We should drink less water. This conclusion is contrary to common wisdom!
There is a principle about drinking water according to Chinese medicine: You don’t have to drink if you’re not thirsty, but when you drink water you do need to drink hot water, not cold.
Some people still drink a lot of water though they aren’t thirsty, thinking it may detox their body and help keep their skin healthy. Some people think it’s too late to drink by the time one feels thirsty. These explanations sound reasonable, but do great harm to people, because the real momentum to maintain our health is Qi (vital energy) instead of water. Needless to say, water has many benefits, but if there is insufficient Qi in your body, drinking more works against your health. If you really want to nourish and refresh your body, you just need to replenish your Qi! Water is merely one of the components of a Qi detox. Qi governs the flow of water and blood as well as their general and various functions. There is a saying in Chinese medicine; blood doesn’t flow when Qi stops. How can water run?
Firstly, drinking water consumes Qi. After drinking, water becomes urine and is ultimately discharged from the body. It consumes Qi in order to turn water into urine. Qi carries water to the vital organs and cells of the whole body, determining what is to be retained as blood and body liquids, and what is discharged as urine and sweat. Meridians are Qi channels; blocked meridians block the flow of Qi, and limit the normal usage and dispersal of water. PaidaLajin promotes Yang Qi while drinking less water reduces the consumption of Qi.
Secondly, since water belongs to Yin, drinking more water raises the level of Yin but naturally lowers the level of Yang. Yang Qi (positive energy) in the human body rises in the early morning with the rising sun. You certainly shouldn’t drink too much water in the early morning, particularly cold water, as that would be like pouring water on a fire, directly damping down the heart’s energy. Many people are accustomed to drinking water in the early morning and have developed heart diseases, but most of them have no idea why.
Heart disease, deep in the heart, is often hidden from diagnostic medical equipment in a hospital, and it’s rarely detected until a person is dying. Indeed, some people who get sent to hospital right after a heart attack still aren’t correctly diagnosed! It’s been known to happen for someone to die in hospital on the same day as receiving a physical checkup that reported their heart to be in almost perfect condition. So, how can we accurately diagnose whether someone who loves to drink cold water has heart disease or not? It’s laughably simple: just slap the inner side of their elbows. If they feel pain it means they have Sha (poisoned blood), and therefore they must have heart disease. The pain indicator can be more accurate than trying to determine whether the person has Sha through medical tests. A person with a healthy heart doesn’t feel much pain even if they are slapped forcefully on the elbow. The more painful one feels, the more serious is the heart disease.
Why do some people get thirsty easily? Because of illness! Meridians are blocked! Usually more meridians are blocked, so all diseases are complex diseases. For example, a patient with heart disease usually has problems in other internal organs as well.
Almost all diabetic patients have heart disease, and they often feel thirsty. For healthy people, a little water quenches their thirst. But a diabetic patient still feels thirsty and hungry after constantly having water and food. It means their meridians are blocked: what they have already ingested cannot be digested and transformed into Qi, or Qi cannot be distributed to the right places. But whatever the problem, it’s all about blockage of the meridians. The more blocked the meridians are, the more one eats and drinks, and the more Qi is consumed. It’s a vicious circle that continues until the end of a person’s life.
Some people suffer from edema, causing them to have a swollen face, eyes, legs, feet or even their whole body. These things can be caused by drinking water while not feeling thirsty or drinking too much water, which in turn causes the kidneys to improperly govern and regulate the water levels and bladder. So people experiencing kidney dysfunction should not drink water when they aren’t thirsty, or they will cause themselves needless trouble.
Edema caused by drinking too much water can be greatly reduced, and quite quickly, by doing Lajin on a Lajin bench and slapping the affected body parts as well as related limbs in their entirety. As proof of the effectiveness of this self-treatment, take this example of an actual event that took place: A pregnant woman with edema all over her body didn’t take any medicine, so as to prevent any possibility of a miscarriage, but instead spent one day slapping all of her limbs that needed the Sha removed: by the end of that same day, the edema had disappeared from her entire body. Three days later she had a normal labor and delivery resulting in the birth of a very healthy baby.
I quite often go without drinking water for a few days at a time, but I don’t feel thirsty because there is water in the food and air which is enough for my body’s requirements. In areas of the world with high rainfall, people don’t need to drink as much water as those in “normal” or dry areas, due to skin respiration. I, like many people, usually feel very thirsty when I come home from a Chinese restaurant, due to the MSG and other chemicals and spices added to the food. So my advice is to visit Chinese restaurants less often.
The diet method promoted by South Korea’s Mr. Li Xiangwen, which separates rice and water, is based on the principle of Yin-Yang and five elements of Chinese medicine, enabling water that belongs to Yin to have less impact on Yang Qi in the spleen and stomach. For people over the age of 30, Yang Qi is on the decrease, so any additional decrease brought on by over-consumption of water affects such peoples’ health negatively. Besides improper water intake, swimming can also easily cause diseases due to the cold and dampness of the water. As the skin respires, the body absorbs a lot of cold and dampness from the water, thus enabling the onset of different kinds of diseases.
It’s no problem to swim occasionally for fun, but it’s harmful to a person’s health and their body’s ability to prevent and fight disease if swimming is done as a regular exercise. We often find in our workshops that some participants have a lot of Sha all over their bodies as well as severe pains, but they don’t know the cause of their ailments. In later discussions with them, they sometimes reveal that they swim every day, and we have realized that swimming is the cause of their diseases. I don’t mean swimming is not good, as it is an excellent form of low-impact exercise, but it is problematic because the water is too cold.
This article is excerpted from "Paida and Lajin Self-Healing"