There are several reasons to go on a liquid cleanse such as weight loss, detoxification, or to break food addictions—all great overall health goals you can accomplish through cleansing.
But the most successful liquid cleanse begins with a deep-seeded desire for physical and/or spiritual healing. When you have a spiritually-based desire to cleanse and heal your body, then cleansing is always more successful.
Why do I say this?—because for every physical illness, there are spiritual and emotional roots of the illness that must also be cleansed. In the process of cleansing physically, your mind and spirit are re-awakened and rejuvenated.
That deep desire will serve you well when you take on what I consider to be the most powerful cleanse of all. This special cleanse will seem quite difficult at first. You may even be tempted to give up. But if you stick with it, you’ll find it is really only slightly uncomfortable for a couple of days, and then quite comfortable. And I can guarantee you won’t be thirsty…
Like the name suggests, a “water fast” is a cleanse where you consume no calories from food, and you only drink water for at least 3, and up to 14, days.
Does that sound crazy and terribly difficult?
It’s not, really, because typically by the end of the third day your hunger shuts off as you begin detoxifying.
Water fasting allows your body to release unwanted stored chemicals, quiets your immune system if inflamed, and normalizes your metabolism. Actually, water fasting is quite common in the animal kingdom. Animals know how to fast instinctively when sick, and wild animals instinctively know which herbs to seek out for their cure.
The late Dr. Herbert Shelton (1928-1981) is credited for spreading the news about the success of water fasting in reversing disease. Dr. Shelton is reported to have overseen more than25,000 patients who fasted from 3 to over 60 days. According to Dr. Shelton, “the sick get well, the well get better, and all gain the priceless knowledge needed to stay well.”
Thanks to Dr. Shelton’s pioneering, water fasting is accepted within the medical community today, and considered to be safe and effective. From reversing anxiety, depression and neurosis… to lowering high blood pressure and easing many illnesses in between, water fasting has had astonishing results.
For example, one Japanese clinic achieved an 87 percent success rate in treating psychosomatic disease through water fasting, as reported in a 1979 issue of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
For lowering blood pressure, water fasting provides dramatic results. In a 2001 study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy, researchers measured blood pressure in 174 patients who drank only water for an average of 10 ½ days…followed by a 7-day re-introduction of food using a vegan diet.
The most impressive results occurred among those with systolic blood pressure greater than 180 mg Hg (normal is below 140) and with diastolic blood pressure greater than 110 mg Hg (normal is below 90). On average, among this group there was an amazing reduction of systolic blood pressure by 60 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 17 mm Hg even after seven days of eating the vegan diet.
The proof is in the pudding, or water in this case, because all who entered the study on blood pressure medication successfully discontinued their use—with no adverse effects!
In another interesting study reported in the November 1993 issue of the Lancet, ninety-three Crohn’s (inflammatory bowel disease) patients were put on a 14-day liquid-only diet—and an impressive 84 percent of them achieved immediate remission.
To be successful you’ll want to prepare your body and mind. You’ll need to set aside time to be at rest and at peace. I advise two days of ‘pre-cleanse’ foods such as only raw fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, and fresh juicing (in smoothies if you like) but no baked grains (bread), meat, dairy, cheese, or processed foods.
Also, when coming off of a water fast you’ll want to introduce fresh juices (use your juicer) first, then smoothies, then solid raw and cooked produce, then finally meats over as many days as you were on your water fast.
8 health benefits of water fasting
Understand that this is a seriously effective way to reverse disease. Remember that water fasting will do the following for health and much more:
- Rest and clean up your digestive tract (and is the best time to take probiotics)
- Wake up your taste buds for natural foods and stop unhealthy food addictions
- Shrink your stomach and prepare you to consume the normal amount of food so you don’t have to eat large amounts of food to feel nourished
- Clear up skin inflammation, especially acne (but be aware that skin eruptions may be worse during the detoxification phase and then clear up afterwards)
- Normalize high blood pressure
- Partially reverse painful arthritis
- Significantly dry up leg edema
- Quiet down allergic reactions such as asthma and seasonal allergies
Here are two prototypical case histories of my patients who went on water fasting:
Randall is a 45 year-old man who weighed 330 pounds at the time. He drank only water and Whey powder in hot water (for electrolyte replacement) for 14 days. On day 3 he reported that his hunger subsided to a very comfortable level and reported increased energy levels during his entire water fast.
He lost 20 pounds in the process.
He went off his water fast by juicing vegetables and fruits for several days which he loved. During this and for several weeks, he experienced power over his previous sugar addiction.
Philip is a periodontist who suffered from high blood pressure, a hiatal hernia, lung congestion, difficulty breathing, dry mouth, feet and leg swelling, headaches, nasal and sinus congestion, and obesity.
He went on water-only fasting for one week and stopped all his medications. He lost 23 pounds, normalized his blood pressure (off medications) from a baseline of 190/95 down to 145/78, cleared up his nasal passages, resolved his headaches, completely resolved his leg and ankle swelling, and his breathing returned to normal.
If a 3 to 14 day cleanse seems too long for you, consider an occasional saltwater flush. It’s easy, relatively quick and very effective. Patients report feeling cleaner: If there are toxins clinging to your intestinal walls, they’re gone by the time the flush is over. I’ve put together an instructional booklet you can download at this link.
To feeling great,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
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