Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Water Fast - Day 8

Oh, wow! I have not been drinking enough!


I have been very tired. No blackouts since Day 3, but very, very tired. And yesterday it was really, really hard to finish a 9-hour day at my engineering job.


What I didn't expressly notice, until I had watched a few Youtube videos of peers in the 7th and 8th days of their water fasts, was that a big part of my weariness was back pain. And my peers pointed out they discovered the back pain was kidney trouble pointing to probable insufficient water. Also in those Day 7 and Day 8 videos, I found some discussion of what water to drink.


My peers convinced me to both drink more and to switch to distilled water, which advice I had seen many times before in my years of research on fasting. So last night I drank 3 liters of distilled water. I didn't really intend to do that, but read on. Anyway, I feel much better today.


NOTE: Michel Gingras subsequently decided salt water flushes are probably not a good idea during a water fast. Keep that in mind.

My early research on fasting was heavily influenced by Nathaniel Hawthorne Bronner at He is not a professional, but is an experienced faster in the pre-Google, pre-Youtube, pre-21st century era. He says many people do an enema every day of a fast. But my subsequent Youtube research pointed me to the Natural Hygienists like Herbert Shelton, who conducted over 30,000 fasts. Shelton's view observation was that routine enemas were not helpful. So I have not taken enemas during this fast.

But Michel Gingras, in his Youtube video, mentioned an oral enema in the Master Cleanse style, which reminded me of an experience my grandma and grandpa once had in the hospital. First the oral enema, my experience, then my grandparents experience.

Oral enema instructions

*Salt water flush. Not recommended during water fasts*

I made my oral enema by adding 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of plain (non-iodized) salt to 1 liter of warm distilled water. The official instructions are to use sea salt. And reportedly, iodized salt does not work as well. A bowel movement should result within an hour.

From a theoretical perspective, I believe the salt creates a solution with a lower concentration of water than is naturally in the body. The definition of osmosis is "diffusion of a substance through a selectively permeable membrane from an area of higher density to an area of lower density". Therefore the theory as I understand it is that adding salt to the water puts osmotic water pressure toward (into) the gastrointestinal tract, where water concentration is lower. And that enables some of the water to get to the end of the tract instead of disappearing through the walls into the body. Of course, that only applies if the gastrointestinal tract is selectively resistant to the passage of salt, which I doubt. But enough digression.

My experience

My first attempt was with water only. I am a doubting Thomas, and I second guessed the instructions (more about that below). The water went right in and disappeared.

Soon afterward I went to the store and bought plain (non-iodized) salt. I didn't find non-iodized sea salt at the 99only store I was at.

I heated 1 liter of distilled water, added 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of salt, and stirred until the water was clear again. Then I drank.

The warm solution tasted great! I thought I was drinking broth, and I wolfed it down greedily. Oh, how I realized at that moment I was dehydrated.

Lying down for bed, I lost all sense of the 2 liters of water, and I figured my body must be absorbing it all. Later, I took another oral enema. In the night, I had a bowel movement of black water. And now I feel remarkably better.

My grandparents' experience

20 or 25 years ago my grandfather had a crash that injured him badly, and he ended up in the hospital for a long time. While he was there he became constipated so badly that the doctors considered operating on him. When my grandma learned this, she objected strongly, and told my grandpa to drink a pitcher of hot water, then slosh his insides around. I don't know whether it took one pitcher or more, but eventually he lost bowel control and soiled the bed sheets, which was the end of the constipation.


It seems I always have to know better. Or I always have to learn for myself. In the case of the oral enema, I got mixed up about the mechanism of osmosis and convinced myself that the enema would work better without salt, when all along I was turned 180 degrees in my analysis. In the case of water for fasting, I decided that distilled water was undesirable because it lacks electrolytes and is "too hungry".

One solution or workaround for my arrogance is to practice the "if at first you don't succeed, listen" motto. Oh, well.

Mucus persists

Acne: still one on leg

This log was written on the day it happened.

(Next day)

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