Sayward Ayre is the Retreat Director for Juice Fast For Health. She is a trained Naturopath, Certified Massage Therapist, Counselor of Natural Health and holds a Masters of Environmental Studies degree.
Fasting. You've heard of it, maybe some of your friends have done it. What could possibly attract an individual to voluntarily take a vacation specifically designed around the abstinence of eating? The answers are many, and they're all good ones.
Our bodies have been the receptacles of all types of food and non-food, toxins, fats, fumes, chemicals, and anything else we've been exposed to in our life. We wash the car outside and clean the inside, we conduct deep spring cleanings on our homes, we wash our clothes and dishes, but rarely do we take the time to clean our internal world.
The act of regular eating keeps our metabolism in a digestive mode, busily at work burning energy to process food intake. During a fast, the body's metabolism changes from digestive mode to cleansing and repair mode. As the toxins, fats, damaged cells and colon are cleaned and repaired, the blood becomes cleaner, organs operate at a higher functioning capacity, and before long the body gains as much or more energy than it had when it was consuming food on a daily basis.
One of the greatest benefits of fasting is the increased mental clarity that can arrive as soon as 3 to 5 days into a fast. Fasters are often surprised by the sudden insights and larger views they experience, and express awe at their revelations. But it's a logical result that cleaner blood and less toxins in the system results not only in an increased immune system, organ, cell and colon functioning, but in increased mental functioning as well.
Increased mental clarity through fasting has helped many people make important life-changing decisions. The act of removing oneself from the normal environment and placing oneself away from it allows one to gain perspective on life. The act of fasting during that distancing allows one to gain the strength and clarity of mind to make good, positive decisions for their future.
Decisions can range from deciding to quit one job to focus more on another job, to sell or purchase a home, to recover from a lost love or divorce, or to seriously change their health regime. There is no limit to the type of questions a person may have in their life that can become naturally answered during a fast. Often it arrives as an "Ah-So" experience, a Thunderbolt-style flash of insight from out of the Blue.
Fasting for mental clarity has been around for a long time. Vision Quests and a number of religious Holy days/weeks are just two examples of time-honored traditions where fasting is utilized for seeking answers to important questions. Beyond cleaning up a person's body and re-booting energy, fasting can be pivotal for positive life transformation.