There are numerous types of fasting, all of which offer the same many healing benefits. Oftentimes, it seems people develop a preference for one certain type or method, and then feel as if the other methods are inferior.
In actuality, all types of fasting have something to offer. Depending on each person's individual lifestyle, health issues, goals, and body chemistry, different methods of fasting will be appropriate for different people. You can choose a method that is appropriate for you right now. And, since all things change, tomorrow you may choose differently. Nothing could be more natural.
There is nothing to lose in attempting a fast. There is no failure, for even if you "fail" to achieve your stated goal, you will have learned and experienced much of value.
Use the information here to find, or create, a method of fasting that feels right for you now, that fits your goals and your lifestyle, and that you feel a motivation (not dread) toward.
All types of fasting give the same multitude of benefits. You don't need to do a fast with the word "cleanse" or "detox" in it to rid your body of unwanted toxins. Nor do you need to do a "spiritual" fast in order to benefit spiritually. All types of fasting will lead you on a path to better and higher places.
Your job is to pick among the types of fasting, one that appeals to you, and will work within your lifestyle and responsibilities. Keep in mind, the more severe the fast, the poorer your diet has been, and the less preparation you make, the more detox "symptoms" you are likely to have. For some people, these can be uncomfortable enough to force them into bed.
My first water fast had me, at the end of the first day, in bed with the worst migraine I'd ever had. I had done zero preparation for this fast and was suffering for it. Life responsibilities were such that I chose to end the fast a little early so I could return to functionality. Within a couple hours of breaking it (with a little piece of fruit), I was at least able to get around.
fruit fasts are more gentle as the
detoxing occurs more gradually. I've done many fruit fasts and have always felt relatively good -- no
severe pain or discomfort, just a few aches or a slight headache.
Weigh the options and take an honest look at your life and how much you can sacrifice. Doing a fast that will create strong cleansing and detoxing symptoms will require a lot more dedication from you. Do you have someone to take over your responsibilities? How uncomfortable are you willing to be? How much discomfort can you tolerate? Taking pain killers during a fast is definitely NOT a good idea.
Do you like the idea of cleansing without a great deal of discomfort? It is absolutely possible, and some professionals feel it is healthier to avoid the extreme symptoms, citing the dangers of releasing too many toxins into the blood stream at one time. So you absolutely can take it slower and more comfortably.
A good plan is to start with one-day juice or fruit fasts. Do this once per week until you have few or no detox symptoms, then try a 16-hour or one-day water fast. Slow is always the way to go, whether you're fasting for weight loss or for detox. Eventually, when you've rid your body of years of stored toxins and pollutants, you will be able to enjoy the fasting highs others talk about, without any unpleasant side effects.
For general information about getting started with fasting, read Information on Fasting, which is geared toward the beginner, and provides a good overview of a one-day fast.
No matter which type of fasting you choose, click here for more information on how long to fast. Different lengths have different considerations. This page includes a link to the association of professional fasting overseers which you should consider using for longer fasts.
Intermittent fasting offers alternative
regimens for fasting, such as alternate day and one meal per day.