It is my intention to show you a simple, practical, step-by-step program for reversing ageing through the ancient healing art of herbal juice fasting. Through a seven day fast, or by attending a seven-day fasting retreat for optimal health you will notice immediate improvements in your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
1. Changing Your Perception & Trusting Natures Healing Process
The first step is realizing and acknowledging that it is time for a change and a time to embrace a new way of being. This first step is that of trusting natures power to heal if we just give it the opportunity. This can be done by stepping out of natures way and giving ourselves the nourishing substance we need.
2. Bringing in Restful Awareness & Sleep
The next step that follows for this program to work is giving yourself space to have downtime - healing time. When we are in complete rest we are healing. Deep sleep and rest is a time when the body is alkalizing and doing its house cleaning.
3. Eliminating Toxins from the Body
The third step is an important key to supporting the healing process. This is to eliminate the impurities from entering the body, and also to support the body in eliminating any accumulated toxins which are locked in the tissues and body organs. Any part of the body that has pain or an excess of fat buildup is probably an area where the toxins are stored. Toxins can occur from eating processed or adulterated, unripened, enzyme-deficient, or artificially-grown foods. Foods that have been chemically or biologically treated or heated to high temperatures can result in a derangement of the molecular structure. Most foods that are heated above 118C lose most of their nutrients and life-force. Stress, unhealthy emotions, over-active mind, job dissatisfaction, lack of nurturing relationships, an absence of fresh air and time in nature are some of the other causes of toxic build-up in the body.
4. Nurturing Your Body through High-Quality Nutrient Rich Foods & Herbs
This is the core part of the program to begin building new tissues. Our tissues are built by what we take into our bodies. One of the essential nutrients is enzymes. No body function can take place without enzymes. Actually, all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals need enzymes to do their work. Enzymes are the spark of life. Enzymes are found in every living plant and living thing that exists on this planet. However, enzymes are fragile and are destroyed very easily, especially through high-heat. One of the best ways to get these enzymes into our body is through fresh organic juices.
A few foods that have the highest concentration of enzymes are young coconuts, grapes, mangos, aloe vera, papaya, pineapple, soaked or sprouted raw seeds and nuts. Herbs are super high in nutrients and enzymes. The fresher and the higher the quality (organic) of food or herbs are, the higher the enzyme content. According to Edward Howell, the pioneer of enzymes, and author of Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity has estimated that there are at least 100,000 different enzyme systems in the body. He says the quality of enzymes we have in our systems is the equivalent in what we call life energy or vitality and equates our enzyme level to the status of our health.
One of the more fascinating facts about the evidence associating enzyme reserve with longevity and vitality is that amylase in human salvia is 30 times greater in the average 25-year-old than in the average 81-year old. The total enzyme level in young beetles is twice more abundant than in old beetles. Fruit flies, grasshoppers, and rats all have more enzymes when they are young. Edward Howell also points out that after chronic disease in humans, the enzyme content is depleted.
5. Fasting as a form of Youthing
Fasting is one of the oldest healing methods known. It has been practiced by such great physicians as Hippocrates, Galen, and Paracelsus. Juice fasting is a form of fasting in which living-food juices and herbs supply enzymes further to assist the purification process, while not depleting the body of vital nutrients, and creating no stress on the digestive system. Juices supply a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes which assist the rejuvenating process of the body. The liquid nutrients are absorbed directly into the body without stimulating digestive enzymes. The Buchinger Clinic in Germany has supervised over 250,000 fasts, more than any other fasting centre in the world. Dr. Buchinger feels quite positively that juice fasts are the safest and give the best recovery.
A research study that was conducted by Dr. Clive McKay of Cornell University, showed that when food intake was halved, the lifespan of rats doubled and they were healthier. There is much cultural and historical evidence for natural fasting and a not-overeating approach in which people live long and healthy lives, such as Indians in the Vilcabamba region of Ecuador, the Hunzakuts of Western Pakistan, and the Abkhazians of Russia.
6. Herbs, Enzymes & Longevity
As mentioned, fresh juices from herbs, fruits or vegetables will have the greatest healing potential to reverse disorders and ageing. The fresher the plant, the fresher the juice, the fresher you will feel. A positive note to add about herbs is that, in most cases, they have not been hybridized, or genetically-altered the way that so many of our foods have today. Research today shows that fresh juice fasting and not overeating is one of the longevity secrets.
Fresh living plants are natures enzyme storehouse. Herbs and vegetable juices are one of the best ways to restore an individual back to health, as well as increase our enzyme reserves. The higher our enzyme reserves the greater chances of living a long and vibrant life.
7. Cultivating Compassion & Love
The last step is a simple one but is one of the most valuable in making this program a successful one. It is important to listen to our bodies during the fast and treat ourselves with love and compassion. While a juice fast is the least stressful, some discomfort may be experienced. This will depend upon the state of your health. Give yourself time to rest. This is so important. Have massages, warm baths with essential oils. Be in nature as much as possible. Stay warm, swim, and enjoy the healing warmth of the sun. And if you are not experienced with fasting find a practitioner who is and let them support you during your rejuvenation process. Give to yourself the gentleness of heart you would give to another.
A seven-day purification process as outlined here can be one of the most powerful things you can give to yourself for creating optimal health.
Shantree Kacera RH., D.N., Ph.D.
Kotakkal Ayurveda - Mother land of modern ayurveda