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In praise of short-term fasting.

Most of us occasionally feel symptoms of physical and mental strain that result not only from stress-filled lives, but also chemically-laden foods. Our weakened immune and detoxification systems need time for repair if we are to feel whole again. Short-term fasting can be the key to regaining health on every level.

Start by studying your eyes using a well-lit mirror. Do your eyes appear clear and vibrant or are your irises muddy or tinged with yellow? A short fast of a few days can clear away brown and yellowish residues from the iris, showing the immediate effect of the cleansing process. Clear irises mean a healthy, energetic body and mind.

Another reflection of the body's state of health can be seen in the tongue. A normal healthy tongue is pink, moist, and clean. Possible aberrations include the following: a black, bluish, brown, yellow, scarlet, furred, fissured, geographic, glossy, swollen, painful, or pale tongue.

A short-term fast can range from twenty-four hours to three days. Purified water may be had or for those not up to that, freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juices, or herb tea (no milk).

If you choose to use a juice or herb tea fast, it is good to know that certain fruit and vegetable juices promote a certain cleansing function in the body.

Lemon Juice: breaks down and washes away toxic wastes, especially in the lungs

Grape Juice: cleanses colon; improves circulation and skin tone; stimulates anti-bacterial action

Carrot Juice: cleanses the colon and the liver; improves removal of bile acids

Cabbage Juice: cleanses the intestines and promotes healing of the stomach's lining

Apple Juice: possesses virus-fighting properties

Pineapple Juice: dissolves excess mucus in the body

Celery Seed Tea: cleanses the kidneys

Fennel Tea: cleanses the pancreas and counters excess mucus

Senna Pods (infusion): cleanses the bowels

Any freshly squeezed fruit juice or raw vegetable juice that appeals to you can be used, however, and will help to cleanse your body of impurities and toxic matter. It is important not to combine a fruit juice with a vegetable juice, though, as each are a different density.

During the first day or two of your fast, you may experience some fatigue and/or a great desire to eat (here it may help to remember all the starving people in the world). You may also have a bad taste in your mouth or a transient headache. If you really need a lift, try a green drink like wheat grass juice for added energy. You might also go for a nature walk, be as silent as possible, or take a nap.

If you have the self-discipline to continue the fast to the third day, you will probably feel a tremendous surge of energy and feel better than you have in a very long time. For some, the feeling borders on euphoria.

In breaking the fast, choose foods which are light and easily digestible.

The benefits of fasting can be profound. You will feel more energetic, breathe easier, crave more natural foods, have younger-looking skin with improved texture and smoothness. You'll have regular and easy bowel movements, and possess an increased sex drive. Mentally, you will have more patience, an increased attention span, an improved ability to concentrate and learn, and in general, a greater enthusiasm for life. Spiritually, you will humble yourself and be more open to inspired awareness and insights.

Fasting will also go a long way in helping to alleviate chronic illnesses. It will clear blockages (especially at corners in the bowel) which need the scouring action of fresh raw juices or the burning out of a short fast, eliminating "pockets" of embedded matter in the colon. It will improve such conditions as backaches, skin eruptions, stiff and swollen joints, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, hayfever, and asthma. Even mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia respond to fasting and its detoxifying process. Abstention from food relieves the brain of allergens and toxic matter.

Check with your health care practitioner before beginning your fast if you have any special health concerns or considerations.

Fast often for optimal health in all facets of existence. You will feel much better for it.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Life Media
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Lisa Marie Muus
Publication:Natural Life
Date:Jan 1, 1996
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