Fasting Therophy :
- Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. The word id derived from the old English , ‘ Feastan’ means to fast, observe, be strict. In Sanskrit ‘ Vrath’ means ‘determination’ and ‘Upavasa’ means ‘ near to God’.A fast may be total or partial concerning that from which one fasts, and may be prolonged or intermittent as to the period of fasting. Fasting is an important treatment modality for health preservation. In fasting, mental preparedness is an essential pre-condition. Prolonged fasting should be done only under the supervision of a competent Naturopath.
- The duration of the fast depends upon the age of the patient, the nature of the disease and amount and type of drugs previously used. It is some times advisable to undertake a series of short fasts of two or three days and gradually increase the duration of each succeeding fast by a day or so. No harm will accrue to fasting patient provided they take rest and are under proper professional care.
Benefits and Physiological effects of Fasting -
- Physicians of most cultures, throughout history, have recommended extended fasting as therapy for various conditions from ancient to modern. Though earlier observations were studied without scientific methodology or understanding they still point to utilization of fasting as a therapeutic modality. Earlier observations were based on animal behaviour but today they are based on animal physiology. We will try to discern in this article as to how best fasting could be useful in promoting ones health through review of literature that describes physiological and metabolic benefits.
- Prominent among the physiological effects conferred by fasting (Calorie Restriction and Intermittent Fasting) are the following: increased insulin sensitivity that results in reduced plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and improved glucose tolerance, reduced levels of oxidative stress as indicated by decreased oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and DNA, increased resistance to various types of stress including heat, oxidative and metabolic stresses and enhanced immune function.