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March 12, 2011

The sparkle beyond deprivation. Fasting – the shine from the inside out

It’s a fact, fasting improves our health, cleans our bodies and brings us more vitality. A detoxifying fast will make your eyes shine and your skin glow, yet it’s not just an outside glow that results, but an unexplainable “glow from the inside” that fasters often report during their cleanse, and afterwards.

Often when people think about fasting, they immediately focus on the deprivational aspect of not eating the foods that they enjoy. It is a common belief that going without food is a bad thing, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many people use fasting and detoxing as a way of cleaning the bodily systems, losing weight or addressing a specific health concern, yet the process of detoxification cleanses us on energetic, emotional and spiritual levels too.

Nature knows best

Whilst fasting the body goes through a natural detox process, whereby the body’s energy is diverted to cleaning and elimination processes, as it is no longer required for the complex task of digestion. As toxins are released from the cells, they circulate around the bloodstream to be taken to the liver for processing and excretion via the body’s elimination channels – bowel, kidneys and skin. It is common during the cleansing process for mild “cleansing reactions” to be experienced such as headache, tiredness and irritability. Generally, however, if a supervised detox program is followed, these symptoms are usually mild and do not last long.

Shiny happy people

As the body begins to detox, the skin starts to glow and the eyes become shiny, yet a glow begins to also appear on the inside that is often overlooked.

A sense of peace and calmness begins to be felt, usually around day 5 of fasting. As the body begins to clean itself on a deeper level, the mind begins to slow down and the faster may begin to experience enhanced clarity and mindfulness.

Often in daily life, certain foods contribute to feelings of anxiety or restlessness. Sometimes, allergies or intolerances affect the emotional health. During fasting all aggravating factors are removed and the faster may experience, often for the  first time in their life, a conscious awareness that is different from their usual experience.

Feeling light

Fasting has significance in almost every religion and spiritual practice. It is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament, the Upanishads, the Qur’an and in in the Mahabharata. It is believed that spiritual blockages are removed, so that we become naturally able to connect more strongly with our Soul. This enhances our experience of our own Divinity. It has been said that fasting is a doorway to the mystical.

It is said that spiritual fasting acts as a kind of “re-birth” and regeneration of our   Higher Self due to the direct experience that comes with fasting of a new inner perspective, creating new emotional, physical and spiritual strength.  Connecting more easily with our energy body allows our physical bodies and our biochemical energy source to be more connected to Divine cosmic energy.

Some common experiences when fasting:

 

  • Profound insights and revelations
  • A sense of inner peace and calmness
  • Elimination of physical and emotional blocks
  • An increase in energy and vitality
  • An experience of spontaneous, unexplainable joy
  • An insight into emotional and psychological aspects of one’s nature
  • A heightened sense of awareness and mindfulness
  • A sense of empowerment
  • A calming down of the “mind chatter”

 

Sparkle from the inside

Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, fasting is an effective way of bringing you into alignment with yourself on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Try eating just raw foods for a few days to prepare your body and then switch to 3 days of vegetable and fruit juices. Alternatively, you may wish to check yourself into a detoxification spa for a supervised fasting program of 7 days or more.

Fasting is not about simply starving yourself of the pleasures of the flesh by depriving yourself, it is an effective method of enhancing your sense of wellbeing, increasing your vitality and allowing your self to shine, shine, shine!

 

Jo Rowkins dipNT MBANT is a nutritionist and the executive health adviser at The Spa Resorts, a detox and fasting spa on Koh Samui, Thailand. As well as guiding people through supervised fasting programs, Jo is available for one-on-one nutritional and lifestyle consultations.

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