I am starting a new series on my blog entitled "Health!". Catchy, right?
This particular entry is...
Water: The Fountain of Life
Most people know and understand that we need water to live. We know that our bodies are made of sixty to seventy percent water. Doctors tell us to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Some health professionals even suggest that any beverage counts so long as it is not high in fat.
I am going to give a new spin on the subject. A multi-functional view. What if, in drinking the right amount of liquids, you could skip the colonoscopy? Or ward off that annoying cough? Or kiss flu season goodbye? What if using water was easy because you were doing it to help YOU, and not simply on "doctor's orders"?
I am going to present a number of ways water can be an active member of your life and living.
Squeaky Clean - Inside and Out
Back in the days when running hot water was a luxury of the upper class, people typically bathed approximately once per week -- usually on Saturday night in preparation for church (though Adventists may have down it on Friday night =] ).
Most people would not willingly do that today -- or, at least would not admit to it. But the fact is, bathing regularly (as in, at least once per day) is a hygienic practice that should not be neglected.
Everyday, in work and play, billions of skins cells all over our body die. The process of running water over your skin, lathering soap, and scrubbing gets rid of those skin cells, allowing the new ones to shine forth in radiance. In other words, bathing gives you a youthful appearance.
The life cycle of cells -- death and regeneration -- also occurs internally. The liver, the colon, the kidneys, and the bladder all help to be rid the body of both toxins and waste. Obviously, drinking pure soft water is beneficial. My formula is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Example: I am about 110 pounds. Half of my body weight is 55lbs. Fifty-five ounces is about seven cups of water, shy of one ounce. Here are some other tips:
- Lemon Water: An easy way to ensure water intake, and a great way to start your day. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a 16 oz. glass; or a quarter of a lemon to and 8 oz. glass. Lemon is a natural cleansing agent, and is alkaline forming. Cleans you out, and even helps you to lose weight.
- Charcoal Water: Great for when you have a bacteria or virus, but also works as a great immune booster. Charcoal comes in tablets or in loose, bulk form. Combine two tablets or one to two teaspoons of charcoal with at least eight ounces of water. The charcoal acts as a magnet to anything (so do not have it right before or right after meals). Drink plenty of water through out the day.
- Herbal Tea: For those who need to become accustomed to water-consumption, lightly brewed, unsweetened tea. Herbal is best, since black, green, and white teas contain caffeine.
- Water (or any liquid really) is most beneficial when it is consumed no later than thirty minutes before a meal and no earlier than ninety minutes after a meal. Drinking with meals or close to meal time inhibits digestion by diluting the stomach acids. If you find that your water intake is low, you may need to space out your eating time.
Fight The Cough: Hydrotherapy
Externally, water can also be used to fight pathogens that threaten to weaken our immune system and ruin our day. The science of healing with water is referred to as hydrotherapy.
- When my brothers and I have a sore throat, my mom "wraps our neck". You take a light hand towel and run it under cold (not cool) water until it is saturated. (When we were younger and smaller, we used washcloths). Fold, and wrap the cloth around the neck. Then, you take a bulkier hand towel, leave it dry, and wrap it around the neck over the wet towel, using pins to secure. Sleep with it overnight. Remove in the morning. Repeat each day until cold as passed (for us, no more that three days).
- Sometimes, we get serious congestion in the chest area (we all used to have asthma). Stuff just builds up in there. In that case, get a clean rag or washcloth of sorts, secure a bowl of hot water, and sit next to the "patient". They should be lying in a bed with easy access to the covers. Dip the rag in the hot water, ring it out, and place the tolerably hot rag on the patient's chest. Do not let the rag get cold on him. Repeat three to four times; immediately following each application, cover the patient with the covers (regardless of the weather). Let the patient rest under the covers for at least thirty minutes.
- A steam bath is particularly helpful in all scenarios. My mom turns on the hot water in the shower, adds a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil, and closes the door. My brothers and I just sit there, practically sweating to death -- but it really clears the chest and the sinuses. Then, after about ten to fifteen minutes, she comes back, quickly bundles us in a blanket, and leads us to our bed, where we must stay -- under the covers -- for thirty minutes. I recommend taking a robe into the bathroom with you so you can walk to your bed without tripping on yourself. =)
- The Neti pot is the new thing in town, but the principle is very simple: rinse out your sinuses. More info here.