Did you ever ask yourself this question?
More importantly, what do you believe?
Your belief is the first step of the healing process. Without this first step, it is useless to even go further.
"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right" - Henry Ford
"Everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness.” - Hippocrates
If you suffer from a chronic disease or cancer and if you want to learn the most efficient and natural way to heal, this article is for you.
This article is the first in a series of two, giving you the following keys:
1. Whether or not you can heal yourself;
2. Reasons to believe in fasting;
3. A global understanding of your mind, body, and spirit;
4. Several ways of fasting;
Next week, you'll learn:
5. The link between healing and water fasting;
6. Mechanism during fasting;
7. Essential facts and steps to follow if you're thinking about fasting
8. Contra-indications for fasting.
CAN YOU HEAL YOURSELF?
Before sharing some surprising answers, and my experiences, let's see what this question truly means.
The first part of the question is "Can you". There is already a lot to say about this but let's keep it short and clear: "can" implies the capacity to do something, being able to. As mentioned before, this will be determined by your belief which the following will assist you with.
"You" is a more complex concept. Many masters through history tried to define who we are. Discovering who you are is not the goal of this article but a few words can help us to heal more efficiently.
We often identify ourselves with our name, nationality, past experiences, our job, possessions, and emotions. We often even identify with our disease, accomplishments, and family.
We say things like: "I am Frederic, I am French, I am a life coach, I am happy, I am, I have, I do, …"
But is this really who we are? And how is this related to our health?
A simpler explanation is that we are made of several elements. Keeping it simple: we are made of a body, a mind, a spirit and the environment (i.e. the food we eat, the air we breathe, etc.).
This explains why healing can only be holistic.
Holistic in medicine means: "Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease." This definition gives us an understanding of the third word in our key question: "Can you heal yourself?".
So we can finally define "yourself", which, in this context, means: "you, personally".
Yes, a surprising, but meaningful fact, that answers our key question. If you want to heal, the only way to do it is to do it yourself, taking responsibility for the healing process. The good news is that, if you take responsibility for your health, then you will not be the victim of the disease anymore, but transform to be the master of your life.
Another shocking fact is that you don't have "to do" anything.
What do I mean? Well, the second part of the title is "The secrets of fasting." Let's see how easy and powerful the healing process can be.
At this stage, you're probably wondering who "I am" ;). Let me tell you why I share these few words with you, by using a mundane way to define me.
My name is Frederic Deltour, I practiced Meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi for more than 15 years, as well as judo on a national level. I learned from and lived with Buddhist monks and yogis, health experts, naturopaths and homeopaths all around the world. I have written several books and offer coaching sessions that guide people towards a more healthy, harmonious and fulfilling life and guided many people during their practice of fasting.
I have completed numerous water fasts over the last 10 years, from 1 day to 22 days, of which many 7-day water fasts, several 4 to 5-day dry fasts (i.e. no food, no water; please don't do this alone, without experience and a legitimate health practitioner who monitors you). I've been practicing intermittent fasting for more than 7 years now, which means I fast for 16 to 20 hours every day.
Having experienced these fasts has benefited me immensely on a physical and spiritual level. I have seen improvements in my energy, endurance, and vitality. I gained a deeper understanding of my emotions and attachments. Fasting has greatly supported my spiritual practices and has contributed to my search for inner peace of mind.
I am extremely grateful for having discovered fasting and meditation in my life and I hope, one day, you will experience the bliss of it too.
REASONS TO BELIEVE IN FASTING
Now, let's get back on track: healing yourself through fasting.
All the information shared below is based on personal experiences, observations and are backed by scientific research.
Though I am not a doctor, the following claims about the health benefits and medical facts of fasting come mainly from doctors and publications from the US National Library of Medicine and institutes of Health.
- Fasting is the most powerful way to heal provided that you know what you are doing. Fasting cleanses the mind, the body and the spirit - to use simple terms to define these concepts.
- All animals fast when they are sick, they follow their instinct and fast to allow their body to heal.
- Most spiritual traditions around the world include fasting as a way to purify the mind (or spirit).
- Research on mental health in Russia and Germany shows the benefits of fasting in mental disorders.
- Restraint or renunciation are great ways to understand and let go of attachments.
- As the body is a reflection of the mind, purifying the mind equals purifying the body. Fasting purifies both at the same time.
It is no secret anymore that stress is a chief cause of many illnesses. We see that when the mind finds peace, the body will be released from stress.
Stress induces a fight or flight response which halts important functions in the body that prevent healing. Strong emotions like fear, worry, anxiety, remorse, aversion, doubt or confusion are stressful for the mind and bring about stress in our life.
Therefore, let go of these negative states and your body and mind will be at peace and healthy.
How? Well, that would be another long topic cover. I wrote several books about this and gave seminars around the world to share with others how they can find inner peace.
One of the main keys to finding this is meditation or mindfulness. This will help you gain more serenity in your life.
SEVERAL WAYS OF FASTING
When talking about "regular fasting" or "water fasting", this means exclusively consuming water for a shorter or longer period of time.
It is also possible to do intermittent fasting, which is a daily fast of minimum 16 hours. For instance: you eat between 8 am and 4 pm and fast from 4 pm to 8 am the next day.
In addition to a longer fast, intermittent fasting is an ideal way to improve and sustain your health on a daily basis. On top of that, it is a powerful way to master the mind.
For the curious, let's look at fasting in a religious/spiritual context:
It's a way to go inside oneself, discover our true feelings and stop being stimulated by outside impulses.
A rule for nuns, monks, or lay people during a retreat, in conservative Buddhism, is to never eat after noon. And not eating after noon once a week at least for lay Buddhist.
Why? The Buddha said he doesn't eat after noon "For good health, for strength and to be without illness."
Another fasting practice, based on tantric Buddhism, is to fast after noon the first day and then refrain from food and water on the second day. This process is called Nyung Ne and is supposed to release an enormous amount of negative Karma.
Fasting is connected to prayer: less food means more prayer and proves the devotion for God.
Many times of the year are related with fasting: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Holy week, Apostles' Fast, Dormition Fast. A few examples:
- Daniel 6:18 "Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep."
- Esther 4:16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
- Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust."
- Daniel 10:3 "I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips, and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over."
- Luke 18:12 "I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get."
- Samuel 31:13 "Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
- Matthew 4:2 "After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
- Acts 10:30 "Cornelius answered: "Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me."
There are many references to fasting, often during the full moon and new moon.
We also see many fasting days on certain days of the week related to deities, e.g. Monday is related with Shiva, so Shiva's devotees will fast on Monday.
During some festivals it is also recommended to fast, an important one being "Maha Shivaratri" festival.
The most famous and well-known fast in Islam is the Ramadan. This period is about more than fasting alone. It is also important for to be aware of one's speech and one's actions during this time. One should refrain from wrong deeds, speech, fighting, and thoughts.
Overal, keeping a high level of morality and values is at the core of their fasting practice.
Here too, we find several references to fasting. E.g. the Fast of Gedaliah, of the 17th of Tammuz, of the 10th of Tevet and of Esther.
They practice a type of fast where adepts avoid grains.
Fasting is recommended on Monday and or Thursday and one more time on the full moon day of each month.
After reading this first part, you are aware that your body holds an intrinsic power that can heal any disease. Fasting has been a way of cleansing mind, body, and spirit throughout history in many different religions and many different ways, and has been proven to be extremely effective.
Not only are you able to reverse any illness, you can also ignite your inner flame of mindfulness that has been there all along but never before received enough oxygen to burn. This inner flame will bring about a deeper understanding of your mind and spirit.
Next week we will dive deeper into: the link between healing and water fasting, what happens in the body, essential facts, steps and contra-indications for fasting.
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- Dr. Alan Goldhamer’s talk at San Francisco’s Vegetarian Society's 16th annual World Veg Festival event, Oct 4, 2015: Fasting can save your life
- Prolonged Fasting reduces IGF-1/PKA to promote hematopoietic stem cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression, Valter D. Longo et al., Cell Stem Cell: Vol 14, Issue 6, June 05, 2014
- Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications, Valter D. Longo and Mark P. Mattson, Cell Metabolism, 2014 Feb 4;19(2):181-92
- Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014 Jun;13(3):52-7
- US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health
Frederic Deltour was born March 30, 1982, in France. He grew up in the suburbs of Paris and spent his childhood on the judo mat. He won many competitions in his youth before becoming a model, actor, and stuntman.
He created and managed 3 companies specializing in natural products and renewable energies, and also worked as a life coach.
Frederic followed a spiritual path for many years, after which he taught Yoga and Tai-Chi.
He has traveled in over 40 countries, climbed several mountains in the Himalayas and the Andes, studied for months with a shaman in Peru, practiced with a yogi in the mountains of India, and lived in a Buddhist monastery for several months.
After traveling for over five years, Frederic is now sharing his experiences in his books and lectures, all while he continues to explore the world.