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Category: Fasting
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor

It is true that ethical medical doctors use the least-risky
procedure they are allowed to use. But this does not mean there are
no risks to allopathic treatment. The medical doctor justifies
taking the risks by saying that the risk/reward ratio is the best
possible. Any sick person is already at risk. Life comes with only
one guarantee: that none of us gets out of it alive.

Compared to the risks of allopathic medicine, fasting is a far safer
method of treating disease. The oft-repeated scare stories medical
doctors and their allies circulate about fasting are not true, and
it is important to remember that none of these people portraying
fasting as evil and dangerous have ever fasted themselves--I'll put
money on that one. Or, on the slim possibility that someone telling
fasting horror stories did actually not eat for 24 hours (probably
because some accident or acute illness prevented them), they had a
terrible experience because they didn't understand the process, were
highly toxic, and were scared to death the whole time.

Or worse yet they fasted for a short period with an "open mind"--a
very dangerous state in which to approach anything new. I have found
through considerable experience with people professing to have open
minds that the expression "I'm open minded" usually means that
someone has already made up their mind and new data just passes
straight through their open mind--in one ear and out the other. Or
sometimes, the phrase "open mind" means a person that does not
believe any information has reality and is entirely unable to make
up their mind.

The most commonly leveled criticism of fasting is that in its
efforts to survive self-imposed starvation the body metabolizes
vital tissue, not just fat, and therefore, fasting is damaging,
potentially fatally damaging. People who tell you this will also
tell you that fasters have destroyed their heart muscle or ruined
their nervous system permanently. But this kind of damage happen
only when a person starves to death or starves to a point very close
to death, not when someone fasts.

There is a huge difference between fasting and starvation. Someone
starving is usually eating, but eating poorly and inadequately,
eating scraps of whatever is available such as sugar, white flour,
rancid grease, shoe leather, or even dirt. Frequently a starving
person is forced to exercise a great deal as they struggle to
survive and additionally is highly apprehensive. Or someone starving
to death is confined to a small space, may become severely
dehydrated too and is in terror. Fear is very damaging to the
digestive process, and to the body in general; fear speeds up the
destruction of vital tissue. People starve when trekking vast
distances through wastelands without food to eat, they starved in
concentration camps, buried in mind disasters, they starve during
famines and starve while being tortured in prisons.

Until water fasting goes on past the point where all fatty tissues
and all abnormal deposits have been burned for fuel and recycled for
the nutritional elements they contain, vital muscle tissues and
organs are not consumed. And as long as the body contains sufficient
nutritional reserves, vital organs and essential tissues are rebuilt
and maintained. In fact the body has a great deal of intelligence
that we don't give it credit for. It knows exactly which cells are
essential to survival, which ones are not. The body knows which
cells are abnormal deposits, and it goes to work to metabolize them
first. For example, the body recognizes arthritic deposits, cysts,
fibroids, and tumors as offensive parts of the landscape, and
obligingly uses them for foods in preference to anything else. A
starving (not fasting) body also knows precisely in what order of
priority body cells should be metabolized to minimize risk of death
or permanent disability.

After a starving body has reached skeletal condition, or where some
small amount of fat remains but nutritional reserves (vitamins and
minerals) are exhausted and there is insufficient nourishment
forthcoming, the body begins to consume nutrient-rich muscle and
organ tissue in a last-ditch effort to stay alive. Under these dire
circumstances, the least essential muscles and organs from the
standpoint of survival are metabolized first. For example, muscles
in the arms and legs would be consumed early in the process, the
heart muscle used only toward the very end. The very last part of
the body to be metabolized when one is starving and as has come very
close to death would be the brain and the nervous system.

Starvation begins where fasting ends, which is when real hunger
begins. If the return of hunger is ignored whenever it takes place,
whether it is in 30, 60, or 90 days depending upon body weight and
type of fast, at that point exactly, not a day before, starvation
begins very slowly. Usually it takes a considerable period of time
after that before death occurs. It is important to note that this
discussion applies only to the abstention from food, not water.
Death takes place very quickly in the absence of water.

The chart on the previous page shows numerically the phenomenal
ability of the body to protect the most essential tissues of the
body right up to the time of death. If a person fasted for 30 days,
the average time it takes for the return of hunger in a person that
is not overweight, and then ignored the return of hunger, and
continued to abstain from food--if the person could avoid forced
exercise, keep warm, and had enough hydration, it could take as much
as an additional 20 to 60 days to die of starvation! At death the
body would have experienced losses of 40 to 60 percent of its
starting body weight. (Ancel Keys et al, 1950) A emaciated person
can not afford to lose nearly as much weight as an obese person, and
death under conditions of starvation will occur earlier. In all
cases of starvation the brain, nerves, heart, lungs, kidneys and
liver remain largely intact and functional to the very end. During a
fast, it is almost impossible to damage essential organs, unless of
course the person creates the damage by fears about the process, or
by internalizing the fears of others. If those fears are present,
the fast should not be attempted.

Next: Weight Loss By Fasting

Previous: Complete Recovery Of The Seriously Ill

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