|Fasting, Mono-diets and Raw Food Days (and Chelation Therapy)|
No-one who has a serious health problem should fast unsupervised unless they have experience of the process. This includes anyone who is diabetic or pregnant (not that fasting is contraindicated, only that it requires expert guidance under these circumstances).
No-one who is currently taking prescription medication should fast unless under the supervision of an expert.
No-one who has a history of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia should fast unless under supervision.
Technique for a short fast
Important note: The fasting methods outlined here are not aimed at treating anything. Therapeutic fasting, while a health problem is being addressed by this method, calls for personal evaluation by a suitably qualified practitioner who would then prescribe a particular fasting pattern, as well as ensuring that some guidance and supervision were available. The fasting which is being described is preventive, and aimed at enhancing already existing well-being, not as a treatment.
- The ideal way to start a fast is to have a light meal the night before the first day of the fast, say a small bowl of natural yogurt, or a light vegetable or chicken soup.
- In modern life a weekend is the perfect time for most people to apply fasting, since it interferes least with normal life, especially if they are working during the week (working and fasting are not a good idea at the same time!). You should ensure that you have available a means of contacting a health expert, ideally having warned them that you might contact them if problems or anxieties should occur during your fast (highly unlikely).
- If you feel ready, then start the fast by having only a bowl of yogurt or soup on Friday night.
- On Saturday your forward planning should have kept the day clear of any obligation to get involved in anything physical, and you should avoid the need to drive. Arrange to have some light reading or some pleasant music to listen to. Keep the day free of any social or work obligations.
- Take the day slowly, drinking water (it's a good idea to add a mere touch of lemon juice to freshen your mouth) whenever thirsty and ensuring that through the day you drink no less than a litre and no more than three litres of water.
Some people prefer to fast on diluted juices. Strictly speaking this is no longer a fast, since the sugars in the juice prevent the physiological changes of a fast from progressing (ketotic metabolism).- A sense of hunger rapidly disappears on a fast but is maintained far longer when juices are being used. Juice days ('restricted diet') are, however, sometimes useful before and after a fast, and are used as appropriate during a long fast if this is considered necessary by a practitioner. On a short (24 to 48 hours) fast, juice is best avoided, apart from that small squeeze of lemon juice in the water you drink.
- Expect that on this first day you might develop a headache, a sense of nausea, a furred tongue, and possibly a sense of anxiety and restlessness. More likely though will be a feeling of tiredness and unnatural coldness of your extremities. None of these signs and symptoms is unusual or a cause for any concern. The headache/nausealfurred tongue are all signs of detoxification starting, with some degree of liver overload. They wi11 pass, requiring no treatment, and will, with subsequent fasts and the overall dietary improvement, become less and less obvious as the need for deta~afication reduces and your liver becomes more efflcient.
About The Author
A practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
. He regularly lectures in the United States as well as Europe where he instructs......more