By Ian Blair Hamilton, Founder, AlkaWay
Today I had an appointment with my chiropractor.
Jim’s a lovely guy. He’s not just very skilled, but also very experienced, with over 40 years of helping people, so I figured he’d be a good person to ask about how his work is affected by patients who are dehydrated.
I expected that he might say that they are less sensitive to his work… but he didn’t. What he told me was much… much scarier.
Well, he said, first thing is that if I fix someone, and they don’t drink enough water, the work I did and the benefits the patient gets will be gone within a couple of days. But that’s not really the big thing. If I look at an X-Ray of a spine, all I have to do to see if the patient hasn’t drunk enough water is to check two things: their age, and the X-Ray.
A 50-year-old will have a seventy-year-old spine.
Oh.. there’s one more thing. It’s very common that I see a malignment of a particular vertebra. And that vertebra corresponds to the liver. If a person doesn’t drink enough water, the liver will be stressed because it can’t process the toxins passing through it adequately. It will even change shape and position if it’s severely dehydrated.
Jim shared with me that even though he sees this happening and understands the severity and longevity ramifications, he finds it very hard to drink water.
”I was a long-distance runner as a young ‘un. I prided myself on being like a Kalahari Bushman. I could run all day with no water. I guess this became a part of my character and conditioned me for the rest of my life. I still have trouble drinking enough.”
It’s become very obvious to me in the last few years that hydration is far from sufficient for the great majority of people. They’d rather a Coke, a beer, a tea, or a coffee. I asked him whether someone who drank a lot of tea and – or – coffee was spared from the spinal degeneration.
”No, water is the only thing that works.”
If anyone of my readers still smokes, he had a word of wisdom for you.
”If you smoke AND don’t drink water.. the spine is going to be even worse. Much worse!”
So let’s do a quick roundup of what you have in store if you keep avoiding water.
Mental functions affected by lack of full hydration include memory, attention, concentration and reaction time.
Common complications include low blood pressure, weakness, dizziness and increased risk of falls.
Poorly hydrated individuals are more likely to develop pressure sores and skin conditions.
If not remediated, severe dehydration can be serious and cause fits (seizures), brain damage and death. Dehydration affects sodium and electrolyte levels in the body, which has also been linked to cognitive changes.
When you have dehydrated your brain shrinks in volume. Even mild or temporary dehydration can alter your brain function and impact your mood, this, in turn, makes you more stressed.
When your body doesn't have enough fluids to flush waste out, it ends up sitting in your colon for longer than it should. The colon extracts water from the stool, making it harder and more likely to come out in small pieces.
Not drinking enough water can cause your eyes and cheeks to take on a sunken appearance. This means the areas around your eyes may become dark and shadowed, with the skin appearing papery or thin-looking.
In cases of severe dehydration, a person might experience something called hypovolemic shock. (which means you can’t make enough blood!)
Electrolytes like sodium and potassium are responsible for carrying electrical signals between cells.
In extreme cases of dehydration, these electrical messages can become confused and a person may experience involuntary muscle contractions and even heart problems.
So let’s be very honest here.
It’s obvious, it’s scientifically proven, it’s natural and we all know that drinking enough clean water is a foundation stone of all-round health, clarity, vitality and longevity. And given we are around 70% water.. that’s very hard to argue about.
So.. why, why, why do so many of us just NOT DRINK ENOUGH WATER?
Today I read a paper by a German professor on conspiracy theorists. He discovered that they were able to hold two conflicting ideas in mind without conflict. While I’m not suggesting that if you don’t drink enough water then you are a conspiracy theorist, I am asking you to look at the possibility that you, like them, are holding two ideas at once that are in conflict.
1. You know and accept that good health depends upon good hydration and
2. You believe you don’t have to drink enough water.
The only conspiracy, it would appear, is a conspiracy by yourself against yourself, in a high stake staring contest with yourself- called drinking enough water!
I find it interesting because right now we are in the midst of what appears to be some sort of mass conspiracy theory epidemic. My personal response to it is to go within as much as I am able and to examine my own thinking. It seems to me that all of a sudden clarity of thinking has become a valuable yet rare entity. So I confess to a bit of dualistic thinking. I DO drink water but I DON’T think I drink enough. I don’t naturally drink my 8 glasses a day and yet as a water professional, this seems unconscionable. I recommend pure water. It’s my profession. But I still.. for whatever childhood memory justification/conditioning, don’t naturally drink it. That being said, having 24/7 access to perhaps the best form of water in the world, I am constantly amazed at how good I feel and look compared to my same-age peers.
Yes, we can live with less than optimal water, and yes, we will continue to believe that somehow we will be lucky enough to dodge all the bullets of ill health I discussed earlier. But consider this: Dehydration dries things out. That’s what it does. Every tissue in your body is drying up, slowly perhaps – but as certain as tomorrow.
There is a story I read some years ago of Dr Abram Hoffer, a Canadian biochemist, physician and psychiatrist, founder of Orthomolecular Medicine. Dr Hoffer worked at an asylum. He was called to apply shock treatment to a sixty-year-old schizophrenic patient who drank no water. He applied the pads, hit the switch, and nothing happened. The man was so dehydrated that his tissue would not conduct electricity. And still, he lived.
What sort of life, what quality of life.. what daily pain did he experience simply because he didn’t drink enough water?
And what are we missing in quality of life, the flexibility of joints, youthfulness, lack of pain and overall gemutlicheidt just because we choose to keep these two opposing ideas competing with each other?
In my position as a water health advisor, I grapple with the observation that no matter what I say or recommend, the person asking me for help may not take it because he or she has no point of reference: no vision of a better life.. no ability to see what sort of life may await them. Just by drinking pure water.