7. What A Fast Cannot do
But can a fast do everything? Can a fast heal any health problems? First of all, let’s consider the implications of this mistaken terminology which is in widespread use.
A fast does nothing! A fast only provides a condition during which the body can effectively build its health. Don’t think of the fast as an independent actor with a life of its own. This is a carry-over from mistaken medical thinking which claims that drugs act on the body. Drugs do not act in the body. They are inert and lifeless! In fact, the body acts on the drugs. The one and only actor at all times, in health and disease, regardless of diet or drug, is the body. This is totally the case while fasting. The body acts, not the fast. The fast only provides the proper condition.
So, instead of asking “what can a fast not do,” we must ask what can the body not do while fasting. The body does not have unlimited powers of healing. As the lifespan progresses, the powers of healing diminish. An adult, for instance, can only rarely display the physiological vigor seen in an infant in regard to fever. A fever is a defensive measure intelligently initiated by the body. When the body raises its temperatures to higher levels, greater amounts of waste are burned up. An infant’s healing power is so vigorous that it can raise the temperature to high levels in a short time. Yet an adult, whose healing powers are relatively weaker, cannot mount such an intense defensive action. An adult’s fever rarely reaches the height seen in an infant.
The limited ability of the body to heal itself determines the extent of healing during a fast. This power of healing is far greater than most people realize, so it could be a grave error to decide, without consulting a Hygienic doctor, that there is no hope in any individual case. Yet it is equally erroneous to indulge in inane optimism and claim that the body is capable of healing and resolving any problem during a fast. Totally destroyed tissue in a joint, as seen in very advanced cases of arthritis, can usually not be reconstituted even under the best conditions as provided by a fast. Hygienists have found that the body is not usually able to destroy malignant tumors while fasting, nor can it rebuild the “insulation” around nerves that has been destroyed in multiple sclerosis.
But the happy truth is that the vast majority of human illnesses can be helped by fasting. Fasting, in fact, provides the best opportunity for the body to heal itself. Yet the body does not have unlimited powers of self-repair. An experienced professional Hygienic doctor is able to judge in any individual case what the prospects are for recovery.
In future lessons, we will discuss the specifics of which conditions are helped by fasting; all the aspects of managing a fast; how to break a fast; and how to live after a fast.
- 1. What Is Fasting?
- 2. History Of Fasting
- 3. Why We Should Fast
- 4. The Body’s Innate Wisdom Guides Us During A Fast
- 5. What The Body Does When You Fast
- 6. Juice Dieting Vs. Fasting
- 7. What A Fast Cannot do
- 8. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Living Without Eating By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Fasting In Nature By Dr. Alec Burton