon the day I started, after going to bed at my usual 4am.  Simply because I had it on my mind that I couldn't drink anything, I found myself thinking about it.  Not because I was thirsty however.  About 36 hours into my dry fasting experiment, I had to go work on some things at a family's house.  This was in the middle of winter and we had just gotten about 6 inches of fresh snowfall.  Sitting inside, I found myself suddenly full of energy.  They say dry fasting works much quicker at clearing the body of waste as even water needs to be properly digested.  With the absence of water, the body breaks down fats for hydration and also takes moisture from different areas in the body

This method tends to create a highly toxic environment in the blood rather quickly, as it cleans all the debris and any junk stored with the body fat and tissues.  Water helps to saturate these toxins making them less concentrated, which is why dry fasting can be dangerous if not closely monitored.  Long story short, I developed this strange energy that I decided to use.  Instead of using a snow blower, I hand shoveled a very large driveway.  This took me a while to do, but my energy level didn't seem to dissipate.  I felt rather strange as well.  Without consuming anything at all for only a day and a half, I noticed my ability to think had become very clear.  When your not busy eating and digesting, you have this immense energy and a mind that sometimes wont seem to shut up.

Sometime between the 36-40 hour mark something weird started to happen.  I could hear vehicles coming down the road from very far away and when they approached they sounds like a jet plane.  My hearing for some reason had started to clear up and I because rather sensitive to noise.  My brain also became overactive and I had a ton of ideas.  I just knew with all this energy I would run out of things to do.  So I started cleaning for a bit and watched several movies.  After staying up rather late, I decided I should go to bed.  I hadn't had anything to eat or drink in about 40 hours.  I tried to fall asleep. 

I became rather cold and covered myself up with more blankets.  I was in a cooler portion of the house without a lot of heat, so that didn't help much.  A few hours before bed, an old Brazilian jui-jitsu injury in my right elbow had begun to completely seize up.  I could barely bend it.  It was a hyper extended injury that took a month and a half before I could do a normal curl with it this past summer.  While lying in bed trying to sleep, I noticed a strange tingling in my elbow.  In my mind I imagined little workers fixing the area and removing calcium build up.  The feeling continued for a while.  At one point, my sinuses seemed to completely open up.  It wasn't a slow feeling, it just happened with one of my breaths.  They felt new again and I could suddenly breath without a problem.  My hearing and sense of smell were great!

Trying to fall asleep I laid my ear against the pillow lying on my side.  The noise was absurd.  I could hear every heart beat I had, but that wasn't the problem, the frequency inside my head was what was driving me crazy.  For those of you who have never done any brain entrainment (Neuro Programmer is the one I prefer), then you may not know what it's like to hear brainwave frequencies.  Listening to brain entrainment however, and hearing what I was hearing are two completely different things.  It would sound like a short drum roll, followed by a few separate individual beats.  As I started to drift off, the pattern changed to a very erratic sound with out a definitive pattern.  I thought to myself, how our own heart beat and breathing must entrain our brains during sleep, taking us deeper and deeper into low Delta frequencies.  After a while, I finally fell asleep.

A few hours later, I awake in a bit of a panic.  My heart beat is now VERY clear and noticeably not normal.  I can hear a few fast beat, then a pause and a few separate slow beats repeating over and over.  I knew I needed liquid quickly.  I tried to get up and went right to the ground.  I had to stay bent over as I couldn't fully extend my stomach as you would while standing erect.  I was dizzy and had blurred vision.  I needed liquid and fast I told myself.  The nauseousness took me over.  I fought it making it downstairs into the kitchen.  I took a cup and put enough water into it before I had to go back to the floor.  Then I worked my way to the refrigerator to get a hold of lemon juice.  I squeezed some into the water and took a sip.  After a few sips, my head felt completely normal again and the nausea disappeared.  I felt much much better.  It worked so quick to alleviate the discomfort, that I took the cup back upstairs with me.  I knew the dry fast portion of my experiment was over with.

Once I was tucked back into my warm nest on the couch, I had some more lemon water and easily fell asleep again.  I woke up easily with tremendous energy.  I went outside in the snow to the barn, feeding the chickens and giving them warm water.  I did a little shoveling and had some more lemon water.  I even watched a movie and then went back to sleep for a while.  My dreams were very vivid and clear.  My hearing, sense of smell and senses overall seemed very in tune and I felt very aware of everything.  I slept whithout a problem a few more times.  Things were almost surreal to me.  I had no hunger at this point and didn't need to drink anything either.  I decided to head back home.  I hopped into my truck and headed out.  One thing to be careful of is how relaxed and surreal things can become.

I thought I was heading back up north to my house, when I realized I was heading south with no off ramp for a while.  I knew that my brain was a bit out of it.  The ride home was pleasant though, even though I went the wrong way without even noticing.  Once home I started with some juices and water and very light food.  I was quickly filled with only a glass of water and a shot of cranberry juice.  My arm injury felt great, I could move it freely with little to no pain.  This strange event has changed my arm.  I had continuous pain in it and was unable to work out with it perviously due to pain.  After only 3 days of dry fasting, the pain is minimal now.  I can only attribute it to the dry fast.  Although I wont be doing a strict dry fast again, I did learn a few things.  I now know what signs and warning to look for and what benefits may occur.  After a while, your senses may become more in tuned and overly sensitive.  Hearing and sense of smell especially.  Body temperature drops after a while, so staying warm is critical.  lemon water has the ability to stop the nausea and heart issues and sleep is great.  The mind can become overactive and needs to be kept busy.

This was my first experiment and not one I recommend trying.  It did however lead me to read and experiment a lot more.  From dry fasting, I experimented off and on with 1-3 days of water fasting, trying various amounts of water.  I concluded that drinking a glass or more first thing in the morning, generally held me over for a while.  Then only drinking when necessary, and not always doing it, makes it much easier.  If you are always drinking, you will always be running to the bathroom.  It makes you wonder how much rest if any your actually giving your body.  So my recommendation is water first thing, then listen to your body and only drink when thirsty, no more, no less.


Dry Fasting OR Absolute Fasting - A type of fasting, where an individual goes completely without food or water for a period of time.  Usually this time frame is 1-3 days.  Some versions of Absolute Fasting also advise against showers / baths and other things as well.

My experiment with dry fasting ended after 2 days.  Nausea, erratic heart beat, sensitive hearing, sense of smell and overactive mind were all present during the fast.  Old injuries became achy and mobility was decreased but later returned better than before the fast.

Although there are those that will still recommend Dry Fasting as the ultimate healing tool, I would not recommend it to you.  It is an extreme form of fasting and can be dangerous without a doubt.  I am glad I tried this method but doubt I will do an absolute fast any time in the near future.

Part 2 - Intermittant Fasting (IF)

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