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World Water Day 2018 – and a fitting announcement

March 22, 2018

Tags: water, herbs, adrenals, alternative medicine, axis, Ayurvedic Medicine, balance, Catholic priest, cold shower, conventional medicine, exercise, footbath, handbook, herbal bath, hormones, hydrotherapy, imbalance, Integrative Medicine Library, integrative medicine, Integrative Sexual Health, Kneipp - Sebastian (1821-1897), natural medicine, neural-hormonal-intestinal axis, nutrition, ovaries, Oxford University Press, pain, pelvic pain, pelvic problems, pineal gland, pituitary gland, prescription pill, psycho-neural-hormonal-intestinal axis, sex life, sexual glands, sexuality, sexual problems, sitzbath, sleep, talking therapy, thyroid, toxins, vitamins, testicles, Traditional Chinese Medicine, water therapy, weight loss, Weil – Andrew (1941-), World Water Day 2018

Our water is getting worse. A reminder that celebrating water today comes with the burden of working toward the goal of clean water. Clean water for those people who still don’t have it, and clean water for those who take it for granted, and don’t realize the water quality is deteriorating.

Apropos the World Water Day today, I want to announce that finally a new book by me comes out. Or, put more modestly – and more accurately, a chapter in a handbook. The handbook is Integrative Sexual Health, and it is part of Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Library series, published by Oxford University Press.

My chapter 22 is called The Benefits of Water Therapy for Sexual and Pelvic Problems. If you have read my water book Health20 -Tap into the Healing Power of Water, you know already some of the usual suspects: cold shower, herbal bath, hot footbath, tepid sitzbath, and so on – just not with so precisely the lamplight turned on the area between your thighs and your navel (sorry for that metaphor …). You will find remedies for a whole host of ailments “down there” as my medicine hero Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) always put it. As a Catholic priest he might have felt uncomfortable talking about “down there”. Be assured that the authors of this handbook do not feel uncomfortable naming names and stating problems.

How excited I was when writing that chapter! I had asked this question: How it could be that all the diverse healing approaches lined up in this book seem to help –cold water, herbs, exercise, better nutrition, talking therapy, improved sleep, hormones, vitamins, removal of toxins, weight loss, Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What is the reason they all work? The answer I finally arrived: Disease is an imbalance in your body, and all these different medical modalities can nudge your body back into balance. And I don’t mean balance in a flaky way. I mean this in a strictly scientific way. Because, it turns out, that all these different modes of healing affect the neural-hormonal-intestinal axis from your pineal gland to your sexual glands (ovaries in women, testicles in men), to your gut. In between we have the pituitary gland, the thyroid, the adrenals – and they all work together in health, along that axis that also comes by the name of psycho-neural-hormonal-intestinal axis. And that axis is out of balance in sickness.

This is how integrative (or alternative, or natural) medicine defines disease: Imbalance. Compare it to the predominant model in conventional medicine: You have a disease, you get a label (a diagnosis) – and only this kind of pill can make you right again. A prescription pill that only the physician can give you. Sometimes, actually, that model works – and in my chapter I list a whole slew of problems for which you better see a conventional doctor. But it is safe to say that many sexual problems are approachable by natural means.

A bounty of advice and hints – that’s what you will encounter in this book. If you are not pleased with your sex life, or experience pain and discomfort in the area down-under, you might find a solution to your problem in this fat handbook.

It will come out April 8th, and can already be pre-ordered.

Happy World Water Day 2018! (more…)

Cold Sitzbath

July 12, 2010

Tags: water, anal fissure, back pain - acute, chamomile extract, Cold Sitzbath, episiotomy, happy half bath, hemorrhoids, infertility, insomnia, Kneipp - Sebastian, leucorrhea, libido, pelvic pain, pelvic problems, prostatitis - acute and chronic, Sebastian Kneipp, sitzbath, sleeplessness, urinary tract infection, varicose veins

Another name for the cold sitzbath is “happy half bath” – and “sitzbath” is a translation from German. The original word is “Sitzbad,” where “bad” obviously means bath, and “Sitz” comes from to sit.

I coined the term happy half bath because there is nothing more refreshingand and uplifting - short of dunking into the ocean in Maine - than filling a tub with a few fingers’ breadth of cold water and sit there for a few minutes; usually one to two. The water can be reused.

Besides that it is the perfect refreshment on a sweltering summer day, a cold sitzbath also has beneficial effects for health – not only for mood. Sebastian Kneipp (1821 to 1897) who, as a priest, had a bit of a problem with the other gender and sexuality, said that a cold sitzbath is good for “down there”, meaning it relieves all kinds of pelvic ailments – from infertility and decreased libido (in both sexes) to pelvic pain, leucorrhea, hemorrhoids, anal fissures and after episiotomies (then often with chamomile extract). For gynecological purposes one can also buy special basins.

A cold sitzbath helps against varicose veins (a diet low in inflammatory foods helps, too!).

A cold sitzbaths is not a good idea if you have acute urinary tract infection or acute prostatitis. For chronic prostatitis it might actually be helpful. And don't do it when you have acute lower back pain.

Another indication for a cold sitzbath is insomnia. Staying for a moment in the cold water, then going to bed, you can feel how the blood leaves your overworked brain and warms your feet – both important conditions to find sleep.

And a Happy Half Bath keeps your private parts functioning and beautiful!
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

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