Fasting is not new. In fact, it has been around since before Moses. Many methods of fasting exist, as well as many attitudes about fasting. As a doctor, I have been able to look closely at the various popular methods of fasting. Some of them are good, while others can be downright dangerous.
Fasting is often thought of as taking nothing by mouth. Technically speaking, this is true, but it’s not the type of fasting I suggest for detoxification. I consider total fasting—not eating or drinking anything—to be unsafe. You body must always have at least two quarts of water a day to sustain your life, for you can only live a few days without water.
Although there are many ways to fast, the kind of fast that will bring about the optimum health benefits described in my book, Get Healthy Through Detox and Fasting, is the combination of a partial fast and juice fast. This type of fasting provides health benefits to your body, mind, and spirit. For example:
- Fasting gives a restorative rest to your digestive tract.
- Fasting helps the body’s designed healing processes to automatically work by giving them a chance to rest from other activities.
- This rest from “digestion as usual” in turn allows your overburdened liver to catch up with its task of detoxification.
- Your blood and lymphatic system also receive needed cleansing of toxic buildup through fasting.
- Fasting allows your other digestive organs, including the stomach, pancreas, intestines and gallbladder, a much-deserved rest, which allows your cells time to heal, repair and be strengthened.
A powerful natural way to bring relief to your body from the burden of excess toxicity, fasting is also a safe way to heal and prevent degenerative diseases. As you can see from the list above, the primary way that fasting allows your body to heal is by giving it a rest.
The Principle of Rest
As with all living things, you need to rest. Sleeping is not the only kind of rest you need. You digestive system and other organs need a rest from their work as well. This understanding of the human need for rest is not new to mankind. God introduced the principle of a “Sabbath rest” to his ancient Jewish nation. It is one of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). Israel was given specific instructions regarding this divine command to work six days and to rest on the seventh day of each week.
This principle of rest was important as well to their agricultural system. The Israelites were commanded to allow their fields to lie fallow every seventh year in order to give the soil the “rest” it needed to re-establish its own mineral and nutrient content (see Lev. 25:1-7).
Today, this biblical agricultural principle of resting the soil has been ignored by virtually all modern farmers. As a result, the soil has become depleted of some of the minerals and other nutrients that our bodies crave for health. And chemical fertilizers do not succeed in giving us the abundant mineral content of healthy soil.
It is interesting to note that in the animal kingdom, it is a natural habit to seek rest and to abstain from food, especially when the animal is sick or injured. A sick animal refuses to eat and finds a place to rest where it can lap up water and be safe. Some animals hibernate, resting for an entire season without eating.
Rest is also a powerful principle of healing for the human body and psyche. Every night as you sleep, you are providing refreshing rest for you mind and body, which aids health in a tremendous way. Sleep deprivation is a commonly known form of torture, emphasizing the fact of our innate need for rest.
Fasting may be considered an “internal” rest for the body, allowing it to restore vitality and energy to vital organs by activating the marvelous self-cleansing system with which it is designed.
Enjoying the Physical Benefits of Fasting
To help convince you of the potential healing benefits of fasting, let me explain briefly the marvelous natural detoxification system God designed for your body. Proper understanding of the innate healing power resident in your body will help you appreciate the phenomenal benefits of fasting.
The hardest working organ in the body is the liver. Weighing about five pounds, it is also the largest single organ in the body, about the size of a football. It is designed to perform about 500 functions for the health of the body. Here are some:
- Filtering your blood to remove toxins such as viruses, bacteria and yeast
- Storing vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates
- Processing fats, proteins and carbohydrates
- Producing bile to break down fats for digestion
- Breaking down and detoxifying the body of hormones, chemicals, toxins and metabolic waste
Note: This is an excerpt from Don Colbert's book, Get Healthy Through Detox and Fasting.
Don Colbert, M.D., is board-certified in family practice and in anti-aging medicine. He also has received extensive training in nutritional and preventive medicine, and he has helped millions of people discover the joy of living in divine health.