I’ve always considered myself a healthy person. But, when Ayurvedic practitioner John Douillard rattled off a list of “common” symptoms (listed below) and many of them resonated with me, I perked up and tuned into what he had to say about hot water health benefits in Ayurveda.
- water retention
- skin rashes/itchiness
- breast swelling/tenderness during menstruation or breast lumps
- fibroid tumors
- ovarian cysts
- sore throat
- traveling joint pain
- bloating around the belly
- belly fat
- hip and thigh fat
- thyroid issues
- overwhelmed by stress
- cold hands and feet
- sore feet in the morning
Hot Water Benefits in Ayurveda
Ayurveda is known as “the science of life” and focuses on living in harmony with nature’s cycles. It’s a practical way of life. In fact, Douillard says, most of it makes “perfect sense” and I don’t disagree.
In simple terms, Ayurveda evaluates the body in terms of 7 tissues, the most important being the lymph and the availability of the lymphatic drainage system. Eighty percent of the immune system is located in the lymph so when the lymp is congested and unable to drain, voila! The above symptoms ensue. Someone who lives a healthy life in exercise and diet can still have what Douillard calls a “boggy lymph.”
Why? I’ll chalk it up to the American way of stressful living and excess. When your body feels stressed, it goes into emergency mode. It stores fat and produces stress-fighting hormones and free radicals which can cause illness and disease. Typical fight or flight.
The Goal and the Plan
The goal is to get the lymph system to move which promotes natural weight loss and overall balance. I was elated to know while there are a number of Ayurvedic techniques to accomplish this, all of which I plan on trying in due time, there is one simple lymphatic detoxing technique that anyone can try from the comfort of their home or office.
Sip plain hot water. For two weeks. Every 10 minutes. No lemon, no teabags. Just plain. I know, it sounds kind of gross, but there are worse things. It detoxifies, hydrates and dilates and that’s enough encouragement for me. In an effort to relieve my body of some of those pesky symptoms that I experience and reap those hot water benefits, I took my own Hot Water Challenge.
Hot Water Challenge
Day 1: After a 4 mile run, I knew I needed to hydrate. I’ve always liked my water room temperature, but hot? It was going to be hard to make the switch. I did it almost effortlessly (the ends always justifies the means for me). I still had my usual runny nose at the office, and I was STARVING. ALL DAY! Could the hot water have stimulated my appetite? This is what I love about experimenting and listening to my body. On the upside, I found the hot water to be comforting and a nice change.
Day 2: Supposedly, if you crave more hot water after Day 1, you’re dehydrated. I’m happy to report, no craving = no dehydration and my pants are a little looser. But I’m back with the hot water today and I’m liking it. And I’m not starving today either, but that could be due to the filling protein shake I had for breakfast after this morning’s run. Luckily, I have twelve more days to figure this out.
Note: For all you caffeine addicts who think you won’t be able to last a day without soda or coffee, consider this: Caffeinated beverages stimulate your body to make energy you don’t have and serve as a bowel irritant. Imagine how naturally energized you could feel if you relied on your own body for its own energy.
Follow my progress here and if you’re joining me in this challenge and want to share your hot water health benefits, post about your personal experience in the comments.
Check out my other post in this series: