A well-hydrated body is able to respond to internal and external signals of change with ease and to the best of its abilities, thus helping to create optimum health.
On the other hand, a dehydrated — or under-hydrated — body is not able to respond as efficiently or speedily to these signals. De-hydration causes our body’s cells to coat themselves with cholesterol in order to preserve their internal environment, thereby making cellular communication more difficult. The cells are not able to function to full capacity as the more de-hydrated a body becomes, the more ’cut-off’ the cells become and the increased mucus load leads to a stagnation in the movement of fluids.
The body only functions with what is available to it and thus dehydration causes more and more cells to become ‘cut-off’ so the body will be functioning more and more below par. The seasons play an important role in our health picture…
During Winter the energies of the body are more restful, less movement takes place naturally and body fluids thicken. The body’s ability to respond to natural energies (e.g. moon phases) is lessened. As the body’s fluid picture is quite stagnant at this time it does not detoxify as much as during the rest of the year and thus it is particularly important to avoid challenging foods and to keep the body well-hydrated so as to not compromise further its already reduced ability to rid itself of toxic build-up. If well hydrated at this time the body is less likely to need
an acute episode (where body temperature is increased and mucus discharged) in order to rid itself of some of the toxic load.
In traditional Chinese medicine the season of Winter is governed by the Water Element and this governs the kidneys and bladder, thus proper hydration is particularly important in order to avoid undue stress on these organs. Stress on the kidneys and bladder (caused by dehydration) can increase the emotion of fear, proper hydration can help the being to cope with or prevent excess of this emotion.
Spring is born from Winter, it is a time of movement and new beginnings. This season is related to the Wood Element and this governs the liver and gall-bladder. During Spring the mucus deposits start thinning and more movement is created. A well hydrated body will be more able to create this necessary movement. However, resistance can be encountered in the movement of energy and mucus deposits and this may manifest in skin eruptions (e.g. boils and pimples) and blocked sinuses (Spring cold anyone?).
Proper hydration helps to combat or prevent this resistance and also helps to prevent and combat any acidity caused by the movement of mucus (which can cause e.g.. gall-stones and stiff and aching joints). Anger may manifest excessively at this time, this too can be made less by proper hydration. The liver and gall-bladder can be placed under stress particularly in Spring if hydration is insufficient. Spring is the season of flexibility/inflexibility and a well-hydrated body is much more able to create a flexible health picture.
Leaving Spring behind one moves into Early Summer which is associated with the Fire Element and the Heart and Small Intestine. Good hydration will help prevent undue stress on these organs. During this season of rapid growth and expansion in nature one also finds a lot of movement in the body, especially of the blood and lymph. In order to facilitate this movement with ease proper hydration is essential as without it the body is not able to maintain the mobile state which is its natural tendency at this time of year.
Impaired cleansing and clearing (insufficient hydration) can show in e.g.. skin problems. When the body is well-hydrated its ability to create movement on all levels and thus cope better with the growth and change this Season brings about, is greatly enhanced, cells are allowed to communicate more fully and fluids to flow more freely. In the Chinese system of healing there are 5 seasons as opposed to the Western four and thus Late Summer follows Early Summer…
Late Summer is related to the Earth Element and is the time of the year when the growth cycle is coming to an end and the bodies energies are slowly closing down as the Autumn Equinox approaches.
During this time the body seeks to rid itself of any toxicity which has been expelled from the cells and in order to do so successfully proper hydration is essential. The mineral status in the body is also important at this time as the body needs to be in harmony with the mineral status of the Earth in order to be properly earthed or grounded and centered itself. This opens the way for toxicity to leave the body.
In a dehydrated body, mineral absorption is below par and calcium displacement is more severe. The spleen and stomach are the organs governed by the Earth Element and providing the body with a proper hydration message will help ensure that these organs play their roles efficiently especially as they are very much involved with digestion (stomach), distribution and purification (spleen-blood).
After Late Summer comes Autumn, the final build-up and preparation for the quiet period of Winter. At the Autumn Equinox the body might have acute episodes( e.g.. colds, infections etc.) in order to help shift the toxic load and improve the overall health picture. Good hydration greatly helps this process.
During Autumn the fluid picture is contracting and there are toxins in the system after the Autumn Equinox and in order for these to be eliminated efficiently good hydration is essential otherwise more acute clearings may become necessary.
The Metal Element governs Autumn which means there is particular emphasis on mental energies as this Element is associated with the mind, lungs, colon and skin. The change in mental energies will coincide with the thickening of body fluids and the cells becoming more ‘cut-off’. Lack of proper hydration at this stage can cause even more stagnation than is natural during this time.
Without proper hydration the emotion of grief may also become apparent excessively at this time.
In order for the body to receive a good hydration message there are some steps that can be taken related to diet. Eating plenty of hydrating foods such as short grain brown rice and drinking enough clean water (at least 8-10 glasses a day) can help give the colon the message that the body is being adequately hydrated and that it is not necessary for the body to produce excess cholesterol and mucus to coat the cell membranes and so preserve the cells internal environment.
The colon receiving a proper hydration message (with the help of bulkers like seeds and phsyllium husks) will also enable the body to let go much more easily and allow the elimination of toxins to take place more efficiently. Cutting down on de-hydrating foods such as pork and wheat will also help give a good hydration message. Plenty of good essential fatty acids can be obtained from oily fish (and linseeds daily for vegetarians) a few times a week.
A well hydrated body will be able to respond to the natural energies which bring about cleansing in a progressive way throughout the year thus preventing acute episodes from becoming chronic and moving deeper till possibly even manifesting on a mental and emotional level.
When approached with a loving mindset and recognition of our environment, our bodies are bound to try their best to respond with vibrant health throughout the year!