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One of the debates that has accompanied bodywork throughout its history has been about what specific things various manipulations actually accomplish, and to what conditions it can therefore be applied with some expectation of sucess. Almost all physicians and practitioners interviewed have agreed on one or two fundamental points. One is that most of the body’s processes rely upon the appropriate movement of fluids through our systems, and that bodywork can be an effective means of promoting these circulations. Whether it is blood to the arteries, capillaries, and veins, the contents of the digestive tract, lymph in its vessels, secretions in their glands, or the fluids that fill all of the spaces in between our cells, manipulations can move them around much like I can push water back and forth in a rubber tube; and with a clear knowledge of these fluid pathways and some practice, one can become quite sophistcated in the ways in which one can stimulate their flows.

Now these flows or the lack of them, can have far reaching consequences upon many tissues and functions. Nutrients, oxygen, hormones, antibodies and other immunizers, and of course water, must be delivered to every single cell continually if  it is to survive and respond the way it should, and all kind of toxic wastes must be borne away. There is no tissue in the body that cannot be weakened and ultimately destroyed by chronc interruptions of these various circulations.

Another argument frequently made for the efficacy of bodywork is that both our musculature and the connective tissues which hold us together often become stiffened or shortened or thickened, distorting our posture and limiting our  movements. These tissues can be especially troubling after surgery or any other trauma, when the muscles are either tightening up in order to brace an injured area or are contracting in a general withdrawal reflex, and when the connective tissues are scarring over a wound.

These bracing and healing mechanisms often overdoe their functions, and it is very common that individuals never recover their full range of motion or their normal levels of comfort after an operation or a serious injury. And these stiffenings, shortenings, and thickenings can also happen as a result of a wide array of overuse, disuse, spasm, injury, illness, fatigue, aging, poor habits, or the innumerable physical strains that various occupations demand of us. Bodywork has been used for thousands of years to relax muscles, eliminate spasms, diminish fatigue, soften connective tissue to make it more supple, and so free up the joints, restoring a fuller range of painless movement.

These kind of effects upon our fluids and upon our solids have been rightfully cited as benefits of any number of approaches to bodywork throughout its history. They would certainly be enough to establish its therapeutic value. But it is my feeling that they do not go half far enough in describing the positive changes that can happen as a result of skillfull touching. Even though they are accurate identifications of benefits, they reflect almost exclusively the mechanical aspects of bodywork and of our own systems responses- the laws governing hydraulics, the elasticity and tensile strength of tissues, and so on.

We are, of course, mechanical in many of our physical aspects, so there is a great deal of justification for focusing on these sorts of effects and explanations, as far as they go. But we are much more than mechanical. We are a confluence of physics, chemistry, and conciousness, streams and quanta of energies that interpenetrate one another in enormously complex ways, that moment by moment create layers and layers of effects, and in which the subtle and the gross are always inextricably intertwined.

Dean Juhan-Author of Job’s Body



1. Without water, nothing lives.

2. Comparative shortage of water first suppresses and eventually kills some aspects of the body.

3. Water is the main source of energy- it is the cash flow of the body.

4. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy inside each and every cell of the body- it provides the power to live.

5. Water is the bonding adhesive in the architectural design of the cell structure.

6. Water prevents DNA damage and makes its repair mechanisms more efficient- less abnormal DNA is made

7. Water increases greatly the efficiency of the immune system in the bone marrow, where the immune system is formed (all its mechanisms)-    including its efficiency against cancer.

8. Water is the main solvent for all foods, vitamins, and minerals. It is used in the breakdown of food into smaller particles and their eventual metabolism and assimilation

9. Water energizes food, and food particles are then able to supply the body with this energy during digestion.

10. Water increases the bodys rate of absorption of essential substances in food.

11.Water is used to transport all substances in the body.

12. Water increases the efficiency of red blood cells in collecting oxygen in the lungs.

13. When water reaches a cell, it brings the cell oxygen and takes the waste gases to the lungs for disposal.

14. Water clears toxic waste from different parts of the body and takes it to the liver and kidneys for disposal                                                     

15. Water is the main lubricant in the joint spaces and helps prevent arthritis and back pain.

16. Water is used in the spinal disks to make them “shock absorbing water cushions”.

17. Water is the best lubricating laxative and prevents constipation.

18. Water helps reduce the risk of  heart attacks and strokes.

19. Water prevents clogging of arteries in the heart and the brain.

20. Water is responsible for the bodies cooling (sweat) and heating (electrical) systems.

21. Water gives us power and electrical energy for all brain functions, most particularly thinking.

22. Water is directlly needed for the efficient manufacture of all neurotransmitters, including serotonin.

23. Water is directly needed for the production of all hormones made by the brain.

24. Water can help prevent attention deficit disorder in children and adults.

25. Water increases efficiency at work, it improves your attention span

26. Water is a better pick me up than any other beverage in the world- and it has no side effects.

27. Water helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

28. Water restores normal sleep rhythms.

29. Water helps reduce fatigue- it gives us the energy of youth.

30. Water makes the skin smoother and helps decrease the effects of aging.

31. Water gives luster and shine to the eyes.

32. Water helps prevent glaucoma.

33. Water normalizes the blood manufacturing systems in the bone marrow- it helps prevent leukemia and lymphoma.

34. Water is absolutely vital in making the immune system more efficient in different regions to fight infections and cancer cells where they are formed

35. Water dilutes  the blood and prevents it from clotting during circulation.

36. Water decreases menstrual pain and hot flashes.

37. Water and heartbeats create the dilution and waves that keep things from sedimenting in the blood stream.

38. The human body has no stored water to draw on during dehydration. This is why you must drink regularly and throughout the day.

39. Dehydration prevents sex hormone production- one of the primary causes of impotence.

40. Drinking water separates the sensations of thirst and hunger.

41. To lose weight- water is the best way to go- drink water on time and lose weight without much dieting. Also you will not eat excessively when you feel hungry but are in fact only thirsty for water.

42. Dehydration causes deposits of toxic sediments in the tissue spaces, joints, kidneys, liver, brain, and skin. Water will clear these deposits.

43. Water reduces the incidence of morning sickness in pregnancy.

44. Water integrates mind and body functions. It increases ability to realize goals and purpose.

45. Water helps prevent the loss of memory as we age.

46.Water helps reverse addictive urges, including those for caffeine, alcohol, and some drugs.

* Blood is normally about 94% water when the body is fully hydrated* 

F. Batmanghelidj, MD (Author of  You’re Not Sick , You’re Thirsty)

Why Consumers Get Massage

Although pampering is still one of the top three reasons consumers receive massage, this year marked a slight increase in massage being used for medical reasons-up 32 percent in 2009 from 31 percent in 2008. Relaxation/stress relief rounded out the top-three list.

At 32 percent, medical reasons tied this year with stress reduction as a top reason consumers seek massage therapy. Males seeking massage therapy for medical reasons saw a 12 percent increase, rising to 45 percent.

Additionally, its older Americans who are most likely to seek massage for medical and health benefits rather than relaxation or stress reduction.

A full 86 percent of Americans believe that massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain, and 85 percent feel that massage can be beneficial to health and wellness. To this end, this year’s numbers seem to suggest that consumers are talking to their health care providers in increasing numbers-and their providers are responding. Of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44, 25 percent talked to their doctor about massage therapy, compared to 14 percent in 2008. Of those who discussed massage therapy with their health care provider, 52 percent say their doctor strongly recommended them to get a massage.

Massage Therapy Journal
Spring 2010