Spend Time Near Water to Keep Yourself Balanced During Dry Winters

by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Spending time near moving water will help balance you

Spending time near moving water will help balance you

While the warm weather we’ve been having here in the Rockies has been lovely, a lack of snow and rain can actually be detrimental to our health if we do not take time to balance what is missing.

We are not yet officially in the season associated with Water, but it is just around the corner.  Our days are almost at their peak of shortness which means Yang is at its lowest point of the year; and  typically, it would be much colder, which is Yin, and our environment would be filled with snow and ice.  Because our summer was so dry and lacking its usual thunder and lightening storms, and our winter season is off to an incredibly dry start, it is even more important that we get out to our local creeks and streams to increase our exposure to Water.

Acupuncture theory has its own explanation for the benefits of spending time near water during the Water Element season, but let’s take a look at the Western perspective.

The air around us is filled with positively and negatively charged particles, which are called “ions”. Stormy skies and moving water (or any breaking of the surface tension of water such as lightening, misty days, etc) fill the air with negative ions, which are the scientific secret and explanation behind water’s health benefits. While both positive and negative ions occur naturally, only the negative ions are beneficial to our health, the positive ones being the culprit to the commonly known problem of “free radicals”.  Because our environment and bodies are filled with so many more positive ions than in the past, due to:

  • discharge of voltage in high-voltage networks,
  • heating and cooling systems,
  • TVs, radios, transmitters, radar systems, computers,
  • exhausts and cigarette fumes, smog
  • radiation and harmful chemicals and toxins,

it is even more important that we take the time to surround ourselves with the negative ions whenever possible.

Benefits of negative ions

1) They kill bacteria:
Dr. Albert P. Krueger, a microbiologist and experimental pathologist at the University of California, found that an astonishing small quantity of negative ions could kill bacteria and quickly take them out of the air so they were less likely to infect people.  The benefits during cold season or for the immuno-compromised are easy to guess!

2) They help with depression:
They have been proven to increase levels of seratonin in the system.  In fact, Columbia University studies of people with winter and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants.

3) They improve memory and retention:
In 1984, a study was published in the “Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology” named, “Negative Air Ionization Improves Memory and Attention in Learning-Disabled and Mentally Retarded Children.” The effectiveness of negative ions on mental performance was tested by researching the power of negative ions to improve the cognitive abilities of mentally handicapped children, as well as the abilities of normal children.

4) Speeds recovery of asthma attacks:
Ionized air has been used in the treatment of asthma patients. The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Hospital administers negative-ion treatments to hundreds of patients suffering from hay fever or bronchial asthma, with great success in eliminating symptoms.

Fort Collins area is filled with rivers and lakes, so do yourself a favor, get ready for Water season and give yourself a pre-boost by getting out there and taking walks along our beautiful waterways. And stay tuned for my Winter/Water Element newsletter which will be coming out in a couple weeks, and which will go into more details about the Water Element and what you can do to stay balanced during winter.

Previous post:

Next post: