Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water

March 16, 2017

So goes the title of a rare book by F. Batmanghelidj, an Iranian born, British educated physician. Following medical school, he relocated to Iran to help establish hospitals and medical centers there.

In 1979, Dr. B. was imprisoned during the Iranian Revolution but managed to survive because the prison needed a doctor. One night, he was called to see a man with a peptic ulcer. He had no meds to treat the condition and told the man to drink two glasses of water and he would return later to check on him. When he did, to his amazement, the man’s condition was much improved. He continued to note the response to just water in other prisoners with other problems.

Dr. B. was released from prison in 1982, escaped from Iran, emigrated to the US, and set up a general practice. The full title of his book is, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You are not sick, you are thirsty! Don’t treat thirst with medications.

He attributed many common disease symptoms to dehydration as their root cause, and was careful to check that his clients were well hydrated before prescribing medications. He died in 2004, but his writings, while controversial, are still available on his website, http://www.watercure.com.

Health professionals today routinely encourage people to drink plenty of water. Medication needs water to be distributed throughout the body and keep all systems working well. Our food needs plenty of water to break it up so that it can pass through the wall of our intestines and on to the liver for distribution.

Despite the emphasis on carrying water everywhere we go today, many of us do not drink enough water. Coffee, tea, soda, and beer don’t count. They are dehydrators.

Over-the-counter meds, such as different forms of ibuprophen, taken excessively for chronic pain, can cause liver and kidney damage. If the kidneys’ can’t make enough urine, our bodies will retain too much water instead of using it.

How can we know we’re drinking enough water? What are the signs to be on the lookout for? Thirst is the last sign that we need water. Thirst is a reminder that we haven’t been paying attention to other body signals like pain of any kind, fatigue, dizziness, joint and muscle stiffness, difficulty remembering, following through on instructions, slow healing of injuries, and constipation, to name a few.

Today, potable water is threatened in the world, including the US. We need to provide all our citizens with a safe water supply, now threatened by a pipeline with a potential to contaminate Standing Rock’s supply. How we resolve this problem as a nation will determine water safety of other communities. Our actions today to save our water supply from pipelines and other potential contaminants and overuse, such as aquifers that are being drained due to poor agricultural practices.

What we can do is call or write our Senators and Representatives and urge them to veto harmful  legislation and support efforts to maintain a safe water supply for all our citizens. (http:/Senate.gov. , http:/House.gov. for contact info)

If you decide to check out the power of tap water (6-8 glasses a day), first be sure that your kidneys are making sufficient urine and increase the amount of tap water you drink slowly. Then, just observe the changes!

 

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‘Each Other’ Includes Donald Trump

November 14, 2016

When we look at the healthiest, happiest countries of the world, such as Scandinavia and Costa Rica, an essential quality their citizens share is a need to see that everyone in their country gets a fair shake, enough to eat, decent living and work opportunities. The         high priority is on Keeping Each Other Well.

Post election, no matter how we voted, we are all responsible to address the problems that stand in the way of present and future health in the U.S.

In the early morning of November 9, I was shocked when this thought went through my mind: I wondered what would happen if we collectively made a goal to enable Donald Trump to be the best president of all time. President-elect Trump said he wanted to be president for All Americans. We all have absolutely nothing to lose by projecting kindness to the extent that President-elect Trump himself begins to emit kindness to all citizens.

Too many people in the United States feel hungry, sick, and hopeless. Too many people are unjustly detained in our prisons, depriving family networks of support systems, depriving us all of a clear conscience. No president can clean up this mess on his own. We lead the world in the percent of our population we imprison.

What would happen if we made it our goal to become the happiest country in the world, when happiness includes and is measured by all our citizens? Will we have the courage to insure that we have open spaces and forests accessible for everyone to tune in to the natural world? Will we save our farmland, our food supply, from final chemical destruction? Will we protect our aquifers and rivers? Will we invest in clean energy that respects First Nations and the natural environment? Will we stimulate ingenious answers to our problems by providing everyone with an exemplary education?

Big job. And it is all possible. People have already begun to organize. Instead of protesting, can we begin to promote, protect, provide, praise, plant, prove, and play?

Will Thanksgiving become a true celebration for all our citizens? Will we be able to give thanks for living in a country that values everyone’s health?

Will we be able to allow ourselves the freedom to make such a Thanksgiving celebration possible?

Life Sustaining Health

August 17, 2016

We are definitely in the midst of what Joanna Macy calls The Great Turning. We are smack between the Industrial Revolution and a Life Sustaining Civilization, according to her 2012 book, coauthored with Chris Johnstone, “Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy.”

Four years later, we seem to be right on schedule with the three dimensions of The Great Turning.  Predicted first are Holding Actions: blockades, boycotts and civil disobedience to buy time and save some lives, some ecosystems, some species and cultures. The opposition to the Northern Pass and the Tar Sands Pipeline are but two examples of buying time to protect our health.

This week Kris Pastoriza of Easton became the first Northern Pass civil disobedience arrest stemming from NP bore-hole drilling near waterways in Easton. Pastoriza sat on a bore-hole site near the Ham Branch River, preventing the drilling rig from being unloaded there. After her arrest, NP bored in a location that the Easton Select Board had requested not be bored. The contaminated mess NP left behind is still being investigated.

Macy’s second step, Structural Change, brings in new economies and new ways of being together. Local Food Movements, the spread of Permaculture farming practices, Food Labeling activists, Transition towns like Florida’s Babcock Ranch (new), and Rutland, Vermont (now on solar), demonstrate these changes.

Finally, we experience a Shift in Consciousness. New forms of thought are happening. There is a profound shift in our perception of reality, what we must do if we want our offspring to get along with the rest of the world, thrive and survive. All of which leads to a spiritual awakening to the importance of all life forms and a new means of communication.

Other life forms are attuned to each other and jockey around us to survive. Tiny bacteria might be more powerful than all our human intuition and learning. We need to become fluent in other species languages to be able to work together so that life on Earth may continue for us all.

Challenges continue. In our area, the Northern Pass has dragged on for six years, despite massive opposition. This week, we learned that Massachusetts enacted a new utilities law that essentially sells that state’s rights to centralized corporate energy. Utilities there can now legally collect up to 2.75 percent from ratepayers to offset  the costs of long-term contracts for hydro-power or offshore wind. This is a step back to 20th century technology, definitely not a form of future cheap energy. This smacks of a similar ripoff deal HydroQuebec managed almost 40 years ago with Newfoundland over Churchill Falls energy. That whole sad story is available on the internet.

As water scarcity accelerates, we also need to keep alert to protect our water supply, to save our trees that store water for us, and release it to the atmosphere for our benefit as well. Visitors from the West and South and abroad marvel at the luxury of breathing deep in our forests, and how good it is to be able to smell the vegetation!

It is up to each of us to do our part in this shift to a Life Sustaining Civilization. We can join community efforts that support our Forest Society, Permaculture gardeners, Farmers Markets, and new forms of energy. We can write to Governor Hassan and our legislators. All that we each do counts.

Here’s to a Well Watered Year!

January 9, 2015

Water may be our best protection against the new viruses reported daily. People often avoid water and claim that it makes them pee at all the wrong times. However, the same folks drink coffee, a dehydrator, and never question the trip to the restroom, which follows the charge of energy.

Our digestive tract, the 28 foot long pipeline that runs from mouth to anus can protect us from unwelcome invaders. Like any plumbing system, it works best with a reliable supply of water.

Fully hydrated, our cells cook up enzymes to digest every type of food, and hormones to regulate the opening and closing of the tract’s valves at each junction to keep everything moving.

Digestion begins in the mouth where water dilutes the acid on any remaining foods around our teeth that might irritate gums and burrow into tooth enamel. Salivary enzymes begin breaking down starches. Enthusiastic chewing stimulates our bodies to continue to pump out more enzymes further on down the line.

We continue mixing chewed food with sips of water to ease it down the esophagus to the stomach through the finicky lower esophageal sphincter, the LES valve, the most famous of all the valves. It leads to Hiatal Hernia and GERD when it doesn’t close properly.

When well hydrated, the mucus membrane that lines the stomach secretes necessary digestive juices: hydrochloric acid and enzymes to pulverize foods in the stomach and bicarbonate of soda to keep acid from digesting the stomach lining.

The slurry moves on to the small intestine. There, the gall bladder squirts the bolus of food with detergent (bile) to break up fats, and the pancreas squirts bicarbonate of soda to neutralize acids, plus more enzymes to work on proteins and carbs. The goal is to break food down to particles that are tiny enough to pass through the wall of the intestines.

As the slurry of food moves through the rest of the small intestine, more enzymes do their best to finalize breakdown and absorption IF we swallow enough water.

The intestines look like a jumble of tubes but are structured more like a big umbrella. If you took them out, you could stretch them in a rough circle like the rim of an umbrella. A thick membrane (mesentery) forms the dome. It contains several veins (like spokes) that funnel into a big vein, represented by the umbrella handle.

Well chewed food with plenty of water sends ultrafine nutrients right through the intestinal wall to the smaller veins in the mesentery and on to the big portal vein that goes to the liver. The liver then decides what nutrients to send where and our circulation takes care of that delivery system.

We must drink enough water. Otherwise, undigested food continues on to the large intestine. A well hydrated stool (feces) is a homogenized mass of fiber, easily evacuated through the last valve, the anus.

Want to give water a try? Start your day with a slow cup of hot lemon water. This acid effectively opens the valve to the intestines, clears the stomach of any leftovers, and stimulates the bowels to move. Unwanted bacteria and viruses don’t get a chance to establish themselves on stagnant sweet foods. Drink a glass of water between meals and take sips with meals. Trade sodas and juice for water and whole fruits and enjoy winter!

To a Well Watered New Year! Skol!

Corporations vs. Health

January 16, 2014

Obamacare seems to be a variation on the general theme of corporations mobilizing to control our lives at the expense of our health. How many examples do we need to experience before we wake up?  Stress brought about by corporate greed can lead to or exacerbate just about any health problem we have.

 Despite the fact that single payer health care has been found to be more economical and reliable elsewhere, it seems incredulous that the US can’t wise up and get with the program instead of feeding ever more corporate excess.

Locally, we can see corporate power at work in the attempts to make big bucks off an above ground energy transmission line that would claim destruction of forest lands, the threat of which has already created a hornet’s nest of family conflicts over property values. All this for corporate coffers when an economical underground line down existing state rights of way would make the state the recipient for the rent money and save the environment. Australia reduced its line maintenance by 80 percent by undergrounding. That is something to keep in mind when we have power outages due to downed lines during wind and snow storms and hurricanes.

 Corporations are also attacking water. The presence of bottled water at common meetings lets us know corporations have ‘massaged’ people into buying what they don’t need through their advertising. Coca Cola’s latest scam is to discourage restaurants from providing free water so that people will spend more money to have ANY liquids with a meal. The change has nothing to do with safety or digestion.

 Contaminated water from chemical and oil spills is daily reported in the US.  Citizens are being advised to accept changes in taste and odor, which in turn ratchets up the sale of bottled water by corporations.

 Everything is connected. More trees mean more holding tanks that purify natural water, more places for people to relax and coexist with other life forms, more chances to see the stars at night, and breathe in fresh oxygen. Less overhead wire means fewer accidents and ailments.

 Corporations are blocking food labeling that gives us the right to know what we are eating. These same corporations have already polluted our land with toxic pesticides and contaminated our heirloom seeds with GMO cross pollination. Big Ag corporations want to deny us the ability to choose what we eat. The White House sports an organic garden but supports Big Ag GMO foods for the rest of us.

 Significantly, Carl Gibson of Reader Supported News (1-4-14) reported that Monsanto, grower of GM crops, and Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, have an insidious relationship “invested in growing food that makes people sick when they eat it, and selling sick people the drugs to treat those conditions.”

 Even more damaging is the potential of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to affect our health. We’ve seen the destruction NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) has wrought on vanishing jobs outsourced to foreign countries now housing US companies. The TPP is even more powerful, takes precedence over our government and threatens to send us spiraling down further.

 People are using less electricity, conserving more, and tapping into renewable energy, in spite of corporate ‘massages’. These are positive steps. However, we also need to take it to the next level and stop the TransPacificPartnership (TPP), which gives corporations even more power worldwide.  We need to contact our US Representatives (www.house.gov) and Senators (www.senate.gov) and ask them to vote NO on presidential fast tracking and the TPP.

Claiming Rights to Health in the Holiday Season

December 18, 2013

While people the world over are distracted by many observances of the holiday season, filled with hope and cheer for the coming year, yet another rug is being pulled out from us as world negotiators work to put the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in place. The TPP has all the earmarks of the final lynchpin in George Orwell’s 1984.

 For a sneak peek at the TPP potential to undermine community and national rights, look at what Eli Lilly’s NAFTA backed suit against Canada is all about. Eli Lilly is looking to grab $500 million in compensation after the company lost its Canadian patents on 2 drugs. The patents expired in 2011. Eli Lilly is challenging Canada’s patent laws because they differ from EU or US norms.

 Basically, the TTP would simply ensure that corporations aimed at attacking everything from affordable medications, water, food, energy, and environmental protections to Internet freedoms, will continue to bleed the whole world.

 It would be interesting to know how many of our legislators are invested in Big Pharma, which is sure to continue to thrive even with Obamacare. Canada has a single payer system, which Canadians are generally happy with, despite reports of people having to wait for needed care. It would also be interesting to note just who is promulgating those reports since it doesn’t seem to be the Canadians.

 Canadians put their funding into providing basic health care for all of their citizens. Even with Obamacare, Americans will still be challenged if they lose their job or fall through the cracks for Medicaid. This week, Veteran’s benefits are slated to be cut for those under 62 years of age. At the same time, the US came up with $80 million to give to Vietnam for Military Aid. What about our commitment to veterans for care they have earned?

 With the backing of the TPP, corporations, now considered to have “individual rights”, will have a field day challenging any country’s laws that get in their way. We experienced that power when Monsanto and BigAg literally prevented US food labeling because with GMO on the label, people would be less apt to buy the product. Why should BigAg have that right? We struggle with drug abuse problems stemming from continual brainwashing by drug companies that get people started as children and continue to seduce teens and adults, while at the same time suppressing research debunking their claims. Why should BigPharma have that right?

 If we as humans simply want to be happy, we can’t really be happy unless others are also happy. What rights need to be in place for that to happen?

Spring’s Dance

April 12, 2013

 Spring’s surge of energy is everywhere: in the swelling of buds that give hillsides a warm red glow, tulip leaves poking up regardless of remaining spring snows, chipmunks fluff up their tails and dart around old haunts, the air smells fresh, spiders hatch everywhere, winter stuff is stowed in favor of spring hikes; we’re getting out the canoes and kayaks; the juncos are back.

 Earth teems with the fever of mating as spring throws off its winter blanket and we humans, just one species among all who share this planet, reliably start a fresh year. We’re as predictable as the chipmunks, and I wonder if other species say to each other, “I just saw a few humans out picking up trash on route 175,” or perhaps the robins are saying, “that pile those humans raked up scratching earth’s back gives us the best building materials for this year’s nest.” 

 Sometimes humans forget that we are just one of the life forms on earth. We forget that we have an important role in earth’s dance for all beings to share the space, water supply, and land with each other so that we can all continue to thrive and survive.

 This week, Canadian activist and world citizen, Maude Barlow, spoke at PSU, updating us on our need to care for the earth’s water responsibly. PSU students have organized to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. 75 percent of bottled water bottles are trashed, not recycled, and the water they contain often does not meet the standards of regular tap water. Good news is that even airports are now installing tap water spigots so that it is possible for us to carry our own containers and refill them safely while traveling.

 Barlow’s latest book, Blue Covenant, is available in local libraries and YouTube carries several of her lectures.

 Many of us rely on our NH mountains to pump up our spirits. Whether we actually hike in the high peaks or walk in nearby wooded areas, spring is a time to be aware of how much our woods and all the life forms they house nourish us as well. Hopefully, we will choose to protect our woodlands and not cut them up with tower paths that stifle lives in the forest.

 Whenever we threaten the life of other species, we threaten our own as well. Whenever we value and safeguard other species, our own health reverberates with robust energy.

Here’s to fully embracing spring’s dance!

Flu this holiday? It all depends….

December 7, 2012

Someone asked me if I believed the hype about the predicted flu epidemic. My response was, “It all depends….” In this season when we think of the sugar plum fairy and partake of all the family holiday recipes that we and others have collected over the years, December can be a challenge.

 I know I look forward to making Danish pastry and thinking about my grandmother who brought the recipe in her head when she emigrated here from Denmark.  Memories of the whole family gathering around the candlelit table on Christmas Eve and seeing my grandmother’s magical, diamond shaped pastries appear all glazed and topped with crushed walnuts, like pieces of Prasad that she offered us.

 I’m sure that each one of us has a heartwarming tale to tell. The problem comes when we celebrate each day of the season with too many of each other’s morsels of cheer. The thing to remember is that flu viruses love sugar. If we’re eating lots of sugar when  a flu virus gets into our system, we’ll have one long, lousy bout with the flu.

 I’d be a hypocrite if I suggested that anyone skip these “memorable” experiences, since I plan to enjoy the holidays. My only suggestion is that if you get a cold or think you may be coming down with something, avoid sweets, drinks, juices, ice cream, and fries. Just drink lots of water, hot lemonade, and homemade chicken or vegetable soup, and stay home. Don’t pass your whatever around. You’ll probably soon feel fine and ready to rejoin the holiday cheer. (P.S.  Remember to be generous with our friend, tap water, throughout the season!)

 Depending on whether you make the flu feel unwelcome from the get go, you’ll be free to enjoy all the gatherings with family and friends, all the celebrations, holiday music and singing that keeps us well and thriving. It really all just depends….

Let’s Define Renweable, Non-polluting Energy

October 12, 2012

It must be confusing for students learning new vocabulary words to see the terms “renewable” and “non-polluting” defined in such strange ways by so-called experts who are supposed to know better. If we want to keep each other well, we need to be clear on both terms.

 Renewable: Something that is inexhaustible, that is replaceable. Hydro power is only renewable IF the water cycle is not interrupted. Let’s be clear about the water cycle. There is a finite amount of water on earth and it keeps moving around in different forms. Here’s the ideal scenario.

 The sun heats up the water in rivers, lakes and oceans. As it heats up, surface water turns into vapor or steam we can easily see rising. Humans sweat and plants transpire water also into the air (less obvious). As the water vapor rises to the cold atmosphere, it condenses (changes back to liquids) and forms clouds. The clouds then move in whatever direction winds carry them. When there is so much condensed water in the air (clouds colliding) so the air can’t hold it, condensed water falls back on earth as rain, snow, sleet or hail. It then collects in rivers, lakes and oceans, and the ground (in aquifers and springs.) And the cycle continues.

 Dams interrupt the rivers’ part in the water cycle. Rivers are meant to flow freely at a natural rate and even temperature. When they do, they bring debris floating in it downstream as building materials for whatever lives in the river in the food chain. Free flowing rivers also flush out irrigation pesticides, salts, and silt to keep the river clean and healthy.

 When dams are constructed, the first thing they change is the river’s rate of flow. Water moves over the dam with so much force, it scours out riverbanks, makes it difficult for river life to survive. Water behind the dam sits and heats up to a higher temperature than it normally would.  Trees and other debris get stuck behind the dam and the reservoir gradually begins to fill with silt that cannot be flushed downstream. Over many years, the reservoir evaporates more of its water than precipitation replaces and the river begins to dry up. Eventually, the river carries less and less water until it no longer meets the sea, disconnecting itself from the water cycle, and leaving a dead space in its wake, dead to diversity, and no longer renewable.

 Eighty years ago, we did not understand this pattern with dams. However, in recent years, the pattern has been well documented the world over wherever large dams are in place. If our descendants are to have access to abundant river water in the future, we need to take care to protect our rivers now. New dams and hydroelectric power are not the answer.

 Non-polluting: Not harmful to living things. Recently, Dick Green of Rochester, campaigning for a State Senate seat called Hydro electric power a “non-polluting” form of energy. If the word pollution means to make harmful to living things, then energy made by creating carbon dioxide emissions from rotting trees and vegetation is “polluting” energy. If the earth needs a diverse population of species to hum along harmoniously, then what happens to the food chain for wildlife if deforestation for dam construction eliminates their habitat possibilities and their food supply?

 Hydro Quebec’s empty promises of cheap power are being used to deceive people into agreeing to subscribe to power that is non-renewable in the long run. Their NorthernPass plan will not only destroy and pollute the environment, the NP will limit our future water supply and subjugate subscribers to astronomical rates for future power.

 The Forest Society’s Trees Not Towers Fund needs to raise $2.5 million by October 31 to finalize easements that prevent the NP route from going through. One way to stop the NP is to contribute whatever you can at www.forestsociety.org/np or send your check to Society For Protection of New Hampshire Forests, 54 Portsmouth St., Concord, NH03301. Earmark it “Northern Pass Opposition.”

 

Blue Gold Alert

August 16, 2012

Thousands can live without love, not one without water – W H Auden

 The NorthernPass project continues to monkey with our future. I keep track of research on the effect of high voltage power lines on our health, but I see an even bigger challenge to our health and well being from the effect large hydroelectric dams have on the world’s (and ultimately our) water supply. 

We cannot afford to use water to create energy. We have blatant examples before us of what happens to the world’s rivers, its veins and arteries, when large dams are put in place. Unfortunately, you will not likely get the full picture on TV or on radio because corporate sponsors censor what we view and hear.

 The full version of the film, Blue Gold, is now available free on You Tube. What I like about this film is that it visits sites all over the world to update us on the effect that large dams have on our world’s water supply at the hands of multinational corporations. 

We can’t depend on our government for help. It doesn’t matter which political party is in, the outcome is the same re: corporate power. Because we are an affluent country, we are only beginning to feel the effects of poor management of our water supply. Yet the pattern being played out in India, Egypt, Africa, China, and South America will eventually encompass the United States unless we get a handle on the big picture and act to protect our future water today.

 What we must realize is that water is renewable only if we follow nature’s rules for renewal. Nature provides us with forests to hold and store water. Trees and plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for us. Rivers serve as veins and arteries between us and the ocean, lakes, and aquifers to keep the water cycle renewable. Unless we take care of our forests and rivers, we risk losing our water. As humans, we know what happens when veins or arteries are injured and shut down. The same thing happens to earth.

 Large dams give a one-two punch to our forests and rivers. The dams drown forests to make huge reservoirs. Instead of holding water, drowned trees slowly decompose and give off tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The soil under the new reservoir off-gasses mercury for 20-30 years, poisoning whoever or whatever drinks the water. The rhythmical flow of the river is interrupted by water pounding over dams, scouring out river banks. Water then slows down, moves to the next reservoir and heats up as it stagnates, interfering with the steady cool temperatures fish and other water life need to survive. The river then begins to dry up, exhausted.

 Whether large dams are erected for energy, irrigation, drinking water, or combinations,  their long range effect is amply demonstrated by what has happened to the Columbia, Colorado, Mississippi, Yangtze, Nile, Volta, Suriname, Jordan and other rivers of the world. We need to inform ourselves about the big picture while there is still time if we want our children, and generations to come, to have enough potable water.

 We don’t need 20 years to see what will happen in Quebec. The standard demise of large hydro dams has been documented reliably the world over. There is no way HQ will be able to provide cheap electrical energy to the Northeast for long into the future. They’ve saddled us with tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide emissions from destroyed forests as a legacy to deal with whatever profits they hope to realize from putting one over on us and the rest of New England.

 There’s always more. I urge you to watch the full film,  Blue Gold, world water wars. This film can be seen free online at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/blue-gold-world-water-wars/. Then ask the questions: What’s the name of the watershed in my town? What rivers feed it? Where does my drinking water come from? Where does my wastewater go?