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I first did research into fasting as part of my seminary studies. We claim to follow the Bible. But we follow really what we want. In the sermon on the mount Jesus talked about giving and prayer. Preachers always call on people to pray while they are passing the collection plate. But in that same sermon on the mount Jesus taught us about fasting. I wonder why fat preachers do not preach about fasting?
I have since written a book about fasting and health. You can find more details there. Here we will point out the basics and a type of fasting that most anyone can do for health.
A true fast involves taking in nothing but water. Basically you consume nothing that puts calories into your body. For example water may have minerals in it. So minerals and vitamins are not an issue as long as they are not connected with calories. No juices are used in a true fast, although they may be used at the breaking of a long fast. [A long fast should be broken correctly, or you can cause serious health issues. But the type of fast that we will be discussing here that should not be an issue.]
On background, you eat food, and it ask about 6 to 8 hours for your body to use what you have taken in up to your last eating. At that time your body starts to eat of the stored food sources within in your body. The science in on what starts to happen. [Check my book of fasting for more details.]
The first thing that your body starts to cannibalise
is anything that is stored that is abnormal. We think it goes to the fat first. That is not exactly right it goes to some fat and to abnormal cells. The body knows how to fix itself. The abnormal cell that are consumed are replaced with normal cells.
The problem is that we sometimes get in the way of our self healing action. When the cannibalization hormones are not turned on by fasting, the consuming of abnormality does not happen.
Well, this process is historically quite normal. Primitive man was not related to eating like we are today. They were not always successful in the hunting and gathering. This caused a natural fast that took care of abnormalities.
Further, when they went to bed it was not midnight, at least not normally. They went to bed when the the sun went down. They woke up when the sun came up. Then they had to go do the hunter gatherer thing, maybe catch a fish. As a result they did not normally eat their breakfast, as soon as they got up.
Now let us put a pencil to that. Let us say that the sun went down at 6, and it came up at 6 in the morning.
Then they would see about their breakfast. That means that they had been without consumption of calories for over 12 hours. Depending on the season, that could be more or less hours of fasting, but it was daily well past the 6 to 8 hour rule for using up that which they last ate and the body turning on to cannibalize on stored food sources.
What do we do today? We stay up late, and we are munching all the time. Then we get four or five hours sleep and we rush in to eat breakfast. We generally do not pass into the time of natural cannibalization of stored things that should happen. That is not for sure to happen until after 8 hours.
And even if we squeak into the magic eight hours, we eat so soon that the body on a practical level had no time to do any significant cannibalization of abnormalities that need to be processed out of the body.
Why does there seem to be such an increase in cancer nowadays?
Here is a story that I am personally aware of. I went to seminary with the grandson of an old preacher, Bro. Smith. In the 1940’s he was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. The doctors told him that they were going to cut out half of his stomach. After they would have done this, they predicted that he would only live for one year. He was assured that if he did not have this done he would live for only six months.
Bro. Smith told the doctors that he would just take the six months.
As he readied for revivals to preach until his death, he fasted and prayed for success. When he could not continue the fast any more [he had reached the second hunger which is talked about elsewhere], he finally eased back into eating. After the long, long fast, he did feel different. He did radically modify his diet for the rest of his life. He did gospel meetings for that next year.
In a year he went back to the doctor and was pronounced cancer free. The doctor was scratching his head. When he told the doctor about fasting, the doctor remarked that he had heard about that before, but he had never seen it happen. [I think probably because who is doing it?]
Bro. Smith died several decades later of old age. He was cancer free. He swore that the answer had been the fasting.
Can anyone say that fasting will cure your individual cancer? No, no more than a doctor can tell you that you only have six months. But there are thousands of examples of people having results like Bro. Smith, down through the centuries. Fasting can not be simply discounted out of hand in cases of cancer.
Bro. Smith had turned on the cannibalization process of fasting and given it enough time to get the job done with the abnormal cancer cells.
Time is the issue. With Bro. Smith time was significantly short so a full long fast was the right thing to do. But in the normal world we have time. If daily we allow the body significantly to consume abnormalities, given some time it will take care of the problems naturally.
This is why some doctors, like Dr. Oz,
are recommending doing a lifestyle change into what is formally called intermittent fasting. The fast is still like we have said not taking in calories, only water. But the intermittent is the daily practice of fasting. Do not panic yet.
This type fasting involves at some time in every day doing 12 hours of fasting. You may still take in the same amount of calories during the day, but none of them are taken in during that 12 hours. [The purist of intermittent fasting take in all their calories in 4 to 6 hour window, and fast the rest of the day.]
You are giving your body enough time to significantly deal with abnormalities. And over the course of few weeks or months, you will have restructured your body as if you had done a long fast.
The father of intermittent fasting suggests doing it this way. [Remember he is a purist and is looking for that 4 – 6 hour eating window.] You eat your last meal supper and the just drink water after that. In the morning you do not eat breakfast and eat next at noon. That is the purist version.
But think about it. If, for example, you eat your last meal at 6 or 6:30 and you have nothing but water until you get up in the morning, you will probably be well over 12 hours when you eat breakfast. [The more over the twelve hours you are more fasting good you are doing.]
The way we normally do things now days is that we are not eating breakfast any way. We stay up late munching and sleep 5 hours and then eat. You in that scenario are not eating breakfast. You never entered a real fast, because your are not past the 6 to 8 hour window. You are not breaking a fast, break-fast.
You can work this around your schedule and do the 12 hour fast every day.
There are many things that fasting has been noted as helping. Even things that you would not expect. A big one that much is written about is arthritis. Many are claiming much improvement and reduction of pain. Some even experience full remission of this supposedly chronic problem.
One thing that was surprising to me, when I did my research about fasting and healing, was its relationship to heart disease. Here is one aspect I ran across where one medical doctor has basically stopped doing by passes. He found that putting people on a long fast would cause the blockages to be consumed and eliminated from the body.
Over twenty years he had no patients who used fasting therapy that needed by passes. They naturally brought the blood vessels back to normal. He was using long fasts, but the intermittent fast takes more time. Considering the severity of the the presenting problem, a long fast may be preferable here. [This is hush hush in the medical community.]
Fasting has been proven to help the underweight person. Because with your do it, it re adjusts your metabolism. That is right not eating can help you gain weight. Go figure. [Overweight people are benefited by the readjusted metabolism too.]
Check out fasting and be amazed at the many benefits that it can bring into your life. And it can bring many good things into you life when used as a daily therapy. Intermittent fasting therapy is a marvelous lifestyle change to consider. Even if you do not know of a problem, it can nip it in the bud.
Fasting is too simple to be true for healing, but it is.