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Science of Spiritual Fasting

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Kathleen Summers

on 5 May 2013

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Transcript of Science of Spiritual Fasting

The Science of Spiritual Fasting Kathleen Summers MD PhD
Certified Yoga Teacher 500-hr Spiritual Fasting Short-term Fasting Skipping Breakfast! Who should not fast... Long-term Fasting Benefits How to Fast Why not? What's up? Pregnant or breast feeding

Kidney disease
Liver disease
Medications Most common time frame: 14 to 24 hours

Usually - no consuming of any food
When allowed - usually no meat or dairy ? holistic prayer - integrates body and spirit heals relationship with Divine stand in solidarity with poor and hungry cannot appreciate light without darkness bring body back into awareness affirming spirit in matter YOGA saucha - observance of purity "Fasting controls passion. It checks the emotions. " "... purifies the mind and the heart."

"...controls the tongue in particular, which is
the deadliest enemy of man." "Fasting overhauls the respiratory, circulatory,
digestive and urinary systems. It destroys all the
impurities of the body and all sorts of poisons." Swami Sivananda YOGA "If you cannot fast for the full 24 hours, at least fast for 10 to 12 hours and then take some milk and fruit. Gradually increase your fast to 15 hours and then up to 24 hours. Fasting makes a man strong, both spiritually and mentally."
-- Swami Sivananda 24-hour fasts - water only Gheranda Samhita (V:31) 17 - 19 hour fasts every day to diminish believers' dependence on material goods, purify their hearts and establish solidarity with the poor to encourage charitable works during the year. autophagy
insulin - cancer/DM
blood pressure
LDL cholesterol
new brain cells
turns on genes Less cancer formation
Less cancer growth and spread
less heart disease
improves brain function
less dementia
less pain
weight loss - targets belly fat How? 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health Balances anabolism and catabolism - clean out the cupboards 10 Reasons to Fast Resets circadium clock - regain a natural rhythm --> obesity
--> diabetes
--> mental problems
--> insomnia
--> heart disease
--> cancer Broken clocks lead to: 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health 10 Reasons to Fast to improve your health Turns on longevity genes regulate the expression of genes
increase the ability to resist stress
improve energy efficiency
decrease inflammation
markedly increase life span - resist stress and improve energy efficiency Longevity genes produce sirtuins. Increases protective proteins - escort damaged cells out Heat Shock Protein - 70 Stimulates natural growth hormone - increase muscle mass and burn fat stimulates growth of sarcomeres
increases lipolysis
stimulates immune system
increases ability to hold on to calcium for stronger bones 30% Increases oxidative phosphorylation nutrition + oxygen = energy Stimulates immune system - reduce allergies, asthma, inflammation C- Reactive Protein (CRP)
Tumor necrosis factor Reduces: Increases: ghrelin Increases brain neurotrophic factors - grow new brain cells with stronger connections More BDNF and GDNF keeps brain cells from dying
helps new brain cells form
effects how we think and process information effects how we process pain --> feel less
helps resist diseases of brain aging Decreases oxidative stress - neutralize free radicals Free Radicals aging
brain degeneration
heart attacks and strokes
liver damage
toxic manifestations of diabetes - react with DNA, proteins, and fats to cause damage Hypothesized to cause: 1. Glutathione depleted after 48 hours 2. Lose muscle mass Time Both Yoga and Science say: 17 to 24 hour fasts Maximum 72 hours = 3 days Science - start with 18-hour overnight fast every other day for two weeks Yoga - once a week or twice a month 24-hour fasts (6 pm to noon) Start where you can. What can you have? No calories Enjoy: Water (ginger, mint, herbs) Green tea
Black coffee (Remember - sleeping 8 of those hours) Pre-fast Meal Fiber! to remove POPs (cancer, DM, obesity, heart disease) to remove methyl-mercury, cadmium to remove cholesterol (prevent gallstones) Prefast Meal Fortify! Eat plants. sunflower seeds
cruciferous veggies
onions & garlic
white fruits tomatoes/bell peppers
leafy greens
spices Post-Fast Meal Re-stock! - fiber, veggies, fruits Eat breakfast = Eat more total calories 1. Less healthy lifestyles overall (Mint chocolate chip Frappaccino = 680 calories) 2. Chicken or egg? overweight because skipped BF -
or skipped BF because overweight? 3. Overweight people under-report food intake excuse to indulge at lunch 4. Breakfast cereal manufacturers Kelloggs - eating BF makes you lose weight
- skipping BF makes you gain weight 5. Kids growing brains
poor, uneducated parents not eating well - NUTRITION Fasting validating physical body and mental body health benefits of 18 to 24-hour fasts Science
spiritual practice
thousands of years
across cultures
connect with the Divine for the spiritual body Lose Muscle Mass By Day 7 of Fasting
- losing 4 pounds of muscle per day Resets the Thyroid YO-YO Long-term Fasting Why not? 1. Glutathione depleted after 48 hours 2. Lose muscle mass 3. Resets the thyroid 4. Acidosis 5. Stress hormone levels increased 6. Vitamin deficiences 7. No fiber to clear POPs and cholesterol theYogaDr.com Visit our website to join the mailing list and sign up for a Facebook connection. Coming this summer...
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