I thought to re-present and blog this article “Water Story” now, partly because here in Sydney it is winter, which is the season that correlates to the element water in Chinese Five Element Theory, but also because globally these are uncertain and frightening times – the water organs Kidneys being associated with security and so the realms of home, work, community and family, and Urinary Bladder associated with fear and anxiety.
I begin with an introduction that looks back to when I began to formulate the ideas set in the main article. Through this time, from about the mid-1980’s on, the exponential rise in our population, which reflects so much of our impact on Earth, was still climbing – though the rate of increase had slowed.
Hans Rosling (“Don’t Panic — The Truth about Population” BBC 2 documentary Nov 2013) eloquently presents how birthrate is settling towards two world wide for each reproductive couple, which would replace them without adding to their numbers, but which means the world population will fill out with those that will age to a modern life expectancy, so that while they grow old, population could continue to grow past our current almost 8 billion towards 11 billion. While environmentally, any such numbers may be unsustainable – we refer to comets and volcaniic eruptions of the past mass extinctions for perspective over our current situation – Rosling points economically to a civilized equality – if those in the $100/day developed world could ease off jet travel towards the level of just cars and $10/day motor bikes, and those below poverty and $1/day bicycle economy could rise towards the $10/day motor bike level.
At any rate, this is not the direction we have been and are heading in.
Introduction to “Water story” – July 2020
I began to form the ideas set forth in this article on water intake in the mid 1980’s, when Jane Fonda’s Water Diet and aerobics was “in”, and PET bottles of water were coming to the fore (Coke and Pepsi in “single use” PET bottles from 1978).
The Cold War was nearing its end (1989). The Berlin Wall still divided Germany, Russia occupied Afghanistan, and Gorbachev was trying to keep the restructuring of the Russian economy – perestroika was also “pepsi-stroika” – under control. Japan was growing its “bubble economy” (burst 1992), and computerization and digitization was underway, with America firmly in grip of it.
Western modern and urban lifestyle, with its social, cultural and health effects, was continuing to spread over the world. The world wide trend, of people’s exodus from rural regions to cities, was also underway in China since after Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution (Mao died in 1976), and with Deng Xiaoping’s Economic Reform and Open-Door Policy – together with the “flow” there too of America’s cola drink, Coca-Cola (Pepsi in Russia).
Threat of nuclear war and destruction had eased, but financial, resource and environmental concerns were yet clearly defined. We had gone through Oil crises (pl. 1973 and ‘79) and were trying to come to terms with possible limited reserves of resources in general. However, the big financial bubbles were yet to form and burst.
Physicists looked to a single formula that combined Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Philosophers still held hopes for truth beyond empirical probability, sociology and chaos. Prospectors mined the rift between economics and finance, their claims to value soon to be staked on the double ledger, in credit and debt bubbles, completely bereft it seems from bricks and mortar. Politicians used “political correctness” like a ball in a game, to compete between the left and right, which eventually blurred their differences (the left and right), and which only affected matters that were politicized (namely race and gender), nor were these addressed beyond accountability and correct terminology, for inequality seems to have re-surfaced as systems, human, technological and natural, are now strained. People were leaning about nature and pollution, sought their “roots” and considered other cultures and sustainability, while those in the developed world continued to jet about, as if to take it all in before disappearing, while still trying to “move up” in the world.
Governments managed the economy, apparently. Central Banks, debt and corporations still seemed to be under their sway – seemingly accounted for, economically in trade, exchange and settlement. Though for some suspiciously un-accountable, the financial creation of value and money and what they are based on (speculative), most didn’t care as long as it, money and credit, “flowed”. And it did flow, faster and more with communication or information technology, and with computer programmes (automated or algorithmic trading) raking in prospective profits behind the scenes of speculative business. Increased transactions in themselves raises GDP. There was hope for a better world and future. Environmental threat was still a matter of debate or documentaries. Consumerism, progress and development buoyed the sense of value in currency.
Health wise, there were inroads being made into cancer and cardio-vascular disease, in association with advances in genetic mapping and analysis, imaging (MRI scans) and micro-surgical and mechanised techniques. The Pritikin diet was “in” in the 80’s of high fibre and low fat and cholesterol for the prevention of cardio-vascular disease (yet to distinguish the different cholesterols, and before statin drugs for lowering them), and by-pass surgery was becoming more readily available. There was also growing recognition of stress and the importance of hydration for the human individual.
There has since been a sort of commercial and consumer sophistication in health and well-being that is more and more technical and technological, strongly influenced by developments in our civilization with digital technology. Reliance on these, specialized products, procedures and information, takes us further away from our innate physical and organic basis.
While my work, on the human condition and Reality (hc.R), pursues our relationship as part, with one’s Whole Being – Who, in the real world of Reality, transcendent beyond our reality of notion and sense, of conscious experience and self, is embodied, alive and next to other Whole Beings and Whole entities of Reality – and is presented elsewhere, I find still very pertinent today the approach presented in the article to follow, for the intake of water. Water is a fundamental and integral part of Earth and life on it from before computers, PET bottles, exercises and cities.
I would also add to “Water Story”, now nearing 40 years after its initial consideration, the following, which has become more relevant to me and my aging peers :
There may be fear of a full bladder and timely access to a toilet, especially when not at home. The morning bolus is the one of usual concern. I find it passes in two “visits”, one at home soon after breakfast and before leaving home, and the second after commuting and arriving at a destination. Otherwise, a regular and decent filling and flow (rather than dribble) is good both for the bladder and sphincters, in a similar way to the “good stress” described in the main text to follow.
There may be problems dealing with the fluid load for those in heart or renal (kidney) failure, for which individual professional advise should be sought. t.t. July2020
It is recommended that a bolus (single large dose) of water be taken at morning and dusk each day for the rest of your life. Regulating the intake of the second most vital substance after air, is an easy way to establish a healthy tone and daily rhythm to your whole body.
Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) plays a key role in the management of the body’s fluid ballance. As part of a generalized shut down for sleep, levels of the hormone are high during the night causing an anti-diuresis or production of low volumes of concentrated (dark) urine. The bladder is slow to fill so that ideally there is no need to get up during the night to empty the bladder.
Approaching dawn, the level of ADH in the blood dramatically lowers. The kidneys are then set for the passing of large volumes of weak (clear) urine or diuresis (as with diuretic drugs). After a nights shut down, the body is ready to be flushed, re-hydrated, and re-adjusted throughout its various “fluid compartments” within the body (generally intravascular and within and between cells but also in different glands, organs and tissues).
With the morning dose of water ideally taken at least 15 – 30mins before breakfast gastric, digestive and mucosal glands are readied for secretion. The rapid expansion and contraction of the stomach by the bolus dose and its rapid absorption and emptying, acts as an internal wake up stretch and is an effective stimulus for peristalsis (intestinal contraction that propel contents by its wave like propagation through the intestine) whose wave begins at the stomach.
1 pint (600ml) to 1 litre depending on age, gender and body size, is to be drunk steadily without too much of a break. Discomfort is often encountered and takes some minutes to pass. Stomach distention and pain indicate stomach weakness, liver strain may cause nausea and spleen weakness a faintness. The symptoms are from stress on the organs and may take weeks to months to settle. It is a good stress that tones the organs. Appetite and bowel movements are also stimulated.
Animals come to the water hole at dawn to fill their stores of water for the day and replenish it at dusk. Unless there is an excessive loss of fluids, as with sustained and intense physical strain or extreme heat, it is better to use up fluid stores and replenish them at the end of the day. Then, the kidneys and the body in general firm for activity during the day instead of becoming bloated or water logged if fluid is taken through the day without the distinction of intake and use; we can imagine core fluid compartments inert or flabby with lack of use and exercise if fluid is not moved and exchanged, stagnant while superficially becoming over sensitive to wet or dry.
Chinese medicine designates 3-5pm as urinary bladder time and 5-7pm kidney time. Emotion for the kidney is security, fear for bladder (incontinence in fear). The end of the day is the time to windup your tasks and take stock for the day, replenish your stores and settle. Fluid intake should not be necessary after dinner. The body is ready for the night’s closure with the return of rising levels of ADH.
In our modern lifestyle the natural cues of the daily cycle, of activity and light are numbed by transport, lighting, housing, programmed/personal entertainment and institutional work around the clock. Controlling your water intake is an effective way to introduce a natural cycle to one’s life. It is also a good way of establishing yourself in your time zone and place from jet lag, commuting as well as staying up.