Why do we read, but not see? While this verse clearly shows that with the body of Christ we are interdependent upon one another, isn’t it screaming to us that we must also consider our bodies the same? More than that, for one part of the body to be badly affected, the entire body must also be affected.
If you read the entire tract you can see that no part of the body is independent yet modern medicine says otherwise. If you have fluid there is no way possible that singling out fluid is going to fix the problem.
Before we even consider what we can do about fluid, we have to know what it is and why we have it. Fluid retention, dropsy, ascites, oedema, etc is not a disease or diagnosis in and of itself. It is a very l-o-u-d God-given alarm bell that the body is out of balance – through stress, poorly managed chronic or even perceived hereditary factors, poor nutrient absorption through digestive damage, irregular and unexplained bruising or blood-loss, work/sports related mechanic injury/pressure, dietary factors and in many women, linked to hormone-triggered imbalance and related knock-on health issues – usually occurring after childbirth, when oestrogen dominance is at its peak.
Basically, the notion is quite easy: water is found throughout the body (in fact more than any other medium or compound) and in this case is within the blood vessels, lymphatic pathways and interstitial cells. In a healthy person, this fluid bathes the cells, elicits nutrient transfer, healing factors and oxygen – while removing resultant waste.
Fluid retention does not merely just happen; it comes only after all the other warning signs have made an appearance – hormonal irregularities, difficult female cycle, lowered kidney function (this can be displayed in such symptoms as painful joints, lowered or darkened urine, sweating irregularities, painful skin, swollen glands, weight gain, varicose veins, haemorrhoids and medication side effects which may not be noticed at the time as we urgently seek relief from other health issues.
The pain is likened to an open wound combined with a broken bone!
So, what are some of the main causes? And why does fluid usually pool in the ankles, feet and hands? The answers are as alarming as they are simple –
Gravity – these venous, lymphatic and interstitial fluids travel up to 12,000 MILES a day – well, in a perfectly functioning body they do. Throw in variables – thicker blood thanks to some medications, not drinking enough water, incorrect diet for your health and the real killer, standing for long periods of time – these all strain the kidneys and heart, causing the dead cells (which would ordinarily head to the kidneys for cleaning) in the blood and fluids to pool (stagnate downwards) and unless you use a gravity inverter, are blessed to be able to rest with feet and hands elevated – many times daily, this will continue.
Imagine a pimple – it’s painful! Just a few thousand cells pushed slightly away from the place of origin. Now, imagine inflammatory acids, and millions of cells pushed downward into one area that you need in order to move. The pain is unimaginable! I have seen skin split and weep serous ooze that is still needed within the body. I have seen gangrene form as people force their poor little feet into tight shoes. I have seen people become totally immobile because of some perceived need to continue on bravely.
Have you ever wondered about dead skin cells on your feet? Why do they build only there? These are the few lucky dead cells that managed to be excreted via the skin and sweat ducts. We fail to slough them away and they block the natural pathway of the elimination channels, further aggravating the building inflammation. Regular foot soaks, foot scrubs, hot steam room treatments and oil massages all help in some way but more on that later.
Hormones – Medicine, for all its amazing developments has become a thing of control – not by breakthroughs and miracles but by the pharmaceutical industry. Too many of my peers and former colleagues, like me, have left medicine in crushing frustration and despondence at just not being able to see what we are told to see – but instead we see the truth and cannot keep it quiet. Hormone/endocrinal medicine is one such avenue. It is no secret, the destruction of female health – initially via control at the time (shock treatment for hysteria, oophorectomy for depression or chronic fatigue, horrific hormonal treatments which have destroyed generations of female health). But this is not limited to females.
In today’s world, balancing the hormones is even more tricky than ever before. Even our homes are a minefield – as are our cars. Perfumes can at once render a female infertile while in others cause hormone-related cancers. Food is a horrific maze – genetically modified foods (especially chicken, red meat, maize and wheat) and today leave even teens – male and female – struggling with cellulite (blocked lymphatics), gynaecomastia (breast tissue formation in children and males), stunted height, exaggerated growth hormones, organ damage – and so much more. It is not a far stretch to see the link.
Likewise with diabetes – we think it is merely a sugar issue. Okay, sugar is linked for sure -we eat way too much, causing acidity and cell destruction, acute and chronic ill health, terminal issues and pain. But with diabetes it is so much more – it affects the lymphatics, pancreatic health and the endocrine system. I have lost count of the number of diabetic cases I have seen disappear as if by miracle – just by removing sugars, gluten, dairy while balancing the hormones – even in males.
Kidney and liver damage – At birth, our kidneys are the most perfectly formed tiny organs. If we are blessed to not be vaccinated or formula fed and our birth was natural, we already have all the nutrients we need, protection we need – without all the assault that comes with immune destruction. The kidneys must, like the heart, continue to work every second of our lives. They flush the final fluids before return to the blood, organs, brain, lymph and cells. Over time the water is muddied and the kidneys become taxed – developing inflammatory crystals & blocked nephrons and try as they might, fail to provide cleaned, flushed, pure bodily fluids.
Likewise with the liver, the same damage, the same barriers, the same outcome. And sadly in this instance, fluid retention is only the tip of the iceberg.
Weakened blood vessels – linked to every other issue here, the integrity of our blood vessels is one issue seriously overlooked in medicine, usually until it’s too late. That is no one’s fault – it is the way medical students are taught to see the body as a series of illnesses rather than a whole. Capillaries – which branch out from the engorged veins, in turn become engorged and split, bleeding into the surrounding tissue. This results in spider veins, bruising, slow-burn internal bleeding and destruction of the usual osmotic process. How long do you feel it will be until it is no longer just the capillaries, but eventually the veins and arteries?
Blocked lymphatics – this system in general is sadly overlooked in not just medicine but alternative medicine. It was not until I studied acupuncture that I realised the extent to which the lymphatics really are the sewers of the body – hidden, ignored and allowed to fester. In fact it was the subject of my PhD thesis. Not a very popular one at the time but thank God I have noticed it is gaining momentum in the scheme of things. Linked irrefutably to elephantiasis, although not the only cause – depending on geography it can be linked to parasitic issues which should always be addressed – in everyone.
Imagine our sewers never get flushed – they in turn, wash into the sea and soil (our blood and tissue) rather than flushing into filtration ponds. Within a week an entire society could be brought to its knees. I saw this in South Africa. There had been a rubbish strike for just a week prior to our arrival in Johannesburg. Many businesses had to shut down, people were becoming sick and the media went into overdrive. I also saw this while working up north in a remote community hospital. Within 48 hours of the flood, our waterways were full of sewer leakage. We nurses were on double shifts, many ended up in hospital themselves. Our erstwhile GP had himself airlifted to a major hospital. It seemed the very air around us was sewage, yet the river itself was as pristine as ever. But not for long. The waste just seeped, as it did every year into the surroundings.
Now imagine that is your body – where does waste go if it cannot be flushed? Your sweat glands will go into overdrive – your tongue may become coated. Your scalp and skin may react by trying hard to eliminate waste. But without the major cleaning tools – the liver, kidneys and a well-working bowel, it is not long before that waste seeps into tissues. It is no secret that a toxic bowel can affect uterine health. Think of poison; how long is it – by default – that it moves throughout the body? Yet we think that it is nothing to have poisons building in our elimination channels?
Weakened heart – this century, it is common to be born with a heart defect. Just one side effect of vaccines and many medications is the heart murmur or weakened cardiac tissue – even strokes and heart attacks. Yet one we go playing this modern day Russian roulette. If a heart is not pumping to full capacity blood pools, arteries become engorged and chronic ill health – such diagnoses as congestive cardiac failure are way too common in people with chronically swollen feet.
- A case of particular remembrance was the father of a good school friend. I was both blessed and traumatised at being in the last special unit team to nurse him prior to his death. I had not met this man before his admission – he was so large he could not fit on the commode chair. He could not defaecate or urinate. In fact, the only way to remove excess fluid from him was to prick his limbs – and he not only oozed the serous liquid – he spurted it from each tiny needle prick. That beautiful man was in so much pain and just knew he was not going to recover this time.
He was on not one, but two diuretics and had been for years. To me, the student nurse, I could only ask why has his diet not been changed? Why, if these medications are not working, have we not found alternatives? To say I was berated for this line of questioning is an understatement. But they did not see this man’s fear – or have to face my friend, his son – and explain why he died from something so simple as not being able to eliminate. His diet was one high in pork, bacon, dairy, wheat, sugar and meat generally. I had not yet studied nutrition and had no idea but it still seemed glaringly obvious to me. But for the simple act of flushing his kidneys, changing his diet and getting his bowels moving, he would be alive today. The cause of his passing? Congestive cardiac failure – yet up until this time, his GP merely had him listed as having chronic fluid retention.
And yet, I later saw his photograph. Just two years before, he was a tall, thin man. He showed tell-tale signs of fluid retention in his feet and a red, puffy face with ocular hypertension that was so painful to witness – his eyes were being forced forward and were not just bloodshot but the tissues around them filled with fluid. Did I alone see this?
Nutrient imbalance – I see this as the foundation of all health. Nutrient imbalance is at an all-time high. More than any disease – despite the plethora of food and knowledge available today. Medicine sadly is not based on nutrition yet from Genesis we were instructed – above all – to use His bounty for our health.
In this century, protein deficiency – like iron deficiency – is extreme. Regardless of whether you eat meat or dairy – in fact, I would argue because of the mucosal inflammation of eat meat and dairy. When one nutrient is out of balance or our gut is not absorbing – or our kidneys not filtering – the other nutrients slide out as well. Eventually this protein deficiency (ironically one of the most difficult to reach) affects our fluid balance. Protein attracts fluid naturally – so in protein deficiency, the blood does not attract enough water – in turn becoming sticky and harder to clean or pump, while the lymph continues to leak foreign solids into the blood causing plaques and further damage elsewhere.
Additionally, when blood vessel walls weaken, the little protein present leaks into interstitial spaces, attracting water which then attempts to flush it out – causing more oedema and retention.
Interestingly, we are wrongly taught to avoid salt at all cost. The advice should be to avoid processed salts – other ‘dirty’ salts are just as like medicine for us now as they were in Biblical times.
Medications – Only a fool would say no medications have their place. But only a fool would believe that only medications can heal. Short term, some medications are often life-saving (others have consequences – including diuretics – that trigger symptoms worse than the original symptoms). Diuretics have a very short efficacy period. Once they stop working they should be stopped. They should never been prescribed without nutritional advice. Likewise, they should never be used in place of flushing the body or treating what ails you.
- It is no secret that diuretics have the common side effects of both kidney and pancreatic damage. I have been called into a comatose patient who was on two contra-indicated diuretics – her ascites was so pronounced she could not stand, let alone walk. She had a larger abdomen than when she was pregnant many years previously. Yet within 2 hours she was out of her coma, sitting up and talking. Within 8 hours she was ambulating – something she had not been able to do for 9 months.
Tight clothing – This was the missing link that allowed me to finish my thesis. As someone from a long line of sufferers of fluid retention (I had personally suffered badly from teenage years and by the time I left nursing I could barely walk at the end of a shift even though I was only 26) and lymphatic damage – with cellulite affecting each of us so badly you would be excused for thinking we were obese, we often displayed no other symptoms other than heart palpitations.
- A lecture I attended as part of my regular skills update seminars was on the topic of lymphatic drainage; something I admit to having total ignorance to its meaning or need. But over the duration of the talk, the pennies dropped one by one. I too had gone, like the case study used that day, from a very small youth to someone who jiggled and suffered from increasingly bad health despite living a very healthy lifestyle. What was I doing wrong? How did I get here?
For one, I ate gluten and dairy – in fact at the time despite being vegetarian I could sadly admit now to being not only a cake and bread addict but also a dairy addict. So much that I could fast for days but stupidly break my fast by consuming large quantities of both. I also had been hyper-vaccinated during my training and was told by specialists much later that the tumours I had begun developing in my lymphatic system were a direct side effect of the BCG vaccines I had repeatedly in the 80s despite being told I would not and could not build an immunity.
The shock to me was the similarities to the case study – she was in advanced stages of lymphoedema. This poor woman could not walk; she could barely move her arms or legs yet just 10 years previously she was an exotic dancer with a physique most athletes would admire. Why was I so terrified? I had gone for a second opinion as to my increasingly ailing health, and my physical appearance.
The doctor’s response still haunts me today: “You are in the early stages of lymphoedema – no, we don’t have any treatments but we have marvellous living aids so eventually you will have free access to wheelchairs and mobility aids as necessary.”
The fact she said this in all seriousness still terrifies me – how many more? How many would give up hope then and there? I still thank God today for the knowledge imparted to me over the previous years. Just as much as I valued the knowledge shared at this skills update seminar. The connection?
Just like this poor woman (whose arms and legs were as large as her distended abdomen) had done in her teen years, as a teenager I wore tight clothing – whether I played sport or rode my horse. When I slept and when I was at school. In fact, I did not feel it ‘fit’ if it did not cut off circulation. Therein lies the key. By cutting the body cross-ways you are indeed cutting off circulation – but not the blood as we would think. The lymphatics! While it does take a very long time to undo this damage, it can be done. This also rings true for stockings, shoes, belts, jeans and anything that constricts the legs.
And finally! What are the treatments?
Well, you know, if you read my other articles, that there is no one magic treatment, no potion or pill or needle that will fix something as intricate as fluid retention. We have to retrace our steps, decipher what has gone wrong, what is currently harming our health and while there are many steps to take to reduce, reverse and recover our health, while providing relief, we must address the triggers now. As in what can we do to take the pressure down? Take heart; while fluid retention is a sign of ongoing chronicity, it can be successfully treated to a satisfactory degree IF dealt with properly, in an ongoing manner.
You will have no doubt at least read some of the highlighted articles above which offer a plethora of advice and guidance. But below is a quick summary which will get you started –
Legs up the wall – no, this is not some new dance or joke. It is a basic old wives’ tale that is as important now as 2000 years ago when people walked everywhere and needed to rest. Think of that pooling blood, lymph and interstitial fluid. The most amazing thing is that we have drainage portals in our groins and abdomens. And our kidneys lie just beyond – and our hearts just beyond again. In order to be flushed we need to force the blood back to the groin and abdomen – at least once a day prior to bed. Imagine all that blood and fluid pooling all day and just stuck there at night! No wonder we wake in pain. No wonder rest offers no relief. I do this either on the floor prior to bed or while in bed. With your body flat, get your hips as close to the wall/headboard as possible and place your legs straight up either on the wall or headboard. Your feet will go numb as the fluid rushes down. And pain will even disappear for a time. Doing this every day at least offers some relief, even if only minimal and temporary.
(Hebrews 12:12 – Wherefore, the hanging-down hands and the loosened knees set ye up…)
Foot soak – my patients have always been amazed at what can be achieved with a foot soak! Not just the obvious – warming or even for something like athlete’s foot. But if you use hot water and a cup of Epsom salts, your feet will drain excess fluid while getting the blood thinner and pumping it back up. Do for as long as is bearable. If too painful, remove feet and place into a bucket of cold water for as long as bearable. Once you have had enough (at least 1 minute) put them back into the hot water (reheat if necessary). Then once again, place into the cold water. It is truly amazing to see the effect. Always finish with the cold water and again, add ice if not cold enough. Then end the treatment as above, with legs up the wall. This can be done in an electric footbath if you have one. Hydrotherapy is as vital now as it was in ancient days.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.)
Cupping – a basic form of acupuncture but in my views the best. In one treatment you are able to stimulate the entire body while relaxing the entire body. It does result in some purpura, which are bruise-like circles but only where there are blockages and inflammations. It is also amazing to see how each person responds differently, with different markings which in turn reflect different health issues which the practitioner is able to determine. Likewise, both local and distal acupuncture can work wonders IF conducted with the other treatment ideals. For cupping which is non-invasive, various forms have been used around the world for thousands of years and may well be one of the first therapies offered by health experts.
Homeopathy – to me, little is more Edenic than this amazing form of medicine. While God gave us herbs and minerals in Genesis, he also told us that many are poisonous even though they have their uses. So when you dilute them, the effects become the opposite – so imagine cutting an onion and how it stings and makes the eyes water – making it into a homeopathic medicine will remove the symptoms of hayfever and irritations – but the key symptom here is water, burning and fluid loss – so it is just one of the amazing treatments for fluid retention. Please head to my blog at http://chrysalisintegrativehomeopathics.org and find the Aqua, or fluid retention tonic for more information.
Basic acid-flushing supplementation – this is dealt with far more in my other dietary, detox or treatment articles and is simple enough to do no matter where in the world you are. Along with the fluid is a high amount of inflammatory acid which is linked to the fluid symptoms while being aggravated by them. In turning this around, you will notice an often extreme laxative and diuretic reaction so please begin only when you know you have the early morning free the following day. Once you are used to the process then you can take it every night but start slow!
- Bicarbonate of soda – plain old baking soda or bicarb from the supermarket. 1 flat teaspoon dissolved in hot water, allowed to cool and mixed with a little lemon juice (optional but recommended) drink fast. I will warn you – it is disgusting. But life-saving. I think back to the Sodi Bic IV bags we saved only for the most extreme emergencies yet never used for the basic cases – why? Just maybe we could have prevented more extreme cases? Believe me, you will know you are flushing that excess fluid. This is not a temporary treatment – this is something we should do every single day to undo the damage of the previous day and our lifestyles in general. Alternatively you can buy empty veggie caps and fill with bicarb (this is what I do).
- Bentonite (or similar) powdered clay – this is also so simple and something we once would have consumed without knowing as most of our food came from the ground and contained dirt. Clay absorbs poison and toxins. By adding a flat soup spoon into some water and drinking it once a day, you will be aiding your digestive system to filter once again.
- Herbal teas – so easy you will most likely feel very ripped off for forgetting what our forefathers did naturally. There are so many teas which remove excess fluid while healing our eliminatory organs to do their jobs – parsley tea, rosemary tea, lemon balm tea, rooibos tea, uva ursi tea, ginger tea, coriander tea – the list is endless and this is by no means close to the full array available.
Vibration platform – this is so powerful that for extreme fluid retention, you will need to do only on the lowest setting until you are used to it and the excess fluid has been flushed. It can be very painful and I know this from experience. But I also know it works. At first you may need to sit only on a comfortable chair with just your feet resting on the platform. In fact you can do this for up to 1 hour each day while you work, if you can. Eventually you will be able to stand up and increase the setting until you literally feel not just the lymphatic drainage but the fluid leaving the wrong places and going to the right ones. In fact, you may need to stop the machine multiple times in order to go to the toilet. This handy gadget can replace expensive exercise equipment, many forms of sport and exercise, improve your circulation and energise you like nothing else. I managed to find a discount option to the more popular version but today there are payment plans – that is up to you.
Avoidance of triggers – be they hard floors, tight clothing, standing or walking for long hours, eating the wrong foods, consuming sugary drinks and so much more. Eventually, once you are aware of the cause, you will be able to remove or lessen them one by one and even on the rare occasion you slip up you will be immediately able to determine which error caused the setback.
Drinking – this is vital. As a human race we have replaced what is really the only drink we should consume (within reason, such as herbal teas etc) – water – with anyone else we can. Toxic sugary drinks, dairy (meant for babies of another species!), fake juices, and so on – anything but water! As a sufferer of fluid retention you have no doubt been told to lower your fluid intake, yet it’s pure water that is the best thing here. Don’t make the mistake of thinking so long as it’s water you can flavour it with anything you like. Just water. Carry a bottle with you. And if you have eliminated an increased amount of water, increase your electrolyes by adding a little ground Himalayan salt to your water – the best mineral and electrolyte drink you can have – aside from a little clay water.
One of my most difficult fluid retention cases was one of extreme, life-threatening ascites – and not just because the patient was a loved one. Due to the illness which was being severely medically mismanaged, extreme atrophy of the limbs was matched only by the severity of the abdominal and foot fluid retention (ascites). Medical management was to withdraw litres of this vital bodily fluid by syringe and dispose of it. The sudden drop in not just electrolytes but nutrients and the very fluid which was necessary for life itself, sent the body into shock, causing seizures and heart failure. That in turn, was then seen as a symptom of the disease, rather than an assault on the life – and health of the patient.
The fact I managed this case from afar makes it all the more poignant. I gave instructions via text and over the phone. Contrary to the prognosis given – that he would pass during the night (each time this awful ‘treatment’ was applied and resuscitation was needed) – once we were able to apply the right recommendations between myself and a team of UK and US peers, the ascites disappeared – taking with it, all the accompanying disease symptoms. This was not done so easily – but with diet, supplementation, acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork and massage; ie – an integrative effort. So while analgesia was necessary – with occasional IV fluids, the remainder of the therapy was what could only be called Edenic.
To hinder matters further, as he was in hospital for much of the time we worked on him, he was given the medications and diet that were causing his symptoms – so at least until we could get him home, the ascites and associated symptoms would once again flare. Eventually, once at home and free to continue as before, the symptoms disappeared permanently.
Remember, this is a case in which the feet were swollen into ball-shapes and the skin tore; while the belly measured in over a metre, rather than the usual less-than-90cms. And the fact the fluid loss stole much-needed protein from other tissue, muscle atrophy was extreme – affecting even his movement and use of vocal chords. Most obvious was the effect this vital fluid loss had neurologically, peripherally and internally as visible signs of memory, speech patterns, organ health and skin integrity all became seen as disease symptoms rather than side effects of poor management itself.
Reading over this information generally, you will by now be possibly screaming in your brain as the realisations hit home. Maybe even thinking “Lord, I KNEW this!” You will see that it is not one thing but many – and in turn, many more aspects of your health are suffering.
- As usual, all my articles come with the condition of homework. Each highlighted word has a link corresponding to that issue. Please read (they open in a new window) as you will be more equipped with how to deal with them and turn your health around.
1 Corinthians 12: 12 and 24-26
(Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.…while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.)