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BHOOMI COLLEGE

1 Year Programme on Science and Management for Sustainable Living

PROJECT REPORT OF B.V. JAYANTH


OCTOBER 2012

1. TITLE OF THE PROJECT:-

FASTING ON WATER FOR 21 DAYS

2. PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT:-

To detoxify my body and mind and to eliminate certain hidden ailments.

Over the years I had abused my body with reckless eating and drinking habits. There were a few signs of diabetes, arthritis and enervation indicating a couple of latent diseases.

To get over certain negative habits/addictions and to begin a new life with raw-food diet and living according to the laws of Nature.

I have been in and out of raw-food for the past one year and for some time past have been addicted to Alcohol. With long fasting, I wanted to get over these negative habits. According to psychological studies, any habit can easily be broken if it is discontinued for a period of 21 days. It is said that the cell memory in the body is very strong within this period and after 21 days they lose their memory to crave for addictive substances.

3. NATURE OF THE WORK DONE BY ME I will outline below the details of my 21 days fasting combining with the history, meaning, and other salient features of Fasting:-

HISTORY OF FASTING:-

Dr. Henry S. Tanner, MD, a 19th century physician from Minnesota, USA, was suffering from many ailments such as asthma, rheumatism of the heart, gastric fever etc. As the pain and suffering was unbearable for him, he contemplated to end his life by committing suicide. At that point of time (1857), the medical profession believed that if any person goes without food for more than 10 days he would die. So, Dr. Tanner took the step of going without food for 10 days to end his life. But at the end of 10 days, he was pleasantly surprised to find that his illnesses showed signs of improvement. Encouraged by this, he continued fasting for more number of days much against the wishes of the members of his profession. As he went through the extended fast, day by day his condition got better and better. Therefore, he gained much confidence and continued the fasting on water for a total number of 42 days and cured himself of all his ailments ! The newspapers of the whole of USA carried the news of the remarkable recovery of Dr.Tanner at a time when it was believed that a person would die if he abstains from food for more than 10 days. Dr. Henry S. Tanner is therefore rightly called the

father of Fasting.

Dr. Henry S. Tanner Of course, fasting has been practiced for thousands of years as a method of Natures healing by well-known luminaries like Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato, Jesus and our own Mahatma Gandhi. In the recent years, stalwarts like Herbert Shelton, Paul Bragg, Arnold Ehret, popularized fasting as a way of health and well-being by prevention/healing of diseases.

WHAT IS FASTING ?

Fasting is voluntary abstinence from food except water for any length of time (from a day to multiple days) for the purpose of detoxifying the body so that the body can heal itself from the diseases, latent or apparent.
(Explanation: According to John Tilden, a disease has seven stages (Enervation, Toxemia, Irritation, Inflammation, Ulceration, Induration and Degeneration) and it lies dormant in its initial stages. Just as drugs are used in Allopathy and herbs in Ayurveda, fasting is the Natures way of curing a disease.)

MY DAY-TO-DAY EXPERIENCE WITH FASTING I began my fasting with a pre-fast of 3 days only on fruits and juices on 6th October 2012. This was to prepare my body for easy transition into water only fasting for 21 days which was started on 9th October 2012. (More about pre-fast in the latter part of my Project Report) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BODY DURING FASTING ? A long fast which is undertaken for more than a week is ideal for deep cleansing of toxins and tackling the diseased condition in the body. Nearly 80% of the energy in our body is expended for the purpose of digestion of food. Fasting therefore gives complete rest to the digestive system. Our body is remarkable whereby it doesnt rest when it is free, but uses its energy (saved for digesting the food) to clean its house by expelling the accumulated toxins. The root cause of all our ailments is the accumulation toxemia and once the body is cleansed of it, the diseases arising out it will naturally subside. The first 3 days of a long fast is critical because the body is deprived of food from the outside sources. I experienced a lot of craving for food and restlessness during this initial period. During this time, the body makes use of glucose in the blood and glycogen in the liver for energy and the faster experiences intense hunger pangs and uneasiness. But once the period of 3 days are over, the hunger for food is no longer felt by the faster. This is because once the body knows that it will not get food from the outside source, it begins an incredible process to source the food/energy from its own system ! When we consume food from external sources, its digestion takes place through Metabolism, i.e., converting food into energy. Within the process of Metabolism, there are two sub-processes called Anabolism and Catabolism. In Anabolism, new cells are built which happens while we rest and sleep. On the other hand, in Catabolism the complex food substances are broken down/used up into simpler ones for creation of energy for anabolic processes. But during fasting, the Metabolic activity is at its minimum due to our non-intake of food from external sources. Instead, a strange phenomena happens which are called Autolysis and Ketosis. Deprived of our usual intake of food, the body begins to search for food within its own system by breaking down accumulation of wastes within the cells, tissues and joints. It also breaks down any morbid growth like moles, warts, tumors, etc., and uses its nutritive contents and expels the waste matter through kidneys (urine) and other eliminative organs like the skin

(sweat), mouth/lungs (breath, catarrh). This process is called Autolysis. Side by side with Autolysis, the body initiates an other process, viz., Ketosis, whereby it makes use of the excess fat stored within itself. The body breaks the fat cells and converts them as glucose for its sustenance. Incidentally, it is pertinent to distinguish between fasting and starving.

Starving begins when Fasting ends. Now what does it mean ? When the
body completely uses up its fat reserves, which may happen at different time frames based upon how much excess fat a faster has stored in his body. This may take anywhere between 40 days and above, depending upon the individual case. After this period, the body breaks down the muscle cells to fuel its energy needs. It is at this point of time that Starving starts and it is detrimental to life if it is prolonged further. But even here, our wonderful body first makes use of the least important organs of it like muscle tissues. Only in the end, as a last resort, does the body seeks fuel by breaking the cells of the vital organs like the heart and the brain. Thus the purpose of body is to make life possible until the very end when all avenues are exhausted. Once the initial three days of fasting were over, my hunger lessened and in fact I did not feel any hunger at all as the days went by. After the seven days of my fasting, I felt tiredness and interestingly sometimes I also felt energetic. These ups and downs were constant throughout my 21 days fasting period. Also there were a lot of mood swings and lack of sleep. This was because of excess toxins circulating in the blood waiting for elimination. Although I did not experience any other symptoms except severe dandruff and itching, many people may have some other external signs during the fast such as headache, nausea, mild fever. There is no need to be apprehensive above these reactions because they are only an outcome of healing crisis wherein the body is expelling toxins at a rapid pace. As in the case of long fasters, my breath, sweat and urine had foul odour and the urine was dark in color. Also, there was a white sticky coating on my tongue all through my fasting days. Further, because of low Metabolism resulting in low blood sugar/blood pressure, the faster may sometimes experience giddiness while suddenly getting up from a chair or bed. I also felt this condition to a certain extent. This generally happens after the 7th day of fasting. So the faster has to avoid all jerky movements and whenever he wants to get up from the bed, he has to gently shake his legs and arms and take a few deep breaths.

One vital point a long faster has to be well aware of. That is he has to be completely rested, physically as well as mentally. He has to lie down like a

fasting dog under a shady corner and he should not do any intense physical activity. Neither should he indulge in sensual activities like too much talking, watching TV, making phone calls, etc. This is important because when the body is in the hibernation mode with Autolysis in full swing, any intense physical and mental activity checks this healing process, and instead, it will have to divert its attention for building lost cells due to physical activity (Anabolism).

WHEN TO BREAK THE FAST ? There are some signs when the phase of fasting ends and starving begins. This is the time the faster has to terminate his fasting which generally happens after a duration 40 days or more. But it is not a hard and fast rule, there are people who have fasted for more than 3 months and even longer. The important signs to end the fast are:(1) The tongue becomes clearer with rosy color without any sticky coating. (2) The real hunger returns (after 3 days of fasting, the hunger subsides till the body reserves are completely used up, and then the real hunger occurs when its fat reserves are used up) (3) The breath, the sweat smells all right and the urine is clear without any smell

I broke my fasting on 29th October 2012 after the completion of the intended period of 21 days. My tongue was fairly clear, my sweat and breath were also clean, but the color of my urine was not 100% clear indicating that I still had some waste material in my body.

PRE AND POST FASTING

It is said that anyone can fast but its only the wise who knows how to break the fast and then to lead a holistic life-style.

Before fasting, one has to gradually prepare for the actual fasting by eating
fruits and vegetables and their juices for a period of 3 days, in the case of long fasts. Otherwise, if one starts fasting immediately after a day of normal meal, the fecal matter may not be eliminated properly once the fasting has begun

resulting in putrification of the waste matter in the intestine which causes bacterial infection. The Post-fasting is critical because during a long fast the stomach would have shrunk and the body had ceased to produce its digestive juices. If one straightaway consumes solid food after the fast, the body is incapable of digesting it leading to serious complications. That is why for a period of a minimum one week, the long faster should start with light fruit and vegetable juices and slowly increase the solid food step by step. The very first day after ending the fasting, one should not even drink a full glass of diluted juice at one go. He has to sip it a little by little, not more than half a glass at a time. I did my post-fasting for 5 days beginning with fruit juices and gradually switching over to fruits and vegetable salads.

BENEFITS OF FASTING As brought out earlier, the main benefit of a long fast is detoxifying the body and eliminating the diseases. Of course, terminal diseases and certain other serious ailments cannot be healed. After all, fasting will only help the body to get maximum rest and then the body heals by itself. When the chronic diseases have reached their end stage beyond repair, the body is unable to do anything. Weight loss is the natural outcome of fasting. The wrinkles, scars, moles on the skin lessen or disappear making one look younger and healthier. The skin becomes soft, the eyes are clear and bright. More importantly, the energy level enhances making the person vibrant. The problems of life no longer affect him as they were before the fasting. He will have a positive out-look in life under all trying circumstances. The craving for addictions disappear. Since his taste buds acquired a fresh lease of life, even simple ordinary raw food tastes wonderful without any salt or sugar. Thus the faster will have a new life with a fit body and mind. In my case, I felt a lot of energy and my mind had become pure with no negative thoughts at all. And I felt rearing to take on my life goals, viz., practising 100% raw-food diet and propagating raw living lifestyle as a primary way of Sustainable Living.

Here are a few changes within my body after the 21 days fasting:BEFORE FASTING AFTER FASTING

Weight: Waist: Blood Pressure: Cholesterol: Triglycerides Blood Sugar

84 kgs 44 inches 160/100 189 359 158/229

77 kgs 39 inches 110/80 98 180 80/130

Some more additional information about the conduct of fasting which I thought is of importance:WHO SHOULD NOT FAST ? 1. Any person who is at the terminal stage of a disease 2. Pregnant and lactating women 3. Persons who depend on various medications (in whose case medical supervision of fasting is necessary) 4. A person who is extremely thin and weak

THE NECESSSITY OF SUPERVISION OF FASTING BY A TRAINED PHYSICIAN Any fasting for more than a period of 7 days needs medical supervision from an experienced professional/physician. This is especially so in the case of people who are on medication for various illnesses. Further, a beginner who is not used to fasting may become apprehensive about the healing crisis which the body is experiencing and he may stop the fasting out of fear. The experienced supervisor knows which symptoms are temporary and which are the ones that need attention.

4. MY STRUGGLES AND CHALLENGES Ideally, a long fast has to be undertaken in a fasting center in the company of fellow fasters. Therefore, my main challenge was to fast in my home where there were temptations with the easy access to food. When the cooking is taking place at home, the aroma of food was captivating (but sometimes the smell also made me nauseating). On a few occasions, I had to yield to the temptations by taking a handful of puffed rice which I should not have done. On a deeper level, however, I felt that my craving for food is not really out of hunger but on account of some emotional reasons. The other challenge was when some guests (my parents) who came home during my fasting, they advised me not to ruin my body with such stringent measures. Of course, they were all well-meaning according to their understanding and I had to take time to explain to them what really happens during the fasting and why I am doing it. So, it is essential that during fasting we need to have supporting people around us. If not, at least we should not have any social contacts.

5. BASIC THINGS THAT I LEARNT AS WELL AS THE SUBTLE TRANSFORMATION OF MY LONG FASTING

The basic thing which I have learnt is that the body is such a wonderful mechanism and given the chance to rest, it will cure itself of all the ailments to the extent possible. Fasting cleansed and rejuvenated my body and mind so that the Spirit in me could express itself without any hindrance.

Fasting is Natures way to heal a disease, while raw-food is Natures way of prevention of a disease This is the subtle as well
as the vivid message which I got through my long fasting.

6.PEOPLE WHO HELPED ME TO UNDERTAKE MY FASTING As I could not find a mentor or a supporter, I relied upon the works of doyens in the field of Fasting. They were Arnold Ehret, Herbert Shelton and Paul Bragg. In a way, they were my mentors in absentia. By reading their books, I not only learnt all about fasting but also gave me a lot of inspiration and confidence to carry out my fasting without any medical supervision.

Arnold Ehret

Herbert Shelton

Paul S. Bragg

I now wish to end my Report with a beautiful and insightful poem on Fasting by

Jelaluddin Rumi:-

FASTING

There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music. If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire. The fog clears, and new energy makes you run up the steps in front of you. Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry. Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen. When you're full of food and drink, Satan sits where your spirit should, an ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba. When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help. Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give it to some illusion and lose your power, but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control, they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pennants flying above them. A table descends to your tents, Jesus' table. Expect to see it, when you fast, this table spread with other food, better than the broth of cabbages. ~ Jelaluddin Rumi~

I hope all those who read my Report would be inspired and encouraged to adopt the Natures way of fasting to cleanse themselves and to get rid of any ailments if they have any so that they can begin their life afresh with vibrant health and well-being. I wish you all success !