The aim of fasting may be reduction of weight, improvement of health or to remove a certain ailment of the body. Signs of special improvements on account of fasting are seen in every situation, though, in case of reduction of weight, the signs observed are fewer.
The physical excitement during the fasting, creates a feeling of joy in most parts of the body. A person feels more pleasure in fasting than in taking food. He starts feeling a natural dislike for food. Therefore, these types of patients appear calm, contented and cheerful from the start of their fasts, because they feel very restful. Most people feel very little pain during the fasts.
The blame for the normal excitement, trouble, pain or agony felt in the body during the fasts, is passed on to the fasts. To a certain extent this is true also, but as the fasts are continued for a longer period, all these troubles start vanishing. Such troubles start in the beginning of the fasts due to the special condition of our body cells, but as the cells get cleansed, the troubles too, end.
The people who are addicted to alcoholic drinks or smoking and those who always take very spicy foods, feel much more trouble in the early days of fasting. In the absence of such things which they have to skip, they feel nervous, angry, etc. and they vomit and do not sleep well. Uneasiness and pain is felt in the body. They suffer from severe headache. This painful situation does exist for some days. Therefore, it is not proper to be apprehensive about it and break the fast. After some days the situation changes and the patient returns to his normal condition.
Sometimes, the fasting person is given fruits and rest of mind to save him from such a situation. According to me this is not proper. This creates hindrance in fasting because after a light diet for two or three days, the same troubles repeat. On account of this trouble, sometimes, persons who want to have a long fast have to give up the fasts and the period of the fasts has to be lengthened. It is better for a person to fight out the troubles. If the first five days of the fasts are observed courageously as per rules, later on all the painful signs vanish for ever.
In the beginning of the fasts, some physical changes do occur, depending in each individual. Some times a heaviness in tongue is felt, bad smell may be given out from the mouth or breathing, teeth may be sticky. Symptoms of fever may be felt in the mouth, tongue, breathing, etc. There is nothing to fear from such physical signs or changes. When a person is fasting for the removal of some chronic disease, these signs continue for a few days. The patient surely feels uneasy due to these changes, but it informs us that the inner cleansing of the body organs is going on. All harmful substances - all debris, excreta, urine, perspiration, etc. - slowly leave the body. Later, the tongue becomes clean, mouth fresh and breathing clean, after ejection of the unwanted, polluting substances. At last, at the proper time, the patient feels really well and hungry.
Urination during the fasts is regular but the color of the urine changes after a few hours and some difficulty is alto felt in passing the urine. The urine of some patients is dark in color and stinking. But after a week or two of fasting according to the condition of the patient, the urine is regular, clean, odorless, natural and is passed without any trouble. From this change in urination, it can be concluded that the kidneys have to overwork for cleansing the accumulated waste. This waste is being thrown out through the urine. When the cleansing is complete, the urine assumes its normal color and form. Important cells of the body have to utilize the nutritive substances stored in advance. They get energized from these substances only and cleanse the body quickly. As the unwanted cells are destroyed, the excess weight of the body, is reduced quickly. This weight loss is also considered as a cleansing programme. At the same time symptoms of health improvement are also observed.
In the early days of fasting, the weight reduces very quickly. Obese persons lose more weight, more quickly than the lean persons. Sometimes, even lean persons also lose more weight, more quickly, just as the obese ones, on account of more waste substances accumulated in the body. This loss remains only during the early days of fasting. A normal person loses up to about 3-4 kg. everyday and an obese one loses 2-3 kg. But after some days, the rate of weight loss is slower. During the end days of long fasts, the daily loss is even less than 1/8 kg.
Weak persons should not be afraid of fasting, because their weight will increase rather than decrease. The weight of such persons can be increased by giving them a little food during the fasts. Therefore, it is wrong to believe that fasting benefits only the obese persons.
Sometimes, weakness is experienced during the fasts, because the routine processes of the body are slightly obstructed. The organs and the tissues of the body have an opportunity to rest during the fasting. Therefore they, too, work slowly. The heart throbs at a slower rate, blood circulation is slower, breathing is less, and the muscles of the body reduce their work. Especially the tired, sick body feels relief and rests. This is the desired condition. The body regains its full strength, after it is cleansed. The feeling of energy is experienced after the fasts, long before the food intake is started. This is why, a little weakness for a few days should not be considered when compared with the physical advantages accrued through the fasts.
Some people start worrying about fasting in advance. Such people imagine the pain, produced during the cleansing of the body during the fast, to be far greater than the real one. But all these troubles do not occur in all the stages of fasting. Very few such examples of pain are seen. There is no rule about it. Most of the people are not found suffering from such little troubles. Sometimes, the cleansing process of the body is completed without any trouble. If some painful situation arises sometime, it should be welcomed warmly, because it is surely for the well-being of the patient.
Sometimes, some boils or pimples are seen on the skin during fasting, but it should also be considered as a result of the cleansing process. Sometimes giddiness is felt and may result in swooning. The heart-throbs increase and other such symptoms are seen but we should not be frightened. There is no danger in this situation.
Severe feeling of uneasiness and vomiting show the worst situation during fasting. This is a testing time and an effect of physical weakness is also felt but it is very beneficial to the body. Sometimes, on the first day of fasting or later the feeling of uneasiness is experienced. The patient may vomit also. Generally, this happens due to the abstinence from food for a few days. Sometimes, vomiting takes place after a fast of about four weeks.
Why does vomiting start? Generally, phlegm and bile increase in the liver along with water. The liver has to work for a long time to cleanse these substances. They are thrown in the stomach for many days which, later on, are thrown out of the body in the form of vomiting. Whatever the troubles of the person on fast in this tough test, he is compensated in another way. The vomiting situation lasts from one to seven days. As soon as it stops, the body regains enough energy.
If continuous vomiting lasts for more days and even water is thrown out, it must be realized that the health of the patient is not in good shape. This happens because of dehydration. This should be considered a serious condition and the fasts must be discontinued immediately. Much water is lost by the body due to continuous vomiting and the patient becomes very weak. In such a situation, the patient regains his energy after many days. If the patient suffers from diarrhoea along with vomiting, it should be taken very seriously. Such situations however, are seen on very rare occasions.
If the vomiting does not stop after a short time, the fasts should be terminated. When even water is not retained, how can food be digested? In such a condition, various fruit juices should be given, which the patient can digest. Only later on, the food should be given. Generally, it rarely happens that a patient suffers from both, the vomitting and the diarrhoea. But it does occur sometimes. This may occur at any time during fasting. During that time the phlegm, bile and other waste material accumulated are thrown out. This should be considered as a part of the body cleansing process.