Thought this post would be helpful to everyone........
Physical Benefits of Fasting
Fasting breaks down fat reserves, mobilizes 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!
Fasting induces 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.
Fasting promotes 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.
Fasting gives the digestive system 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
The first thing to strike the mind, and possible the most resounding 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.
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.
* Nutritional - Surely the original reason for in taking sustenance. For anything else to interfere with this process, rather than add an aspect to it, will soon lead to disaster for a species
* Social - The need to gather together, and make eating a communal event. An age-old role still playing-out today for many ape tribes. 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.
* Temporal - Creating a pattern throughout the day and week, and ultimately the season. It keeps our metabolic clock in sync with those around us, and as anyone fasting will tell you, the whole system finds a very different pattern without the anchoring milestone of meals throughout the day.
* Economic - Keeping us all fed and happy with the 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. However, the obvious flaw here is that we are forced to eat what other's dictate should be stocked. We have lost our intimate connection with changing seasons and environments.
* Energetics - there was once a connection between the amount of food you could find, and that which you could eat. No longer. Now it is defined by wealth and cheapness, with a social welfare system making sure that everyone can eat ALL of the time. Moreover, we have lost much of our respect for where these foods arrive from, simply appearing on plate or a shelf for our consumption.
Freedom from these aspects of food can only be attained through an understanding of them. That, in turn is best done through experiencing them. Fasting is the single best way of achieving this first, crucial step towards at least coming to terms with what food means for us as an individual, a family, a society, and a culture.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
The connections between abstinence from food, and ALL of the major tradition, is probably worthy of note here, but as there is so much text written upon this subject, it hardly seems useful to repeat.
I will however provide a short list of references through the various religions that can be followed if further conviction is required.
1. At least the following Bible references.
Ezra 10:6, 10:10-11, Esther, chapters 4-8, Acts 9:7-19, Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9-29, 10:1-11,
Matthew 4:1-32, Chronicles 20:1-29, Ezra 8:21-23,31, Joel 1:13-14, 2:12,15,18-27, Daniel 10:2-3,
Daniel 1:8-171, Kings 17:5-7, Matthew 3:41, Corinthians 7:5
2. Baha'i followers fast from March 2 - 20 every year
3. All the main branches of Buddhism practice some periods of fasting, usually on full-moon days and other holidays.
4. For many centuries, Catholics were forbidden to eat meat on all Fridays, but since the 60s it has been whittled away to restrictions only during Lent, Good Friday & Ash Wednesday.
5. For Jews, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the best-known fast day. The Jewish calendar has six other fast days as well, including Tisha B'Av.
6. The Mormon church encourages individuals, families, or wards to hold fasts at will, but the first Sunday of each month is a mandatory fast day.
7. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, is a mandatory fasting period. Various Muslim customs recommend days and periods of fasting in addition to Ramadan.