Water Fasting is a type of fasting in which the practitioner consumes only water.
One may water fast for a variety of reasons, including medical and religious requirements. Such fasting for prolonged periods poses significant health risks.
Historical records tell us that fasting has been used for health recovery for thousands of years. Hippocrates, Socrates, and Plato all recommended fasting for health recovery. The Bible tells us that Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days for spiritual renewal. Mahatma Gandhi fasted for 21 days to promote respect and compassion between people with different religions.
For much of human history, fasting has been guided by intuition and spiritual purpose. Today, our understanding of human physiology confirms the powerful healing effects of fasting.
Fasting is an exceptionally ancient, and powerful, approach to healing many common disease conditions. It allows the body to:
During fasting the body moves into the same kind of detoxification cycle that it normally enters during sleep. It uses its energy during a fast, not for digesting food, but for cleansing the body of accumulated toxins and healing any parts of it that are ill.
As a fast progresses the body consumes everything that it can that is not essential to bodily functioning. This includes:
- Fibroid tumors,
- Waste products in the blood,
- Anybuild up around the joints,
- Stored fat.
Fasting has been found to help people recover from mild to severe health conditions, often permanently. Some of the most common ones are:
- High blood pressure,
- Severe toxic contamination
- Hay fever,
- Chronic headaches,
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease),
- Irritable bowel syndrome,
- Intestinal parasites,
- Acute pancreatitis,
- Duodenal ulcers,
- Adult onset diabetes, type II diabetes, often reversing the condition permanently.
- High Cholesterol (Reducing triglycerides, atheromas, total cholesterol, and increasing HDL levels),
- Chronic cardiovascular disease,
- Congestive heart failure,
- Degenerative arthritis,
- Rheumatoid arthritis,
- Epilepsy (reducing the length, number, and severity of seizures. Fasting is especially effective for helping alleviate or cure childhood epilepsy),
- Uterine fibroids,
- Benign tumors,
- Autoimmune diseases:
- Chronic urticaria,
- Acute glomerulonephritis
- Poor immune function
- Psychosomatic disease,
- Neurogenic bladder,
- Varicose ulcers,
- Neurocirculatory disease,
- Gout, allergies
- Multiple sclerosisinsomnia
The physiological effects of fasting:
- A period of concentrated physiological rest during which time the body can devote its self-healing mechanisms to repairing and strengthening damaged organs.
- The process of fasting also allows the body to cleanse cells of accumulated toxins and waste products.
- Fasting gives the digestive tract time to completely rest and strengthen its mucosal lining.
A healthy intestinal mucosal lining is necessary for preventing the leakage of incompletely digested proteins into the bloodstream, thereby offering protection against autoimmune conditions. A healthy digestive tract also helps to protect the blood and inner organs against a variety of environmental and metabolic toxins.
- The historically lengthy claim that fasting increases life span is beginning to garner some support in research literature. Regularly repeated 4-day fasting has been found to increase the life span.
People Who Should Not Fast:
Although most people can fast, there are a few who, because of special conditions, should not.
- People who are extremely emaciated or in a state of starvation,
- Those who are anorexic or bulimic,
- Pregnant, diabetic women,
- Nursing mothers,
- Those who have severe anemia,
- Those with an extreme fear of fasting,
- Those with porphyria.
Porphyria refers to a genetic metabolic defect that affects the body’s ability to manage porphyrins. Porphyrins are a group of compounds that combine with iron to produce blood, are involved in the control of electron transport systems, and, within mitochondria, are intricately involved in the production, accumulation, and utilization of energy. Porphyria can cause malfunctions in the liver, bone marrow, and red blood cells and produces a wide range of symptoms including seizures.
- People with a rare, genetic, fatty acid deficiency which prevents THE INITIATION OF KETOSIS. This is a deficiency involving the enzyme acetyl-CoA, a mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzyme, that is essential to ketosis. Those with this deficiency who do fast can experience severe side effects, including hepatic steatosis, myocardial lipid accumulation, and severe hypoglycemia.
A Note on Pregnancy, Children, and Fasting:
Although many fasting texts suggest that pregnant women not fast, those that have been found to suffer side effects were also diabetic. Ketosis during pregnancy can seriously harm the fetus if the mother is diabetic. Fasting during pregnancy if a woman is not diabetic has not been found harmful to either mother or fetus. However, fasts for nondiabetic pregnant women should be no longer than 2-3 weeks duration and be monitored by a health care provider.
Children, even infants, can also fast without complications if the fasts are of relatively short duration. For infants 2-3 days, children 1-2 weeks depending on age. These fasts should also be monitored by a health care provider unless of short duration. The need for infants and young children to fast is rare.
Those Who Should Fast Under Health Care Supervision
While most people can fast safely there are some that should do so only under the supervision of a health professional experienced in fasting for healing.
- Those with serious disease conditions,
- Pregnant women,
- Infants and young children,
- Type I diabetics,
- Those with insufficient kidney function,
- Those who are extremely afraid of fasting yet wish to do so anyway,
- People with a high toxic contamination level of DDT. DDT is stored by the body in a highly concentrated form in fat tissue. Fasting can release huge levels of DDT into the bloodstream as the fat stores are released. This can be quite dangerous.
A fast that is appropriate for your situation will allow for you to experience some or all of the following:
- More energy,
- Healthier skin,
- Healthier teeth and gums,
- Better quality sleep,
- A clean and healthy cardiovascular system,
- A decrease in anxiety and tension,
- Dramatic reduction or complete elimination of aches, and pains in muscles and joints,
- Decrease or elimination of headaches,
- Stabilization of blood pressure,
- Stronger and more efficient digestion,
- Stabilization of bowel movements,
- Loss of excess weight,
- Elimination of stored toxins,
- Improvement with a wide variety of chronic, degenerative health conditions, including autoimmune disorders.
It is important to understand that the detoxifying and healing processes that occur during a fast are also active when a person is consuming food. A fast can be helpful for people whose conditions are not improving as quickly as they would like, or for people who have health conditions that require a concentrated period of healing to resolve.
It is also important to understand that the most important part of a fast is how a person lives after the fast. Fasting can provide a clean and revitalized foundation upon which you can build and maintain a strong and well-conditioned body by consistently making healthy food and lifestyle choices.