Leonardo da Vinci once said “water is the driving force of all nature” and he wasn’t wrong. Whether in the form of a roaring waterfall, a sparkling thermal spring, a block of ice in our gin and tonic, or a teardrop slowly making its way down our cheek, water is everywhere. We exist mostly of water, with the average adult made up of around 70 per cent water. It is truly the most important chemical compound for our existence; we rely on water to regulate our temperature, keep us focused, prevent our blood from clotting, flush out toxins and regenerate our cells. While we could potentially survive without food for weeks (Ghandi survived complete starvation for 21 days), water is a whole other story. But how much do we know about water and the healing powers it holds?
The youth molecule
New Zealand wellness and water researcher Veda Austin credits Emoto as a huge influence in her personal journey with water, which started extensively five years ago.
Austin is the founder of alkaline water company Lemurian Springs, which sells water of the purest quality and highest alkalinity – 9.9pH. Her personal health journey is almost as miraculous as her water.
Twenty-five years ago, a horrific car crash saw Austin receive a broken collar bone, ribs, whiplash, internal bleeding and half a windscreen embedded into various parts of her body. The internal bleeding left scar tissue on her small bowel, which grew in the following months, slowly cutting off her digestive system. Only a saline intravenous drip helped alleviate her severe dehydration, nausea and pain, which caused her to wonder about the benefits of adding salt to water for ultimate hydration.
Following a bowel resection, Austin began a ritual of adding a teaspoon of sea salt to her glass of water every morning before breakfast. This continued for years, and despite being told she would be unable to conceive children due to her scarring and endometriosis, Austin gave birth to three healthy children.
Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, Austin relocated to Auckland and started her life from scratch. She set up the Lemurian Wellness Clinic in Matakana and began further researching the science of water and the benefits of natural salt, and alkalinity – and found that naturally alkaline water could potentially be very beneficial. It led her on a search to find the purest water source possible. She found it here in New Zealand (although due to a confidentiality clause with the owner the source cannot be disclosed). Drinking the water presented some incredible results for her.
“Within three days, my skin was glowing and my digestive system was vastly improved. On days six and seven I noticed lots of little bumps forming on one arm and along my jaw. They were painful to touch and I didn’t know what they were. It was at this stage that I started adding a specific portion of dissolved Himalayan salt per litre. It was enough to change the molecular structure of the water to be considered saline. By day 10 it became clear what was going on.”
Twenty-seven tiny pieces of glass that had been embodied in her body for two decades were detoxed out of Austin’s skin. Areas of her face that had pigmented following the accident and were extremely sensitive to sunlight disappeared too, after Austin formulated a structured spray mist which is now part of the Lemurian Springs product range today.
“It just surprised me so much… I thought that maybe it was a fluke. So [at the Lemurian Wellness Clinic] I started asking clients if they would like to be in a trial for this amazing water that I had found. Word got out, and I pretty much had the whole of Matakana coming to trial my water,” Austin says.
Austin recorded two years’ worth of 200 client tests, with every single person returning a positive result, from weight loss to detox,
to lowered blood pressure and treating skin issues like psoriasis, eczema and acne. Her new book, The Youth Molecule details many of her trial’s results, as well as Austin’s personal journey with the water. “Four people even expelled kidney stones drinking this water,” she says.
"You might be drinking a lot of water everyday but it's not actually detoxing our body properly" - Veda Austin
Alkaline water is incredible for helping people lose weight, too, says Austin. “The more acid you put into your body, the more fat is required to contain it. And that includes acidic water. A lot of mainstream bottles won’t have the pH of their water on their label, because it’s usually under seven which means that it’s acidic. You might be drinking a lot of water a day, but it’s not actually detoxing your body properly.”
Water in its most natural state has an abundance of benefits, as well as interesting philosophies in society today – which go further out of the box than most of us could imagine. In the medical industry, American researchers are looking into using our very own tears for improving the way diagnosis for serious diseases are made. Around 400 New Zealand women participated in a world-first trial in 2016, run by Ascendant Diagnostic, for the company’s new product known as ‘Melody’. It’s hoped that Melody will detect the presence of breast cancer by analysing the protein profiles of each individual’s tears. Researchers are suggesting the collection of proteins can distinguish women who have breast cancer from women who do not with sensitivity of 88 per cent and a specificity of 86 per cent.
Quality is key
If you’re wanting to look more radiant and youthful, it’s all about drinking structured water, suggests Austin. “The main reason we age is due to what we call cellular ageing, which is normally caused by cellular dehydration. Water has a structure which is sensitive to change, and when water molecules are put through pressure and stress (through things like piping) they lose an electron which means they are no longer structurally sound. The higher the structure of water we are, the healthier we are, the younger we look, the better we feel. The lower the structure, the less healthy we feel...the more likely we are to get sick.
“We insist upon drinking a less-than-sophisticated water when we are the most sophisticated water system on the planet. Our body is absolutely remarkable. There are more molecules of water in us then there are stars in the milky way and yet we keep giving our bodies water that doesn’t have any geometric structure,” she says.
Ridvan Parlak owns Orasu (meaning aura water in his native Turkish language), a company which supplies the most advanced alkaline water filtration systems available in the market to customers in New Zealand. He agrees with Austin about the quality of water we are drinking.
“In today’s modern world, the water we drink is not the same as our ancestors’. Tap water is filled with numerous toxins (industrial chemicals, heavy metals, fluoride to name a few) and has more than often been stripped of beneficial minerals that are present in untouched water supplies,” says Parlak.
Losing his wife Shona to a brain tumour in 2013 was the catalyst for Parlak to find out more about the healing powers of water. Originally given a prognosis of weeks, she eventually lived just short of a year – something Parlak attributes to the power of drinking ionised alkaline water, which was recommended to him by friend Dr Patterson Stark, a US-trained chiropractic physician and recognised leader in clinical nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, physiology, anti-ageing medicine and lifestyle medicine.
“[Stark] was the first person who introduced me to ionised alkaline water. He was just like a personal coach for me and my wife. We made a massive improvement on her health as well as our entire family’s. But I hadn’t really thought a lot about the water at that time, because the water was just water to me.”
Parlak says that following his wife’s passing he needed time to do some soul searching and returned to Turkey. It was there that Parlak noticed how thirsty he was, regardless of how much bottled water he was drinking. He returned to New Zealand eight kilograms heavier. Two months later, after returning to drinking ionised alkaline water again, he had dropped the weight and started eating right again, going on to study integrative nutrition.
“This began a whole new journey for me. I have since made it my mission to continuously research and study the power of real food and water,” he says.
Parlak says he learned a great deal from Dr David Carpenter’s book Change your water, change your life. In the book Carpenter explains that water is the basis for all your body fluids including blood, lymph, and digestive fluids.
“It is critical for the transportation and absorption of nutrients as well as for the elimination of waste. Water also regulates body temperature; it lubricates joints, it cushions organs, and it moistens tissues. These are the most obvious functions of water. But water is critical at many other levels. It is involved in the transmission of signals throughout your body. When the amount or the quality of the water you drink is compromised, signals can become distorted or short circuited. Water also supports the helical spiral of the DNA. Research indicates that the way water molecules are organised around DNA is an indication of ageing and disease. Water is the largest single source of energy in the human body. Its movement, into and out of cells, produces a significant amount of energy, that is why one of the first symptoms of dehydration is often fatigue.”
Says Parlak, “If the quality of the water is not there, and your body has got to process that water as well as everything else, all of a sudden your body is in a stressed and manic mode. The body is becoming more and more acidic and more dehydrated, and we are almost inviting any disease we know for mankind. It starts from dehydration. Chronic dehydration is just like our body is almost in an acidic state non-stop.”
Ionised water (also referred to as electrolysed water) is water that has been exposed to an electric current which separates the charged particles. Positively-charged ions are drawn to the negative electrode, and negatively-charged ions are drawn to the positive electrode.
Ions with a positive charge like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium raise the pH and produce alkaline water. Negative ions including phosphorous, chlorine, and sulfur lower the pH and produce acidic water.
It’s easy to test the pH and quality of your water, says Parlak – just head to your chemist and pick up a pH testing kit. The trick is, according the experts, to never compromise on water quality, underestimate, or take for granted the life force of water.
“Wherever the water goes, it takes energy. Water is like a bird, like a computer. Wherever it travels, it picks up the minerals, and it cleans all the time. Cleaning and carrying nutrition to animals, nutrition to the planet, everything,” says Parlak. “Look around you, without water we wouldn’t be sitting down here. Life came to the planet with water. We don’t see the water as a living thing, we just see water as essential. But we can’t do without it.”
The power of words: more love, less hate
The revolutionary work of internationally renowned Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto suggests that molecules of water are affected by our thoughts, words and feelings. His best-selling book, The Hidden Messages in Water, features his high-speed photography of crystals that form in water when it is frozen, and differ when concentrated thoughts and messages are directed toward them. Emoto collected samples of 50 different waters from around the world, placed them into individual Petri dishes and froze them at -20 degrees for three hours. He found that within natural water, no matter where it came from – springs, underground rivers, glaciers, and the upper reaches of rivers – complete water crystals formed. In stark contrast, polluted water or tap water resulted in incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colours. Emoto further experimented by wrapping a piece of paper with words typed on it around bottles of water. Words with meanings of gratitude and love resulted in beautiful, complex and colourful water crystals. When words and negative messages were exposed to the waters, incomplete or distorted shapes were formed. The water samples were even exposed to the vibrations of music – with similarly interesting results. When classical music was played, well-formed crystals with distinct characteristics appeared. Again in mind-blowing contrast, water exposed to violent heavy-metal music resulted in fragmented, malformed crystals at best.
Emoto explains his belief that water teaches us in a very clear way how we must live our lives, and the power of words and messages can positively impact the earth and our personal health.
“Words are an expression of the soul. And the condition of our soul is very likely to have an enormous impact on the water that composes as much as 70 per cent of our body, and this impact will in no small way affect our bodies. People who are in good health are also generally in good spirits. Indeed, a healthy spirit most comfortably resides in a healthy body.”