The Miracle of Fasting
Something amazing happens when we reduce our food intake. Something wonderful and enlightening. Something that can happen at no other time, precisely because we are full.
We get to see what food means to us, and this is a very powerful tool in itself. All the systems within us that digest and process food slow down and stop, and we start to slow down too.
This is another word that become very flexible in our modern language. Some speak of detox diets as fasting - cutting out certain foods or mono-eating (one food at a time). For others it refers to moving away from solid food completely and existing on juices and broths for a while.
In it’s historical origins, ‘fasting’ means a pure water fast, but that is not for the faint-hearted, as it is a deep and potent process. We have introduced juice into this mix, purely as a means of softening the effect, to allow our guests to approach the subject at all. It is a compromise, as only some of the body’s resources are dedicated to the cleanse, while other still tackle the digestion of the juice. Both work, but the purer water fast is definitely the more effect, but equally the more challenging.
You can see more on the profound difference between water fasting and juice fasting here
Physical Benefits of Fasting
Fasting breaks down fat reserves, mobilises and eliminates stored toxins. Fasting results in a slower metabolic rate, more efficient protein production, an improved immune system, and the increased production of hormones. The Human Growth Hormone is released more frequently during a fast, as well as enhanced production of an anti-aging hormone. Basically, we feel rejuvenated and we live longer!
Appropriate weight loss - minimal for some and major for others, all with little to no hunger. Stomach size shrinks while fasting therefore after the fast you will be satisfied by less food (but by living longer you get to eat more of it !)
Fasting provides ease or permanent relief from painful chronic symptoms such as asthma, hay fever, allergies, inflammatory symptoms (such as arthritis), chronic back aches, swelling of abdomen or ankles, reduces high blood pressure etc... During detox the body's energy transfers from endless digestion of the latest heavy meal to cleaning and repairing itself, as it is naturally designed to do.
There is nothing like it to promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Skin, eyes and hair appear bright and shiny. Enthusiasm and positivity regarding life circumstance and decision making is enhanced. Emotional obstacles can be released. This is greatly enhanced through the colonics.
Fasting also promotes a healthy life style by overcoming addictions, and generally moves the whole spectrum of life-style choices towards the more refined end. People regularly give up tobacco and alcohol after Sura Detox Retreats.
A complete rest. Colonics contribute to clearing the colon wall of old accumulations (product of undigested food!) and provide an opportunity to maintain healthy intestinal flora. All of which enhance absorption of nutrients, resulting in improved digestion post-fast!
Fasting increases sensitivity and enthusiasm for wholesome health-promoting life decisions, including which foods to buy and eat (recipes and demonstrations all follow your fast). You will find yourself desiring more organic raw juicy fruit, salads, nuts and seeds and the company of nurturing people!
Psychological Benefits of Fasting
Less is more : The first thing to strike the mind, and possibly the most resounding effect thereafter, is the idea that we do not need to eat so often. This of course has ramifications in all areas. It soon follows that if we do not need to eat much at all, then its use as a social platform changes. Mostly, though, it is the simple, empowering fact that do not need to be constantly hovering around a source of food in order to survive.
Fasting Shows us : how little we need to get by on.
Why do we eat so much then ? : If I can feel this good without food, then why do I eat as often as I do ? The answer is of course that food is much more to us than simple nourishment. The numerous roles of food become clearer when you abstain for a short time. This in turn, frees us from their cyclic grip.
Fasting Shows us : what food means to us
Original nutrition : Surely the original reason for intaking sustenance. If all our other reasons for eating start to interfere drastically with nutrition then problems will occur, symptoms will appear, and health will suffer.
Fasting Shows us : all the other reasons we eat, that aren’t nutritional
Social Eating : The need to gather together, and make eating a communal event. An age-old role still playing-out today amid family and friends. Deeply imbedded social structuring revolves around the gathering or hunting of foods. But these things are not written in stone, and if the social aspects are taking from the nutritional aspects, then perhaps they should be reconsidered, and put back in the correct context.
Fasting Shows us : the need for individual food patterns and timings
Eating Patterns : We are creatures of habit, but when our individual eating patterns, defined by hunger, workload and season, are replaced regimented dinner bells and school runs, our metabolic clock is overridden, to our detriment. This goes beyond food, and impacts upon other metabolic rhythms, as well as sleep patterns, moods, etc. Whilst fasting, the whole system finds a very different pattern without the anchoring milestone of 3 meals a day.
Fasting Shows us : we can deliberately create our own patterns, and adapt constantly to our own needs
Economics : Keeping us all fed and happy with the seeming diversity of foods available to us, has become the financial prerogative of some super-sized industries. This is good for regularity of supplies and price-lowering, and great for the flow of national economics, however, the obvious flaw here is that we are forced to eat what food suppliers stock. We have lost our intimate connection with changing seasons and environments.
Fasting Shows us : good food is one of the highest priorities for our weekly spend
Energetics : There was once a connection between the amount of food you could find, and that which you could eat. No longer. This brief time in history will be defined by misplaced wealth, overwhelming choice, and fraudulent cheapness. Quantity over quality. Moreover, we have lost much of our respect for where these foods arrive from, the processes (and fuel) that went into them, and the condition of the beings in the supply chain (human and otherwise).
Fasting Shows us : our relationship to everything, and encourages respectful and ethical choices
Experiential Learning : Freedom from these aspects of food is best done through experience. Fasting is the single best way of achieving this first, crucial step towards coming to terms with what food means for us as an individual, a family, a society, and a culture.
Fasting Shows us : our own experience of life is far more valuable than any textbook or teacher