John had sort of warned me. “Has Andrea called you about the water yet?” When I told him she hadn’t, he continued, “Well, she will. She’s really into it.” I asked for a little more clarification. “It’s some machine she got, does something to your drinking water. You’ll definitely hear about it.”
Sure enough, about a month later I got the call. Forewarned forearmed, as the proverb says. Andrea is nothing if not enthusiastic, and she has been a wonderful inspiration, source of information, let alone an entertaining conversationalist for a number of years. She is the fairy Godmother of an informal group of people, some professional healthcare providers, some laypersons, interested in non-conventional healing techniques.
Her path has lead her from metastatic breast cancer two decades ago through an exploration of just about every alternative healing modality out there, a total remission (I guess, at this point, one might even venture to say ‘cure’), to become a promulgator of certain therapies, sharer of experience and disseminator of a great amount of knowledge.
But she has this enthusiasm thing. Bubbling over with enthusiasm if she is taken by something. It can be stimulating, encouraging, motivating, and, if you aren’t quite in the right mood, somewhat overwhelming or even downright annoying.
“Julian, are you by your computer? I want you to go to this website, download these documents and read them over.” “What’s this about, Andrea?”, I asked faking innocence. “I’ve been using this machine that alters the properties of water, makes it alkaline, turns it into a free radical scavenger and cleans out the intestines. I can’t tell you how wonderful I feel. Andy (her partner) and I have been getting up at 4:30 every morning, just so invigorated. I got both my sons to get one. Told ‘em just put in on plastic, it is worth it.” She was…well, enthusiastic. And I wasn’t quite sure I was in the mood for yet another thing, another supplement or device or therapy. There is too much out there already to sort through and learn about. It seems like an endless task to just stay informed. But Andrea wasn’t done and I wasn’t sure I liked what came next. “You get this machine, and you can then sell it to others. When I got Matt (her son) to buy it, he felt so good, started calling everyone he knew. You can’t believe all the checks that are rolling in now.”
“Oh, great”, I thought to myself, “multilevel marketing.” Something I don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole. Multilevel marketers like to call it ‘direct marketing’, sounds better and I guess that it what it is. No retailers involved, one consumer to another. And the world of alternative medicine, undercapitalized as it is, is full of such enter prices because your product can be put out there through word of mouth without large investments in advertising or store placement.
I understand that, but ever notice that people into multilevel marketing sometimes, shall we say, lose perspective? It is hard for me to be objective about the information presented, even if they have the best of intentions. In the end it is a sales pitch, just not from a stranger in a store, over the phone or on a website, but from someone you know.
Yet the mixing of roles often is uncomfortable and hard to negotiate. After all, you expect a sales clerk to give you a spiel and its easy to say, “I’m not interested” or “Let me think about it.” Not so if it is your sister-in-law or, as happened to me, the guy who delivers your propane.
Be that as it may, Andrea was pushing hard and made me promise to take a few empty jugs of water over to John to try some water from this machine. That was easy enough to do – and my curiosity was piqued to a certain extent. He lives a few hours away, but I was supposed to see him in a few weeks anyhow.
What happened next, and the reason I’m writing it all down, took me totally by surprise. When I did get over to his house, John mentioned that the effect of the machine on the water, of which I still was quite clear, lasts for about three days. After that, the water is just ‘plain old water’. But it is the water produced within the first 20 minutes is the most powerfully activated.
So, I filled up my jugs and drank a tall glass of water right off the hose of the machine before getting in my car for the long drive home. As I pulled out of the driveway and for the next 10 minutes or so, I felt like pixie dust was being sprinkled throughout my body. Odd and invigorating. Something really was different about this stuff.
Recently, I heard a remarkable interview with the neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor. She is a bit of a celebrity these days. A medical school instructor, she has also published a book celebrated by Oprah Winfrey and is making appearances as a public speaker. Her message is based on her experiences that began suddenly one day at the age of 37.
That morning she had a stroke that pretty much wiped out the left side of her brain. What made her experience unusual are two things. The first is that as someone with a deep knowledge of the brain, she was able to witness and chronicle what happened from the moment she became aware of symptoms all the way through her hospitalization, surgery and years of recovery from a unique perspective.
The second is that the physical damage of the hemorrhage in the left hemisphere produced a sudden and enduring spiritual enlightenment. Without the linear, logical and ego driven perspective of the left brain that tends to dominate the lives of most people (especially highly mentalized educated folks), she was able to experience a ‘right brain reality’ of pure awareness, a continual sense of oneness and wholeness of which most of us only get a fleeting glimpse.
In this state, she was not only able to experience a tremendous state of calm and inner peace (even in the midst of a stroke), but also able to gain many wonderful insights into the nature of reality and human existence. As a healthcare practitioner, I found her observations about the people who delivered her care at the hospital particularly significant.
Without the perspective of her left-brain, she had no idea who these people were or what they did or why they did it. She had no language with which to communicate, to engage as anything more than a passive participant. But what she did know, not intellectually, but with a direct sense of understanding or feeling that is the domain of the other hemisphere, was whether the person who entered her room to deliver food or pills, or clean her, or give her physical therapy or just observe her, cared.
Caring. Not just the act of doing something, but much more importantly, a willingness to connect with her, to enter into her field of being one human being to another. She could tell immediately if a person was actually there with her or just discharging an impersonal chore or responsibility.
And to her it made all the difference in the world. In her state of tranquil clarity, she had no motivation to ‘get better’. She was experiencing a deep sense of well being, even as her physical condition reduced her to a helpless invalid. She could have remained as such indefinitely. But her motivation to ‘get better’ (although the right side of the brain doesn’t conceive of existence in terms of better or worse – one just ‘is’), that is, to eat, to relearn language, to participate in the physical therapy, was simply based on a desire to reciprocate the caring energy that was directed toward her.
This is a message that everyone, especially those of us involved in healthcare, need to hear. It shines a special light on what we do and, even more to the point, how we do it. No technology, no school of thought, no amount of learning can do away with the need to care.
But I digress… I meant to be writing of water and to explain what I unexpectedly experienced when I began to drink water run through the machine my friend Andrea had been telling me about. What was this strange invigorating feeling that spread throughout me?
The reason Bolte Taylor came to mind in this context is that as the effects of the stroke took hold of her, one of many observations she made and later recounted was that the human body really is nothing more than a huge sack of water.
We tend to believe, and therefore perceive it as something solid. But in reality, it is not. It is mostly water. Now imagine what the effect would be if the quality of that water were to change. What would it be like if one began to consume water that was altered in such a way as to be more easily absorbed across cellular membranes and stimulate the cells to a higher level of functioning while at the same time promoting cellular detoxification?
That, I believe, is what happened within minutes after I drank that first glass of water.
Not long ago I began drinking water produced by a ‘Continuous Ionized Electrolysis Water Generator’. More accurately, it was just tap water run through the Generator via hose attachments. As mentioned earlier, originally I had little interest in getting involved with this technology, but after being browbeaten into trying the water that it produces, I felt such an immediate and lasting positive effect that I just didn’t want to do without it.
In the end, I forked over a considerable amount of money to purchase my own machine and, just as the woman who introduced it to me predicted, I haven’t regretted it at all. What have I felt? Primary, an abundance of energy, increased clarity of mind and a slightly reduced need for sleep… So far. Talking with a few other people who have a bit more of a history drinking the water and reading over the literature, I can look forward to a host of other benefits as time goes on. Of course, another perk is that since it is hooked up to the kitchen sink, everyone in the household, including my cat share the benefits.
Parenthetically, we had to restrict the amount of the water the cat drank because it brought out his ‘inner kitten’ a bit too much and he was becoming a bit too frisky for his and our own good. Tearing up and down the stairs, wrestling with the living room rug and generally making a nuisance of himself at 4 am just became unendurable. I too had to limit my intake after a few days too because my sleep was curtailed too dramatically and I began to experience a state of being ‘wired but tired’. Subsequently, it seems my body adjusted and I am back drinking 2 to 3 quarts a day without a problem.
The water that comes out of the Generator is called “Kangen Water”. “Kangen”, meaning ‘returning to the origin or the source’ in Japanese. Designed and produced in Japan, it has been widely used in hospitals, schools and private homes for over a decade. It is also widely used in Korea. Kangen water is being applied as a medical therapy for any number of conditions, ranging from obesity to diabetes to cancer. For instance, the Japanese physician who invented colonoscopy (that ever so pleasant procedure of inserting a flexible fiber-optic instrument rectally to take a peek at the doings going on in the colon) treats cancer patients by implementing a specific vegetarian diet and a 3 quarts of Kangen water daily.
I actually came across a number of videos he had uploaded onto the Internet showing a colonoscopic view of a number of patient’s colons. The ‘before and after’ comparison of the changes that took place in the their colons was a convincing display of the cleansing effect of his regimen.
So, what are the special properties of “Kangen” water? There are four basic things that happen to the water as it passes from through the generator. First, it is filtered. Impurities like chlorine, lead, rust, fluoride and any other contaminants are removed while the basic healthy mineral content is maintained.
Second, the water is alkanized. Depending on the setting, water with a pH ranging from 8.5 to 9.5 can be selected to drink. The initial cleansing reaction from drinking Kangen water can be strong, so it is recommended that one begin with the 8.5 and gradually work up to 9.5
Incidentally, there are some other settings on the machine that make it possible to produce both an even more alkaline water, ‘Strong Kangen’, with a pH of 11.5, as well as an acidic water with a pH of 5.5 as well as a ‘Strong Acid’ with a pH of 2.5. These other waters have a number of uses ranging from washing off grease stains and pesticides from vegetables and fruits (Strong Kangen), to washing and toning one’s skin (5.5 pH Acid Water), to acting as a strong disinfectant (Strong Acid). None of them are intended for internal use.
Third, the water molecules are ionized to make them more absorbable by the cells. Normal tap water tends to exhibit a phenomenon known as clumping, that is, it forms clusters of molecules clumped together. This makes it difficult for the cells to absorb and prevents proper hydration. Ionizing (meaning a process to create ions - atoms or molecules with a net positive or negative charge) of clumped water reduces their size, resulting in improved hydration. My hunch is the immediate reaction I had on first drinking Kangen water, when I could actually feel it going through my body was due to this phenomenon.
Lastly, the Generator gives the water a ‘high negative oxidation-reduction potential’. Long story short, the ORP measures the tendency of a substance to lose electrons (oxidize) or gain electrons (reduce). Oxidation is extremely unhealthy for the cells and tissues of the body, so consuming substances with a high negative ORP that reverse oxidation (that is, antioxidants) is quite beneficial. That is why such a fuss is made of Vitamin C and many other nutritional supplements – they are antioxidants or ‘free radical scavengers’. Imagine the effect of having every molecule of the water you drink becoming a powerful antioxidant?
I keep getting interesting feedback about this Kangen water machine – the Continuous Ionized Electrolysis Water Generator’ - which I purchased about one month ago. For instance, the plant in the corner of my office consultation room which has been a on and off again droopy affair for several years has definitely been pleased. Instead of being watering with Brattleboro tap water passed through a Britta filter, for the last month it has been drinking up the leftover Kangen water from the daily supply I bring to the office.
About two weeks into this change of regimen, I happened to notice that the droop was gone and the browning of the leaf tips had disappeared. The shade of green had deepened, become richer and there was a new suppleness to the entire plant. It was now clearly one happy, healthy plant.
The same thing happened nearly instantaneously to a patient of mine who had become interested in Kangen water. She drove over to the house of someone I introduced to her who owned the machine in order to test it out firsthand. As she excitedly related to me over the phone that evening, after drinking one glass she felt like she just ‘woke up’. One could say that the ‘droop was gone’ from her, too.
Admittedly, these anecdotes may not send a tingle up anyone’s spine. But it does parallel my own personal experience with drinking the water and reflects the potency of this water to invigorate one’s life force. And the curative power of Kangen water when taken in adequate quantities (4 to 10 quarts a day for severe pathologies) is indeed much more profound.
In Japan, the Kangen water is regarded as a medical treatment in hospitals and private practice. It is being used to treat various types of cancer with great success as well as dramatically lowering blood sugar levels within a few weeks in the vast majority of diabetics who begin drinking it. Likewise, it has produced results in people with hepatitis, cirrhosis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, poor digestion, hypertension, asthma, allergies eczema, nephritis and weakened kidney.
The Japanese company that produces the machine is Enagic Co, Ltd. Headquartered in Tokyo, it has a factory in Katano City near Osaka where all production and servicing of the machines take place. Enagic actually started out as a division of Sony in the 1970’s, split off and emerged as a specialist in the technology of producing ‘healing water’ by the late 1980’s.
Since the 1960’s there has been ongoing interest and research in the Japanese scientific community into the properties of water, especially the properties of various waters that have been used around the world for centuries. For instance, in Mexico, there is the town of Tlacote, where many thousands of people visit per day to get a can of water from the well of one Jesus Chahin. That water is ‘said to have cured everything from AIDS and cancer to obesity and high cholesterol.’ (http://www.mcn.org/1/miracles/water.htm)
Similarly in Japan, one can buy what is called ‘Hitatenryo water’ that comes from an underground spring in the town of Hita on the southern island of Kyushu. (Of course, the Japanese don’t line up by the thousands with empty cans, they purchase it bottled over the Internet…)
The research has focused on understanding and technologically creating water with similar properties. It appears that the key factor is these waters all contain a high degree of ‘active Hydrogen’ molecules. These molecules bond with and flush out of the body free radicals that are responsible for a great number of degenerative diseased states in the body. Enagic has developed a technology that uses the process of electrolysis to make water with similar properties.
By taking advantage of technological developments in the 1990’s, the company was able to open the new millennium by making available a new line of compact home use water generators marketed as the ‘Leveluk’ series, and more specifically, the Leveluk SD 501. This particular model is designed for personal use and is being sold widely throughout Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
It appears that Enagic takes great care to maintain a high level of quality in its products. For starters, it is produced from start to finish in the one facility in Katano, each machine put together by one technician. There is no outsourcing, no assembly line production.
Secondly, the real guts of the machine, the electrolysis mechanism that ionizes the water and splits it into the alkaline (hydrogen rich) and acid (oxygen rich) water are 7 plates. In the Leveluk, these plates are made of titanium and coated with platinum and have a surface area that is enormous compared to other available ionized water generators.
According to the people with whom I have spoken who have looked into or experienced other similar technologies, it is, in fact, the quality of the platinum coating and the relative size of the plates, as well as the ease with which it can be disassembled and serviced, that sets the Leveluk apart and makes it such a profound healing tool.
The bedrock of my enthusiasm lies on my own personal experience of drinking this water. It is amplified by what I hear or read, as well as a growing suspicion that this might turn out to be one of the most profound therapeutic tools to come along in a very long time. This is not said lightly. I’m going on 3 decades in the business, lots of things have come my way, few of them have excited me as much.
One of the reasons I decided to keep on writing about it is that, in fact, many people have contacted me about what they have read so far and are asking for more information. Once one starts looking into the CIEWGs on the market, it can get even more confusing. Science, marketing techniques, the Internet and money all play a part in making it not the simplest thing to sort out.
For instance, take my patient Winston. We’ve been working together for nearly 20 years and there are few people I appreciate and respect more. He doesn’t have a lot of formal education, but he’s smart, inquisitive and open to different ways of thinking – whether it is about politics, religion, or health. When he heard about the machine, his curiosity was piqued and he began to research into water ionizers on the Internet.
Winston liked what he read about the effects of using the water, especially the part about treating cancer because a number of family members have dealt with that over the years. The technology made sense to him, but he wondered why the model I have – the Enagic Leveluk 501 – was twice the price of other machines out there. Not being a rich man and imbued with the thrifty commonsense of a native Yankee, he wanted to get the best bang for his buck.
So, his search quickly brought him to a site that purported to be an objective 3rd party – a la Consumers Report – that tested the various pluses and minuses of the various machines. Now, aside from the Enagic the main machines out there are made by Korean companies and distributed in this country by TyentUSA and Jupiter. The website reported on head to head comparisons of the top of the line models from all three companies and they included a YouTube style video of the testing.
From what Winston could gather, the Tyent had a newer and better technology which made water of the same or slightly better quality while the machine was only have the price! The claim was that the price of the Enagic was inflated because it is sold by direct marketing in which a number of distributors get a cut in the sale of any unit. Anyhow, it appeared to be a no brainer if there ever was one.
When presented with this information, I really didn’t know what to say. Certainly, I couldn’t refute it nor could I access anything on the web that shed more light on the subject. So, on the one hand, it seemed plausible and the notion crept into my head that maybe I had overpaid. Maybe I had gotten caught up in all the hype stirred up by the distributors who are trying to create a market for themselves and thoughtlessly laid out $4000 when the Tyent – which according to this website was the best model – was less than $2000.
But a few things told me not to jump so fast to any conclusions. The first was the old adage, “When something seems too good to be true, it often is.”
Newer technology and better water for half the price definitely fell into that category. Then there was the first hand experience of drinking the Kangen water from the Enagic. I felt absolutely wonderful from it and continue to feel increasingly so. Without trying out water from the Tyent, how could I really be sure it would make me feel the same – no matter what the data showed about the quality of it?
Thirdly, I knew for a fact that the Enagic was made in one facility in Japan, each one the work of one technician who takes responsibility for its quality. Nothing is outsourced, nothing is scrimped on in terms of materials and standards. There is an unconditional 5 year warranty and an expected lifetime of 20+ years. These machines are found all over Japan, both as household devices and, more importantly, as approved medical devices used in hospitals and other medical facilities. It is a technology and a machine I could feel confident in – no matter what the price. After all, would it be worth paying half the price for another machine, even if it made good quality water, only to find that it went caput in 2 or 3 years?
Finally, there was the matter of the integrity of the distributors I knew personally. The person from whom I bought the machine and other associates. The ones I know are very dedicated to and idealistic about the concept of helping people maintain or regain their health. They had been around the block many, many times, made professional and personal sacrifices to follow their ideals, and wouldn’t be the types to fall for either over-hyped technology or a get rich scheme.
Several of them, like myself, are professional healthcare providers. For us, the priority must be our relationship with the people with whom we work. Simply put, they stand to lose a lot more than the few hundred bucks gained from the commission on a machine if a patient loses trust in them.
That is exactly what I explained to Winston. It was more important to me – professionally, economically and especially, morally - that he purchase the best model for himself and his family than the brand of machine or a possible commission.
Taking all this into account, I decided to look into the issue a bit more and sent out a flurry of emails to various people to see if they had any sources of information that might clarify the issue.
I often hark back to a conversation with a distant relative, who before he retired had worked in the private sector at GE, in the academic world at MIT and later on for the government in Washington. He is the youngest man ever inducted into the National Academy of Science (the ‘Hall of Fame’ for scientists), a renowned physicist who specialized in metallurgy and who reveled in pushing the boundaries of the theoretical constructs that formed the leading edge of knowledge in his field.
It was not without some trepidation on my part that we engaged in a conversation about homeopathy, for I had grown accustomed to meeting a wall of skepticism often mixed with derision from people involved in the sciences and especially, conventional allopathic medicine. But instead, he surprised me with an attitude of openness and genuine curiosity. It was apparent that for him the challenges homeopathy poses to a number of modern scientific principles was not a threat that engendered fear and aggression, but an opportunity to exercise his mind, to enlarge his own vision and to further understand the nature of reality. I understood what made him such a success and what it means to be a true scientist.
Unfortunately, people such as my relative are few and far between. This great asset we human being possess, our capacity to think, is also our greatest cross to bear. No matter what the field, be it medicine, technology, science, psychology, politics, economics, or religion, we have used thinking to develop our understanding, encoded this into various codes, principles and laws, used those to build our world and passed them on to future generations as a vision of truth. But somewhere along the line we have for the most part lost sight of the fact that what we perceive and understand, what he take for reality is not the Truth but just a version of it.
So, when today, I am exposed to hostility born out of a fear that what was learned and taken to be the Truth might slip away, I go back to my experience with my relative. I recall the career of men like Constatine Hering, who as a medical student was dispatched by his mentor to write a treatise exposing the fallaciousness of that medical heretic, Samuel Hahnemann, and his newly developed (and quite successful) medical system of homeopathy. Hering prepared himself for his assignment by studying the work of Hahnemann and recreating his experiments, only to find that what Hahnemann had proposed was true. His target became his teacher, and he went on to spend some 6 decades curing endless thousands of patients on 3 continents.
Or I think of Jacque Benveniste, a highly regarded allergist and one time head of the French equivalent of the National Institute of Health. When a fluke mistake of a research assistant in his lab lead to incongruous results, instead of dismissing or ignoring the data, he looked into it even further and came to an understanding of one of the core components of homeopathy – the law of the minimal dose. By publishing his results and sticking to them in the face of great criticism and personal attack, he ultimately was excommunicated from the medical establishment of France. But he never recanted.
Or I think of Nicholas Gonzalez, a physician and researcher at Columbia University who, like Hering, first studied the cancer therapy of William Kelley that are based on specialized diets, with the intent to debunk it. On seeing the remarkable results Kelley was achieving, he became its great proponent and to this today is carrying on Kelley’s legacy.
Now, as to the matter of this ‘Water Machine’, the Continuous Ionized Electrolysis Water Generator and the theory of ionized water, there is no doubt some controversy. There are those who dispute the science behind the technology. On the other hand, the technology is based on the research that was carried out by scientists at a major National University in Kyushu, Japan. And more importantly, there is ample evidence backed up by numerous studies published in scientific journals that ionized water has profound curative effects on the a number of medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Just the other day, a relative came to my house to try the ionized water. As a person with Type II (adult onset, insulin resitant) diabetes who has difficulty restraining himself dietarily, he was curious to see what the effects might be. He came with his blood sugar measuring apparatus, drank a number of glasses of the water, ate an ample amount of food including a high amount of carbohydrates and before he left that evening took a final reading of his blood sugar with expectations that 2 hours after such a meal his count would be in close to 200. As he pricked his finger, he announced that, “if this reading is under 100, I’m sold”. It came in at 97.
Personally, I came to this technology with some resistance, but I came to it through drinking the water and experiencing a profound sense of wellbeing – that continues through this day. It has been reinforced by the similar experiences of others. As with my experience as a homeopath, the theoretical constructs of why and how it works – or why and how it cannot work – come afterward.
Below is a small sample of some of the medical research done with ionized water:
Huang KC, Yang CC, Lee KT, Chien CT. Reduced hemodialysis-induced oxidative stress in end-stage renal disease patients by electrolyzed reduced water. Kidney Int. 2003 Aug;64(2):704-14. ********************************************* =CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that hemodialysis with ERW (Electrolyzed reduced water) administration may efficiently increase the H2O2-and HOCl-dependent antioxidant defense and reduce H2O2- and HOCl-induced oxidative stress.
Shirahata S, Kabayama S, Nakano M, Miura T, Kusumoto K, Gotoh M, Hayashi H, Otsubo K, Morisawa S, Katakura Y. Electrolyzed-reduced water scavenges active oxygen species and protects DNA from oxidative damage. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 May 8;234(1):269-74.
Vorobjeva NV. Selective stimulation of the growth of anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract by electrolyzed reducing water. Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):543-6.
Vormann J, Worlitschek M, Goedecke T, Silver B, Supplementation with alkaline minerals reduces symptoms of patients with chronic low back pain, J Trace Elem. Med. Biol. Vol. 15, pp. 179-183, 2001