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Ancient History

Fascinating Evidence Shows Why Water Fasting Could Be One Of The Healthiest Things You Can Do

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**Please be advised that you should properly research how to fast if it’s something you are considering. This is just a tidbit of information that’s out there.  If you have pre-existing health conditions, fasting may not be right for you. Make sure and do your research before embarking on something like this.

Fasting is the process  of abstaining from food (and drink in some cases) for extended periods of time. It’s a practice that dates back thousands of years, utilized by various cultures around the world throughout human history for multiple purposes. These reasons include both health and spiritual reasons, which will be touched upon later in this article.

“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.” – Rumi

Today, fasting is considered to be taking place if you don’t eat for a period of at least 8-12 hours. So technically, most of us are participating in a period of fasting every night when we sleep. In the morning, we break our fast, this is where the term breakfast comes from. Animals are constantly fasting, especially when they are sick. In fact, humans are the only animals who eat when they are sick despite their body telling them not to do so.

“Everyone has a doctor in him; we just have to help him in his work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. …to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.” – Hippocrates

Contrary to popular belief, fasting isn’t dangerous or unhealthy if it’s done properly, it’s actually healthy and beneficial.

A Brief Summary Of What Happens To Your Body When You Fast

When you fast, the body is deprived of its normal source of energy, food, by turning it into glucose. The liver stores lots of sugar, in a form called glycogen, which is used for energy when the body isn’t taking in any of the food. Most of this energy source is depleted within the first 24 hours of fasting.

After this, the body switches into a state known as ketosis, which uses the body’s fatty acids as fuel in replacement of the depleted glucose levels. This change usually begins on the second day, most likely ending on the third. What happens here is that the body converts glycerol, which is available in the body’s fat stores, into glucose for energy -but it’s still not enough. The body gets the rest of its energy from breaking down the amino acids in muscle tissue, which are used by the liver to make more glucose for energy.

After this process, ketone production is sufficient enough to provide almost all of the energy the body needs, and the body begins to conserve large amounts of protein. The body is capable of preserving this protein to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during long periods of food deprivation. After prolonged fasts of more than a week, the body starts seeking out non-body protein sources of fuel, which include nonessential cellular masses like degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses or anything else in the body that can be used for fuel.

The conservation of the body’s protein is believed by many to be an evolutionary development that exists to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during periods of insufficient food availability.

When you fast, just like when you sleep, the body is focused on the removal of toxins and the regeneration of damaged tissue.

What Modern Day Science Tells Us About Fasting

The benefits of fasting have been outlined in numerous scientific studies.  Studies show that short term fasting can extend your life span, boost immunity and regenerate stem cells. The list goes on and on.

One of the most recent studies published on the subject was in June of this year, in the Journal Cell Stem Cell. It found that fasting 2-4 days at a time can actually cause a reduction in white blood cells. This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells. (1)

“Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.”- Philippus Paracelsus, one of the three fathers of Western medicine

The study was actually conducted using human clinical trials on patients who were receiving chemotherapy, where fasting was effective in fighting cancer.

“During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.” (1)

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.”(1) – Co-Author Tanya Dorff

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ”(1) – Valter Longo, corresponding author

A scientific review of multiple scientific studies regarding fasting was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007. It examined a multitude of human and animal studies, and determined that fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also showed significant potential in treating diabetes. (2)

The study concluded that fasting:

“May effectively modulate metabolic and functional risk factors, thereby preventing or delaying the future occurrence of common chronic diseases.” (2)

Scientists at the National Institute on Aging, led by Mark Mattson, a professor at the school of medicine has published several papers that discuss how fasting twice a week could significantly lower the the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. (3)

He explains how fasting stimulates two messaging chemicals that operate at the cellular level and are key to the growth of brain cells in both animals and humans. The shock of fasting leads the brain to create new brain cells, neurons are forced to grow and the brain becomes more resistant to protein plaques that are seen in cases of Alzheimer’s, or the damage created by Parkinson’s.

“Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet) Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function, Mattson and another researcher reported in January in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.” (3)

Scientists are continuing to uncover evidence that short term fasting could achieve a number of health benefits. Despite this evidence, current medical opinion remains unchanged, because there are many human studies that indicate a diet of at least 2000 calories a day is the best option.

Fasting As A Spiritual Practice 

As mentioned earlier, fasting has been practiced for thousands of years by various cultures all over the world. Seen as not only beneficial to health, but beneficial to the soul, as it is often done to intensify our connection to source, God, the creator or whatever you want to call it.  This is why it’s described  in various religions, texts, ancient civilizations and native american traditions. I won’t go into detail here, as that is a completely separate topic. It’s not hard to find more information on it if you do some research yourself.

“Fasting will bring spiritual rebirth to those of you who cleanse and purify your bodies. The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My experience with fasting started approximately 10 years ago. I started practicing it to lose weight at first, more concerned with my appearance than anything else, it worked tremendously. But then something happened, it started to feel really good, I felt really light and more connected to my soul. I received bursts of energy quite often.

Eating was such a censorial experience, a censorial pleasure, a normal part of my human experience. Completely depriving myself of this pleasure allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level even more, and after I did the scientific research, I realized that it was quite normal to feel completely rejuvenated, energized and healthy.  The fact that it was an ancient spiritual practice drew me into it even more, given the fact that science (more so quantum physics) is now catching on to concepts that were already known thousands of years ago. I fast quite often, and it is really (for me) an invigorating process that assists me in maintaining a completely peaceful state, which I feel is my most natural state. For me, it just feels right and since I have been incorporating it into my life for 10 years now, my body is quite used to it.

Other Factors To Consider

***When you are coming out of a fast, it’s important to do your research on how to best break it. It’s not something you want to rush into, you don’t want to stuff yourself with food after. You want to ease your body back into the transition of consuming food with fruits and vegetables. 

If you are going to do a water fast, it’s best to make sure your water is completely purified.

Sources:

(1) https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

(2) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full

(3) http://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2012/summer/dont-feed-your-head

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Ancient History

6 Year Old Finds Fossil In Family Garden That May be 488 Million Years Old

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Children have a natural fascination with rocks, with many of us having spent some days as children standing awe-struck at our museums or science centers looking at dazzling arrays of stones, or learning about the different types that can be found out our local beaches, parks, or hiking trails.

However, none of us managed to make the sort of discovery that one young boy in the U.K. did.

Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, found a fossil in his garden that dates back millions of years.

Sid found the fossil in his backyard garden in the town of Walsall using a simple fossil-hunting kit he received as a gift, reports the BBC.

His father Vish Singh was then able to identify the fossil as a horn corral that dates back 251 to 488 million years with the help of a Facebook fossil group.

“I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral,” Sid explained.

“I was really excited about what it really was.”

His father Vish added:

“We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil… he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.

“In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.”

The father believes that the distinctive markings on the fossil make it a Rugosa coral, meaning it could be up to 488 million years old.

“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” Vish said.

“England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”

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Ancient History

Researchers Find 50,000-Year-Old Frozen Body of Extinct Woolly Rhino in Siberia

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Researchers in Siberia have stumbled upon the 50,000 year-old remains of a rare woolly rhinoceros that was trapped in permafrost.

The remains of the woolly rhino were excavated from the Abyisky district of the Sakha Republic. The rhino was first discovered by a local in Siberia named Alexei Savin, Business Insider reported.

Savvin stumbled upon the remarkable find walking near the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, Siberia last August.

It’s worth noting that this woolly rhino was found close to the site where a previous baby woolly rhino named Sasha was discovered back in the year 2014. Woolly Rhinos were once believed to have been prevalent in Europe, Russia and northern Asia thousands upon thousands of years ago until they ended up extinct.

Paleontologist Albert Protopopov of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic unveiled that the baby woolly rhino would have been approximately three to four years old when it died presumably from drowning.

The only other woolly rhino thus far that has been discovered in these regions — Sasha — was dated to be from around 34,000 years ago. However, Protopopov suggests that the newly discovered body could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old.

However, despite the body being there for so long according to Protopopov “among other things, part of the internal organs are preserved, which in the future will make it possible to study in more detail how the species ate and lived.”

Protopopov further added, “Earlier, not even the bone remains of individuals of this age were found, not to mention the preserved carcasses of animals. As a rule, these were either cubs or adults.”

A fellow paleontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Academy of Sciences further adds, “We have learned that woolly rhinoceroses were covered in very thick hair. Previously, we could judge this only from rock paintings discovered in France. Now, judging by the thick coat with the undercoat, we can conclude that the rhinoceroses were fully adapted to the cold climate very much from a young age.”

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Ancient History

Isaac Newton’s Secret “Burnt” Notes Included Theory That Great Pyramids Predicted Apocalypse

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Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous scientists of recorded history, left behind a large body of work that is still vital in our understanding of the world today. However, as with many public intellectuals, he also had plenty of work that was never shared with the public, even after his death.

Now, for the first time ever, some of these unpublished notes are being auctioned off, and these notes contain some of his most wild theories, and includes his thoughts on the occult, alchemy, and biblical apocalypse theory. Newton was known to dabble in the more esoteric realms of study, but very little written evidence remains about his specific thoughts on mystical topics.

Some of the remaining manuscript notes are currently being auctioned by Sotheby’s. The notes have been through a lot, and are obviously burned. The auctioneers claim that the notes were damaged in a fire that is believed to have been started by a candle that was accidentally toppled by Newton’s dog, Diamond.

According to the auction listing, “These notes are part of Newton’s astonishingly complex web of interlinking studies – natural philosophy, alchemy, theology – only parts of which he ever believed were appropriate for publication. It is not surprising that he did not publish on alchemy, since secrecy was a widely-held tenet of alchemical research, and Newton’s theological beliefs, if made public, would have cost him (at least) his career.”

The notes currently have a leading bid of £280,000, the equivalent of about $375,000.

In the notes, Newton speaks on some far-out topics that would surprise modern thinkers. For example, Newton’s notes include a theory that ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza predicted the apocalypse. While it is unclear what logic he used to get to his conclusion, the theory began with his study of how the pyramids were designed according to an ancient Egyptian unit of measurement called the royal cubit.

While studying the pyramids and the cubit, Newton believed he developed an insight into sacred geometry, which somehow aligned with the apocalypse predictions in the bible.

“He was trying to find proof for his theory of gravitation, but in addition the ancient Egyptians were thought to have held the secrets of alchemy that have since been lost. Today, these seem disparate areas of study – but they didn’t seem that way to Newton in the 17th century,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told The Guardian.

“It’s a wonderful confluence of bringing together Newton and these great objects from classical antiquity which have fascinated people for thousands of years. The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating,” Heaton added.

Interest in alchemy and mysticism was not unusual for serious scholars at the time, in fact, it was recognized as a legitimate field of scientific study.

“The idea of science being an alternative to religion is a modern set of thoughts. Newton would not have believed that his scientific work could undermine religious belief. He was not trying to disprove Christianity – this is a man who spent a long time trying to establish the likely time period for the biblical apocalypse. That’s why he was so interested in the pyramids,” Heaton said.

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