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Massage Today
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06

Water, Water, Not Everywhere

By Rita Woods, LMT

A few years ago, I bought a book that dramatically changed my view of water – "You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty," by F. Batmangheldj, M.D. He has written several books related to water and human health.

As a massage therapist, his work changed how I talk to clients about proper hydration and changed how I view the origin of pain and suffering within the human body.

Water is the universal solvent that regulates all the functions of the body. ALL functions in the body. Nothing happens without it and in a depleted or dehydrated state, parts of your body will actually begin to shut down as a way to conserve what little water it has. It begins with a cell, then the surrounding tissue, then organs and finally entire systems break down and can no longer function normally. Over time, and without adequate clean water, the body is unable to repair itself and the damage becomes permanent.

Dr. Batmangheldj goes so far as to propose the root of most of our health problems stems from chronic dehydration and reminds us that thirst is not an accurate indicator of hydration. Hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, autoimmune diseases, migraines, cancer, obesity and osteoarthritis, are among the many conditions he explains using clearly defined physiological processes. Pain is a condition of particular interest to us as massage therapists. The book explains pain this way: when the acid-alkaline balance is off in the body, leaning toward an acidic environment, certain nerve endings are irritated.

This irritation alerts the brain about the chemical change and the conscious mind interprets this as pain. The water in the body is responsible for maintaining much of the acid alkaline balance by circulating things in and out of the cells. Water washes the acidity out of the cell and makes the cells interior alkaline. Without the water, our cells are doomed. Your brain is 85 percent water. Think about that. But wait, if you're dehydrated, you might not be able to think.

Clear, clean, uncontaminated water. We must have it to live, to ward off disease and enjoy a life without unnecessary pain and suffering. But we are wasting and destroying it quickly. By now you all know to turn off the water while brushing your teeth, fix leaky faucets, use low flow toilets and showers, replace worn out appliances with water saving and energy saving ones, use rain barrels to catch rain water for watering outdoor plants, etc....But that is not enough.

It's estimated that only about 10 percent of the water we use is for household use. Most of that goes down the bathroom drain. The other 90 percent is hidden in the food we eat, the energy we use, the products we buy and the services we rely on. That 90 percent represents the real danger. Much of the water that returns to our lakes and streams is still contaminated with chemicals and radiation and much more. We make choices. It is our choices that will facilitate change – not government regulation (or lack thereof).

How badly do you really need that new t-shirt? Could you combine one more errand with that trip and save one more gallon of gas? Could you buy a smaller refrigerator? Could you speak up against exploration methods that are destroying your environment? Can you see how fracking could lead to disease?

Without clean water, we could die a slow, agonizing death from disease and pain. The insidious destruction of our lifestyle won't seem so important when the health of the world fails on a global scale. It's time for all of us to take a stand for the welfare of the world. That starts at home. Today, I'm going to skip the meat, leave my car dirty one more week and visit the thrift store. I want the children of tomorrow to have the option of being healthy.

Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.


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