With or without being aware of it humans and animals have been fasting for centuries. Fasting is recognized as a common practice of injured or ill animals. We have become detached from our instincts to fast the more "civilized" we become.
There are countless different fasting programs ranging from classic European 30 day water fasts to relatively gentle yet still effective fasts utilizing mostly a liquid diet for several days. Fasting on water alone must be done with constant strict supervision while fasting with juices or liquid medical drinks may be done for short periods of time with very little stress on the body.
When we are eating our normal diet, the body puts out a great deal of energy. Since we have only a fixed amount of energy and oxygen for the entire body, the complex requirements of digestion often require what might be otherwise used for the immune system, detoxification, and other repair and regulatory mechanisms of the body. When we fast we allow the non-digestive functions of the body to get more energy than they typically do.
Water fasts are extremely stressful to a toxic individual and should not be attempted unless under strict supervision.
Supporting elimination is the key to a successful fast. Going into and coming out of a fast gradually is another key to a successful fast. Coming out of a fast with a "binge" defeats much of what you accomplish by doing a fast.
I frequently assist clients through cleanses or fasts that are most suitable for their needs. For more information on fasting, I recommend talking to a trained professional or consulting books by the following authors, Dr. Steven Bailey, Dr. Airola, Dr. Christopher and Dr. Bragg.
Alison Finger, ND