What is it? Well its a way off fasting, known throughout the ages as it puts you into contact with your body, spirits, God and in relating to other people. Haven`t fasted before? Dont fret, its really not that hard and if done correctly it has amazing benefits overall. It jump-starts the immune system, replenishes skin cells speeds up recovery, in short you break old habits and make room for new good habits, or even better, it will change your inmost being completely. The pros are far too many to sum up and convey in any short-phrased introduction such as this. But let me say - It heals cancers, digestive diseases, conditions of the heart, lungs or kidney and the like, and perhaps it even heals unbelievers... ? Now, wouldn't that be something? Lets dive into this, head first !
Even though you might, at some point end up being or becoming the state, from the image above - dry-fasting is an absolute true method of fasting. A method where you abstain from pretty much everything (food AND water). These are the true fasts as practised by Moses, mentioned Exodus 34,28 and Deuteronomy 9,18, and lasted for 40 days.
But also by the likes of Ezra (Ezra) 10,6 which has an undisclosed length of fasting time, prophets like Daniel and Elijah and even the whole nation of ancient Hebhere (Hebrews) for a whole 40 days (1. Kings 19,8), lets not forget the Ninevites along with their animals (Jonah 3,7), Apostle Paul did so (perhaps involuntarily) for 3 days (Acts 9,9) and The Saviour Himself, Manwele the Christ, for 40 days alone and out in the desert, without water or food (Matthew 4,2).
If we look for modern and more contemporary sources of true fasting (or dry fasting) the Russians has actually for some time been practising this way of fasting. Although none of these writings has been translated (professionally anyways), so they remain largely unknown to the west. Being a consumer society, then wouldn't be to happy having people finding out that if they stop overeating and buying their terrible food, they could very easily and quickly regain their precious health. Without ever consulting a doctor or health care `professional`. But hold your horses, continue on the road to research before you begin - and please do this right. You are responsible for your temple and health in every way.
Now, if you glance through Tonya Zanvastas book Quantum Eating (2007) or go to places such as The Fasting Connection, you will be utterly fascinated by some of the claims these sources make. The name Sergei Ivanovich Filonov will undoubtedly pop up if you continue in these lines of research, leaving you with a treasure trove of information.
This MD (Dr. Filonov) has been conducting dry fast research with patients going on something like 20 years. His book Dry Medical Fasting: Myths & Reality (2008) gives some general and sound advice and may be used as a companion in a true dry fasting. Although keep in mind that no thorough translation is yet available, and it reads kinda like google translate. The general gist and keynotes of the book continues below.
Now, there are two kinds of fasts, hard and soft. A dry fast, does not allow ANY water to even touch their body, which means no washing of dishes, no baths or showers, no brushing teeth, etc. No Water. A softer dry fast allows their body to come into contact with water in the forms of the above. This is because when you dry fast the pours of the skin develops a great capacity to absorb water through the skinn (it absorbs pretty much everything, from oils to perfumes, its all in there, inside your being), absorbing everything from the moisture in the air to the outputs of your local factory or industrial outlet. But dont fret, fast and the chains will loosen...
In the words of Frederick Franson (1852-1908):
And during this periods of elimination of toxins and choosing a different environment as your fasting arena - is the reason Filonov recommends undertaking a long dry fast up in the mountains (in the old school Biblical way) or out somewheres in nature. A place where the air is fresh, moist and pure (or at least somewhat). Therefore, being close to nature or Gods Creation, sleeping in a tent or next to some running water during their fast, is something highly recommended. Just as the Biblical characters undertook their fasts out in nature, for 40 days, the longest dry fast on record in modern times is (only) 18 days.
Something to think about...
Those so-called Desert Fathers and Mothers sure had some stuff figured out which we could learn from in this day and age. Here `s the thing though, without becoming a complete aesthetic most modern practitioners of dry fasting do not recommend going beyond 12 days, and they (including Filinov) purport undertaking several fasts before EVER attempting a dry fast. Filinov says start easy, with very short dry fasts, 36 hours once a week. After doing these kinds of fasts (36 hours) for awhile, a person can gradually increase their fasting duration to 2, 3 and even 4 days. The step of beginning deep cleaning of the tissue and long lasting healing of serious chronic illnesses however, Filinov recommends a protocol known as `fractionated` dry fast. In this method the person does a dry fast for 5-7 days, then re-hydrates (supplies the body with water( for 3 whole days, then goes on doing a second dry fast for 9-11 days. Doing this ensures that serious stuff being happening, and Filing says this method is extremely safe over time. But filing gives several other examples for people wanting or needing different approaches (in life) on their fasting journey.
In order for this method of fractioned fasting, to stick and achieving permanent healing results, you have to traverse two very separate `acidotic crisis`, the first one happening in the span of 3-5 days and the second between 9-11 days. BY breaking up the fast in fractions, it allows the person to go through the first crisis during the first fast and off course the second crisis during the second fast, reducing stress on the body from being forced to eliminate too much toxins, all at one time. Filing never recommends undertaking a fast for longer than 5 days without some sort of supervision. The problem is, no single doctor (health care professional even) have the slightest experience with dry fasts, so people are pretty much left to their own devices when wanting to use this very personal and efficient way of healing. But dont fret, God will help you through it.
Cascade Fasting 5/5
Another method of dry fasting, found too be safe by Filinov, is what he termed `cascade fasting`, which is fasting for one day, then eating the next day, then alternating with a fast for two days and eating for another two, then fast for three days and eating for three and so on until you approach the boundary of day number 5. By then you will quite literally have fasted quite efficiently for half of that month. Filing mentions in his book a medical doctor who cured himself of blood cancer by doing this 5/5 protocol in a year.
If people find these methods to strong or intimidating, you might find some guidance in a book called The Alternate Day Diet (2008) by James Burris Johnson advocated eating every other day for eight management and health maintenance. Burris did not have his patients fast completely for alternate days, but restricted their calories intake. Burris patents experienced remarkable benefits and overcame inflammatory diseases such as asthma, and people could stop taking their medications. This method of alternating could surely work for some, only the benefits are far greater by not eating anything on the fasting days, instead of only a little. But you know how the saying goes, you gotta master the milk before you eat the meat, right?
Healing of Disease
The vast ocean of ailments and diseases people might be suffering from, such as IBS (irritable bowel disease) or constipation, can through fasting show remarkable signs of improvements during only a short period of time. Even going the lengths of changing and improving diet will help dramatically in the process of healing a colon in distress. So, how much more will you heal through fasting and dieting?
When it comes to dry fasting, the body does not eliminate toxins in the same manner as during a normal water based fast. Instead of removing toxins through the normal `eliminatory` channels, such as skin, liver, kidneys, urine and bowel, this way of abstaining actually turns each and every cell (some more than others) into a tiny incinerator and literally burns up toxins inside of the cell itself. One marked of this is the fact that less (or no) body odour is detectable while dry fasting if compared to a water fast. One day of dry fast is thence said to be equivalent of three full days of fasting with water readily available, when it comes to detoxification. Therefore you accomplish much more in a shorter amount of time. This is particularly important for the modern day individual, that do not have time for a longer absence needed to complete a longer water fast, you won't have to skip work. And in fact, you will become much more productive at work after just a day, or 36 hours of dry fasting.
How to go about this? I would recommend, fast for 14-36 hours, hard or soft, it depends on the person and level of inflammation, then the most important point in coming off a dry fast is to rehydrate with water, as the good doctor Filonov and any other sane person would recommend - and then introduce a mild soup, bone broth or some nutritious blend (liquid, not to strong though). I favour figs, either ground up or mashes into a pulp. Although very few an far in between, and always sipping on water throughout the day of recuperation - the day after the fast.
People will argue about muscle mass and body fat, I will elegantly refrain from elaborating as well, everyone is different. And results will wary, the one certainty is that the water fast works quicker on the body. When it comes to recuperation time and returning to a normal function after say a 10 day dry fast is much faster than a 30 day water fast. Nevertheless the individual should plan and investigate into re-building time (as a thumb rule) twice the length of the dry fast. Example, after a 7 day fast you should plan for a 2 week recovery. What can happen is a surge of that energy you used to have as a young adult or even young adolescent, this is a sure way to either injury yourself or pull something old and stiff. Be careful and dont start overtraining or overworking. Give your body sufficient time to recover before engaging in any strenuous activity of the physical sort.
The exit of a dry fast is PARAMOUNT and don incorrectly your can definitely cause more harm than good. Filinos recommendation of breaking the fast by drinking two liters of water very slowly, holding and savouring each sip in the mouth as long as possible, over a two hour period, is a good way to start reintroducing something into your system. Then he recommends continuing drinking water for the next 12 hours, a sip at a time. Then you can start reintroducing foods and liquids. Filinov recommends making a fruit compote of dried figs, prunes, apricots and raisins (without sulphur and organic) cooked in water. He also recommends vegetable soups, fish broth and raw milk kefir (a sure winner!). Get those probiotics in there !
When it comes to what to eat for good health, thats another topic altogether, and should not be taken lightly and is a very individual matter all people should investigate seriously into. When the fast is broken though, you do most well by hydrating well enough until you try solid food. Remember this is not `cure` all kind of deal, but if the right conditions are provided you allow the body God gave you to heal on its own. Using Gods healing powers inherent to every human being. And if you choose to pray during your fast, well, then things being to get really interesting. Healing will occur, not only physically, both spiritually also. The wounds of the soul.
Illnesses having been healed or improved by dry fasting, according to Filinov: ovarian cysts, infection (parasite, viral, bacterial), tumours, arthritis, pneumonia, migraine, gastritis, ulcers, pancreatitis, IBS, diabetes, dermatitis, etc, etc, etc, etc...
* Keep in mind, that there are a number of conditions for which would be contradictory in undertaking any fast, such as: malignant tumors or blood conditions, tuberculosis, hyperthyroidism and other endocrine diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, heart arrhythmia, circulatory failure degrees II & III, underweight, pregnancy and lactation, being younger than 14 or older than 70 years of age. To be safe, check with your doctor, they are `good` at finding diagnosis in general although not at finding a long lasting remedy. But check with your doctor before deciding to embark upon a dry fast. Be careful and responsible, dont rush into it, easy away and results will come in time and with patience.*