Recovering Our Bodies

Water's Role

Recovery is more than just discontinuing the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Many of us neglected to take care of our bodies during active addiction so recovery for our bodies is very important. We are always hearing about the importance consuming water. It's always in the back of your mind to make sure you are getting those eight to 10 glasses in a day. But, more times than not, you don't make the quota unless you are counting your gulps.

Recent articles have reemphasized water's vital importance and the connection we have to it. H.H. Mitchell, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, stated, "the brain and heart are composed 73% water; the lungs are about 83%. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%."

That's pretty remarkable, considering 75% of Americans walk around chronically dehydrated. Fatigue, fogginess in the brain, low motivation, and poor judgment are just a few side effects that complicate our day. The common headache is usually a great sign of dehydration. Water is being pulled from your head to feed the body.

The stress we put our bodies through on a daily basis when in active addiction is quite astounding. And even in recovery we consumer soda, energy drinks, sweetened coffees and teas.

Our bodies are constantly talking to us, just not in a way we always pay attention to. Every time we add something to our bodies it immediately sends us a response as to whether or not this substance is truly useable. We just don't understand the language anymore. The billions upon billions of cells, bacteria, and transmitter systems are constantly firing messages to us. But we only seem to pay attention when something is wrong.

Water consumption is important but water can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Ice baths and cold showers are an old-time method for curing certain ailments such as inflammation, depression, weight gain due to poor fat intake, and even curing states of psychosis. Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, seems to be a new hype in today's natural healing community because it's been shown to promote remarkable increases in brain function. It also enhances the fat burning genes that create large doses of mitochondria which, in turn creates energy to burn unwanted fat.

The use of water therapy on the hotter side, such as a sauna, also has amazing effects on the body. It is a great way to relieve soreness and even detoxify the body. By getting rid of the toxins we take in during the day. A sauna session is also remarkable in revitalizing the body especially in early stages of recovery from substance use.

In early recovery our bodies are trying to reconnect and reconfigure their operating systems. More times than not we are functioning at a very low frequency of energy while our organs, cells, and transmitters find a way to start healing. Using hot therapy such as a sauna helps the body to evacuate toxins, repair damaged cells and start the cleansing process. This stimulates better brain function and clearer thinking which can produce healthier choices in everyday decisions, something which is crucial in early recovery.

But on an everyday basis there are simple tricks to ensure you are getting enough water. It doesn't take much to start making our bodies function at a higher level, even if it is at the smallest of increases.

Start by drinking a glass of water when you wake up. Your body is dehydrated from six to eight hours of not having any fluids in it. Put eight to 10 ounces of water on the stove, and heat on high for one minute to get a lukewarm temperature. Roughly 90 to 100 degrees is perfect, but it does not have to be exact. The point of warm water in comparison to cold is that it is gentler on your organs. Think about being startled out of sleep as opposed to a soft touch to wake you from your sleep.

Adding a squeeze from half to a full lemon will regulate your PH balance and create a more even acid-to-alkaline ratio in the stomach. You should find that your response time becomes a little quicker and you have sharper functional mobility in a shorter time span from the time you woke up.

Drinking water will enhance your performance and sharpen your mind. Spend some quiet time each day if you can and just listen to the humming of your body and the energy being released. Let feeling take over and soften the thoughts that you try to control. Quiet the noise in your head. You might just embrace that long-lost connection to yourself.

Adam Pellegrini is an addiction technician at Hazelden's Tribeca Twelve program in New York City. He also received certification as a health coach in nutrition and overall wellness from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
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