You’ve seen what happens with electronic products when their batteries run low or age. Suddenly you’re pushing a button repeatedly to get the TV to turn on or the garage door to open. Or calls on a cordless phone keep going bad. Or your cell phone doesn’t last throughout the day like it used to. In short, things stop working.
It’s the same for the body when its battery is depleted. So if we want health and vitality, we absolutely must keep the body’s battery charged. There are two approaches to doing this, and it’s important to do both if you want the best results. First, you have to charge it on a regular basis, which is what this chapter is about. Second, you have to make sure that energy is being used efficiently, which we’ll cover in later chapters.
Luckily, the body is designed to charge from many sources. As we say in the first principle of bioenergetics, “Life Exchanges Energy.” In your everyday life, this means that you’re constantly exchanging energy with your environment through diet, breathing, exercise, grounding (to electrically power your body), and exposure to light and heat, among other things. Water also plays a critical role, as I explain below. So with the right lifestyle habits, you can help to optimize this charging process in order to enjoy more abundant energy.
1st Principle of Bioenergetics:
Life Exchanges Energy
When people think about getting healthier, eating better and getting exercise are perhaps the two options that immediately come to mind. We’ll see how important other areas are as well, but there’s no question about the importance of diet and exercise. And given that most of us eat at least two to three times a day, we really need to give food our attention.
Of course there are many diets out there, with experts arguing about which one is the best for people to follow. There are vegan and vegetarian diets, keto and paleo diets, macrobiotic and Mediterranean diets, caloric restriction diets, and so on. In short, there is no one consensus on the way that we should eat, so even if you wanted to do the right thing … where would you begin?
Despite their differences, most of these diets agree on some key items, and that is where we begin. Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, is one of the most respected nutrition scientists in the world. He has summarized the majority consensus on healthy eating, and points of agreement include the following:
- Eat a diet of minimally processed foods, direct from nature or made from natural ingredients. Avoid anything artificial.
- Eat a diet of mostly plant-based foods.
- When eating meat, eat the meat of animals raised on pure plant foods.
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
I should point out that the term “all natural” on food packages has no technical meaning. It is a marketing term. I encourage you to start learning to read the ingredients on any packaged foods, and if you don’t know what an ingredient is, look it up or avoid it until you know. It’s sometimes hard to believe what’s allowed inside processed foods!
You can make a big impact on your health and energy by simply beginning to remove foods from your diet that don’t fit within these guidelines and replacing them with those that do. Few people can or will make these changes overnight, but as you take steps that are simple for you today, then the steps that seem difficult right now will seem easy later on. Making a small change each week turns into substantial changes in a year.
From a bioenergetic perspective, though, choosing natural, unprocessed foods is about more than just avoiding toxins or ingredients that your body doesn’t know how to deal with. Obviously healthy food provides building blocks that are chemically necessary. But beyond that, it provides minerals that water can structure itself around, producing a battery inside every cell. (See the next section on water.) Also, the production of energy (ATP) from food relies on electrons released from food and moving through the electron transport chain. Batteries produce a flow of electrons to do work, and that’s exactly what happens in all our cells as they generate ATP to power the body. In both of these ways, food is truly part of powering a literal body battery.
As if that weren’t enough, food is also about light. This is because living tissues emit light, or what we call biophotons. There’s been some powerful research on this topic that can help you understand how important natural food is.
In Russia in 1923, Alexander Gurvisch discovered that living cells and organisms emit extremely low levels of light spontaneously. He thought this light was involved in communication between cells. A century later, research has continued to mount showing that this is true, that light is part of an energy-based communication system in the body that’s much faster than chemical communication. (Photons, or particles of light, are a means of communication between electrons, and the movement of electrons in the body is key to all our biochemical processes.) We’ll talk more about this communication system in later chapters but, in short, the more coherent this light, the more it can support accurate communication.
Another researcher, German physicist Fritz-Albert Popp, is perhaps the best-known researcher in this area. He emphasized the energy nature of the human body by saying that we are “light beings” who need coherent light to coordinate the trillions of biochemical processes happening in the body.
His research, for instance, showed that cancer patients emit less coherent light than healthy people. Meanwhile, stress seems to drive too much light emission – this effectively means we’re less efficient with our energy and are using a lot of it to move through stress. With biophotons, the goal isn’t to produce a high quantity of light, which would be wasteful, but to use and produce a high quality of it. That is, to make use of more coherent light. So in the case of multiple sclerosis (MS), for instance, Popp’s research shows that people with this condition are emitting too much light, as if the body is in a constantly high state of stress.
Along these lines, Popp found that the healthiest food had the lowest intensity of light but highly coherent light. Again, quality over quantity. His team also studied the “after-glow,” or delayed luminescence, of food and found it possible to distinguish organic tomatoes from conventionally grown tomatoes strictly from this reading of light. They could also distinguish free-range eggs from caged-hen eggs, and could use after-glow to predict the germination rate of barley seeds.
Besides the coherence of light, we can also consider the frequency of light, which we perceive as colors. Every frequency carries its own information to support the body’s communication system, so our best bet is to eat not only food with coherent light, but foods of many colors in order to provide a broad spectrum of light. Conventional views on nutrition already encourage a rainbow diet; from a bioenergetic perspective, this is why.
Finally, we can think about the way we eat. As I pointed out, stress causes us to produce too much light. Stress and negative emotions can also impact the heart’s communication with the brain and the rest of the body and cause overall decoherence in our communication system (or the inability for everything to speak together). For this reason, it’s ideal if we can set aside time to eat in a non-stressful setting, breathing deeply and calmly and being in the moment. Being in a state of positive emotions with people we love may also contribute to our state of coherence as we eat. Those who consciously offer a prayer before a meal are attempting to enter a state of gratitude, which promotes coherence.
In short, coherent energy is essential not only to powering us, but to making sure that power is used well. And when it comes to food, we can best gather this type of energy by eating:
- A variety of foods from nature (not labs)
- Organic when possible
- In as natural (unprocessed) a state as possible
- In the most balanced personal state possible
Most of us have probably had someone remind us to “get plenty of liquids” when we’re sick. Natural health advocates almost universally advise people to drink plenty of water. Scientists even look for water on other planets to see if they could sustain “life as we know it.” But why is water so important and how can it help to recharge our battery?
Let’s start with the sheer magnitude of its role in life. Not only does it account for about 70% of our bodies by weight, but it makes up about 99% of the body’s molecules. (They are lighter than other molecules, so they don’t make 99% of our weight. So from a molecular standpoint, you are 99% water.) If you’re almost entirely water, then it makes sense that science and medicine should put enormous emphasis on understanding its role in human life. Instead, water remains a largely mysterious fluid that conventional science has struggled to explain.
Consider some of these water conundrums:
- If water evaporates all across an ocean or lake, why don’t we just get a general mist? Why does it stick together as clouds?
- If water is just a flowing substance, why does it make sand stick together so you can build a sandcastle?
- If a gelatin dessert is almost entirely water, how can it hold its structure?
Dr. Gerald Pollack of the University of Washington asks these and other questions in his powerful book The Fourth Phase of Water. More importantly, he puts together strong theories to answer these questions as he explains water’s ability to structure itself along water-loving surfaces. (Which includes most surfaces in the body, like cell membranes and all the organelles within a cell. Minerals can also provide these surfaces.) Instead of the familiar H2O of liquid water, the water molecules combine into a new, more rigid form as H3O2. While his answers challenge conventional viewpoints on water (viewpoints that don’t have good answers), it seems impossible that one could question his underlying point about water’s structure. Why?
Because he gives visual evidence. You can actually see images of this structure, or better yet, find videos online that demonstrate it in real time. I encourage you to stop by his lab’s website at https://www.pollacklab.org/research.
Dr. Pollack shows droplets of water, for instance, being dripped onto a water surface and literally floating as a droplet on top of the water surface for several seconds before the shell of the droplet breaks and the droplet merges with the rest of the water. He also shows a bridge of water – up to 4 cm (nearly 2 inches) long – spreading between two beakers of water that are being charged by electricity. That is, it’s a span of water in mid-air with literally no physical support beyond its own structure.
Importantly, he shows how water next to a water-loving surface creates what he calls an “exclusion zone,” or “EZ layer,” of structured water, becoming a gel rather than a liquid. This layer expels all debris from itself and into the “bulk water” that isn’t structured. The EZ structure takes on a particular charge (usually a negative charge in the body), and the bulk water takes on an opposite charge, literally creating a battery with voltage that can power work in the body. This voltage is necessary for nerve transmission and cellular communication.
The conventional view is that electrolytes – having positive and negative charges – create this voltage across cell membranes. But remember what I said last chapter, that when scientists measured inside cells, they weren’t expecting strong electric fields. Instead, they found fields five times the strength needed to produce lightning storms. This completely called into question what they thought about cells.
But Pollack’s research shows how structured water solves the problem. It massively contributes to voltage, and therefore electric fields, both inside and outside the cell. In effect, it ought to create a monster lightning storm – even if on a tiny scale – throughout the body. And this is what we find with all the electrical activity of the body, both in the nervous system and within every cell. Pollack even suggests that this universal charge separation in the body could replace the need for ion pumps in the cell membrane (the conventional explanation), which would in turn explain why cells can often survive being sliced in half.
What’s more, this EZ layer and its battery effect increase in the presence of light, especially infrared light (heat). I mentioned before that living tissue continually emits light, and we know the body continually produces heat. So the body’s natural processes may already help to maintain these EZ layers and water’s battery effect. Even more powerful here would be the tremendous amount of light and heat we receive freely from the sun. While we’ll talk more about the importance of sunlight later, this is yet another reason why getting adequate sunlight is important. It can literally help to provide us with free energy from the water in our bodies!
Pollack even shows how these EZ layers on the inside of a water-loving tube freely move bulk water through the tube, and this may tell us a great deal about how blood moves through the body’s blood vessels without relying entirely on the heart as its pump. This helps explain how a sticky fluid like blood (which would already be difficult for a pump to move) can travel through thousands of miles of blood vessels at different speeds in different parts of the body without the heart doing all the work. (I should point out here that, in the theory of biophysics, the heart plays other important roles as well.)
Water also plays other critical roles in the body, which we’ll look into later, but as we talk here about charging the body battery, we’re focused on water’s ability to structure and therefore create a charge separation, setting up a body-wide battery system.
Oxygen is a critical nutrient we get with every breath. While I’m introducing other ways the body’s battery is charged, even conventional science suggests that 90% of our energy comes from oxygen and only 10% comes from food. This is because of its role in the electron transport chain (ETC), which cannot work without oxygen. The ETC is by far the most efficient method of converting food into ATP, which chemically powers the body. This chain also produces byproducts that are used in other stages of ATP production. And it all hinges on the availability of electrons and oxygen.
Oxygen is critically important for proper brain function – while the brain only makes up 2% of the body by weight, it uses 20% of the body’s oxygen. In fact, the best way to not just prevent brain decline but to actually regenerate the brain is through the oxygenation that occurs during low-impact aerobic exercise. Not diet. Not hormones. Not detoxification. Oxygen.
You can see why deep breathing is so important and why shallow breathing (due to posture, tension, etc.) is so detrimental. Also why it’s important to correct any problems we may have with breathing as we sleep. Try to pay attention to your standing and sitting postures and to keep from slouching; there are products that can help with this. Many of us also hold our breaths or breathe very shallowly when tense or focused. You could set occasional alarms to consider both your posture and depth of breathing and try to correct them. Over time, this may help you to get into better breathing habits.
A side benefit to oxygenating the body is that cancer cells, fungi, and anaerobic bacteria thrive where oxygen is absent and may not survive an oxygen-rich environment.
Movement and Exercise
Of course you can’t really talk about getting enough oxygen without talking about movement and exercise as well. Actually, these do more than just help flood the body with oxygen. For instance, movement literally generates electrical charge in the body, helping to power the body’s battery, because many of the body’s tissues are piezoelectric, meaning they produce electric charge when compressed or stretched. This includes the trachea and intestines, as well as the bones and muscles that are compressed and stretched during exercise.
Movement also supports the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid in the body. It stimulates the tendons and tissues, and it releases certain hormones and stimulates metabolism. It helps protect against chronic inflammation and supports the growth of neurons in the brain.
Just as important as their benefits, movement and exercise are also about preventing the types of problems you definitely don’t want to have, as inactivity is ranked as the world’s fourth leading risk factor of death, contributing to roughly five million deaths per year. In fact, research on over 400,000 people showed that, compared to those who were inactive, those who engaged in at least 15 minutes per day of moderate exercise “had a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality … and had a 3 year longer life expectancy.” Those who exercised at least 30 minutes a day on average had additional benefits.
Other highlights to encourage good exercise habits include:
- Exercise is a natural antidepressant.
- Exercise significantly increases the size of the hippocampus, improving memory.
- Exercise can help with relaxation and quality of sleep.
- Exercise can help with weight loss.
- Exercise helps the body manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Exercise can help to reduce pain levels.
- And central to our conversation here, exercise can help to improve overall energy levels, especially for those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Movement doesn’t have to be fancy. It just means walking, jogging, biking, swimming, doing yoga or tai chi, and so on. It also doesn’t have to be extreme. In fact, it’s possible to over-train, as a lot of athletes have discovered the hard way. When exercise reaches the point of over-stressing the body, energy production in the mitochondria goes down. That said, intense exercise can be useful for some, as it triggers a training response for the body to get stronger. But only short bursts are necessary to get the training effect, leaving you with plenty of energy reserves.
For those who are chronically tired or sick, though, intense exercise is likely something to avoid. For years, I pushed myself to the extreme with exercise, thinking it could solve my problems of chronic fatigue when, in fact, it only made it worse. Taking Infoceuticals started me on my road to recovery; better lifestyle decisions continued that recovery; and more recently, I’ve achieved a level of health I hadn’t seen since before I was sick. I reached this level by figuring out how exercise intensity plays an important role in charging the battery. It took me a long time to figure this out, which is why I’m putting all this information together for you in this book.
Over the years, when assessing myself with our software (which I’ll talk about in a later chapter), I saw regular patterns suggesting that my heart needed support. I didn’t realize that this is entirely common among those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – not something I still have, but something I have a tendency toward. (The beauty of using a system that looks for root problems is that you can often see what needs support before it becomes a physical problem.) As it turns out, researchers at Newcastle University found that “patients with CFS have markedly reduced cardiac mass and blood pool volumes, particularly end-diastolic volume: this results in significant impairments in stroke volume and cardiac output.” Incredibly, those with CFS can have hearts that are 30% smaller than average!
This is why many people with low energy levels need to take care how they approach exercise. Movement is critical for all the reasons I mentioned above, and it’s important to do so at a pace that raises your heart and breathing rates to increase oxygen levels. But when you’re already dealing with the stress of health challenges, you don’t want exercise to add to that stress.
Low-impact aerobic exercise is the answer, as it is the opposite of stressful. It calms the autonomic nervous system while infusing the body with healing oxygen and nutrients. It even turns on your fat-burning system, helping you to better sustain your energy throughout the day.
Anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise is exercise that uses more oxygen than it takes in. This is used for building muscles, but it’s something to avoid when you’re trying to recover from low energy or poor health. Technically speaking, aerobic exercise can include any level of intensity that doesn’t push you into an anaerobic state. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We don’t want to even approach anaerobic levels.
The key here is “low impact” – something that raises your heart and breathing rates, but also something you could sustain for long periods of time. When you’re first getting started, this might just include walking or gentle programs of yoga or tai chi. As you begin to recover your energy, it might include hiking through the mountains or gentle paces of jogging or swimming. The key is to increase oxygen flow without wearing yourself out.
Because it’s sustainable, you should be able to gradually increase the amount of time you’re doing this exercise each day. Start with what you can; this breaks the habit of not exercising (if that applies) and starts to build your aerobic system. It will also start to energize you so you’re able to do more of the same and will get you feeling better to the point of wanting to do more. Ideally, build up to a minimum of 30 minutes of low-impact exercise every day. If you really want to charge that body battery, challenge yourself to see how much more time you can put in.
Walking the dog at a good pace counts. A session of yoga counts. If you’re able to walk while speaking with clients on the phone, that counts. If you watch TV in the evening, what about doing so from a treadmill or exercise bike? What about stretching or jogging in place for a bit? The goal is to find time in your schedule and/or to fit it into the things you’re already doing.
Applying this idea of low-impact exercise has helped me reach my own health pinnacle, as I’m finally applying the right kind of exercise with other lifestyle habits to charge my body battery. Meanwhile, I look to Infoceuticals to make the best possible use of that energy (a topic we’ll dive into later).
Here are a few refinements to consider in your low-impact exercise regimen:
- Mix in full-body movement exercises: Adding yoga flow classes and swimming to your routine are both great options.
- Rotate your exercises: Perhaps walk one day, bike the next, and take a yoga class the next. Or even try two different activities on the same day!
- Aim for overall progress: Don’t worry if your activities are not all the same length each day. As long as you’re working toward a minimum of 30 minutes a day, then challenging yourself with a bit more when you’re ready, you’re doing great.
- Join a social group: Activities that are social are more enjoyable. For instance, joining a biking or hiking club can give you a boost.
- Try a new activity: Activities that involve new skills give great pleasure as you learn to master them.
To prevent injury, include stretching to loosen up before exercise, and even enjoy regular massage if you can. If a muscle becomes sore from one exercise, you can try a different exercise while it recovers. And of course if you regularly mix up the types of exercise you do, you’ll promote the health of more muscle groups.
It might seem daunting to start moving and exercising more if you haven’t been doing so and if you already feel low on energy. But feeling low on energy is exactly why you need to do it. As long as you’re not overexerting yourself, movement and exercise will help build up your energy once more, powering the body’s battery so you have it to power your life.
Before we jump into speaking about how light recharges your battery, we need to understand a little something about the body’s circadian rhythm. Sometimes known as the sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythms go well beyond that. Based on biological clocks throughout the body, all of which are kept in sync by the body’s master clock inside the hypothalamus, circadian rhythms represent the peaks and troughs of different functions in the body each day.
For instance, these rhythms determine when you feel sleepy and when you feel energized and ready to tackle the day. They also influence when greater amounts of certain hormones (chemical messengers) are released, affecting things like hunger, thirst, and sexual desire; metabolism and cellular detoxification; and blood pressure and body temperature, both of which are higher and lower at different times of the day.
Circadian rhythms are so influential that some scientists consider circadian rhythm management as important to our health as diet. When this rhythm is badly managed, it can lead to anxiety and depression, brain fog, diabetes and obesity, insomnia, and of course … fatigue. In other words, its management is critical for your overall health and specifically for keeping your body battery charged.
This is part of where light comes in. We know that plants feed off light by converting it into a form of energy they can use. But humans and animals use light too, with different wavelengths of light having different biological effects, including control of our circadian rhythm.
For instance, during the day, the sun emits more light in the blue part of the spectrum, telling the body’s circadian clock that it’s time to keep everything awake and active. But as the sun begins to set, we get more light from the red end of the spectrum, signaling our internal clocks to start powering things down while ramping up melatonin production as we get ready for sleep.
One reason sleep rejuvenates us is because this is when our bodies burn fat to produce heat in the form of infrared light to accomplish repairs in the body. Red and near-infrared light penetrate deeply into the body’s tissues, where they can react with the mitochondria in the cells to trigger energy production. Far-infrared energy can trigger certain reactions in our cells, including the viscosity of the water within them, which in turn can make it easier for ATP to make its final transfer of energy to the mitochondria.
Of course as we mentioned before, light, and particularly infrared light (heat), are also used by the body to expand the EZ layers of water, promoting a battery effect throughout the body. Beyond that, some of the latest research suggests that melanin (found in our skin, hair, and nails) may be able to convert sunlight into a form of chemical energy, much as plants do with chlorophyll. While there are various explanations of this phenomenon, it may have to do with releasing electrons from water, much as we see in plant photosynthesis. In addition, light can be absorbed by electrons in the body, bringing them into a higher energy state; as they drop back to their initial state, they release a photon, which, as I’ve said, is a form of communication between electrons and throughout the body. This form of communication makes chemical communication look slow and inefficient in comparison.
The advent of light bulbs has had a profound effect on humans because we no longer rise and sleep to the natural rhythms provided by the sun. We tell the body to stay awake and active far longer, reducing our time for recovery and throwing off our metabolic processes. LED light bulbs have amplified the issue, as they produce more light from the blue end of the spectrum than incandescent bulbs, and we amplify the situation with all our exposure to TVs, computers, and smart phone screens. A study by Harvard researchers found that blue light suppresses melatonin production for twice as long as green light and throws off circadian rhythms by a corresponding amount.
To make matters worse, when we’re outside, many of us do everything we can to protect ourselves from the sun, in spite of the obvious fact that all life on the planet relies on exposure to the sun. We wear extra clothes or slather ourselves with toxic chemicals designed to “protect” us from contact with UV radiation. We wear sunglasses, which changes the signals that sunlight is sending to our brain through the eyes. As a result, the body is confused by receiving conflicting messages between the skin and eyes about sun exposure. This can alter the body’s natural defenses (which are meant to repair UV damage through a process called “photo-repair,” as discovered by Fritz-Albert Popp.) This “protection” also alters the body’s ability to optimize the use of this life-giving nutrient, sunlight. Yes, there is such a thing as too much sunlight, but our society has largely erred on the side of getting too little and/or confusing the body’s correct response to it.
We don’t just need to get more light, but more of the right kind of light. Blue light when we’re getting ready for the day helps to wake the body; in this case, LED bulbs may be fine for lighting. But you might consider dimmable incandescent or halogen bulbs in the evening to start preparing your body for sleep. Consider also using blue screen filters or glasses at these times if you must be on a computer, watching TV, or using your phone. Many computer monitors and operating systems now let you set times at which your screens will automatically shift away from blue colors. Also consider red, orange, or yellow night lights rather than blue ones.
A few other tips: sleep in a dark room without nightlights if you can safely navigate the room at night. Minimize lights from clocks or other electronics, and while we’re at it … keep electronics away from your bed to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). That includes electric blankets, phones, and clocks. As an option, if you use your cell phone to wake you up in the morning, purchase a “Faraday” sleeve, a bag that blocks electromagnetic waves. (Make sure it will let you plug your phone in overnight while in the sleeve.) The sleeve will block the phone’s EMFs from reaching you but will still allow the phone to wake you in the morning.
I’ve mentioned electrons several times in this chapter because they are the key to any battery, including the body’s battery. Their flow is what drives work in the body. They are pulled from food to produce ATP (with the help of oxygen), and ATP powers the cells. They may be generated in response to sunlight in a way that’s similar to photosynthesis. And electric charge is produced by exercise and the building of structured water in the body.
There’s another way to get electrons into the body so their flow can drive activity. It’s free, and you don’t have to eat or swallow anything. It’s called grounding.
This is possible thanks to the excess electrons in the Earth’s surface. (You sometimes see the result as lightning when a strong positive charge builds up along the lower surface of clouds and then the two surfaces discharge against each other.) When you’re touching your bare skin against the Earth, your body is able to refuel on electrons, absorbing them from the Earth. Try walking in bare feet on the grass, dirt, or sand or otherwise touching the Earth with your hands or skin.
One of the great modern problems is that we’ve begun to insulate ourselves from the Earth, primarily with rubber-soled shoes. Rubber is an insulator, so it does not allow this flow of electrons to take place.
One study concluded: “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth … may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS [autonomic nervous system] dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV [heart rate variability], hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.” Notice that all the other essential elements mentioned in this study are the same ones we recommend in helping to recharge the body’s battery.
For those who cannot ground often enough because of weather (long cold winters) or for other reasons, products exist that allow you to ground while working or sleeping through the grounding portion of electrical outlets. But if you can get outdoors, there is absolutely no cost to it, and of course it feels great. As a bonus, if you’re walking barefoot in nature near the ocean or waterfalls or in forests where there’s an abundance of negative ions in the air, then you’re breathing in extra electrons as well. Later, we’ll also talk about using a bioelectric device to further power your body’s battery with electrons.
Summing Up the Cellular Battery
The body, as a whole, exchanges all these forms of energy with the environment because our cells, as individuals, need them. We breathe in oxygen so it can be delivered to our cells, which also breathe it in. We gather electrons from food and grounding and exercise because our cells need the movement of these electrons (i.e., electrical current) to function. We sunbathe because the light and heat from the sun builds structured water inside each and every cell, producing voltage.
In short, our cells are a reflection of us on a much smaller scale. Our needs as a whole represent their needs combined. When we provide for these needs, our cells have the mechanism of a battery that is constantly powered: positive and negative charge separation to create voltage and electron flow; electrons to move through the battery and do work; and in the electron transport chain, oxygen to keep the chain producing ATP for chemical power.
By following the tips in this chapter, you can keep this battery charged. And if you use that energy efficiently – which we’ll start discussing in the next chapter – you can truly have more energy for pursuing and enjoying your dreams.
On a final but important note, I’d like to touch on the topic of hormesis, which involves putting the body through healthy levels of stress to keep it flexible. Adaptable. Ready to take on new situations without crumbling under the need of only doing what’s comfortable.
I began to cover this in an earlier chapter when I explained the mistake of antioxidant supplements: how taking loads of antioxidants is like giving the body no stress because the supplements reduce the need for the body to produce its own antioxidants. This weakens the entire antioxidant system. But certain foods that we think of as having powerful antioxidant properties in fact are mild toxins or gentle stressors that stimulate the body’s own antioxidant system. As a result, it keeps this system strong and adaptable. This low-level stress is the healthiest thing for it.
There is a growing body of research supporting this idea of hormesis, showing its important role in longevity. In fact, one paper shows that many scientific subdisciplines are studying it under different names (hormesis, adaptive response, preconditioning, etc.), making it difficult to gather together all the research that’s being done. But the overarching finding of the research is that “a low dose of a stressful stimulus activates an adaptive response that increases the resistance of the cell or organism to a moderate to severe level of stress.” In other words, a little stress makes you stronger.
For example, when we discussed diet earlier in the chapter, I spoke about the need to eat a rainbow diet, or one that provides you with a wide variety of foods and their many colors. (Artificial colors not included.) But even that isn’t enough. If you just find seven different foods of seven different colors and then only eat those, the body could lose its ability to adapt to food. Then, in a setting where you need to eat something else, the body could respond with an allergy or sensitivity. Better to sometimes challenge the body with something new and at other times to stick with the (healthy) foods you know and love.
We like to call this a little stress, a little nurture.
Likewise, research shows that exercise helps to energize those with chronic fatigue. This might seem contradictory; you might think that someone collapsing with exhaustion should simply rest. But the research shows a different story. Although the amount of exercise for someone in this state is surely different from that of a healthy person, there is still the need to move the body to receive the benefits of movement that we discussed.
As you can see from my story, I tried to bully my way through chronic fatigue with excessive exercise, which was also a problem. This was not “a little stress.” This was a lot of stress, on a body that wasn’t healthy enough to handle it. This drove me to exhaustion, and eventually I could barely move from bed. What I should have done, once bedridden, is to do a little activity when I could. To keep my body moving a little, even when I didn’t want to.
You can apply this to any area of charging the body’s battery. At times you may want to push yourself further than you normally would with exercise (a little stress for the muscles); other times, you may want a massage (a little nurture for the muscles).
- Going to bed a little later or waking up a little earlier (stress); going to bed a little earlier or waking up a little later (nurture).
- Exposing yourself to hotter or colder weather than usual, or taking a cold shower, even for 30 seconds (stress); getting the indoor comfort levels you prefer, or taking a shower at the perfect temperature (nurture).
- Most of us probably already expose ourselves to too little oxygen through poor posture and breathing habits (making this too much stress); we could also occasionally flood our tissues with oxygen by using a hyperbaric chamber (nurture).
Just as taking fistfuls of antioxidants weakens the body, so would continually flooding the body with oxygen from a hyperbaric chamber. The goal is not constant nurture. We look to nurture as a way to recover from stress and continually provide a little of each to keep things in balance. By pushing yourself in both directions to a healthy degree, you help to both charge the body’s battery and to keep yourself adapting to the opportunities and challenges that life brings about.
Thanks to NES, my energy has skyrocketed and I am accomplishing more than I have in years.
– Linda Sellers
 From chapter 5 of The Fourth Phase of Water.
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