In a recent poll it was discovered that over 70% of people in the United States are chronically dehydrated. Water and Oxygen are the two most essential elements for the human body to thrive. As babies we are 80-90% water and through the aging process most elderly are only 50-60% water. This is partly the aging process but primarily due to lack of fluid replacement.
Hydration is essential in removing toxins from the body and making space for nutrients to enter cells. If you don’t take in enough water, toxins build up and nutrients cannot enter; this is the beginnings of all disease.
Think of a grape versus a raisin. A grape is full of fluid and has plenty of space inside. The fruit within the grape is slimy and you can glide your finger over it easily. A raisin on the other hand is shriveled and the inside is condensed and sticky. This is the same with your cells. When dehydrated cells become sticky, toxins get stuck inside and cannot move out. The raisin is a good analogy of tissue that has become inflamed and painful.
To quench your thirst, the general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. That may sound like a lot if you are not used to drinking adequate amounts, but your body will thank you with increased energy, clear thinking, decreased pain and improved skin and hair texture.
Water is the primary driver for the following bodily functions:
· The flow of blood and lymph through the body
· The functioning of our brains
· The cushioning and regulation of organs
· The transfer and absorption of nutrients into cells and tissues
· The removal of waste from the cells
· The movement of nerve impulses through the nervous system
· The balance of hormones
· The regulation of body temperature
· The lubrication and cushioning of joints
Drinking enough water alone can have a tremendous positive impact on the healing of the following diseases:
· General pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
· Tension headaches and migraines
· Weight loss
· Water retention
· Skin problems, including acne, eczema and psoriasis
· Gastrointestinal issues
· Spinal problems
· Hearing and sight problems
· Dysfunction of the kidney or liver
· Hormonal problems
· Gall and kidney stones
· Circulation issues
· Heart disease and strokes
· Mental disorders and addictions
· Impaired memory and brain function
· Autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus and fibromyalgia
Water alone may not do the trick but it will certainly improve your tissue and organ health enough to support other interventions.
It is also important to get your water from a good source. If you have access to a local spring, that is the best. A really good home filter is recommended for households on city water systems. Ideally, your water will be free of contaminants, have an alkaline ph between 7.o and 9.5, be mineral rich and will have a taste you enjoy.
Glass containers and stainless steel are the best ways to store drinking water. Plastic bottles are best avoided on a daily basis because water may contain traces of the plastics it is stored in. However, hydration from a plastic bottle is better than no hydration at all.
Adequate water intake should not be minimized in any healing or wellness regimen. With water being the greatest percentage of our bodies, it must take priority in our daily routine.
Jan Mead PT LAc is the creator of Sacred Pathways Yoga, a practicing physical therapist and acupuncturist. She is passionate about helping people achieve their wellness goals from the physical level to the spiritual.