Dr. Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist (kidney specialist) and a world-leading expert on intermittent fasting. He has written three best-selling health books and co-founded the Intensive Dietary Management program.
Dr. Fung specializes in reversing diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity through routine water fast.
What exactly is fasting? Dr. Fung explains fasting is defined as the voluntary absence of food for spiritual, health, or religious reasons. Fasting is voluntary, meaning you choose not to eat it; while starvation is not knowing when food will be available to eat.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that provide your body’s natural defense and help fight infection. It is made up of organs like your thymus gland, that produces antibodies against invading bacteria and viruses, in addition to your lymph nodes and lymphatic system that filter lymph fluid and trap organisms and other foreign substances so that your white blood cells can destroy them.
The immune system also includes bone marrow, a soft tissue found in the bones of your arms, legs, pelvis and spine, that produces white blood cells to protect you against infection and promote the healing of damaged cells after injury and trauma , and the spleen which filters your blood to remove old or damaged blood cells .
The migration of white blood cells to areas of injury and cell damage is a necessary part of the acute inflammatory process that is essential to a healthy functioning immune system. But keep in mind that all cells of the body have a limited life span and will age and become less functional over time. However, when white blood cells become less functional, your immune system can be compromised interfering with your ability to heal and making you more prone to infection.
Water Only Fasting Supports the Immune System
Water only fasting redirects body cells away from growth, promoting repair, maintenance and healing. When growth is inhibited in water only fasting, the process of autophagy is increased. Autophagy directs the body to recycle the damaged parts of old worn out cells and remove and/or repair damaged cells. So that after just 4 days of water only fasting there is a remarkable stem cell activation and production of new functional white blood cells which enhances and reboots your immune system.
In addition, lifestyle factors including a diet high in salt, sugar, processed oils , meat and dairy products and chronic stress can promote chronic inflammation/cell damage and compromise the immune system; even urging the body to turn against itself and promote auto-immune disease like Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, water only fasting, even for short periods, is one of the most powerful approaches for resolving inflammation and the complications of autoimmune disease.
In the UK, fasting and a follow up plant-based diet significantly resolved the complications and laboratory markers associated with RA. After four weeks, a test group that completed a 7-10 day water-only fast, followed by a gluten-free, plant-based vegan diet, had a significant decrease in the number of swollen joints, a decrease in the duration of morning stiffness, an increase in grip strength, and a remarkable decrease in the bio-markers for inflammation and RA, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and white blood count.
Enjoy a Medically Supervised Water-Only Fast at Balance for Life
Keep in mind that your body, in its wisdom, knows what belongs in it and what does not. And during a water-only fast, it will eliminate what it needs least to support what it needs most. So for example, it needs vital organs like heart, brain, kidney, liver etc. but it does not need tumors, cysts, stones and growths.
The Balance for Life Retreat in Deerfield Beach, Florida (BalanceForLifeFlorida.com) is one of the few programs in the world that does medically supervised water-only fasting and the only one located directly on the ocean.
Genes are the functional units of heredity comprised of spiraling sequences of DNA. According to the Human Genome Project, there are 20-25,000 genes contained in the chromosomes of every cell in the human body. Genes provide the blueprint that transcribes all the proteins that are necessary for the function of all body cells and systems as well as all of the traits of our physical and psychological identity.
Unfortunately, many people sell themselves short by feeling completely defined, limited and even imprisoned by the deck of genetic cards they were dealt at birth. So that you often hear people exclaim that because their parents or grandparents had diabetes, or heart disease or some form of cancer, etc. they would likely develop the same problems. Even worse is when people discover that they have some genetic construct, like BRCA genes in women that may predispose them to the development of breast cancer, that makes them feel like they have no choice but to opt for some medical intervention that can compromise their health or be coerced to surrender their vital body parts to surgical mutilation for fear of what “may” happen.
You Can Help Change Your Genetic Blueprint!
It is so important to realize that you do not have to feel handicapped by your trans-generational genetic hand-me-downs. Burgeoning research in the study of epigenetic effects strongly suggests that outside environmental factors and lifestyle choices can modify gene expression without changing the hardwired inherited sequence of DNA nucleotides that make up your genes. This provides a remarkable opportunity for hopeful positive change and is an exquisite example of how modern scientific observation of the integral sublime function of the body connects with and reinforces the profound ancient wisdom of Natural Hygiene.
Routine, healthy lifestyle choices, especially plant-based nutrition, stress management techniques and physical activity can dramatically alter how genes function and may reduce the deterioration and morbidity from heart disease, cancer, immune disorders, and depression while even slowing down the aging process. Conversely, risky lifestyle choices can ultimately promote similar disease and breakdown in different people regardless of their genetic backgrounds. An example of this is the growing pandemics of obesity, heart disease, colon and reproductive cancers in Japan, China and other parts of Asia that did not exist when the Asian populations were eating more of their ancestral plant-based diets. However as they continue to saturate their diets with more animal protein, saturated fat, dairy products and refined sugar similar to people in the US and other western nations, they continue to develop the same devastating chronic diseases as these western nations regardless of their obvious genetic differences from non- Asians living in the West.
Your genetic blueprint can predispose you to any number of positive and negative conditions and changes. But what you choose to do, and the environment that you create on a routine basis in your life, goes a long way to determining how your genetic background expresses itself and whether any of your negative predispositions become concrete outcomes.
You must know that you don’t have to drown in your own gene pool. It is so important to realize and embrace the power of personal choice. It is so important to free yourself from the genetic constraints and fears that may dominate your concerns and realize that your genetic foundation is a shimmering tapestry capable of profound modification and change.
Simple constructive lifestyle choices of plant-based nutrition, consistent exercise, and activities that promote psychological poise and stress management dramatically promote healthy gene expression and reduce the devastating causes and effects of disease and aging.
Fasting is an exceptionally ancient, and powerful, approach to healing many common disease conditions. It allows the body to rest, detoxify, and to heal. During fasting the body moves into the same kind of detoxification cycle that it normally enters during sleep. It uses its energy during a fast, not for digesting food, but for cleansing the body of accumulated toxins and healing any parts of it that are ill.
As a fast progresses the body consumes everything that it can that is not essential to bodily functioning. This includes bacteria, viruses, fibroid tumors, waste products in the blood, any build up around the joints, and stored fat. The historical record indicates that human beings are evolutionarily designed to fast. It is an incredibly safe approach to healing and the body knows how to do it very well.
The Physiological Changes of Fasting
Many of the most dramatic changes that occur in the body during fasting take place on the first three days of the fast. These occur as the body switches from one fuel source to another. Normally, the primary form of energy the body uses for energy is glucose, a type of sugar. Most of this is extracted or converted from the food we eat. Throughout the day, the liver stores excess sugar in a special form called glycogen that it can call on as energy levels fall between meals. There is enough of this sugar source for 8-12 hours of energy and usually, it is completely exhausted within the first 24 hours of fasting. (However, once the body shifts over to ketosis or fat as fuel, this new fuel is used to also restore the body’s glycogen reserves.)
Once the liver’s stores of glycogen are gone, the body begins to shift over to what is called ketosis or ketone production – the use of fatty acids as fuel instead of glucose. This shift generally begins on the second day of fasting and completed by the third. In this interim period there is no glucose available and energy from fat conversion is insufficient but the body still needs fuel. So it accesses glucose from two sources. It first converts glycerol, available in the body’s fat stores, to glucose but this is still insufficient. So it makes the rest that it needs from catabolizing, or breaking down, the amino acids in muscle tissue, using them in the liver for gluconeogenesis, or the making of glucose.
From the third day onward the rate of the breakdown of fatty acids from adipose or fat tissue continues to increase, hitting its peak on the tenth day. This seven day period, after the body has shifted completely over to ketosis, is where the maximum breakdown of fat tissue occurs. As part of protein conservation, the body also begins seeking out all non-body-protein sources of fuel: nonessential cellular masses such as fibroid tumors and degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses, or any other compounds in the body that can be used for fuel.
This is part of the reason that fasting produces the kind of health effects it does. Also, during this period of heightened ketosis the body is in a similar state as the one that occurs during sleep – a rest and detoxification cycle. It begins to focus on the removal of toxins from the body and the healing and regeneration of damaged tissues and organs.
The historically lengthy claim that fasting increases life span is beginning to garner some support in research literature. Regularly repeated 4-day fasting has been found to increase the life span in normal and immunocompromised mice.
Although the use of fasting in the treatment of cancer is controversial, there is some emerging data SHOWING that fasting helps prevent cancer. Intermittent fasting (2 days weekly) has shown an inhibitory effect on the development of liver cancer in rats.
Most People Should Fast Under Supervision
While most people can fast safely there are some that should do so only under the supervision of a health professional experienced in fasting for healing. Dr. Frank Sabatino supervises all guests on water-only fasts and our juicing program at Balance for Life Retreat, Florida.
Experts believe that the main cause of these diseases is unhealthy eating. And this is only one group of diseases. In fact, up to 90% of diseases are directly related to bad eating. It reduces human life by 2-3 times – all the while a constant struggle with various chronic illnesses is pervasive. Collectively, cardiovascular disease (including stroke), cancer, and diabetes account for approximately two thirds of all deaths in the United States and about $700 billion in direct and indirect economic costs each year. Current approaches to health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes do not approach the potential of the existing state of knowledge, especially as it pertains to living naturally.
Proper healthy eating and exercise along with healthy attitudes is a prevention of disease. Someone who leads a healthy lifestyle is not as afraid of getting sick. Such people are always cheerful, active, more durable and resilient, and they live longer. But if you are already sick and you don’t follow the principles of healthy living, then you should learn the principles and practices of a healthy lifestyle by reading, attending lectures and even visiting a destination wellness retreat like Balance for Life. Gradually over time, you will move to a healthier way of being.
The Choices We Make Can Help or Hinder the Aging Journey.
Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age and that doesn’t change just because you have a few more grey hairs. As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including career changes and retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones, and physical changes. How we handle and grow from these changes is the key to staying healthy. These tips can help you maintain your physical and emotional health and live life to the fullest, whatever your age.
A key ingredient in the recipe for healthy aging is the continuing ability to find meaning, purpose and joy in life. As you age, your life will change and you will gradually lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. But this is not a time to stop moving forward, no matter your age. Life can be a time of exciting new adventures if you let it.
What’s more, a natural lifestyle as a foundation may play an important role in mood and mental health. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, a healthy diet is associated with a lower incidence of depression, anxiety disorders and mild depression than a typical diet high in sugar, processed foods and alcohol.
If a health-related quality of life—and not longevity—is the key goal for you (and it should be), then it is captured only partly by the existing mortality and morbidity indexes. Adding life to years, not years to life, is the current agenda for productive and successful aging.
Perhaps it’s time to visit us for a commitment to lifestyle renewal – make a reservation today!
Exercises, healthy food, relaxing and good sleep are the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle and can be experienced at a wellness destination resort and spa. You can even carry the new habits you learned back home with you.
The statement above most of us have heard on more than one occasion. Sure, that is great, but how do you do it when your life is crazy busy? You will have to figure out the ‘how’, but we can sure give you plenty of reasons ‘why.’ Once you have enough good reasons, you will find a way. Please read on.
Wellness programs at beautiful locations are the emerging trend and demonstrate a growing desire to rejuvenate one’s youth and sustain a healthy wellness lifestyle. As a large percentage of the population grows older, we begin to look for non-traditional ways to anti-age and rejuvenate. Nevertheless, with the support of trendsetters even the younger generation is beginning to understand that taking care of their bodies today will slow down the aging clock of tomorrow.
Many people consider visiting wellness spas several times per year in order to jump start a healthy lifestyle, relax after a stressful working period, for rejuvenation or to heal their bodies. Doing this from home may not be enough.
Health and wellness are hot topics around the globe, and they have been for years. However, the percentage of adults around the world who are considered overweight has increased by nearly 30% over the past 30 years – according to Nielsen study.
The good news, however, is that there are obesity experts at many wellness resorts that deal not only with the physiology of weight loss, but the psychological factors too. And, consumers everywhere are taking steps to take charge of their health including their weight loss goals. Eliminating or reducing the sugar, bad fats and high sodium contents of junk foods is part of the learning curve of spa guests in order to establish good habits throughout the rest of the year.
Few of us like to think of ourselves as stressed: we do not want to believe we could be so weak or that our circumstances are so debilitating. We like to think of stress as what happens to others, without realizing how susceptible we may be ourselves. Serious illness, death or divorce, are not the only challenges people face in life. Our destination resort spa can be a good place for people to rejuvenate and restore their lives.
Make your reservation today at Balance for Life Florida, right on the ocean!
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