The 3 Neglected Needs – Part 2: “Hydration”
By: J Emanuel Hodge MSAOM, HHP
Have you noticed that if you down a whole lot of water quickly, all at once, you will run to the restroom in very a short amount of time?
I’m sure you’ve heard that we need to drink 1/2 our body weight of water in ounces. So, if you are 200 lbs, you drink 100 oz of water to ensure that you are getting the right amount of water to stay hydrated, correct? However, this is ideal at your inactive rate per quantity of water, that means without activity, sugary drinks, coffee, etc. Add a single cup or two of those “dehydrants” and they will cause dehydration.
We’ve heard we need to drink 8 cups of water a day to ensure proper hydration. People tend to drink 4 cups really fast or drink all 8 cups like in a competition. If we think of the body as we think of a dried plant that needs to be watered, by pouring a lot of water into the plant, it will only run through and not much will be absorbed by the plant. However, if we pour a little water, wait a little, pour some more and wait a little, and do once more you’ll notice that the plant would have no puddles but would have absorbed most of, if not, all the water. I have encouraged my clients to take 3 full sips of water per hour, holding each sip of water in the mouth for 10 real seconds before you swallow, 3 times consecutively. From a physiological perspective, the action of holding water in your mouth activates the salivary glands, which prepares the stomach acids for digestion, absorption and optimizes circulation and hydration of the body. In conjunction with the 1st Neglected Need – Breath, it really helps to release or ease body tensions.
True Hydration, Breath and Movement awareness is the key for living our greatest potential
In Chinese Medicine and Holistic Health practices, it is said you need to “chew your water”. This process works from a practical Chinese Medicine understanding that the tongue has all the organ associations: the tip of the tongue is the heart association, right behind that is the lung association, and at the center of the tongue is the stomach association. At the back of the tongue resides the intestines, kidney and bladder associations. At the sides of the tongue, the liver and gallbladder associations. These associations coincide with the meridians (energy pathways that have the same name associations) that overlay the entire body. Granted these associations can be depicted on the feet or palms in reflexology, on the face in physiognomy, face reading, eyes in iridology and the ears in auricular system. Every part of the body has an association with the entire body and its organs.
Back to the tongue and hydration optimization…if the tongue has these organ associations and you hold water in your mouth, it should not be a surprise that through association you nourish each organ.
When patients experience cramping (stagnate blood), nausea or lightheadedness (low blood) I recommend them to hold alkaline water in their mouth for 10 seconds or more for three times consecutively. And as mentioned in the “Neglected Need 1 – Breath”, exhale with “Hawww” releasing sound three times consecutively.
Our body is like a heat generator and the areas of pain and dysfunction tend to cause slowed or stagnated function, like pain or cramping, which we can term segmented dehydration. Segmented because the whole body is not dehydrated, and there is a heated build up that needs to be cooled to flow and a cold block or slowed area that hinders the smooth flow of energy, heat, blood, body fluids, etc. All related to the traditional Chinese Medicine circulatory system. Holding the water in your mouth cools the excess heat and in conjunction with proper Breath, releases the contraction and opens the circulation, while regulating the body’s temperature, improving blood flow, organ functions, digestive functions and alleviation of most pain, cramping, lightheadedness or nausea.
Hydration, Breath, and Movement incorporate the 3 Neglected Needs. When they are properly addressed, they provide pain alleviation and better functionality of the whole body. Proper Hydration makes the difference between staying in constant pain, passing out from lack of circulation or being thirsty all the time.