Holistic Massage School Warns of the Dangers of Dehydration

Harmony Morgan, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health

As you may already know, California’s summer temperatures are now getting into the triple-digits. That being the case, it’s all too easy for people to lose body fluid as they venture outside for fun in the sun. And let’s not forget those dry Santa Ana winds that often bring with them the potential for dehydration.

While chances are that you’ve been dehydrated at least once in your life, you may not be able to recognize the short-term effects. Accordingly, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, warns students of the dangers of dehydration, below.

“In children and infants, dehydration may have them crying without tears or going for more than 3 hours without wetting their diapers”, says Harmony Morgan, Healing Hands Director and mother of two. “Other signs include a dry mouth and tongue, irritability, sunken cheeks, and listlessness. Since infants have low body weight, they can become dehydrated even with slight fluid loss. Be sure to bring bottled water and remind them to drink frequently to ensure their hydration”, she added.

Healing Hands Students seek shelter from the sun at the annual Holistic Living Retreat

The signs of dehydration in adults may be more familiar. These include excessive thirst, less urination, fatigue, confusion, etc. Dehydration can also induce muscle spasms, cramps, and headaches. The National Institutes of Health has noted that those with diabetes or alcoholism are more susceptible to dehydration. In addition to excessive thirst, other facts about dehydration you may find interesting include:

  • Just a 1% loss of body mass due to fluid loss is defined as dehydration.
  • Water is essential to your body. It transports nutrients and waste products between our major organs and helps regulate body temperature. It also lubricates your joints, eyes, and facilitates proper digestion and healthy skin.
  • Dehydration can degrade cognitive performance including visual vigilance, tension, anxiety, fatigue, and visual working memory.
  • Water makes up 60% of your body weight!
  • We lose water from our bodies through urination, defecation, sweat, and even water vapor from our breath. Without replacing those fluids one can become dehydrated
  • Dehydration is linked to negative mood, impaired motor performance and short-term memory.
  • Studies indicate that an increase in drinking water (34 oz. a day) was associated with 5 lbs. of weight loss over a 12-month period.
  • Dehydration can lead to weight gain. When you’re excessively thirsty, your body may misread the sensation as hunger, causing you to over-eat. Opting for water instead of sugary drinks can help reduce body weight.
  • Chronic, mild dehydration can cause constipation. Water is essential to helping waste move through your digestive system.  When there is not enough water, your stool becomes compacted, making it harder to eliminate.
  • Chronic dehydration can lead to poor Kidney function and the potential for Kidney stones. High water intake is shown to have a protective impact on the kidneys.
  • Studies show that even a modest level of dehydration can result in a 20% decrease in physical performance in a temperate climate, and up to a 40% in hot temperatures.

To stay hydrated in summer months, or during Santa Ana wind events, Harmony suggests following these eight simple suggestions:

  1. Avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
  2. Use your thirst as a guide to how much water you need at any given time.
  3. When temperatures rise, stay inside with air conditioning.
  4. If you must be outdoors, seek shade and drink water often.
  5. If you exercise outside, try heading out in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid peak heat periods.
  6. Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle and drink frequently when you run errands that take you outside.
  7. Consume foods with high water content, especially fruits and vegetables.
  8. Hydrate the day before strenuous exercise, as well as during and afterward.

Healing Hands has been serving residents throughout Southern California for over 30years.  To date, their faculty has prepared more than 8,000 students for rewarding careers and can do the same for YOU! To learn more, go online to www.HealingHandsSchool.com  or call us at (858) 505-1100 in San Diego (Kearny Mesa), (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.                               ###