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QUESTION AND ANSWER: ABOUT FASTING

0. You’re down on fasting but I feel better when I fast?

A. There are two reasons why you would feel better when you fast:

1. The withholding of all foods from the body is an effective way of removing the symptoms of food allergy. This is the reason many chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers experience a significant burst of energy while fasting. Unfortunately this ‘drift net’ approach to treating allergies has its drawbacks as vitamin and mineral deficiencies quickly develop on fasts. Recent reports in the newspapers have described how parents have fasted their babies to rid them of allergic asthma and eczema and that although the symptoms disappeared while off food, the babies became so malnourished they died in their sleep. By following the treatment program in this book you will get rid of your allergies safely, you won’t develop nutrient deficiencies and you will feel as good as you did on your fast. Fasting doesn’t cure allergies it only removes the symptoms for the period that you are on the fast. When you start eating again, the symptoms return.

2. Non-allergic people can also experience a short-term physical and mental boost from a short fast. The total withholding of food from the body is a stress. Stress causes the release of the hormone adrenalin and adrenalin sends extra blood and oxygen to the brain, eyes and muscles. This makes us feel mentally alert and physically stronger. This process has been used for thousands of years to increase mental agility, inspiration and readiness for action. Einstein claimed that some of his flashes of brilliance were the result of ‘frugal fare’ and Shakespeare captured the essence of the fasting principle in describing the demise of Julius Caesar: ‘Have about me men that are fat. Yon Casca has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much.’

However, just because great men have used and advocated fasting, that doesn’t make it a desirable practice. Granted, twelve and twenty-four hour fasts won’t do much harm if they are not practised regularly and you are not pregnant, diabetic, hypoglycaemic or on medication. In my experience though, most people take the view that if a little bit makes you feel good, more will make you feel better, and this doesn’t hold for fasting. These people begin practising longer fasts more frequently. By the time they consult me they are suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies and look and feel terrible.

The deep breathing exercises will put more oxygen in your brain and muscles than the adrenal surge of a fast. You’ll feel brighter and stronger permanently, rather than have your mental acuity go up and down with your adrenalin levels.

Remember: the effects of fasting are cumulative and if you’re not taking a complete multi-vitamin and mineral supplement you will, in time, develop deficiencies. I don’t recommend you try fasting, the probability of things going wrong is too great.

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