Erroneously considered by many to be nothing more sophisticated than a simple molecule, water is more mysterious than we think. Its 70 plus anomalous properties include expanding when it freezes, unlike most liquids, which contract when they are cooled.
Living things, including human beings, are about 70% water. To maximise our level of health, it is recommended to drink eight glasses per day, and also to remember that all waters are not equal.
The Magic Vortex
During the 20th century, a number of influential pioneers, including Viktor Schauberger, Rudolf Steiner and Theodore Schwenk, were influenced by the natural tendency of flowing water to spiral with a vortex motion that is encountered as a pattern throughout nature. They saw this motion as maintaining or enhancing its aliveness, and it has long been incorporated into flow forms where water is swirled in circular patterns.
Among water's unusual properties is an anomaly point at 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) where it reaches its maximum density. From his observations, Schauberger concluded that water reached its greatest vitality at this temperature, which was most commonly encountered in springs, and in streams protected from light and heat by protective thick vegetation.
Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamic agriculture, recommended a technique that involves stirring water and regularly reversing the direction of motion. Achieving a brief 'chaotic' state between the two rotation directions was considered to be very beneficial. After prolonged stirring of this type, water has been observed to become more viscous and slippery, and easier to stir.
The question of whether water is capable of structuring itself is an area of strong contention. Structured water is typically dismissed as pseudoscience or 'woo' by sceptics who tend to share a negative tone coupled with a firm adherence to traditional orthodoxy.
Part of the problem is that the structuring of water does seem nonsensical. Yet the existence of structured water in the body, which was first hypothesised by Fischer and Moore in 1907, was confirmed in the 1960s by Freeman Cope and Raymond Damadian using Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology. More recent groundbreaking work has been carried out by Gerald Pollock in the US and Martin Chaplin in the UK.
The H2O water molecule is normally pictured as an isolated two-pronged entity with a central oxygen atom connected with two of hydrogen. However, recent research is pointing to water naturally clustering into groups of 14, 280, or more molecules. Chaplin believes that there is sufficient experimental proof that a 280 molecule structure exists, and that this masterpiece of three dimensional geometry can explain all of water's anomalies.
Work of Gerald Pollack
One of the world's leading structured water researchers is Gerald Pollack, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington. Water is traditionally considered to have only three states - liquid, solid and gas. Pollack's research seems to have uncovered a fourth 'gel' state, also known as liquid crystalline water due to its geometrical structure. If such a state exists, it would explain many of water's strange properties.
His personal name for this discovery is Exclusion Zone (EZ) water, so named because it displaces minerals in colloidal form. Pollack has observed EZ water in large structured zones: in one experiment where traditional science would have expected two to three layers of structured water, he found a few million. Viewed under a high-powered microscope, this water has been seen to adopt hexagonal forms. Compared to regular water, it is more viscous, denser, and has a 10% higher refractive index (the capacity to bend light.)
Among Pollack's discoveries are some that have profound implications for the way in which biological systems work. There is a sharp dividing line between the highly structured EZ water found inside cells that surrounds the proteins, nucleic acids and salts, and the adjacent water which is unstructured. Structured water surrounds and stabilises healthy DNA.
This corresponds to 1970s work by Nobel Prize winner Albert von Szent-Györgyi focusing on interactions between cell macromolecules and surrounding structured water, and their importance for the maintenance of life.
These cellular water bodies are either positively or negatively charged, which Pollack likens to having multiple batteries inside the cell that can hold and deliver energy. Pollack's findings indicate that his structured water has a predominantly negative charge, which, like the negative ions found in nature, boosts our health.
Structured water seems to be a vital part of the body's signalling system. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in the UK has synthesised the latest findings that link quantum physics and water chemistry, and one of her most important conclusions is that structured cell water exhibits quantum and superconducting properties at room temperature. (A superconductor is a special class of substance that has zero electrical resistance.)
Interestingly, Pollack has found that EZ water can be structured by natural light, as well as ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Maximum energy absorption has been identified at a wavelength of 270 nanometres (nm) on the infrared spectrum, which can easily be received from the sun, with infrared heat lamps and saunas being two other options. Because the human body is another emitter of infrared energy, both touch and hands-on healing may also be beneficial in altering water structure.
When 'sacred' waters from Lourdes and the Ganges were tested, they are also found to have the telltale spike in light absorption at 270nm, indicating structuring. Both of these waters have a long association with miracle cures.
Compared to regular water, structured water has a silkier texture, and is claimed to enhance the body's uptake of minerals, supplements and medications. This overlaps with the work of American researcher and inventor Patrick Flanagan, who has discovered a reduction in surface tension that makes structured water 'wetter', and better for hydrating due to its greater ability to penetrate cell membranes.
According to some reports, the differences between regular and structured waters have been easily distinguished in blind taste tests. Although scientists are naturally cautious, health benefits from drinking structured water are likely to be confirmed over time. An important source for human intake is the structured water naturally occurring within raw fruits and vegetables.
Structuring and De-structuring
Some people are fortunate to have a naturally structured water supply from a source such as glacial melt water or a deep spring within travelling distance. Several other techniques are claimed to create structure in water:
Cooling water to its anomaly point of four degrees Celsius.
Swirling water around in a glass jar, using a spoon. Gerald Pollack sees this as probably effective, due to the presence of tiny air bubbles.
Joining together two water bottles at the necks, and decanting from one to the other several times. This encourages a natural vortex at the bottleneck point.
Treating water with magnetism.
Putting a cathode (negative electrode) into water and applying a low voltage of five to ten volts. This technique has been confirmed by Pollack.
A bewildering array of water structuring and filtering products are available on the market. These include the Grander, Wellness and Nikken PiMag units.
Water is also believed to be de-structured via a number of avenues:
The presence of chemicals, including common water treatments such as chlorine, fluoride and alum (aluminium sulphate.)
Many water filtering techniques.
Flowing through straight structures such as pipes. Water naturally wants to flow in a vortex motion, and when inhibited from doing so, it becomes energetically dead.
Boiling might de-structure water, according to Gerald Pollack.
The Effects of Magnetism
Rivalling structured water in the controversy stakes, effects from the magnetic treatment of water have nevertheless been scientifically confirmed. Commercial products on the market range from water coasters to domestic and commercial units that usually clamp around the incoming water pipe.
After reviewing the scientific literature, Craig Andrew McMahon at the University of Southern Queensland recommended in a dissertation that magnetic water conditioning is most effective when carried out at least three times, by a set of magnets with alternating polarities.
As with Pollack's structured water, magnetically conditioned water has been found in the lab to possess a higher refractive index. Human health claims include improved digestion, detoxification, boosting the immune system, combating excess acidity, cholesterol reduction, and improved circulation. Magnetically treated water has been used in Russian hospitals for decades. Albert Davis and Walter Rawls concluded from their tests in the 1930s that water treated with the north pole facing inwards creates a counter-clockwise electron spin and is ideal to drink, while south pole water, with its clockwise electron spin, is good for the skin.
Other applications include swimming pools, where a reduction in surface tension is claimed to reduce the required quantity of pool chemicals because they are better absorbed. In hard water areas, magnetic treatment removes existing scale deposits and inhibits their formation. For construction, testing has verified that concrete and mortar are both strengthened by magnetically conditioned water.
In the agriculture sector, many anecdotal reports indicate that magnet-treated water has resulted in increased growth and yield, together with a corresponding reduction in water requirements. Inventors in Ireland claim to have achieved similar benefits with a small unit called the Vi-Aqua that treats water with radio waves at the 27 megahertz frequency.
Cutting edge research continues to uncover interesting and unexpected findings about water. While this does nothing to shift the opinions of naysayers who are convinced in the face of evidence to the contrary that water is just plain H2O, for the rest of us structured water remains an intriguing and thought-provoking topic.
Gerald Pollack http://faculty.washington.edu/ghp
Martin Chaplin www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_structure_science.html
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho www.i-sis.org.uk
Martin Oliver is a writer and researcher based in Lismore NSW.
Martin Oliver is a writer and researcher based in Lismore northern NSW