Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hydrotherapy as A Way of Life

Topic: Hydrotherapy as A Way of Life


Reason for this article

            Experiencing regular thirst, dry mouth, cracked lips, constant tiredness, dry skin and headaches, I decided to do a simple research to find out why I was having these symptoms. Only now did I realize that it was a direct cause of sedentary lifestyle, long hours in air-conditioned environment, and extremely low intake of fluids. Having realized my status which is “I am dehydrated”, I am now consciously rectifying them by practicing hydrotherapy as a way of life. I am seeing positive results from my practice. It was from these positive outcomes that I was motivated to write this article.

Safe and clean water, worth more than gold

            Water is one of the most visible substances on the earth covering 70% of the earth surface. It is also exists in three physical states of matter namely, gas, liquid and solid. In its pure form it is colorless, odorless and tasteless.[1] The chemical formula for water is H2O which is the description of the covalent bonds of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.[2] In its natural state, only 1% of fresh water is considered safe for human consumption without prior treatment.[3] The rest of the 99% requires treatment. Why? The answer is contamination. Due to its becoming a rarity, water as the most “essential for life and survival”[4] will eventually become more valuable than gold. Next, let’s look at the health benefits of water.

Water for health

            It is shocking to note that though water is the most essential for life and survival yet it is not promoted as the primary element for human health. I would like to highlight and elaborate on four selected health benefits just to demonstrate how water is beneficial for health.

1.      Prevents dehydration
What are the causes for dehydration? Bill Gookin[5] gives four specific causes for dehydration. The first is air-conditioning. It is known that “For those who work in an office or live in surroundings with air conditioning, the atmosphere often has a low water content resulting in increased losses of water from the lungs and through the skin. On the other hand high humidity can play a greater role in dehydration than heat…”[6] So it is not just heat alone, even a cold environment (air-conditioning) can cause dehydration which can occur in a greater degree. The second cause is antihistamines and decongestants which “work by dehydrating the cells...”[7] leads to dehydration. The third cause is caffeine. “Caffeine is a diuretic. Caffeine prompts the body to lose water through urination. This can lead to dehydration and is the reason that caffeinated drinks are not a good idea when working out or doing other activities that require fluids.”[8] The fourth cause is alcohol. The Alcohol Avisory Council of New Zealand has this to say in their article entitled: “Alcohol-the Body & Health Effects: A brief overview”, “Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water to be lost from the body through the kidneys (into urine), which can lead to dehydration.”[9] There are other reasons of why dehydration takes place. Next let’s look at the symptoms of dehydration.

What are the symptoms of dehydration? We can describe the symptoms of dehydration on a continuum from mild to severe.[10] A person can have one or more of the symptoms.

Mild
Moderate
Severe
Thirst
Sticky mouth
Extreme thirst
Dry lips
Sleepiness / tiredness
Confusion
Dry mouth
Headache
Dark (Yellow) / Concentrated Urine
Dry Skin
Dizziness
Rapid heart rate

In the event that dehydration is confirmed, the dehydrated person should intake (sip) fluids gradually but frequently. He/she should cease from physical assertion and rest in a cool environment.[11] In the case of the elderly persons, they should be encouraged to drink fluids during, in-between and after meals. They should be encouraged to drink fluids in small amounts but frequently.[12]
An article by Nestle Nutrition Institute talks about the general importance of bodily hydration for all and especially more so for aging seniors. Since 2/3 of our body weight is water and on an average day we lose 2 to 3 liters of water through urination, and sweat, dehydration will easily occur if the bodily water loss is not replenished. It is recommended that aside from water received through the process of metabolism, an adult should drink an average of 1.5 liters of water to keep the body hydrated.[13]

2.      Avoiding constipation
Besides ten other causes, dehydration is one of the causes for constipation. And what is constipation? Constipation is the difficulty of moving or straining to move the bowels.[14]

3.      Maintaining the health of kidneys
Insufficient intake of fluids (dehydration) together with hot climate has been found to be one of the causes for the formation of kidney stones resulting in the blockage of the ureters / urethra leading to urinary tract infections. In order to avoid this possibility, it is recommended to intake sufficient fluids to dilute the urine that would lessen the formation of kidney stones.[15]

4.      A healthy skin
The largest organ in a human being by size is the skin which makes up an estimated 16% of the body weight. We are informed that the skin “… has several functions, the most important being to form a physical barrier to the environment, allowing and limiting the inward and outward passage of water, electrolytes and various substances while providing protection against micro-organisms, ultraviolet radiation, toxic agents and mechanical insults.”[16] We are also informed that hydration helps “to keep skin healthy and young-looking. The skin acts as a water reservoir and participates in fluid regulation for the whole body. Mild dehydration causes skin to appear flushed, dry and loose, with a loss of elasticity, which makes it look older than it is. The effects of dehydration on the skin are more noticeable on the face, than on the lower limbs.”[17] Having seen the health benefits of drinking water (hydration), we shall next discuss about the types of water available for hydration.

Types of water
            There are many types of water available for hydration after being processed and treated to make it safe for human consumption. Atmospheric water is basically water vapor molecules   that are converted through the process of condensation / dehumidification into water droplets by utilizing such appliance as “Atmospheric Water Generator”[18] Water from the oceans that has pass through the processes of desalination and disinfection are another source of drinking water.[19] Inland seas come in the forms of enclosed or semi-enclosed sea environments like bays and estuaries. Many of these inland seas before they were abused and contaminated were rich with marine life.[20] Water from Inland seas is made safe for drinking in the same process of desalination and disinfection because it is basically sea water. The next source of drinking water is surface waters that take the forms of rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and glaciers. Most of the fresh water from these sources is treated to remove microbiological, chemical, physical and radioactive contaminations.  As always disinfection process is part of the surface water treatment.[21] And the last sources of drinking water are ground waters. In reality, surface waters and ground waters interact and do affect each other. Ground water is made of fresh or surface water that has soaked through the ground to be stored in tiny spaces between soil, rock, sand, and gravel. They are found in unsaturated and saturated zones below the land surface.[22]  Generally the treatment of ground water involves: 1) Water source site selection, 2) Drilling to reach the aquifer, 3) Pumping the ground water to the surface, 4) Chlorination for disinfection, 5) Removal of iron, 6) Storage.[23] It should be pointed out that all waters regardless of their sources needs to be treated before they are safe for human consumption. And it is the safe drinking water that has been treated and disinfected that should be used for hydrotherapy. Next we shall look into the myth and reality of tap and bottled drinking water.

Myths and realities of tap and bottled water
                The subject of safe drinking water is mixed with myths and realities. And sometimes we pay more for believing in myths. As consumers we need to differentiate the realities from the myths about safe drinking water.[24] Here I like to discuss four specific myths and realities of tap and bottled water.

            Myth No. 1: Tap water is unsafe for human consumption. Is this true? It depends on whether the tap water has been treated and disinfected according to safety standards like the EPA.

Myth No 2: Bottled water is safer than tap water. What happens when unscrupulous persons bottle tap water and sell it as treated water? Does the act of bottling make the tap water safe? One study presents this fact of bottled water, “The false perception of the purity and cleanliness of expensive bottled water compared to cheap tap sources does not concur with scientific evidence. Many studies have demonstrated the presence of coliforms and heterotrophic bacteria in bottled water, and detected these organisms in counts greatly exceeding the contamination standards set for human consumption.”[25]

Myth No. 3: Bottled water taste better than tap water. We are told that the “…taste and quality of both bottled water and tap water depend on the source and quality of the water, including its natural mineral content and how, or if, the water is treated.”[26]

Myth No. 4: Bottled water in plastic can be stored safely for a long time. The answer to this myth is both yes and no. Yes, water can be stored for a long time because the plastic is durable. No, water cannot be safely stored in plastic bottle for a long time if the plastic used contains Bisphenol A (BPA). And the effect of BPA relating to adverse health is being evaluated. We are informed that “Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics. It is frequently used in sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, as a coating or lining in food and beverage cans, and in credit card receipts.”[27] We are also informed that “Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in polycarbonate plastics. Plastics labeled with the number 7 are likely to contain BPA.”[28] World Health Organization (WHO) has this to say about plastic that contains BPA, “In light of the uncertainties about possible adverse health effects at low doses of BPA, especially on the nervous system and on behaviour, and also the relatively higher exposure of very young children compared with adults, the WHO and FAO will jointly organize an ad hoc expert consultation in 2010 to assess the safety of BPA.”[29] So a doubt exists about storing water safely for long periods in plastic bottles that contains BPA.

Conclusion

What we can conclude from this article is it doesn’t matter whether it is tap water or bottled water. What matters is that the water must be treated and disinfected. At the point of consumption it must be safe and free from most contaminants. And it is this quality of safe drinking water that we need to consume from a minimum of 2.7 liters to 3.7 liters daily dependent on factors like gender, age, activities, temperature and life style.[30] We should make hydrotherapy as a way of life for our health and wellbeing.


©Thesigan Nadarajan, 2017, All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Female Dressing: The Objectification of Women


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as proclaimed on 10 December 1948 begins in the Preamble with:

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,[1]

 There are two elements of human rights highlighted here. They are: 1) inherent dignity and 2) equal and inalienable rights. Inherent dignity is their innately vested worth and value which is their privilege. Inalienable rights refer to the rights of every individual that cannot or must not be taken away even by those who think they have the powers to do so. If only every country, its citizens and its ruling powers were to follow even this first line of preamble, truly the world would be a better place for everybody. It is on the foundation of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of every person in this world that I am writing this article on “Female Dressing: The Objectification of Women.” Why do I use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as my platform and foundation? I do so because it is inclusive of all persons and it equates the equal inherent worth and alienable rights without exception thus being just to all.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Get-rich-quick scheme



What is a get-rich-quick scheme? Get-rich-quick scheme can be described as a proposal by a seemingly rich or successful offeror to enable an offeree to become rich through minimum investment and minimum effort. What is the bait in the proposal? Riches! Are there takers? “Yes,” judging by the repetitive sad news and stories of people who lost their pension funds and life savings. In the context of get-rich-quick scheme, the offerors are like wolves in sheep’s clothing who are willful, unmerciful and have no conscience and predatory in nature. They prey on those who are weak gullible, greedy and desperate.