THE VALUE OF FASTING/DETOXING: GIVE YOUR INSIDES A VACATIOn
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
This writing has to do with your health. Literally - what you take from it could mean the difference between you living or dying. No exaggeration - it's that important of a topic!
Let's begin. If you have ever worked at a stressful, demanding job for any length of time, you understand the need to have a vacation, don't you?
Any time we do something day in and day out, especially if it requires a lot of our mental and/or physical energy, and especially if there is stress involved, we need to give ourselves a vacation. We all understand this necessity.
God knew that in a seven-day week, we would live much longer and much happier and be a lot more productive if we took one day off and rested from our labors, hence the Sabbath day, or one day out of seven to rest.
Yet here is something many don't realize. Internally, our organs need a VACATION as well from what they do, minute by minute, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade! Our 'organ factory' needs not only a periodic vacation, but it needs a chance to receive a THOROUGH CLEANSING - be MAINTAINED - be REPAIRED if necessary ... so our organ factory can once again operate at peak efficiency.
No factory keeps running efficiently without periodic maintenance. No car keeps running efficiently without proper maintenance and upkeep. As oil needs to be changed regularly in our car due to impurities and breakdown of it's lubricating qualities, so does our blood and organs need a chance to rid themselves of the buildup of toxins and poisons that can be contaminating them. No computer keeps running efficiently without proper maintenance. Sewer and drainpipes need unclogging after a time, as does our internal circulatory system. Our immune system is probably the most efficient fighting machine on the face of this earth, yet it too can begin to weaken with stress, age and with improper nutrition and the hindering effects of built-up toxins (poisons, really) that need to be eliminated from our body.
God knew that we not only need one day a week to rest from external, or outward, stress of life, we also need to give our internal body a periodic break to clean out the buildup of toxins, to let our organs and immune system have a break so they can rest and repair if need be to again work at peek performance ...yet do we give it one? Most don't. That's why He implemented detoxing/cleansing/repairing ... hence our need for giving our bodies an occasional vacation, more commonly known as fasting in the Bible. (God knows our physical health can affect our emotional and spiritual health, big-time!)
If you read through the Bible about fasting, you will discover that if a person fasts for spiritual reasons in the appropriate manner, God promises to somehow reward it when done in humility. If you detox/fast for the purpose of taking care of your physical body, how can you possibly go wrong then, if you do so wisely?
Yet here is my own personal observation of WHY most people struggle with fasting. They somehow think they MUST fast on water only, giving up all food (and maybe anything they are addicted to) while they are on the fast. THAT IS NOT SO!
Fasting on water only can be the greatest detriment there IS to give your body a periodic vacation starting out with detox/cleansing/repairing (fasting). WHY? Because of the trauma of hunger pangs/food temptations and chemical addiction withdrawals/temptations (caffeine and sugar are the most common)! Most everyone who even thinks about having to go without food for half a day, or a day, (let alone longer) comes unglued emotionally, and understandably so. I'm that way!
The secret to successful detox/cleansing/repairing is NOT to traumatize yourself unnecessarily! This needs repeating: The secret to successful detoxing/cleansing/repairing is NOT to let the experience overly traumatize you.
Any safe detox/cleansing/repair is better than no detox/cleansing/repair, when done wisely. In so doing, you are learning to minimize your trauma, and you are building a solid foundation of confidence that you can make it through future detox/cleansing/repairs, which is so vitally important.
Juice fasting (detoxing) is becoming more and more popular over water only fasting/detoxing for a number of positive reasons. Punch [Juice fasting] into any of the popular Internet Search Engines and do some research on juice fasting/detoxing. The following is a video clip that I would encourage everyone reading this view in its entirety:
Personally ... I truly didn't believe I could go 10 days without food when I did my first detox (The Master Lemon Cleanse -- Google it to learn more about it) in 2005. I did make 9 days, and had one orange and one apple during those nine days, not because I needed them, but because temptation overcame me. I was so proud of myself! I did my second Master Lemon Cleanse in April 2006, and went seven days straight without any food, and I could have easily gone 10 days had I wanted to. Already, my confidence is growing leaps and bounds, and yours can too!
You need to be honest with yourself and deal with 'the trauma-factor' wisely. Saying it another way, you need to control the intensity of your trauma. Just because you read a book that says you must go 10 days to get a thorough cleanse/repair (such as The Lemon Juice Master Cleanse, which is my favorite detox/cleanse/repair incorporated at times with other fresh juices) doesn't mean you have to try to make it 10 days the first time you try! For goodness sake, doesn't the authors of those books or tapes realize how difficult it is for beginners to have to deal with the threat of going without their favorite food or beverage?! Why put oneself through so much emotional and physical trauma? Why not use a sensible detox/cleanse/repair strategy and try it for just one meal starting out? Then when the time is right, try for a couple of meals, and then maybe a whole day? (Again: This is predicated on the assumption that you are not diagnosed with advanced cancer and/or a terminal disease. If this is the case, you may have to get very intense quickly with your detox/cleansing/repair ... simply to save your life!)
It is always wise to inform your understanding doctor of the kind of detox/cleanse you are going on, and how long. It is also wise to connect with trusted people who will keep you lifted up in prayer while you are on a detox/cleanse, especially if it is a longer one.
Let's get sensible with this. Every time you make it a meal or two, or a whole day without your favorite food and drink, and take in healthy concentrated nutrition (fresh vegetable and fruit juices and lots of pure water to flush out your body), that is a 'confidence brick' you can put in your 'detox/cleanse confidence foundation.' The more times you can miss a meal(s) of stuff you body could use a break from and put into your body things that will help it detox/cleanse/repair itself with, your confidence grows that most likely you CAN do this longer the next time, and/or do it more frequently! I've personally set a goal that I'm going to do a thorough cleanse at least once every six months simply as preventive maintenance. I'll go on one more often if I need to. Sometimes only a day or two detox/vacation/fast is needed to get desired results from simple illnesses.
Many who detox/cleanse find friends they can do it together with. Knowing someone else who is going through what you are helps tremendously, and you can encourage one another!
As the saying goes, 'Know how to remove a mountain and cast it into the sea, if you don't have enough faith to do so in one setting? One shovel full at a time. Tomorrow, maybe two shovel fulls ... but today, just one.'
OUTSMART THE TRAUMA MONSTER
Do yourself a huge favor: learn how to grow into being able to go on extended, sensible detox/cleanses for the future. Don't traumatize yourself the first few times you go on one. If you do, you may talk yourself into never going on another one again! Modify your cleanses as you need to. Take what you need to keep going. Reward yourself if you have to. I do! Don't beat up on yourself for blowing it. There is always a new day. Let your hunger pang trauma be in little 'bites', little 'portions.' You might not be able to lift 100 pounds right now, but the more you lift each day, day after day, the more your confidence grows that one day you'll be able to lift that 100 pounds if there is something worthwhile to gain from it, and with wise detox/cleansing/repairing ... there is!
The painful affects and memories from Food Abstinence Trauma - Chemical Addiction Withdrawals - Purging/Cleansing Pain Trauma ... when you go through a detox/cleanse should never be minimized and the long range effects it can have on a person emotionally regarding future detoxification - cleansing - rebuilding should never be underestimated, nor trivialized. Some people are so filled with toxic poisons that when the body starts expelling them, they can go through a great deal of pain, until they are expelled. What may seem not so painful during a cleanse can grow into a mountain inside your mind months from now if you are not careful. Pain truly is gain when you are expelling unwanted toxic poisons from your body. Just be careful to keep it a positive experience rather than let it become a traumatic one, is all I'm trying to suggest. Cleansing/Fasting should never be a painful memory ... it should be a positive memory. You are in the driver's seat as to what that memory will be as days go by after a healing cleanse.
Your primary objective starting out is to hammer away at dethroning the fear that you won't be able to cope with life the more times you do a detox/cleanse in the future. The goal is to not fear detox/cleansing/fasting, but to ease into it at a pace that minimizes your trauma. Fasting is a potent weapon! You want it to become a lethal weapon in your spiritual arsenal in the future you can use when necessary -- not a falsely perceived, self-destructive weapon you are tempted to leave out of your arrow quiver because of fear or past trauma. Make sense?
Detox/cleansing/fasting is not a race to see who can get to the end the fastest, it is a life-long marathon. You run a marathon at a pace you can handle, not at the pace someone else is able to run it.
I like to think of life as having a bow and a quiver to put one's arrows in. The more useful arrows you have in your quiver, odds are that you will will be more effective whipping your enemy. However, in MY arrow quiver, I have the ability to never run out of the specific kind of arrow that I need at the time. My detox/cleansing arrow is there to shoot at sickness and disease prevention. If I'm already sick and/or diseased, it is an arrow I use to help eradicate the sickness and/or disease. Either way, it is a very potent weapon.
Will I listen to the advice of doctors in the process? Absolutely. But I'll also listen to the advice of God. God has the first say for me, and the last say. God knows what is best for me at any given time, and though others may 'think' they know what is best for me, I'll take God's advice over theirs, no offense, if there is differing counsel. To me, doctors and the medical profession are instruments of God, NOT God.
Many people do not have this particular arrow in their survival quiver, therefore they aren't able to hear God telling them to use this 'medicine' if He is saying to do so in some capacity. The ONLY arrow they have for sickness and disease is the established medical profession. Would it surprise you at all to realize that some in the established medical profession and the drug industry would prefer that you NEVER use the arrow of detox/cleansing to deal with sickness and disease? Would it also come as any surprise that 'arrogance addiction' or '$$$$ addiction' may be the real reason(s)? Shame on me for even thinking of such a thing!
CONCENTRATED NUTRITION "MEDICINE"
Detoxing, cleansing with fresh vegetable and fruit juices with plenty of pure water not only provides the necessary nutrition and energy your body needs to function properly on, they also provide in mega-dose concentrated form the very ingredients your body needs to both cleanse and repair itself! And best of all, some of them actually help curb hunger pangs/food temptations! Fresh squeezed lemon juice with a natural sweetener does for many. It has for me. Fresh squeezed carrot juice also works very well, or a combination of fresh lemon juice and fresh carrot juice. Other fresh fruit and vegetable juices also are very good sources for curbing hunger pangs/food temptations and keeping one's energy level up as well as providing proper nutrition.
'The Food and Drink Abstinence Monster' has a mind of its own! If you're like me, thinking about having to give up my eggs, toast and cereal in the morning, even for a day, makes me want to eat twice as much! Thinking that I can't have my coffee or my pop or my chips or my candy bar or my ice cream throws me into depression-agitation immediately. High-level agitation becomes almost unbearable for many to think of going a day without a coke, a beer, or a glass of something stronger. The 'Abstinence Monster' is very content to lie dormant in our mind, until there's a threat that it can't have what it wants, when it wants it, how much it wants of it.
Stress of all kinds is on the increase. Turbulence and uncertainty around the world, financial stress, marital stress, family stress, work stress, the stress of sleeplessness and physical pain, the list goes on and on. Think about it: What is the ONE THING we are able to control in our stressful life? What we put into our 'factory' to maintain it's emotional state of well-being, correct?
Why will a child eat all the candy you give him/her? Because it triggers emotional well-being in their mind. Why will a potato-chip junkie never tire of munching constantly on potato-chips? 'Because they taste good!' Not very complicated, is it? What tastes good to us brings emotional well-being to our mind. One person's poison is another person's love. We all acquire a love for certain foods and drinks, and that is just living. Yet how many of us really care what might be happening by what we are putting into our human factory? Could what we are putting into our factory be contributing to an excess of toxins and organ breakdown? 'I'll take my chances. Life is tough so I want what I want. I need what I need.' I've thought that numerous times, so I can well identify.
Any wise doctor will tell us that just because we love that salt on our chips, or the release of stress beer after beer gives us, for example, doesn't necessarily mean it will keep us healthy all the rest of our lives. If we put drain cleaner in our car motor, our motor just isn't going to operate very efficiently, is it? If we drink gasoline instead of water, it doesn't mean we'll have more energy to run faster, does it? How about just a little drop or two of gasoline in every glass of water we drink? That's not so bad, someone may suggest to us. Uhhhhhhhhhhh, gasoline is for mechanical engines, not our human engines.
Pure vegetable and fruit juices won't help your car run better, but multitudes have discovered that there is absolutely nothing better to keep your human factory running at peak performance than raw vegetables and fruit. Extract the juice from vegetables and fruit and you have potent concentrates of the kind of ammunition your body needs to fight the war it fights day in and day out to keep you not only healthy, but able to ward numerous sicknesses and/or diseases. (And to help get rid of sicknesses and/diseases if we already are afflicted with them, of course).
Most people don't easily get 'addicted' to a steady diet of fresh vegetable or fruit juices, but what harm can there possibly be in giving our human factory a periodic break,a periodic vacation to rest up and repair itself?
WHICH IS WISER?
Which is wiser? Doing a periodic detoxification cleanse WISELY (not severely traumatizing yourself, in other words) to KEEP from getting sick and diseased, or trying to GET HEALED once you have become sick and diseased?
Which is wiser? Change the oil in your car frequently as recommended, or run on dirty oil for thousands and thousands of miles and risking the life of your motor?
If you listen to your heart, you know the answer.
Please do yourself a huge favor. Study up on detox/cleansing. Keep an open mind. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Many people writing or speaking about the topic have something to sell you. Don't let the '$$$$$ Factor' keep you from tucking away the wisdom and knowledge such voices can impart to you.
Finally, please don't anyone assume I'm minimizing the value of water fasting only. Such detox/cleansing/fasting can produce excellent results, both physically and spiritually, for those God leads to cleanse that way. The reality is, most can't handle such an intense detox/cleanse/fast starting out. Also, many are discovering that because of the poor nutrition and poisons we are putting into our bodies over time, it is actually wiser for the first several detox/cleanses to take vegetable and fruit juices and plenty of water to provide the missing nutrition they provide, while flushing out toxins, rather than start out on water detoxing only.
Again, I plug The Master Lemon Cleanse, or slight variations of it, because it has been around for 50 some years, and it has stood the test of time for it's effectiveness by numerous people.
GIVE YOUR BODY A PERIODIC VACATION TO REPAIR ITSELF
Forgive me for continually repeating myself, but marketing professionals realize that a person needs to hear the same message over and over before they will respond to it. That's my reason for repeating myself.
So - give your body a periodic detox/cleanse vacation to repair itself. Wise prevention is a better way to go through life than trying to fix something once it's broken and needs to be repaired or replaced. Mechanical parts can be replaced. Human body parts aren't so easily replaced, especially if they've been put out of commission by cancer and/or deadly viruses, because many types of cancer and/or viruses has already spread to different parts of the body factory by the time it's discovered, which can then be too late.
Truly said, an ounce of prevention can be worth a LIFETIME of cure.
Allow me to close this out with an awesome note of encouragement. The Holy Spirit records for us in Matthew 6:16-18 that if we fast with the right reasons - right motives - we have the absolute assurance that our heavenly Father will somehow bless us for it. Rather than focus unduly on any "painful" thoughts fasting might bring ... why not concentrate our focus on the REWARD we are promised God will shower us with? The way I see this promise ... either we're being lied to, or we aren't in Matt. 6:16-18. I chose to believe I'll somehow at sometime be rewarded!
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)