A couple of months ago, I got to thinking about water. Mostly because I had an injured leg and was unable to go swimming until the scars healed, the scabs fell off, and I wouldn’t infect the waters or my own body. But I missed my daily swim and water-aerobic exercises. It seemed my body craved that watery existence that I had come to accept as just part of my daily routine.
It’s amazing how necessary water is to our lives, and how for the most part we take it for granted. Until there is a drought and water is restricted, or there is a flood, and we curse the rising riverbank and the threat to our property. Or we injure ourselves and our water play time is taken away, and we have to wrap our leg in a plastic bag and take a two minute shower, in the vain hope of not wetting a cast or a bandage. That is no fun. Suddenly, it seems a bubble bath is desired more than a box of Godiva chocolates.
Our body is made up of 60-70% water, depending on body size. We need water to live. Water has featured throughout history as having incredible healing and purifying powers, even magical powers, as in the warding off of evil. It’s featured in every religion: Christians are baptized with water, Catholics touch holy water and make the sign of the cross as they enter the church, women of the Orthodox Jewish faith go to the Mikveh every month, those of the Hindu faith attend pilgrimages to the healing waters of rivers, especially the Ganges, and in the Shinto religion waterfalls are held sacred.
The Latin phrase “sanitas per aquas” means health through water. Spas and baths have been around for centuries. If you’ve ever been in England, and driven to the city of Bath, you know what I’m talking about. There are famous spas and baths throughout Europe, and many of which have served royalty throughout the ages. I’ve always wanted to visit the spas in Germany. I did stop in Montecatini Terme, Italy, and it was fabulous. And while this photo is not exactly in Montecatini (it’s in Rome) ah, Italy. I will return…someday.
European insurance companies have been covering curative stays in spas for decades, and we are way behind our European cousins in that matter. What a pity. Spas and thermal mineral springs have known healing properties. In California there are natural mineral springs, and I’m sure there are many in other states as well. Most of the spas I visit, when I can afford to, are in luxury buildings and hotels. The messages we receive about spa treatments are those of vanity and image, and exorbitant prices, and we fail to remember the healing effects. We visit for a massage, facial, or the latest wrinkle filler, and with our hurried lifestyle don’t often use the steam room or sit beneath the man-made waterfall, or use the sauna, or Jacuzzi.
I’ve promised myself a treat. The leg is healed, and there is a birthday on the horizon. I’ll visit a spa and I’ll stay for the day, or at the very least, an afternoon. I’ll draw all of that wonderful moisture into my lungs and in through my pores, and sweat out the toxins. It will do much for my aching joints, arthritis, insomnia, lower back pain…and my old skin will glow with good health.
How about you? What affect does water have on you?