This time of the year is marked by religious festivities and though we associate only foodism with celebrations but fasts also form an integral part of pre-festive spirit. Though fasting is a purely scientific and natural process but we have only inherited the ritualistic form of it. Given the present scenario of “Eat more spend more” with the mantra of “We live to eat” rather the other way round even the fast practices are not able to give much benefits. For observing short or long-term fast its important to have a pre fasting and post fasting stage of moderate and considerate diet.
With the recently concluded Ramadan, and sharavan month I was/am intrudged by the concept of fasting. Another contributing factor for the interest in the subject is I am living with a naturopathy, ayurvedic practitioner. Given my interests in natural and holistic living we both have found some common grounds to indulge in day-to-day discussions.
A day back she asked me to read a book Efficacy of Fasting, as soon as i finished reading it the essence of fasting made so much sense. The belief of nature cure lies in the self-healing power of the body and fasting enables to give rest to the digestive system, cleanses and improves blood circulation and metabolism. We often tend to confuse fasting with starvation and run away from this natural method of healing and curing. Food gives energy and heat to the body, whereas a Fast bestows health and purity to the body.
While Fasting is a voluntarily accepted by an individual, starvation arises out of circumstances which are external and beyond the control of an individual. During fasting the body burns the toxic elements accumulated in it. Besides, nutrients stored in the body are also useful for energizing the body, whereas in starvation the organs or cells vital to the body for its well-being are destroyed along with waste products.
How fasting eliminates diseases and revives good health?
- Digestive system gets rest
- Elimination of toxins speeds up
- The liver is activated
- Resistance power increases
- Mental power is enhanced
Before undertaking any kind of fast its advisable to know the reasons and what one wants to attain from fasting. Fasting is not a standalone cure for diseases like cancer, TB or other live threatening conditions. But day-to-day heath troubles can be easily eliminated, importantly obesity, stomach troubles, insomnia, malaria, colds, coughs, and so on. Moreover it aids in detoxification and rejuvenation and mental strength. So on the basis of the reason one can adopt any particular form of fasting ranging from water therapy to juice therapy or complete abstention from taking any kind of food. Its recommended not to set a predefined limit on the fasting period and rather keep it flexible.
During fasting along with attention to physical changes and well-being one must focus on the mental well-being also as fasting is not only a physical process but a natural process of a higher stratum.
Similarly, followed by fasting its an indisputable fact that if possible after fasting one takes fruits and vegetable juices, does exercises/ yogasanas regularly, meditates and forms the habit of remaining ever cheerful.