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Fasting: Going Beyond Three Days

 As a person who has not been able to go beyond the three day period, I would be very interested in reading what the rules and guidelines for fasting are. What is allowed in the body . . . such as water; otherwise a week is a death sentence. There are also physical restrictions concerning nourishment (of some form) and after, I believe 7 days, one becomes unable to respond in a manner that one is able to replenish and save his/her own life. I am also of the onderstanding that 40 days and 40 nights is a phrase of the time that should be interpreted as “for a very long time” and not be taken as a day count.   Might you elaborate a bit on THAT?  (signed Pete)
Thanks for writing.  I’m not writing as a doctor, but as someone who has fasted personally and has known plenty of others who have done so.
Generally, most people don’t recommend fasting without water.  I’ve actually known people who have fasted all food and water for 1-7 days, but these are generally more extreme types of fasts.  I’ve known numerous people who have gone on water fasts for varying lengths of time.  My father has been on several 40 day water-only fasts, for which, see the article on this site about his most recent one a few years back:  http://www.walkwithgod.com/2008/04/79-year-old-man-completes-40-day-water-fast/
I’ve personally met or known about 10 people who have done water-only 40 day fasts.
The reading I did as a teenager and as a college student on the subject of fasting indicates that the body goes into a cleansing mode once food is no longer being taken in.  The longer one goes, the more deeply the cleansing occurs.
I just completed a 6 day colon cleanse.  It was similar to a fast in that I was only drinking water for the majority of it.  I was taking raw psyllium husk tablets and bentonite for the cleansing, along with parasite treatment capsules.  This wasn’t a fast, per se, but I was doing it as a means of trying to keep my body in proper shape.  There are plenty of websites that detail this type of body purification based around Dr Jensen’s method.  I went into details with my children about what was happening with my body each day, showed them my tongue when it became white and coated after 3-4 days as my body was purging itself of toxins, described each day’s level of weakness or nausea.  About the 4th day I got over the nausea.  It used to be 3 days almost like clockwork.  After 5 days I didn’t really feel hungry.  On the 5th day, I started drinking a little fruit juice mixed with the water just to give me some carbs to make it a little easier to concentrate on work items.  Again, this wasn’t purely for religious/devotional purposes, but was still a good thing to do for my body.
Practical things to do BEFORE fasting?  Lay off caffeine and sugar. It’ll make it easier on your body to not have to be going through withdrawal while you are also dealing with the fasting itself.  Caffeine, being a drug, does have side effects when a person goes off it cold turkey.  Headaches and nausea are pretty common.  If you clear that out of your system before actually fasting, it’ll make life easier.
I hope this helps.  If you have any more questions, feel free to write.

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