Laug In Action or the Water of Life

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So, we all know about water. It is the clear, (hopefully) odourless, neutral acid/alkali liquid that makes up around 60% of the human body. Most of the surface of the Earth (around 70%) is water, either liquid or frozen, and life is found in greatest abundance where fresh (liquid) water is readily available, or in the salt water of the oceans (which make up more than 97% of the liquid water on the planet). Many of us can probably recall that the chemical symbol for water is H2O, and maybe even that this refers to the fact that two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom form a water molecule.

If you have studied biology, or are a healer in any form, then you probably also know that it is the most essential nutrient for the human body to consume regularly, as we must obtain it from an external source, and from the cellular level upwards every part of the body is dependent upon it; the human brain is about 70% water, and blood is about 83% water; in addition, most enzyme reaction wouldn’t occur without it, and we would not be able to digest food. It is also regularly lost from the body through sweat and the carrying of waste products. Generally, though, we take water for granted – it is always there (usually from a tap), we need it when it is not (with hosepipe bans already in effect in parts of the UK), and we drink it when (or ideally before) we are thirsty.

There are also some remarkable (and unique) properties to water, that have long been known to scientists, and are crucial to life on our planet, such as the odd fact that the solid form of water (ice) is less dense than its liquid form (which is why ice floats, and the oceans haven’t destroyed all marine life by freezing from the bottom up). Water is rightly known as the ‘Universal Solvent’, as more substances can be dissolved in it than any other liquid, and it is the only substance found in all three states (solid, liquid, gas) on Earth. Also, water can absorb a lot of energy before it begins to warm up, which is crucial to making climatic shifts gradual, meaning that organisms have time to adapt.

Ok, so we now know that our favourite liquid is also a little odd from a scientific viewpoint, with some unconventional properties. Recently, though, there have been some incredible studies that have shown that water has far more complexity and importance than previously thought. A Japanese scientist, Masaro Emoto, showed that the crystalline structure of ice could be manipulated by its environment – e.g. water freezing while a Buddhist monk blessed it formed ‘beautiful’ geometric ice crystals, whilst water from the same source, frozen in the same way while someone projected negative/hateful thoughts over it, froze in ragged, ‘ugly’ ice crystals. Naturally, there has been much scepticism, and derision from the scientific community, but this article is not a critique of Emoto’s work (fascinating as it is), see www.hado.net for more information. Rather, it is a brief look at the complexities of water, and some of the roles that it plays in our lives.

Briefly, without this section getting too bogged down with complex science, part of water’s strange properties come not from the bonds between the two hydrogen atoms and the one oxygen in a molecule, but rather the bonds between the hydrogen atoms in different molecules. These bonds are around 10 times weaker than a ‘typical’ chemical bond, which has the result that although the molecules can bind together, they also break apart easily at room temperature, so that each simple drop of water is hiding a seething sea of both disorder and order, constantly forming and reforming bonds between molecules. To go further into this remarkable situation would involve going into quantum physics, which this writer doesn’t feel remotely qualified to try and explain (or understand), so we shall now leave it for ‘easier’ pastures.

The secret of life: There is an increasingly common view in the labs of mainstream science that a catalogue of genes, and the proteins they code, makes up the entirety of the secret of life. However, it is now apparent that there would be no genetic coding of proteins without the presence of water – as one scientist said, “Without water it is all just chemistry; but add water, and you get biology”. DNA provides information that makes strings of amino acids join up to form proteins, which are essential for all of the body’s activities, either directly or indirectly.

The final shape of the protein largely dictates their precise function, and although water molecules have long been known to be involved they are now found to be far more important than previously thought. Water molecules are trapped in chains of amino acids, and once again it is the bonds between the hydrogen atoms that make enable proteins to do their job. In one instance, the protein responded to stimulus by changing its shape and breaking some of those hydrogen bonds; this in turn started a chain of events where fragments and clusters of water molecules interacted in complex ways to move subatomic particles around.

The ‘building blocks of life’ also turn out to require the presence of water molecules, before any building can even be started. Our favourite tap-product marks out the order in which amino acids are joined together to make proteins. It seems that in order for proteins to meet up with the right parts of the DNA, water molecules again play a major part – in this instance, the molecules concentrate around the areas where the proteins need to be, signifying biological activity. When the water comes close to the DNA surface, it undergoes massive changes as those hydrogen bonds within the water become disrupted, and the molecules slow their movements right down. On computer simulations it has been shown how water communicates, via electrostatic energy, with proteins that are coming in to attach to the DNA, while the proteins are still some way away, carrying information about the various different water concentrations around the double helix. As the protein gets close to the DNA, the water is ejected, allowing the protein to bind tightly. If there is a problem with the DNA, however, then too much water will be present to allow the protein to get close, allowing it to go to another site where it can attach.

The secret other life: Some scientists also believe that there is more to water than just chemistry, which will be no surprise to some of you reading this. For example, the exact same carbon atoms can give you diamond or graphite, two substances with (outwardly) very different properties, showing that chemical make-up is sometimes only half the story. Connected with this is the controversial idea, long talked about in ‘New Age’ circles, and part of folklore, that water has a memory.

There are many elements In modern terms, perhaps the most prominent area where this raises its head is homeopathy, where solutions of certain compounds are continually diluted, some of which so much so that they no longer contain a single molecule of the original compound (somewhat like if you took some salt water, poured half of it away and replaced with fresh water, the salt solution would be weaker. If you then repeated the halving and replacing, the solution would (in theory) end up with little or no salt molecules in it, long after you could no longer taste the salt). The thinking is that the water has a ‘memory’, and so retains the ‘essential property’ of the medicine originally dissolved in it (and indeed, increases the potency of the medicine, whilst removing side effects).

This has led many (indeed most) scientists to dismiss homeopathy as useless, with any effects happening due to coincidence or imagination. Indeed, one recent study concluded that in all but a few cases homeopathy was no more effective than a placebo. Yet there is a great deal of study and research behind this treatment, and little doubt in the minds of therapists and many patients that there are indeed solid results from these incredibly dilute liquids. Some scientists believe that many of their colleagues overlook part of the process of creating a homeopathic solution. The process involves the vigorous shaking of the mixture, known as succession. It is estimated that the pressure in the water may reach more than ten thousand atmospheres, due the localised effect of the shock waves generated. This, they say, may cause fundamental changes in the properties of the water molecules.

Another explanation may be through the process known as epitaxy – using the atomic structure of one compound as a template to induce the same structure in other compounds. This process is already well known about in industry, where it is used to create crystals in the production of microprocessors, and according to some scientists water already shows that it can behave in a similar way. When it is required that rain is induced, or to break up cloud cover, the cloud can be ‘seeded’, where particles are introduced into the cloud that water molecules can either form droplets around, or grow ice crystals on, leading to rain or hail. Silver iodide is commonly used, and the ice that forms around it takes on exactly the same crystal structure, with no chemical transfer occurring at all (i.e. the ice replicates the structure of the other crystal merely by being in proximity).

It may be that homeopathy can actually tell us a lot about the secrets of water, but it is unlikely to attract much mainstream interest from scientists, who generally seem to prefer the rather more simplistic view of H2O as a simple chemical compound, with simple roles to play in life. There are also a lot of traditional associations with water that come to us from folklore, history and archaeology, as well as the associations that come down to us from the oral history of Stav, which modern science is shedding more and more light on. It does seem as if our ancestors knew more than generally credited with, which will come as no surprise to many of us, but that will have to wait for another time. ~ By Darren