The Power Of Water

August 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured


by Deborah Calla

Is there anything more soothing than being under the shower letting water run down our bodies?  It is not ecologically correct, especially if you live in California where it never rains, to take long showers but even a quick one can do the trick because there is nothing like a warm shower to relax the body and mind.  Maybe it’s because we are greatly made of water or maybe it’s because when we are in the womb we are “cuddled in water” but water is healing.

SPAs have taken note and have created all kinds of baths and steam rooms, from tea baths to charcoal steam (hydrotherapy) and Hollywood has explored from every angle the tired, the anxious, the depressed, the happy and the sexy under the water shot.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat a disease or to maintain health. The theory behind it is that water has many properties that give it the ability to heal:

*          Water can store and carry heat and energy.

*          Water can dissolve other substances, such as minerals and salts.

*          Water cannot hurt you, even if you are sensitive to your surroundings.

*          Water is found in different forms, such as ice, liquid, or steam. Ice may be used to cool,      liquid is used in baths and compresses at varying pressures or temperatures, and steam is used in steam baths or when breathing in.

*          Water can help blood flow.

A Brief History Of Hydrotherapy

*          Greeks originated the practice of hydrotherapy by indulging in hot baths more than 2,500 years ago.

*          In Rome, “sudatoria” or steam rooms made up one section of the bathhouses, which also incorporated eating, talking, gambling and sports. The letters S-P-A frequently appeared on the walls, an abbreviation for “solus par aqua” meaning health or healing through water. Modern-day spas derive their name from this acronym.

*          In 200 B.C. India, the steam bath, or “swedana” was developed as part of a purification treatment. Wealthy families of the period incorporated bathhouses into their mansions.

*          Muslim bathhouses, or “hammam” consisted of a domed, central steam chamber. Adopted by Europeans, the hammam serves as the model for modern Turkish baths.

*          Russian hot vapor baths, known as “banya,” originated more than 1,000 years ago. Today they retain their function as a health, beauty and relaxation treatment.

*          Sweat bathing gained popularity in Finland at approximately the same time as the Russian banya. It remains wildly popular to this day–the country boasts more saunas than cars.

*          In Native American cultures, the sweat bath first served as an ancient hydrotherapeutic technique and is still practiced in a similar form today. Sweat lodges are traditionally low, windowless, insulated domes constructed of willow branches. Inside, red-hot stones are sprinkled with botanicals and water, creating an aromatherapeutic steam.

So What Is Water?

Chemically, the water molecule is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen and is positioned in a special way that results in it having both a negative and positive charge. Scientists believe that water in its liquid form is a collective of water molecules that form and re-form continually. Water undergoes a number of transformational physical changes when subjected to certain environmental conditions.

Additionally, water is one of nature’s most effective solvents, and many substances are found dissolved in natural water. Water falls from the sky as precipitation and emanates from the ground in the form of springs. The colossal power of water can be captured as usable energy and is of major economic importance.

Water And Its Symbolism

Water is most often symbolically regarded as the Great Mother or the prima materia, the universal womb. As the ultimate source of life, water is associated with birthing, fertility, and the feminine/yin, and is connected to goddesses and other mythological female creatures.

Water related spirits and goddesses celebrate the vitality of water and its status as the source of life. Artemis, goddess of the moon and ruler of the tides, is associated with menstruation.

Water spirits express the dual nature of water. Water sprites were tempters of evil, embodying both water’s life-giving and destructive properties, while the Naiads, Nereids, and sirens of Greek mythology were envisioned dualistically, emerging as either shy nymphs or dangerous, luring creatures.

Like water’s mutable scientific properties, its symbolic meaning is variable. Water is the source of all life, and it also has the power to drown and destroy.

Water is essential for our survival and so we must take prompt action to save our water.  Fresh, clean water is finite and as the earth’s population growths these sources of water get spoken for.  Compounding the problem is the lack of proper sanitation in these bodies of water or near them and large areas with no natural sources of water.

So if we want to survive as a species and continue to enjoy the history and the therapeutic usage of water we must take steps to clean and preserve our rivers, streams, and oceans.

  • Winsor Pilates

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