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How Fasting Heals
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Its an old hygienic maxim that the doctor does not heal, the
medicines do not heal, only the body heals itself. If the body can't
heal then nothing can heal it. The body always knows best what it
needs and what to do.
But healing means repairing damaged organs and tissues and this
takes energy, while a sick body is already enervated, weakened and
not coping with its current stressors. If the sick person could but
somehow increase the body's energy resources sufficiently, then a
slowly healing body could heal faster while a worsening one, or one
that was failing or one that was not getting better might heal.
Fasting does just that. To whatever degree food intake is reduced
the body's digestive workload is proportionately reduced and it will
naturally, and far more intelligently than any physician could
order, redirect energy to wherever it decides that energy is most
needed. A fasting body begins accessing nutritional reserves
(vitamins and minerals) previously stored in the tissues and starts
converting body fat into sugar for energy fuel. During a time of
water fasting, sustaining the body's entire energy and nutritional
needs from reserves and fat does require a small effort, but far
less effort than eating. I would guess a fasting body used about
five percent of its normal daily energy budget on nutritional
concerns rather than the 33 percent it needs to process new food.
Thus, water fasting puts something like 28 percent more energy at
the body's disposal. This is true even though the water faster may
feel weak, energyless.
I would worry if sick or toxic fasters did not complain about their
weakness. They should expect to feel energyless. In fact, the more
internal healing and detoxification the body requires, the tireder
the faster feels because the body is very hard at work internally. A
great deal of the body's energy will go toward boosting the immune
system if the problem is an infection. Liberated energy can also be
used for healing damaged parts, rebuilding failing organs, for
breaking down and eliminating deposits of toxic materials. Only
after most of the healing has occurred does a faster begin to feel
energetic again. Don't expect to feel anything but tired and weak.
The only exception to this would be a person who has already
significantly detoxified and healed their body by previous fasting,
or the rare soul that has gone from birth through adulthood enjoying
extraordinarily good nutrition and without experiencing the
stressors of improper digestion. When one experienced faster I know
finds himself getting "run down" or catching a cold, he quits eating
until he feels really well. Instead of feeling weak as most fasters
do, as each of the first four or five days of water fasting pass, he
experiences a resurgence of more and more energy. On the first
fasting day he would usually feel rotten, which was why he started
fasting in the first place. On the second fasting day he'd feel more
alert and catch up on his paper work. By his third day on only water
he would be out doing hard physical chores like cutting the grass,
splitting wood or weeding his vegetable garden. Day four would also
be an energetic one, but if the fast extended beyond that, lowering
blood sugar would begin to make him tired and he'd feel forced to
begin laying down.
After a day of water fasting the average person's blood sugar level
naturally drops; making a faster feel somewhat tired and "spacey,"
so a typical faster usually begins to spend much more time resting,
further reducing the amount of energy being expended on moving the
body around, serendipitously redirecting even more of the body's
energy budget toward healing. By the end of five or six days on
water, I estimate that from 40 to 50 percent of the body's available
energy is being used for healing, repair and detoxification.
The amount of work that a fasting body's own healing energy can do
and what it feels like to be there when it is happening is
incredible. But you can't know it if you haven't felt it. So hardly
anyone in our present culture knows.
As I mentioned in the first chapter, at Great Oaks School I
apprenticed myself to the traveling masters of virtually every
system of natural healing that existed during the '70s. I observed
every one of them at work and tried most of them on my clients.
After all that I can say with experience that I am not aware of any
other healing tool that can be so effective as the fast.
Next: Essentials Of A Successful, Safe Fast
Previous: The Effort Of Digestion