Fasting Downs and Highs
Fasting is a roller coaster ride full of ups, downs, swerves and turns. During a fast, you can be flying high on the jet streams of exhilaration and unexpectedly nose-dive, free-falling face first into physical weakness and disturbing emotions. A little scary if you do not know it is coming. It would be great if I could hand you a daily forecast of how you will feel on each day of your fast, but fasting moves in mysterious ways. The body does the work of cleansing in cycles alternating between two very different states. In one state, you feel amazing, and, in the cleansing state, you feel badly. Feeling good is a sign the fast is working; feeling bad is a sign of detoxification. Every faster will experience the cleansing periods during a fast. Many bail out in disillusionment because they were unaware of just how difficult it is to endure three days of feeling weak and apathetic.
Fasting Dips, Downs and Cleansing Crisis
At the beginning of a fast, the lymphocytes seek out the dirtiest, toxic residues and burn this toxic filth as fuel. The body is finally able to rid itself of damaging carcinogenic pollutants which have built up in the system, but, at the same, time the burning of this unclean fuel results in physical discomfort. As the fast progresses, you will become cleaner and energy will increase until your body enters another cycle of cleaning. Changes can happen within hours, passing from a cleansing crisis, due to toxin elimination, to an energy peak.
When the toxic residues enter the blood, they affect mind and body functions. Ketones, an intermediary metabolic product, may accumulate in the blood to high levels and cause ketoacidosis. Combined with high levels of urea, resulting from protein metabolism, this state can cause intense discomfort, headaches, back pain, dizziness, weakness and nausea.
You will never get to the peak moment of fasting without passing through some fasting dips and detox periods. The cannibalization of sick cells, dirty fat, chocolate bars, Big Macs and fries make you feel dreadful. When the feeling intensifies, it can be truly fearsome. It has been termed a Cleansing Crisis. The good news is the body is finally able to rid itself of years of accumulated toxins.
Enduring a cleansing crisis is the hardest part of the healing process. To stop feeling bad, most people want to eat, but do not eat during a cleansing crisis. The body is overloaded with the work of removing toxins. Digestion makes matters worse. Using the enema kit and drinking juice will help. Herbal tea with honey warms the shivers.
Dips and Downs are the periods when the body is moderately cleansing causing periods of feeling down, like having a bad cold. You feel weak and lethargic. The mind rationalizes, I feel horrible; this can’t be working. You can maintain a normal routine of work on a dip; it requires willpower and determination. It also helps to know that the longer the down period, the greater the fasting high.
On a juice fast, the body can go weeks before there is a serious detox or you can be blasted with headaches, nausea and weakness on the first day. The Downs usually last from one-to-three days, and may hit day 2 or day 28 of a fast. Dips, which are shorter, last only a few hours. The greater the quantity of toxins in the blood, the worse you feel. As unspiritual as an enema may seem, it has helped many end or reduce the crisis by removing toxins from the colon. Emotions and thinking are affected; old memories and negative feelings arise from the dead, like a detox of the soul. It is easy to become discouraged, feel irritated, short-tempered or mildly depressed. These cleansing periods require faith that it will pass.
Energy packets of glycogen are stored in the liver and muscles for use during bursts of physical activity. During The Downs and Dips, the body utilizes glycogen from the liver and muscles for energy. This results in the familiar feeling of weakness. During a peak, the body has an abundant supply of glucose, and glycogen replacement occurs at a rapid rate creating abundant energy. Also, there is an intermediate state when glycogen is starting to be replaced. You will feel energetic but lack the endurance to match. Persevering through these various fasting states and energy levels is necessary for success.
Fasting Peaks and Highs
Pain is a sign of a problem. Feeling incredibly good is a sign your body is functioning at peak performance. Narcotics can alter your body’s chemistry to make you feel good, but the feeling of well-being is not connected to the state of your body. Drugs will increase endorphin levels, but with continual usage the body becomes accustomed and cannot produce endorphins without the drug. Meanwhile, the health of the body deteriorates from the impact of the drug. The high of fasting is the natural high of being clean as a baby. The peaks and highs of fasting can be better than any drug. Like never before, with a child-like innocence, you feel truly alive and laughter and love abounds.
The physical side of a fasting high is due to increased health, which increases endorphin levels similar to the endorphin high experienced by long distance running. Also, a cleaner brain functions with harmony and balance.
During fasting peaks and highs, there is a seemingly endless supply of physical energy. Don’t be fooled by this, you are still fasting, and conservation is the wisest practice. Energy can be fickle during the first stage of a fast. During water fasting, the detox is more aggressive and generally, it can take days to get to an energy peak.
Strong emotions are common and the brain starts speed thinking. It feels as if everything around you is slowing down and becoming lifeless. Mental energy in the right direction can achieve much, but if misdirected, like towards Grandma’s apple pie, the outcome can be disastrous. I broke several fasts because I failed to wisely handle the excess mental energy of a fasting high.
The longer you fast, the higher the peaks and highs. The best highs are after 20 days of juice fasting or the day when you end a water fast and go to juice fasting. The water-to-juice fasting highs are the most radical. While water fasting, you can feel horrible. When you switch to juice fasting, the energy of the juice surges through the veins, saturating the cells and catapulting you into this astounding state of well-being. The difference in how you feel can be extreme to the max. Peaks are the moments when the entire vista of your life can be seen with one sweeping glance. Purpose, conviction, resolution, determination and resolve burn strong. No challenge is too great.
These peaks and highs are some of the blessings of fasting, and no matter how good you get, your diet will never be able to match the highs of a long fast, but you will be able to live in an amazing state of health and well-being.
By Tom Coghill of Fasting.ws Articles may be copied or reproduced as long as the back links to fasting.ws are intact and the author’s name is included.