pH-Balance = Yin Yang Balance at Tao Garden Health Resort:
Acidity and Alkalinity is one of the major talking points amongst health circles today, why?
In the human body as elsewhere, acidity and alkalinity are relative to each other, a relationship which is expressed as pH-value. In nature pH values range between 0 and 14, where 0 denotes Hydrochloric Acid and 14 Caustic Soda, both of which are clearly in the unhealthy range for our bodies, whereas pure water has a pH of around 7+, which then is considered pH Neutral, or better pH-Balance.
Pure Water has a pH of around 7+
Acidosis and what it does to your organs in quick view: Once our condition has become acidic, digestion is impaired and the Large Intestine gathers more toxins, which in turn contribute to further acidosis. Trying to get rid of acidity and toxins, the immunesystem runs wild and the mucous membranes start to produce more mucous, resulting in allergies and asthma (Lungs).
Acidosis depletes the Liver Energy and makes the liver work less efficiently, leading exhaustion. To clean up the LIver produces higher levels of LDL Cholesterol, which attack the Heart.
Our body may respond to acidic conditions in a way similar to famine: the body will over-produce insulin and accumulate fat; When acidity is prolonged it may develop into diabetes (Stomach, Pancreas)
Since primarily the Kidney is responsible for ridding our body from acidity, it it the first organ to suffer from acidosis, which may lead to Kidney Stones;
Acidic Mucous deposits on our bones and joints, causing Gout and Arthritis or initiates the break down of our nervous system and thus pave the way for Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatic Conditions;
Acidosis directly threatens the veins and arteries of the body and the Heart itself, with added danger from heightened Blood Cholesterol levels;
Thus Acidosis contibutes to the danger of arterio- sclerosis, vasocontriction and hypertension;
Acidosis gives Free play to Radicals, which arttack the nervous system and the DNA itself, leading to Cell Damage.
Compare how pH values in our bodies range between 2 and 9, again with neutral values around 7:
Gastric Juice 1.2-3.0
Cerebro-spinal fluid 7.4
Vaginal Fluid 3.5-4.5
Pancreatic Juice 7.1- 8.2
Bile 7.6 – 8.6
(source: Tortora and Grabowski)
What is Metabolic Acidosis?
Since pH-balance is essential for the well functioning of our bodies, our immune system steps up as soon as balance is off and there is too much acid or alkaline in our blood. As becomes evident from the chart it is more easy to over-acidise your body than to become too alkaline, simply because not many foods come in the super alkaline range, whereas quite an amount of junk foods come in the super acidic range. Our immune system needs to ‘buffer’ alkalinity in order to protect our bodies from acidity, for which it uses minerals like Calcium. If acidic conditions persist, the mineral reserves of the body may be depleted and deposited elsewhere, resulting in acid crystalization in arteries, mucous membranes and joints, ie. Gout (see below). Apart from contributing to bad eating habits, having too much stress and negative thoughts may also contribute to acidity. Sometimes people may indeed become too alkaline, which however usually is a temporary condition caused by medical treatments and medication (diuretics), and is brought back to balance by the kidneys. So the more common condition is called Metabolic Acidosis, which differs from Acidosis caused by malfunctioning organs or medical treatment, because it is a chronic condition caused by a more and more polluted environment, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, no time to rest and no way to replenish our life force (Chi). Since we literally ‘are what we eat’, avoiding Acid forming foods, which are mostly Yang, and increasing our intake of Alkaline forming foods, mostly Yin, may help us to restore pH balance and achieve what is called Tai Chi in Chinese, the Balance of Yin & Yang. See our page on Taoist Five Element Nutrition for more information and our Integrated Food List, which features Taoist Five Element Nutrition, along with Blood Type Diet, Acidic/Alkaline Diet and a Diet aimed at stimulating the Immune System. Last but not least, drinking more water, and especially Alkaline Water, is an excellent way to flush toxins out of our bodies and restore pH balance.
Metabolic Acidosis and Incomplete Digestion
If we eat too much acid-forming foods (see the list below), the lack of alkaline-buffer may send the body into a condition of metabolic acidosis, impeded digestion and constipation, two conditions of the human system from which 95 percent of the civilized people are suffering, and which is said to predispose to 90 percent of all human ills. These conditions facilitate each other: metabolic acidosis is always associated with some type of constipation, which means that the waste products of metabolism are not sufficiently removed from the tissue cells, with a consequent clogging of the eliminative channels, resulting in more acidosis. Ad nauseam. An important source of ever increasing acidity and toxixity is a clogged up colon (Large Intestine). Once the mucus membrane is clogged up, ellimination becomes more and more incomplete and our bodies more and more toxic, resulting in more acidosis and a variety of health problems:
Metabolic Acidosis and the War between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fungi and bacteria
Our body may be compared to a field: if the soil has the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity, the right kind of micro organisms will thrive in it. If pH balance is off, the ‘bad’ or ‘unfriendly’ fungi and bacteria can take over, whose presence in an over acidic body may show up as skin problems, impeded digestion, flatulence, Candida-infection and bad body odor. This war between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ micro organisms will in turn influence our metabolism and bring us into the Chronic Fatigue Cycle, by which time our Immune System has little resistance against more serious diseases and infections, resulting in symptoms of Immune Deficiency:
Metabolic Acidosis and Allergies, Mucus & Asthma
When we have a common cold, the mucus membranes of our upper and/or lower respiratory system are producing larger quantities of mucus in an effort to get rid of infection. Prolonged acidic conditions may lead to the same reaction, increasing the amount of mucus produced in our large intestine, respiratory system and elsewhere in the body. These symptoms represent an effort by the body to rid itself of acidic waste products. Just as exposure to allergents may trigger the mucus membrane, so may acidity. It may be imortant to realize this, and get rid of acidity before trying to get rid of mucus, because mucus may actually be something the body produces to protect itself from acidic pollutants.
Metabolic Acidosis and Chronic Fatigue
As our bodies become more and more polluted and digestion becomes less efficient, the body cannot get out enough energy from what we eat, resulting in fatigue. The constant demand for energy causes our metabolism to run wild and work inefficiently, which in turn aggravates the condition. In addition, increased acidity impares motoric activity (lactic acid), which makes us feel tired quickly when engaging in any activity. Negative thoughts arise which, just like nightmares, usually visit us after over indulging in food, alcohol and the like, a fact which was already known by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Moreover, our Liver has to work very hard to filter out and remove the toxins, requiring large amounts of energy, which are taken away from the rest of our body, resulting in chronicly feeling exhausted. The Liver starts to produce more cholesterol, while trying to clear the blood from toxins (chelation), which sends cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels soaring, leading to another vicious cycle:
Metabolic Acidosis and Obesity, Diabetes
High Cholesterol levels and over production of Insulin go hand in hand while the body builds up fat to neutralise and store pollutants. In stead of seeing the fat itself as a threat, consider it a way of the body to protect itself. Likewise, try getting rid of toxicity first and find that loosing weight becomes easier and that with a healthy pH, burning fat goes much faster and chances of rebounding from a diet with additional weight gain become less. As high Insulin levels and fat accumulation are the symptoms and acidity the cause, the same also threatens the Pancreas itself, where the onset of diabetes may be directly related to high levels of toxicity and low pH values.
Metabolic Acidosis, Heartburn and Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease
Heartburn is actually one of the prime symptoms of prolonged acidic conditions. It may erode the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach and, if enough erosion happens, prevent it from closing properly. This may develop into Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. Damage may also be done to the esophagus itself, causing difficulties with swallowing. Drinking large amounts of coffee (very acidic), (black) tea and alcohol, as well as smoking cigarettes are the main contributors to this condition. In stead of simply taking acid-lowering or -binding medicines, a general course of alkalinizing measures and a permanent change of diet are paramount when dealing with this dangerous condition, which may lead to serious damage to the esophagus and worse.
Metabolic Acidosis and the Urinary Tract
The Kidney and the Lungs are mainly responsible for ridding our bodies from excess acidity. It is in the Kidneys that Chronic Acidosis becomes most obvious: uric acid deposits which form into kidney stones. The cause is in our food intake: eating lots of foods high in purines such as red meat, fish, and chicken. Purines are broken down by the body into uric acid, which crystallises into kidney stones when urine is predominantly acidic, pH below 5,5. If our urine is alkaline -which may be achieved by drinking alkaline water and keeping a neutral or alkaline diet, the uric acid will not crystallise into kidney stones. In fact the crystallisation of uric acid threatens not only the Kidney, but the complete urinary tract, including the sexual organs, see our page on Karsei Nei Tsang treatments in Tao Garden.
Metabolic Acidosis, Gout, Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Multiple Sclerosis
Metabolic Acidosis may also give rise to painful conditions like Gout, Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Multiple Sclerosis. First of all, the body will start using up the Calcium stored in our bones in order to neutralise the toxins which go along with prolonged acidic conditions in our tissues. The Calcium goes into our blood, which thus becomes less acidic, yet at the same time Calcium gets deposited in the capillary blood vessels of mainly the hands, legs, finger joints and knees, a condition which is called gout. Thus depleting the Calcium stored in our Skeleton, our bones may become brittle, giving rise to a condition referred to as Osteo-porosis.
Further, while Metabolic Acidosis breaks down body tissues and weakens cells, it may facilitate the onset of diseases like Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis, auto-immune diseases which are characterised by the break down of body tissue. As we have seen above, metabolic acidosis throws the body off balance and alarms the immune system. If the condition persists, the immune system itself may be thrown off balance, which may give rise to auto-immune diseases. We can still stop Metabolic Acidosis quickly by changing our diet, life style and thought pattern, but once the nerve tissues are under attack as in Multiple Sclerosis, or joint linings as in Rheumatoid Arthritis, the way to restoration of our health has become much longer and more difficult to go.
Metabolic Acidosis and Cardiovascular Damage
In order for our cardiovascular system to work normally, the pH of blood plasma should be slightly alkaline, having a pH of 7.35 to 7.41. But if we allow a condition to develop where the plasma dips under a pH value 7.35 (Metabolic Acidosis), the smooth muscle tissues of the inner walls of arteries, veins and the heart itself, will be under attack. In addition to the threat posed by soaring cholesterol levels, a chronically over-acidic pH threatens to corrode body tissue, veins and arteries like “acid eating into marble”. Metabolic Acidosis as a chronic condition thus paves the way for Arterio Sclerosis, high blood pressure and facilitates the build up of Cholesterol Plaque on the vascular walls:
Metabolic Acidosis and the build up of Cholesterol Plaque
A chronic condition of pH values below 7,35 (Metabolic Acidosis) changes the chemical environment in the blood vessels, causing LDL- Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol which causes cardiovascular diseases) to be deposited at an accelerated rate. In addition to LDL cholesterol, the over-acidic conditions will also facilitate the deposit of heavy metals and other pollutants together with the Cholesterol. This has to do with the cleansing activities of the liver (chelation), which have already been mentioned above. In such a way these combined conditions lead to the build up of plaque in our blood vessels, which cannot be abated by lowering the amount of cholesterol in our food intake alone, but require dietary measures which also curb acidity.
Metabolic Acidosis may cause High Bloodpressure
If our body is in a prolonged acidic condition, the blood vessels in the periphery may become constricted, whereas the arteries may become dilated. This means the heart has to work harder to pump the blood around the body and, while circulation of the blood vessels in the periphery is restricted, a higher blood pressure in the arteries. This presents a serious hazard to our cardio vascular health, one that is also difficult to control and especially increases the risk of heart attack and tachycardia.
Metabolic Acidosis, Free Radicals and DNA Damage
Metabolic Acidosis accelerates Free Radical Damage of cell walls and intracellular membrane structures, while actually destroying cells and damaging DNA, thus inaugurating premature ageing. The results are premature wrinkles, skin de-colourations, dtysfunctioning hormonal systems, impaired eyesight, weakened memory and many other age-related conditions including Alzheimer. Furthermore, healthy DNA-RNA Synthesis requires a chemical environment which is not acidic. If the pH value of the biological terrain is too low, cellular regeneration is inhibited and cells may degenerate or even become malignant. All these risks are even increased if we take into account what has been said before about bacteria and fungi, which are ever ready to take over from healthy body cells.
How to stop the break down of your body in quick view:
Drink (more) Alkaline Water to flush your system and eliminate toxins from your body; although this alone will improve conditions a lot, you may need to cleanse your Large Intestine, to give the mucous membranes all around your body a chance to get rid of toxicity:
Next on your list may be a Kidney Cleanseand a Liver Cleanse, for which the Tao Garden Integrated Medical Clinic, the Pakua Clinic, has a few possibilities to choose from: Holistic, Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic.
Meanwhile, you may want to have a closer look at your diet and make some resolutions for change: avoid junk foods and beverages that are very acidic, including most kinds of alcohol. Eat more food which comes in the neutral or alkaline range, and avoid food coming in the acidic range. Check out the short food list given below, our delve into our Five-Elements Nutrition List for a detailed description of many foods; This list presents a challenging combination of diets, including Bloodtype and Five Elements Nutrition, which is based on your Chinese Five Element Astrology Chart:
Check your heart and cardio vascular system and do (more) exercise to improve your condition; Don’t neglect the kind of exercise that calms and nourishes your body and be careful with the exercise that fortifies it.
Exercise more !
Clean out your Emotions!
Blood with Plaque
Blood with Fungus
Blood with Crystals
Short Alkaline and Acidic Food List
Please refer to our Five Element Nutrition List for full information.
Alkaline, 70 to 80% Protective Foods-Milk, Fruit, Vegetables.Acid, 10 to 15% Proteins-meat, Cheese, Fish, Eggs, Soybeans, Nuts.Acid, 10 to 15% Carbohydrates-honey, baked potatoes, dates, whole grain bread, unsulphured molasses, bananas, butter, oil and fats.Growing children and adults before forty years of age may require the higher brackets in the acid-producing foods. Adults over the age of forty do best by keeping the protective foods at the highest level.Reference: The Cycle of Health. M.O.Garten,D.C., Ph.C., Page 13-16. Salinas, California, 1944.