Feeling Sick?

Feeling Sick?


consider FASTING, instead!

If you feel you are coming down with an acute illness, such as a cold, flu, sore throat, etc., you may want to consider fasting. Nature knows best, with fasting as one of the best therapies to keep your immune system in optimal shape. Fasting can also minimize the severity and duration of an acute illness. When implemented correctly, fasting is very safe and has been used in cultures around the world. Remember that fasting is a natural metabolic state of the body and that starvation and fasting are very different. Fasting is a state of rest, driving ketosis and renewal, whereas starvation is the absence of all energy and nutrition, leading to the digestion of one’s own tissues.

This old-school naturopathic therapy that rests the gastrointestinal tract and promotes detoxification, has also been found to assist immune system regeneration. Recent research at the University of Southern California found that fasting for two to four days helped the body to fight infection. When fasted, the body flips the trigger on stem cell-based regeneration of new white blood cells, renewing the body’s defense system. The body overhauls damaged, old, and dysfunctional cellular components, known as ‘autophagy’, cleaning out the old and making way for new, healthy cells. Even if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or age-related toxin exposure, fasting cycles assist revamping the immune system. We actually use fasting to slow and stabilize the process of metabolic wasting (also known as “cachexia”) in late-stage cancer patients.

This approach together with natural remedies-especially homeopathy and hydrotherapy-have all been shown to be effective in raising a person’s immune response, optimizing their detoxification systems, and shortening recovery time.

For those who have not done a fast before, it is important to remember to drink a lot of water and add some pink Himalayan or other sea salt. One teaspoon per quart is a good start and can help symptoms of lightheadedness. If such symptoms continue after drinking more liquids with salt, one should then consider a light broth, such as bone broth or Bieler broth to maintain optimal electrolyte balance.

This time during a fast is not only a time to break from food but should also be a break from mental and physical exertion, as a time to rest, reflect, and recuperate both body and mind. A naturopathic adage states “Often when a person gets sick it is because his brain is moving faster than his body can keep up.” Illness can arise from being so busy that the body is not given the time to rest, creating a way for the mind to unwind and the body to replenish itself. Our experience in naturopathic medicine has shown us this is so: acute illness is a reset button. 

Fasting along with hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and gentle movement like Iyengar yoga can encourage healing and recuperation of the body with benefits lasting well beyond the duration of an acute illness. Acute illnesses, in fact a necessary to heal deeper-seated, chronic issues, such as chronic infections, degenerative conditions and cancer.

If you are not comfortable to try this without more specific guidance because you have never fasted before, please do not hesitate to meet with one of our docs to support you through the process. We are also available for acute illness consults to support where needed.



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