Can the benefit of fasting really be that broad? Yes, they can. And they are. We are much more than a physical body and fasting affects every part of our being. When we cease over-indulgence, as is prevalent in modern society, even for a short while, our lives and our priorities become clearer. Some of the more common and well-known benefits of fasting include, but are not limited to, the following:
Resetting of the digestive system
Strengthening of the immune system
Cleansing and detoxification of the body
Healing of ‘stuck’ emotional patterns
Releasing feelings of physical lightness and increased energy
Promoting greater mental clarity
Shining a spotlight on and breaking ingrained eating patterns
Promoting inner stillness and enhancing spiritual connection
The benefits of fasting reach into all areas of our lives. And whether you want to fast for increased body or mind balance, you will get them both. Let’s look at four key areas in a little more detail.
Fasting has been called the ‘miracle cure’ because the list of physical conditions improved by fasting is long and varied. Cited most often are allergies, arthritis, digestive disorders of all kinds, skin conditions, epilepsy, asthma, mental disorders and insomnia. Fasting is also exceptionally beneficial for chronic cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, reducing triglycerides, atheromas, total cholesterol and increasing HDL levels. Fasting has also been found effective in the treatment of type II diabetes, often reversing the condition permanently.
Losing weight is, for many of us, one of the greatest benefits of fasting. Due to differences in metabolism and/or body chemistry (or mental patterns), exact results will vary from person to person. Using fasting to lose weight can create many opportunities to gain insights into your patterns with food and for making changes to your habits and lifestyle much easier to accomplish. In particular, professionally supervised fasts may be the best for serious obesity. They offer both medical and psychological support during the process and guidance toward healthier eating habits after the fast.
INCREASED ENERGY AND CLARITY
When you’ve progressed past the stage of dealing with detox symptoms, a fast will have you feeling lighter, more energetic, more enthusiastic and requiring less sleep. Because fasting improves mental clarity and focus, it can become a tool in your life to give you greater freedom, flexibility and energy to get done the things and projects that are important to you. Emotionally, you will feel calmer, clearer and happier. Fasters often report that depression lifts, goals begin to feel more obtainable as obstacles are put into proper focus.
And let’s not forget the powerful effects of fasting on our spiritual connection. Another amazing benefit of fasting is that it directs our attention inwards, so that we can tune-out distractions and really listen to our bodies. This quality time will enable you to discover a greater sense of kinship with your Inner Being. Without the continual addition of heavy foods into the system (and after any major detox symptoms have passed), the body takes on a lighter, less dense feeling. This helps to create a subtle separation from ordinary physical reality and all its worldly things, and instead you begin to sense the presence and power of things beyond this world.