THE KOJIKI tells us the story of the mythological creation of Japan by its two great deities, Izanagi and Izanami, who used a mystic coral spear to churn the sea below until drops of salty water fell from the tip of the spear, creating the islands of Japan.

While this may be folklore, it is a known fact that great civilizations owed their existence and preservation to water. The early Egyptians depended on the Nile River for their agriculture. Likewise, Mesopotamia relied on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, while China built its civilization along the Yellow River.

Indeed, water can either sustain or undermine civilizations. But most importantly, it is an essential component of the human body, which is why the frequent intake of water (commonly known as water therapy) has become a helpful natural prevention and treatment against sickness or diseases.

However, most people nowadays disregard the importance of water therapy. It often irks me how people fortunate enough to have clean drinking water are the same ones neglecting the importance of water.

Bob McCauley, an American water technician and author of many books on health, once wrote that water serves to energize every cell and organ in the body, thus it is crucial for the body’s operation. Once we become dehydrated, the body instinctively begins to ration water to each organ.

Recent studies showed that water therapy has been helpful in regulating obesity, anemia, cough, hemorrhage and rheumatism, among others. It also detoxifies the body through the production of sweat and urine, which in turn removes body odor, maintains body temperature, and even provides a smooth and healthy skin. See what a simple glass of water can do?

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For the ancient Indians, Chinese, and Japanese, water therapy has been the most sought therapeutic treatment against diseases. The Indians called this usha paana chikitsa and it has become their common practice in treating health problems. Today, the Japanese has accepted water therapy as a form of alternative medicine. After waking up every morning, one should drink five to six glasses (1.5 liters) of water and avoid taking food and other drinks for at least an hour.

But be warned. Water therapy can be dangerous if the intake of water is unregulated. The human body possesses a natural mechanism for taking out surplus water, but if this cannot accommodate the amount of fluid, one may be at risk from hyper hydration or “water poisoning,” which could lead to heart failure or stroke.

This therapy should actually be taken in moderation. People taking it should also learn that the human body has limited capacity to draw out excessive water, and thus, even water therapy requires one to be disciplined and determined.

Water therapy may not yet be a health trend for now, but history and science are both certain on one thing: water will always be life’s stream of fortitude, just like how it was centuries ago, when it gave life to the ancient civilizations.

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