Wellness: Drink Water

Everyone you love is 72.8% water.

And you are, too.

It’s kind of a cool nerdy scientific fact. (Thanks Karen Tomlinson and “I freakin’ love science.”)

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I’ve been trying to hydrate of late.

It perplexes me that it’s difficult. That I have so much resistance towards drinking 6-8 cups of water a day. I want tea, coffee, juice, wine. I push the water away.

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But I recently interviewed a physiotherapist and Rolfer from Squamish, Paul Sherman. And he told me about fascia.

Until recently, fascia was covered in a cursory, half-page entry in door-stop sized anatomy textbooks. The gel-like goop, or connective tissue, was traditionally peeled away a like plastic wrap by dissectionists trying to get to the good stuff, and pretty much ignored.

But really, the fascia is what hangs everything together. It’s a densely packed connective tissue that allows muscles to slide and glide, hangs organs in place, and encases nerves and blood vessels.

Its suppleness can be impacted by inactivity, stress, poor posture or injury.

Sherman’s teacher, Guy Voyer DO, says a muscle is a stupid piece of meat. It just contracts and relaxes. And it can’t do that if it’s being restricted by the fascial system.

“Fascia isn’t a tissue,” says Sherman. “It’s alive. It’s a network, and if it’s working correctly, it’s sending message to your nerves and your system won’t get overloaded.”

Dr. Gil Hedley explains that adhesions and rigidity that form in the fascia, even as we sleep, need to be “melted” by movement, stretching, massage and hydration, every day.

Water feeds the fascia.

It lubricates this connective tissue, keeping it supple and moving, and preventing it from sticking together. Paul Sherman explains that “a dehydrated fascial system leaves you feeling stiff, achy and tired. Dehydration causes fascia to become tight and prone to microtears. When the fascia is too tight it essentially shrink-wraps the muscle. This extra pressure keeps the muscle from being able to contract fully, rendering it weaker. If you drink more water earlier in the day, that will provide the maximum lubrication for your fascia when you are active and need it the most.”

Start each day with a large glass of water as soon as you wake. Sherman’s Facebook page shares the formula you can use to work out just how much water you should be drinking a day, based on your body weight.

And I realised that my fascia is thirsty. Real thirsty.

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So I’m trying to drink. Water. All day long.

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