This year has seen the creation and implementation of the Introduction to Water Fasting 7 Day Retreat created by Dr. Ariel Jones in response to the interest in fasting.
A bite sized amount of time to learn about fasting without having to commit to a length that feels intimidating or impossible. The 7 day water fast has a particular structure. Starting with juices to cleanse the gut, we gently transition into the water fasting and finish with reintroduction.
Here is the formula:
The reintroduction of foods must be done to transition back into regular eating following the fast. The length of the reintroduction should be half the length of the water fast. Enjoying fresh made vegan meals together at the end of the retreat is a celebration of pleasure as all the senses are heightened from the fast. Food has never tasted as fresh and delicious!
What do you do while you are fasting?
Going through a detox is a great time to reflect on our food habits and choices to see if there are changes you would like to make. We include specific programming into the week to enhance the detoxification process and teach new skills on living a healthier and more radiant life!
1. Skin Brushing
Helps to move the lymph fluid (aka as lymph tissue) from the periphery of the body, hand and feet to the heart where it can be processed and excreted. The lymph system is the sewer system of the body. All the cells in our body produce waste, as a by product of cellular metabolism (making energy!). This waste gets booted out of the cell and into the lymph. By using a skin brush we can help move this waste back to the heart, and into the liver and out through our fecal waste.
For more information click here
Enemas are administered in the morning and they help to move bile out of the body which is a byproduct of all the hard work the liver is doing, detoxifying our blood from the toxins and waste materials that are mobilized during a fast. Bile irritates the small intestine and can make people feel nauseous and uncomfortable. Learning how to perform an enema is a good skill to have especially for green coffee enemas, which can be useful for: detoxes, headaches, body pain, cancer, arthritis, liver issues, acne and hormonal imbalance.
This is a good opportunity to have colonics or colon hydrotherapy. Since we are not eating, and the body is already in the process of expelling unwanted toxins, it is an effective time for a colonic to have maximal benefits. Colonics remove built up fecal matter from the large intestine.
Do I have built-up fecal matter in my intestine??
Yes! And it can be pounds of it. This fecal matter sits in the crypts and crevices of the large intestine. The problem is that it impairs the optimal functioning of the large intestine which is primarily water reclamation.
4. Earthing & Forest Bathing
Taking the time to go outside, barefoot, and reconnect to the earth is something the ancient Japanese called Shinrin-yoku. It has been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing. The essential oils produced in defence by plants, wood, some fruit and vegetables help to increase our immune system, in particular the Natural Killer cells (NK).
Forest environments also help to reduce stress by promoting lower concentrations of cortisol, the stress hormone produced in our adrenal glands, lower pulse rate, blood pressure, increase parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments. It also decreases incidence of depression
Earthing is walking barefoot on the earth. Absorbing the negative ions on the earth surface combats the positive ions produced by electric current.
Our days begin with a short meditation reminding us to reconnect to our inner selves before starting our day where we focus externally. There are over 3000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation. Some of which include: increasing focus & memory, decreasing anxiety and depression, improve the immune system, enhance self-esteem and self-acceptance, prevents emotional eating and smoking.
Gentle yoga is a great way to improve the detoxification process. In yoga we contract our muscles which helps to move lymph through our body. Increasing flexibility and strength is a common outcome from the daily yoga, helping people feel more energetic, and capable in their daily lives. Restorative yoga teaches us how to deeply relax and connect to our breath. Learning how to deeply relax is where the majority of our healing can take place.
7. Saurkraut Making Class
There are many foods we can make at home that have powerful healing qualities and sauerkraut is one of them. Saurkraut is a lactofermentation of cabbage in salt. The result is a probiotic rich food that acts to heal the cells of our gut, and rebalance our flora for proper absorption of nutrients from our food.
8. 5 Element Broth Preparation
This is the basis of our food reintroduction. It was created by Dr. Kazu who worked with over 1500 different foods to find the right combination. In the end he was able to heal himself of intestinal cancer. For more information on the broth, click here.
9. Community Sharing
In community we heal. By sharing our real-time experiences we practice opening and being vulnerable with others. In return we are offered support and guidance from our peers and a shared sense of community. During community sharing we offer others the gift of our presence so that they may heal too.
10. Doctor Lecture
Once a day Dr. Jones offers a short presentation or lecture on a subject to do with: water fasting, detox, health & wellness, juice cleansing, a particular disease, mind/body medicine, or spiritual journey. Education continues and builds over the course of the week.
Dr. Ariel Jones ND