The Magical Effects-Fasting.

The Magical Effects-Fasting.

 Fasting Vs. Starvation, Types of Fast. Breaking a Fast. Magical effects-Fast. Old hidden diseases and crisis during fast.

 The human body is a unique system. Every human body is different from other and the nature of a body is decided during conception.

According to Ashtang Hriduyam:

“śukrārtavasthai: janmādau viṣeṇaiva viṣakṛme: || taiśca tisra: prakṛtayo hīnamadhyottamā: pṛthak |
samadhātu: samastāsu śreṣṭhā nindyā dvidoṣajā ||”

Effects of Fasting

Like the poison is natural to poisonous insects and snakes, similarly the body type is intrinsic to humans. The natural nature of the body is pre-decided at the time of conception of prana in a human womb.
This inherent nature changes according to the karmas, lifestyle, and daily activities of the humans. These activities results in imbalance, which is known as Dosha in Ayurveda.
According to A.H:

“vāyu: pittaṃ kaphaśceti trayo doṣā: samāsata: || vikṛtā’vikṛtā dehaṃ ghnanti te varttayanti ca |[2]

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are three prakruti or natures of the body. The balance of these doshas leads to perfect health. The imbalance of these doshas leads to illness.

The imbalance in the body causes wear and tear in human anatomy. The resultant foreign matter from our food and thoughts leaves morbid matter in our various body parts. The food that is not natural and thoughts that are not positive and progressive leaves indigestible and unprocessed things in our system. This matter or poison does not leave the body until you put the body to rest. The best method to give rest to body is through fasting.
Fasting does not mean starvation. There is a very common misconception; that fasting is starvation or not eating anything or skipping meals. If this would have been right then every hungry and poor beggar will be healthy. The fact is that fast is a very scientific method and requires great care as well. One can never become healthy by skipping diet. This is the first rule that everybody should understand. Starvation is a destructive process while fasting is a natural healing process.
The purpose of the fast is to give rest to the body. The foreign matter is activated when body is at rest, and then it tries to leave the body. The body in resting position throws it out, as it is not the part of acceptable substances. This condition is called crisis in naturopathy.
First, let us understand fasting.
Fasting has been given due importance in all the spiritual literature of India. It is important and inherent in oriental culture. It is not just physical cleansing but it also helps in mental cleansing. It is also very natural in birds and animals. One can easily observe the same when they are ill. They leave eating food for few days when they are ill. This is a kind of fasting.
However, it is very important to understand the scientific bases of fasting. One needs to observe proper methods of fasting; otherwise, fasting can creates more problems then producing benefic results.

One should observe following rules during fasting:

1. One should drink a lot of water during fasting, sipping small quantities at a time. Water helps in dissolving toxins in the body.
2. Enema should be taken once a day during fasting. This is essential because intestines do not process anything over a period because we are not eating too much. This leaves unwanted material in intestine. Enema helps in removing that matter.
3. One should walk and sleep in open spaces during fast. Open spaces and open sky is considered a good places for ether element. Fasting increases this element.
4. Hip bath and alternate compression on lower abdomen should be taken. This helps in movement of sluggish lower abdomen area.
5. Fasting requires the person to be calm and peaceful. Observance of no speech or “Maun” is very good.
6. One should avoid anger, fear, and jealousy.
7. One should remain positive during fast.
8. Avoid heavy exercises during fasting.
9. One should abstain from thinking about food during fasting.
10. Sugar, blood pressure and body weight should be observed during fasting. Diabetic patients and patients having blood pressure problems should be very careful while fasting.

Crisis during fasting:

Fasting results in eruption of waste material and old and hidden diseases come to surface during fasting. This is called crisis and it is the most important part of fasting.

During my work as Intern in a naturopathic hospital, I have seen many kind of crisis. The most crucial part is to understand crisis and then dealing with the same in a natural way. One should not panics during crisis and use natural cure to treat the crisis.

Following emergencies are seen during fasting.

1.    Abdominal colic: If one suffers from abdominal pain during fasting, then enema should be taken with hot water. This should be followed by a hot hipbath.
2.    Headache: Mudpack should be applied on the head for 20-30 minutes. Cow’s butter should be applied on forehead.
3.    Skin eruptions and smell: Sometimes the person who is fasting suffers from sudden skin infections and bad smell. In such cases a full body mud bath should be given. This should be followed by bath.
4.    Vomiting: Vomiting may have many reasons by hyperacidity is the most common cause. Kunjal or intentional vomiting should be done to cure vomiting. It cleans the stomach. If Kunjal is not effective then give ½ tsp of honey, ¼ tsp of lemon in 1/4th cup of water to drink.
5.    Fever: Enema of neem water should be given followed by sponge bath or hot footbath. A mudpack over the can be applied over the lower abdomen.
Types of fast:

1.    Morning fast
2.    Evening Fast
3.    Fast on Juice.
4.    Fast on fruits and Vegetables.
5.    Fast on Milk.
6.    Fast on Buttermilk.
7.    Complete fast.
8.    Weekly fast.
9.    Short fast ( 3 to 7 days)
10. Long fast ( 21 days to 60 days)

 The breaking of fast. There are several symptoms, which indicate the breaking of a fast. Following are some observations:
1.    When real hunger is aroused and a pain is felt in throat and mouth.
2.    When white coat, which appears on tongue during fast; starts disappearing, from tongue.
3.    Taste of mouth changes as it was from beginning of fast.
4.    Taste of breath will become sweeter.
5.    Pulse should become normal.
6.    Skin will become soft and shiny.
7.    Temperature of the body becomes normal.
8.    When the body feels very light and one feels very energetic in a strange way.

If one observes all the rules of fasting and even if weekly fasts are observed after a full fast, then the person can remove all kind of problems from the body. It is important to take precautions when fast is broken. One cannot intake all kind of food after breaking fast. The simple method is to use the same number of days to break a fast as the number been employed for keeping the fast.
Fast should be broken with slow diet intake and only natural food should be eaten after breaking the fast.

[1] Balkrishna, Astang Hridayam.
[2] Ibid.

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