Why Water is Vital to Your Overall Health
Imagine a dam in a river that’s been closed off. Suddenly, the river’s flow begins to weaken, and everything that’s a part of the river’s ecosystem begins to fall apart. Fish and small mammals can no longer absorb the nutrients they need from the water. Waste from the river has nowhere to go, so its population dies off. When the water disappears, so does the vitality of the environment. The human body operates similarly: without water to usher nutrients and proteins throughout the body, the body’s organs begin to shut down. Even the food we absorb can’t be properly digested without water to act as a lubricant. Without water, our body also has no way to expel toxins or pollutants, which increases our chances of acquiring serious ailments from constipation to cancer. The body’s ‘ecosystem’ perishes.
There’s one organ in your body that needs water the most: your brain! The brain is 75% water. Without proper water intake, the clarity of your thinking will decrease and you may be in a perpetual state of fatigue without knowing why. The best way to preserve your brain health and boost its performance is not just to use it, but to nurture it and care for it. Your brain never stops running, and it requires constant fuel. So, before you reach for that cup of coffee in the morning, start your daily routine off on the right foot by showing some love to your gray matter and having an 8 ounce glass of water.
Water Not Only Nourishes Us – it Also Heals the Soul
Water has always been emphasized for its nutritional value, but its other healing benefits shouldn’t be overlooked. Even observing the ocean or a flowing stream of water can soothe the troubled mind. Perhaps one of the reasons we feel so comfortable in the water and listening to the sounds of rushing water is because it mimics the fetal state. From conception, we develop while floating in the embryonic fluids of our mother’s womb. Floating on the surface of a warm bath or pool can draw us into a state of total comfort and relaxation as we subconsciously return to feeling completely nurtured and protected, just like we did before birth. When we surrender our need to be physically grounded and allow the water to hold us, we also lose our need for rigid self-control and total self-reliance. One of the best ways to mentally unwind and relieve stress is to go for a swim, then float on your back and do some simple deep breathing.
Salt water is also a wonderful natural alternative to traditional anti-inflammatory agents. Gargling with salt water helps strip away excess mucus and bacteria lingering at the back of the throat and in the tonsils to either prevent or treat a cold and a bad sore throat. Bathing in warm salt water or swimming in the sea can help dry up acne, scab over minor open wounds and encourage the drainage of harmful toxins from the lymph nodes.
Listening to water during meditation and visualizing water are two excellent ways to help reduce stress after a long, difficult day. The body, when held in a constant state of tension for long periods of time, has been proven to suffer – scientists have found a link between consistently high stress levels and an increased chance of getting heart disease, cancer, anxiety disorders and other serious conditions. The following exercise will help you take advantage of the healing power of water to reduce your stress levels and stay well.
Step 1: Begin by taking some deep breaths. Continue to breathe until you quiet your thoughts and feel relaxed.
Step 2: Start to envision any kind of water: an ocean, a stream, a brook, even the rain. Construct this visual in your mind, then try to picture what the water sounds like. Focus solely on the images and sounds running through your mind. How does the sight and sound of the water make you feel?
Step 3: Now, picture immersing yourself in the water. Whether it’s allowing the rain to glide over your skin, or diving head-first into a beautiful, warm pool, visualize your anxiety, fear, anger and stress melting away as soon as the water touches your body.
Step 4: Close the exercise with a few deep breaths, and exit the meditation feeling cleansed and revitalized.