As this time of year is approaching, many around the world are preparing for the month of Ramadan in order to fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset as path of spiritual renewal and a complete cleansing of all of the bodily functions. But while this installment is not necessarily about the fast of Ramadan (please redirect to previous Ramadan post), it is important to go deeper into this often forgotten and misunderstood topic of fasting for health. When it comes to this topic of fasting in regards to Holistic Nutrition which is known as ‘Hygienic Fasting’ there is not much on the topic readily available to people.
Within the tenants of Holistic Nutrition (as well as in Unani and Ayurvedic Medicine), it is the not only the stomach that needs to be constantly cleaned and balanced, but the Energy and overall humors of the stomach need to restored and put into the balance as well. Beside eating wholesome foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which are loaded with fiber to purge the stomach, Fasting may perhaps be one of the best Medicines to heal the body overall; from head to toe that the world has ever known. This statement is not a mere exaggeration.
When we speak about fasting for healing, we are not speaking about starvation. Starvation is not having anything to eat at your disposal and have no known knowledge of when you are going to eat again. Fasting and Hygienic Fasting in particular is a period of withholding from eating and other bodily activities in order to let you whole body, mind and spirit readjust.
So just exactly what is Hygienic Fasting? Hygienic Fasting is a concept formed in the early Naturopathic movement that has a period of abstaining from eating for a fixed amount of time that is followed in the format of:
1) Occurs within complete abstinence from all food for a fixed period.
2) Usually accompanied by distinct lack of hunger.
3) Represents a peaceful period of rest of the entire body.
4) Always taken for beneficial, emotional, spiritual and or health reasons.
5) Properly supervised by a trained practitioner.
6) Utilizes a process of the body using its own nutritional reserves and autolyzing morbid tissue of the body while the fasting is taking place.
7) Always followed by a period of supervised re-feeding and a feeling of increased well-being.
Fasting on a regular basis allows the body to detoxify itself from everything that we placed inside of it. In addition to this, it has been scientifically proven that while the faster is engaging in the period of fasting, blood flow is redirected to further extremities of that body that it may not otherwise reach due to energy and blood flow always being directed towards food digestion. Fasting is a great way to manage weight control as well as give the body a ‘forced’ sense of resting allowing the stomach to become stronger and healthier.
In these present days, people don’t fast enough; which leads to many illness too many to list here and in some cases even premature death due to over eating. Many of us would never imagine purchasing a car and driving it over the course of owning it and never giving it an oil change. So why do we do this to ourselves? That question is not only a major Psychological issue but a Sociological one as well. Even if this is the case we can still take steps to address our own health and nutrition issues. Fasting and in particular Hygienic Fasting is not only our Oil Change but also our battery charge as well. If you have any questions about the Hygienic Fast don’t hesitate to contact here; after a consultation from your doctor. Even if your doctor doesn’t tell you about the benefits of fasting, you owe it to yourself to come to terms with this knowledge on your own. To Your Health.
Dr. David (Daud) K Scott N.D.; CHNP.