Water, water everywhere
I live on the beautiful Tohickon Creek (ed. in Bucks County PA). The first year I lived here, that first Spring, I saw a variety of fish, turtles and a blue heron who makes his/her home a few yards downcreek from the house. In the Summer, when I walked the creek, I found shards on the creek floor from an old, now defunct, glass factory some small shells and beautiful stones. It was lovely. But something was wrong and I wouldn’t know what it was until four years later. Because, now when Spring comes there are otters, beavers, mussels and many many more fish and turtles. The problem was pollution and as the creek cleans up, life is returning to it. It is exciting, reaffirming and hope-filled to see nature return our waterways to vitality because water is essential for all life on this unique planet we inhabit….this planet we share with the Earth’s flora and fauna and, moreover, this planet that we are bound to protect.
Besides, we NEED water to have healthy minds, bodies, and spirit….never mind the rest of the Flora and Fauna. Lets get selfish here. We NEED water and it behooves us to be the stewards we’re meant to be for our sakes as well as for the rest of life. Selfish is good sometimes.
So lets read on about one of our most valuable assets.
In the Journal of Active Aging, Sept. 2005, Dr. Oladele Ogunselian, a social ecologist talked abut the effect that water, trees, and flowers have on positive attitudes. He maintains that there is a positive link between a restorative environment and emotional well-being. His research has lead him to determine that bodies of water are one of the environmental features that are viewed as enhancing emotional health by subjects in the tests. Furthermore, in these studies, landscapes with complex designs were not seen as healing. the Term topophillia refers to a study of environmental perception, attitudes and values, including the emotional affective bond between environment and human beings. I suspect this may be true because there is a beautiful creek that flows past my house and it is a source of healing and peace to me and from what other say…well, I suspect it may be true.
fountain The sound of water has a soothing effect on the human brain. There is an area in the human brain located near the brain stem called the inferior colliculus where cells respond to sound, (frequencies, rate and volume) and process the sounds and identify them. This area of the brain interprets these sounds sending signals to other parts of the brain causing neurological firings to occur. Water calms! Researchers Monti Escari and Heather Read are doing research on the effects of sounds, including the sounds of flowing water on brain function linking sounds with mental wellness. While they are doing their research we know that there are already CD’s of flowing, dripping, streaming and swirling water sounds, table top fountain and wall fountains are found in lobbies, living rooms, offices and even in the salon where I have my hair done. Very soothing. Close your eyes and think about lying on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun and listening to the waves crashing on the sand. If it weren’t so soothing it would be intoxicating. And, the quantity of water oceanside provides an enormous amount of negative ions that creates a positive mental state. Why, there are even screensavers with pictures of water accompanied by the sounds to calm and sooth when you turn on your computer.
More research. The brain is 85% water (although some say 78% but whose counting). Water regulates body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to the blood, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, removes toxic waste and more. Dehydration leaves us tired, irritable and foggy, can lead to poor stress management, depression and can induce anxiety. (That 3:00pm slump??? Dehydration!) Furthermore, lace of water creaates a physical reduction of the ionic composition of the fluid surrounding brain cells or neurons which swirls the brain into over activity resulting in a headache.
Feeling Water: Warm water when it is cold outside, cool wataer on a hot day. Doesn’t get better than that. But more good news about water. When I have been exposed to toxic energy I just get in the shower and let the water carry the negative energy down the drain, into the earth, were I belive and hope it get neutralized. Its a little like washing your energy field. Another benefit from being in water is that it removes the pull of gravity relieving your body of stress and physical weight on joints, muscles and tendons. So showering in the morning starts the day our refreshed. If it was a hard day take another soapless shower at night, (don’t want to dry your skin out) and float any chance you get.
Water abounds in our lives so use it to provide the mental and physical well-being it offers. The Center for Personal Reflection also is a resource for mental and physical well-being for individuals and couples. As you plan out your strategy for continued growth please avail yourselves of all the Center offers. Stay well.
Marianne Harms, LCSW
Center for Personal Reflection
3694 Spruce Hill Road
Ottsville, PA 18942