Q: Could you tell me about some detox symptoms that I would experience if I go on an extended juice fast? Or if I were to do a water fast?
~Looking to Fast
A: Detox symptoms while fasting can vary from person to person. The main organs that are responsible for detox are the liver, lungs, kidneys and skin. Detox, however, is systemic and is experienced by all systems of the body.
Common liver symptoms include:
Common lung symptoms include:
Common kidney symptoms include:
Other common symptoms include:
These are the physical symptoms, however emotional detox occurs as well. Anger and anxiety were two emotions mentioned previously, but sadness, grief, rage, fear or over-worrying could also be experienced.
Over-worrying is a TCM term for thinking that goes round and round, and many persistent thoughts revolve around food. Indeed, there is quite the psychology when it comes to the mind. While using Western psychological strategies can be most useful, meditation is the key technique to watching the mind and its array of mindless chatter.
Many who fast speak about the spiritual connection. On an extended fast, thoughts may turn to one's mortality and the existential angst that it brings up --- a shift in perspective about the road traveled, what one values and treasures in life, and the path yet to be lived but filled with the desire for appreciation and wonderment.
Do note that detox symptoms may be present on a juice feast of 3-5 liters of juice, but will most certainly occur on a juice fast of 1-2 liters of juice, and on a water fast. I am making this distinction between "feast" and "fast" in terms of quantity of juice consumed. Of the three types of fast, juice feasting would be the easiest as the most amount of calories would be consumed, followed by juice fasting, followed by water fasting.
In terms of safety, juice feasting is pretty safe to do on your own. You may feel hungry because no meat, dairy, grains and fat are consumed, however sufficient calories are coming in. Juice fasting borders on being unsafe, depending on the duration of the fast and your previous experience with fasting. Water fasting is usually done at a retreat center, where your vital signs can be monitored. Water fasting for a short duration of time (1-3 days) could be beneficial for you or for others experiencing an acute health issue, such as severe digestive distress (e.g. severe bloating and gas), flu or food poisoning. Since extended water fasting has been shown to be an excellent method of ridding the body of toxins, as well as helping with a host of issues, including edema, high blood pressure and digestive disturbances, you may want to further investigate The True North Health Center and Tanglewood Wellness Center.
To your happy detox adventures,
is a Health Practitioner with a Background in Chinese Medicine. Get in Some of her Savvy Adivce When She Answers Your Health Question.
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