I just recently completed my first cleanse of 2010. I try to cleanse/fast twice yearly and often I will have people ask me questions about why I do this, how I feel when I am doing it and is it safe?
My answers sometimes vary depending on my mood at the moment, but the underlying reason I do it is because I feel it makes me a healthier person. When I cleanse I forgo solid food for a set period of time, during this time I am able to really focus on my body and mind. I journal and reflect upon my thoughts and feelings each day during the program and at the end I feel a great sense of peace and accomplishment at what I have done.
The way I feel during the period of cleansing/fasting really does depend on my thoughts. I feel better when I have prepared myself before hand for the fasting process. If I allow myself to dwell on the fact that I am not eating, then I allow myself to be uncomfortable and unhappy during the time. But if I focus on the positive of what I am doing - promoting a time for rest and healing within my body, clearing out build up from foods I eat daily and starting fresh - I feel pretty upbeat and excited about what I am doing.
The safety of a fasting/cleansing program varies for each individual person. This is something I feel each person has to meditate on for themselves, consult a trusted physician or health advisor and most importantly - listen to your own body. If you begin to feel weak, dizzy or tired maybe you have been too limiting or maybe you have been engaging in too much physical activity. Either way whatever the reason for you not feeling good is - accept what your body is telling you and do what is necessary to feel better.
I first got the inspiration when reading Dr. Andrew Weil's book "Natural Health, Natural Medicine" a few years back. "The digestive organs are the largest and bulkiest in the body, and their routine operations consume large amounts of energy. The simple act of not eating rests this system and frees up much of that energy for the body to use in healing" (Weil, 2004). I since then have researched and experimented with other fasting/cleansing programs. I have gotten ideas from colleagues and friends who have tried programs for themselves and liked the results they got from them.
At the end of the day this is a choice that should not be influenced by what you read or hear, it is something that you have to decide for yourself and go into with a positive attitude and excitement.