In India, fasting has been given much importance since ancient times. Do you know why do we do fast? We will discuss that below. Here are some topics which will be covered:
- Why do we need to do fasting?
- What are the types of fasting?
- For how many days should we do complete fasting?
- Preparation for Complete fasting
- Things to remember during a complete fasting
- How and when to break complete fasting?
- After complete fast
- Effect of Complete fast on the body
- Crisis during fasting and their treatment
Why do we need to do fasting?
The purpose of fast is to give complete rest to the digestive system of the body. Only fasting is the period when your digestive system gets to rest, as ordinarily, we eat two or three times daily due to which our digestive system has to work constantly.
Fast has been regarded as a means for the purification of mind and body. In ancient times, the treatment of almost all health issues was fasting.
There were no medicines people took to cure diseases like fever, cold, cough, stomach pain, headache, etc. in ancient times. People used to do fasting and cure themselves naturally.
When we fall sick, we do not follow the direction of nature and continue to eat food and suffer because of it.
The main cause of diseases is a foreign matter (an unwanted matter which is not good for our health) and fast is the best way to get rid of the foreign matter.
During fasting all the vital forces of your body engage in curing the diseases. It removes the poison in the body and the body becomes healthy and strong.
If a person is healthy he does not need to do fast but even if he does fast from time to time then he will always remain healthy.
There’s a difference between fasting and starvation.
“Fast begins with giving up food and ends when one feels hungry, and starvation begins with the feeling of hunger and ends with death. ” –Dr. Carington
Fasting not only removes the impurities but also purifies the mind and soul but we can get the benefits of fast only if we know how to fast scientifically. If we do not fast properly, it can be harmful to us and may even lead to death.
It is not said fasting if someone is taking less food than is needed to extinguish hunger. There is no benefit to health. If one takes less food than required then the person becomes weak.
What are the types of Fasting?
1) Morning Fast
This is known as the “No Breakfast system”. This is the easiest fast. In this fast, we skip only breakfast. Have lunch and dinner.
2) Evening Fast
In this fast, we take only one meal during the day. We do not take dinner. This is also known as a one-time fast or half-fast.
The person who is suffering from long-term diseases (chronic diseases) benefit from this fast. We should take only natural food.
3) Fasting by taking one thing at a time
In this fast, we take only one food item at a time. For example, if we are taking bread in the morning, then vegetables in the evening. The next day only fruit is taken in the morning and milk in the evening.
4) Fast on Fruits and Vegetables
During the fast, only fruits or vegetables are taken. Only those fruits should be taken which may be easily digested by the person. The person can take cooked vegetables if fruits or uncooked vegetables do not suit the person.
This fast is very effective in case of bleeding piles. In 21 days, the piles disappear.
5) Fast on Milk
During the day, take only four or five times and milk should be of a healthy cow. This fast is also known as ” Milk Treatment (Kalp)”.
6) Fast on Buttermilk
This fast is good for people whose digestive system is weak. One should fast on buttermilk instead of milk. This fast lasts from 1.5 months to 2 months and it is more beneficial if one does complete fast for 1 or 2 days before starting fast on buttermilk.
Enema can be taken if one feels heaviness in the stomach.
7) Fast on Juice
During this fast, take only juice or vegetable soup. No solid food and milk are allowed. You can also take an enema to keep the intestines clean.
8) Complete Fasting
In this fast, you cannot take solid food, juice, fruits, or vegetables. One takes only clean water. Follow rules during this fast which we will discuss below.
9) Weekly Fast
If we do a complete fast once a week, it is known as a weekly fast. It reduces the chances of diseases by doing this fast. This fast is good for people who spend the entire day sitting in the office.
Weekly fast removes headaches and many other physical and mental ailments.
10) Short Fast
When we do a complete fast for three to seven days, it is a short fast.
11) Broken Fast
During this fast, complete fast is done for 2 to 7 days and then for a few days light natural food is taken then continues with complete fast for the same no. of days as before.
We can do this fast to cure painful diseases.
12) Long Fast
In the long fast, we do a complete fast for a long time. There is no fixed period before. It may last from 21 days to 60 days. Only when we feel natural hunger, we can break this fast.
We should not do this fast without full preparation and knowledge of the art of fasting. Long fast is undertaken under the guidance of a fast specialist.
Preparation for Complete Fasting
Before starting a complete fast, a person should gain some knowledge about the science of fast. He should also check himself, especially his heart, before starting the fast. A person should not panic between the fast.
The patients should change their diet first before starting a long complete fast. For example, first, a person should take only an evening meal.
He should give up the morning meal. 2 to 3 days later, he should stop eating cereals and live only on fruits. Then after 2 to 3 days, the long complete fast may begin.
One can fast in any season. However, it is easy for people to fast in the winter season and difficult in summers.
The best season to fast is spring and summer because we get sufficient sunshine and heat which helps our body to cure easily.
Things to remember during complete fasting
1) Intake of water
During a complete fast, one should take 8 to 10 liters of water during the day. You can add lemon to water because it helps to cleanse the body.
If not taking sufficient water, it may be injurious to health. The intestines would dry up and heat would increase in the body.
Sometimes the intestines stop their work during the fast and do not get cleaned. If this happens, it is advisable to take an enema once a day.
Every day one should take bath to keep skin clean and if the person is too weak he should sponge his body with a towel which has been dipped in warm water.
4) Exercise in fasting
One should not keep lying in bed the whole day. He should work according to the energy he has. Also, he should exercise. Walking is the best exercise during fasting.
If a person cannot get out of bed due to illness, he can just move his limbs while lying down as an exercise.
Rest is very important during the fast. The person should be given complete rest if he is too weak.
6) Mental state during fasting
During the fast one should be calm and peaceful and avoid things that cause tension. His mind should be free from emotions like anger, fear, and worry. He should have good thoughts.
One should never take any medicine during the fast. There will be a very strong reaction and harmful effect on the body if we take medicine under this condition.
One should live and sleep in open and sit in the sun in the morning. Also, he should have a massage as it helps in blood circulation.
How and When to Break complete fasting?
While breaking a complete fast, one should take more nutrition.
Start with taking vegetable soup or juice of fruits like orange and grapes. He can also take thin buttermilk. Do not take milk, it is not easy to digest.
After breaking the fast one should live only on fruits and vegetables for a few days.
Then, intake very light food which is easy to digest and in small quantities because the digestive system becomes weak during the fast. When the ability to digest increases, increase the quantity of food or diet.
The fast should be broken properly with self-discipline only then a person can get benefits from fast. If not, then a person can lose all its good effects and may even harm the health.
When to break complete fasting? It depends upon the following points:
1) When real hunger is aroused and its pain is felt in the throat and mouth.
2) When the white coat on the tongue during the fast is clear.
3) When the taste of the mouth is no longer as it was during fasting.
4) When the pulse begins to run normally.
5) When the taste of breath has become sweet.
6) When the body temperature becomes normal.
7) When skin becomes soft and flexible.
8) When the body begins to feel light and internally energized strangely, the fast should be broken.
After complete fasting
One should not continue with wrong habits after completing the fast. He should take a Balanced Diet otherwise what would be the use of fast?
Effects of Complete Fasting on the Body
1) One feels hungry and once hunger stops giving trouble, the poison begins to come out of the body.
2) Fast affects the expulsion of waste from the intestines.
3) When we fast, there is no change in the temperature of the body for 4 days, and after that sometimes the temperature increases.
4) The pulse fluctuates during the fast.
5) During the fast, there is a change in the composition of blood. Blood pressure also increases but the blood pressure goes down after cleaning the intestines.
6) During fast, more bile comes out of the liver because of which the waste matter in the intestines is cleaned.
7) The quantity of urine goes down if we do not take sufficient water during the fast.
8) During fast, the sweat has a bad smell. After a lot of sweat has come out, the skin becomes soft and smooth.
9) Fasting cures many ailments of the nervous system.
10) A person loses half kilogram weight per day during the fast.
11) For 2 to 3 days, in the beginning, a very bad smell comes out of breath but after 5 to 6 days, the bad smell goes away.
Crisis During Fasting and their treatment
Sometimes, serious symptoms develop because of which people break the fast. Given below are some of these symptoms and how can they be managed.
- Headache: This symptom generally develops and it disappears after some time.
- Fainting: Due to reduced supply of blood in the brain causes fainting. The patient should lie down and raise his legs. It improves blood supply in the head. A patient should not stand in this condition. That may even cause his death.
- Giddiness: Give the treatment of fainting but sometimes too much blood going in the brain also causes giddiness. Under this condition, the patient should lie down but his head should be raised.
- Loose Motions: Nature Cure treatment is good for this condition.
- Angina: This symptom goes away gradually. It develops at the beginning of fast.
- Reduced Pulse rate: This is not dangerous. Give a hot water bath or massage to the person. He can also do light exercise.
- Fast Pulse Rate: This is a very dangerous condition and treatment should be done immediately. A person should take a hot water bath but the temperature of the water should not be too high. It should be about body temperature. Keep a cold pack on the head and belly, and keep your feet warm by placing a hot water bag.
If you are healthy, then there is no need to do fasting. Continue with your good and healthy diet, and also exercise. If you think there is a need then you can do fasting. You can choose the type of fasting according to your health issues and choice.
Also, let me know what you think about fasting and what are your opinions? If there are any questions, do write in the comment section below. I would love to answer.