Throughout history, humans carried attention to lunar cycles, and lunar calendars were probably the first calendars developed in human history.
Ancient people followed the cyclical rhythm of the waxing and waning of the Moon, and connected those changes to the seasons, which ultimately determined their lifestyles.
Science confirms that the Moon affects the Earth's oceans and rivers with its gravitational pull.
A full Moon appears when the Sun and the Moon are separated by 180 degrees. On full Moon nights there can be tides rising up to 1 meter.
It is less known that the Moon also affects the water contained in the human body, because the human body is about 70% made of water.
As the Moon's gravitational pull controls the action of the ocean's tides, physiologically speaking woman's menstrual cycle runs in parallel to the cycle of the Moon.
When the Moon reaches its full phase and new phase, its gravitational pull combines with the Sun for the greatest gravitational effect. This period of increased effect lasts about 24 hours.
Ancient word 'lunacy' comes from Luna, a Roman Goddess of the Moon. Lunacy represents intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon. The term ‘lunatic’ actually comes from the lunar effect on the human nervous system. As we can see along the history, people believed that during the full Moon criminal activity is greater than usual, and that the Moon affects the emotions—especially stimulates aggressive and depressive behavior. The ocean is often used as a symbol for inner peace, because its depths are always motionless and peaceful. During the time of full Moon when its radiance is at its strongest, even the ocean is set into motion. The highest waves and strongest storms mostly occur one day before or one day after the full moon.
The Moon also makes itself felt in both animals and humans. Animals and many humans are especially restless on full Moon nights. They are affected emotionally and behave like the waves of the ocean. Women quite intensively react on lunar changes. During full Moon days women may become more sensitive and emotional.
As vehicles require regular maintenance to restore its functions, and to be safe for exploitations, similarly, the human body also needs regular maintenance to achieve its best performance. Abstaining from food, or at least some kinds of food is referred as Fasting. It does have its own physical benefits and provides the necessary rest to the digestive organs.
Fasting has no religious basis. It is a training for self-discipline and an opportunity to gain greater self-knowledge. On a fasting day we might feel physically and mentally light and relaxed, with abundance of concentration. Fasting on the days on which the influence of the Moon changes (the 2nd and 11th day) has an especially purifying effect physically and mentally due to the intensified flow of energy.
Full-Moon Fasting means absence of intake of food during the full moon period. Usually, we only drink warm boiled water during full Moon. Full Moon fasting starts from midnight (in fact from the period of last dinner) the day before and ends at midnight of fasting (in fact until the breakfast next day) day.
The essence of life is the integration of energy, information and substance. And the energy of human beings is not limited to food and breathing but more of the absorption of universal energy through other senses of the body.
The best time to start the diet is during the full Moon. It consists of a 24-30 hour fast in which you consume only boiled water, and Lunar phases fasting when we’re allowed to drink green tea and fresh juices made from fruits like cranberry, watermelon, etc. that have diuretic properties.
There are two moon diet plans—full Moon and Lunar phases fasting.
The full Moon fasting consists of a 24-hour fasting day in which you consume only water and/or juice. This fasting take place during either the full Moon or the new Moon. During the fasting day your body is cleansed of toxins, and you can lose up to 3kg of water weight in one day.
The Lunar phases fasting begins with a fasting day on a full Moon, and then continues during each of the major phases of the Moon.
When the Earth is in between the Sun and the Moon, we get the full Moon, and as it travels between these two extremes we get the other phases — crescent, quarter, and gibbous. As it goes from full to new that’s called a waning Moon. As it goes from new to full, that’s called a waxing Moon.
You are old as your arteries
Fasting represents preventive health measure. To determine people metabolic age and health, it is enough to check flexibility and quality of arteries. The most important part of aging is vascular aging.
When we fast for a 24-30 hour, we practice detoxification and purification, and that also means purification of the arteries in the body.
Fasting triggers anti-aging molecule Beta-hydroxybutyrate which can delay the aging of our arteries and keeps blood vessels young.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a ketone, a molecule produced by the liver and used as an energy source when glucose is not available. The body produces ketones during fasting.
Benefits of the Full-Moon Fasting
Fasting has many advantages, and it has positive immediate and long-term effects, physiological and psychological levels. It can recharge and refresh the entire human system. Fasting regularly maintain the body and remove toxins from the body and reduce obesity. It also activates the immune system and improve immunity.
Long-term effects include balance of the metabolism of the body, in particular balance of the acidity, cleansing of the digestive systems, and improvement of the vitality and endurance. Fasting may slow down the ageng and lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes, and all sorts of neurodegenerative diseases.
Fasting can promote better cognition and memory, and eventually increase our lifespan. When we fast, we make complete change in our bodies – down to cellular clean-up. When we fast regularly, we benefit from better digestion, and lifestyle without food cravings and sugar. Finally, fasting regulates autonomious system; activates parasympathetic system (food or feed responses), and reset/reduce sympathetic system (fight or flight response), promoting harmony between body and mind.
If you have intention to fast, it must be within your comfort zone, and slowly you can follow up more rigorous fasting regime.
Fasting has spiritual benefits as well, with aim to disconnects us from our daily routines.
Autophagy and Fasting
The word autophagy originates from two Greek words meaning “self-eating”. It refers to the process in which cellular junk is captured and sealed in sack-like membranes, called autophagosomes. The sealed contents are transported to another structure called the lysosome, once considered little more than the cellular rubbish bin.
Autophagy has been known for over 50 years but its fundamental importance in physiology and medicine was only recognized after Yoshinori Ohsumi discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components. For his discoveries, he is awarded Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Autophagy is the body’s internal recycling programme - scrap cell components are captured and the useful parts are stripped out to generate energy or build new cells.
The process is crucial for preventing cancerous growths, warding off infection and, by maintaining a healthy metabolism, it helps protect against conditions like diabetes.
Autophagy is also quality control for your cells. Too many junk components in a cell take up space and can slow or prevent a cell from functioning correctly. Autophagy remakes the clutter into the selected cell components you need, optimizing your cells’ performance. Ohsumi identified the main genes involved in autophagy and showed how the proteins they code for come together to build the autophagosome membrane.
Every day we need to replace about 200 to 300g of protein in our bodies. We are eating proteins every day, about 70g, but that’s not enough to take care of the requirement to make new proteins. Because of this machinery, we’re able to rely on some of our own proteins, maybe the damaged proteins or the long-lived proteins, and they are recycled with this sophisticated machinery so that we can sustain and we survive.
Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. After infection, autophagy can eliminate invading intracellular bacteria and viruses. Autophagy contributes to embryo development and cell differentiation. Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.
Autophagy plays essential role in prevention of aging and extending life span. As we age, autophagy decreases, which can lead to a build-up of cellular junk parts and, in turn, cells that aren’t functioning at their best.
How long do you have to fast for autophagy to occur? Science proves that autophagy may begin between 24 to 48 hours of fasting. Therefore, full Moon fasting is a great method for stimulation of autophagy.
Spirituality of Fasting
If you are in search for spirituality within yourself, on the day of fasting do following practice. In the morning light a candle, do your morning meditation/or praying, and afterwards a yoga or qi gong practice, and then begin your day’s work.
Be aware during the whole fasting day that you are fasting for your physical, mental and spiritual development, and keep promise to yourself not to eat until tomorrow. You might realize boost in your self-confidence when you keep your resolution not to eat.
Fasting develops willpower and spirituality. We strengthen our inner willpower by fasting and through this, can better manage our life in the world. By repetition of mantra and fasting, we purify our inner functions - our mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego.
The dark phase of the moon carries opposite effect of the full Moon. All inner movements and extreme emotions are decreased and inhibited. It is believed by many that charitable activities can unblock and release these extreme emotions, and purify them by doing unselfish action. To sacrifice something for others, you might give donation or your food to others who are more in need for it.
If one really wants to achieve something, one can fast until that goal has been reached.