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Date of update: February 2007
This is file xxxxx.chapter03.09.b.acidalkalinebalance. This file has been updated in February 2007 and is part of Chapter 3 of my manuals. Please click here for the Microsoft Word version of this file.
The Acid / Alkaline Balance
It is important to have an understanding of how the acid / alkaline balance within our bodies can affect physical health.
Water ionises into
hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (
As we have seen earlier, water is a key component of our physical bodies and the ability of various molecules from our food to bond with water molecules within the body fluids is critical to the correct operation of the cellular processes within the body. The pH levels within the body fluids are also critical to the cellular processes.
The pH level at which cells can function correctly varies in different parts of the body. The following list gives an indication of the acceptable pH ranges:
- Heart 7.0 to 7.4
- Brain 7.1
- Liver 7.2
- Blood 7.35 to 7.45
- Saliva 6.0 to 7.4
- Muscles 6.9 to 7.2
- Urea 4.5 to 8.0
- Bile from Gallbladder 5.0 to 7.7
- Enzymes in the Small Intestine 7.5 to 8.3
As an overall generalisation, our physical bodies work best if they are slightly alkaline.
The pH level in our bodies is influenced most of all by our diet. It can be influenced also by an incorrectly functioning major organ or body system such as the kidneys and the digestive system, by stress and by too much intensive exercise.
When our food has been metabolised (processed) in the body, it leaves a residue or ash which will be either acid, alkaline or neutral. A good diet that would support the overall slightly alkaline balance that the cells of the body are designed to operate in would have around 75% of daily food intake represented by fruit and by vegetables which are handled in such a way as to minimise loss of minerals and vitamins in the preparation and cooking processes. As a generalisation, the majority of people eating western style diets do not have this level of intake of fruit and vegetables but have a significant proportion of processed foods and dairy / meat products. As a generalisation, this diet produces over-acidity within the body fluids. Processed foods and dairy / meat products tend to leave an acidic ash once metabolised within the body.
Over-acidity means that the cellular processes are operating outside of the acid / alkaline parameters that they were designed to work in. This has an overall effect on physical health conditions. The body has its own reserves of alkalinity which it can call upon and release to correct the acid / alkaline balance. These alkalinity reserves include the alkaline substances such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate and haemoglobin found around the body in the tissue cells, in our bones, in our blood, etc.. These reserves, however, are intended only for short-term quick fixes to an acid / alkaline imbalance and are not sufficient to deal with long term acid / alkaline imbalances. Long term imbalances caused by diet or by a major organ misfunction will result in the depletion of the alkaline reserves and the breakdown of normal cellular activity, and can result in physical health conditions such as the following:
- Aching muscles.
- Premature aging.
- Stones in the kidneys and the gall bladder.
- Being overweight.
- Weakness in the immune system.
- Osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones caused by the removal of minerals to combat over-acidity).
- Reduction in the ability to use the oxygen in the blood fully.
- Cardiovascular (heart system) damage.
- Accleration of damage caused by free radicals and higher likelihood of developing cancerous consitions.
- Low energy, fatigue and depression.
- Fungal growth.
- Tooth decay.
We looked briefly before at the role of electrolytes in the body. If a person eats a diet that leaves a constant acidic ash, the release of certain ionised salts such as bicarbonate of soda, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium into the blood to counteract the acidity will reduce the level of these substances to be available for the usual electrolyte activity in the body.
As healers we will often be called upon to help with physical conditions that are the result of acid producing diets. The correct solution to prevent further recurrence of many of these physical conditions will be change of diet. Until diet is changed, much of the energy healing work that we do will tend to be focussed around alleviating symptoms rather than being able to resolve the causes of the symptoms.
The following table gives an indication of the acid or alkaline ash produced by a range of common foods after they have been metabolised. The acidity or alkalinity of food before it is eaten is not a guide to the acidity or alkalinity of the food after it has gone through the digestive system.
Medical research has shown that the pH levels in our bodies are affected also by stress in our lives. Stress can influence the working of the endocrine system glands and the resulting production of hormones which in turn impact upon the metabolic and cellular respiration processes, and can result in acidity. It is helpful for healers to be aware, therefore, that where a client has a life situation which is causing them ongoing stress, the symptoms will not just be at an emotional and mental level but in the physical body as well as it releases its alkaline reserves to try to maintain the correct levels of alkalinity. We start to look at meditative practice in Chapter 6. Whilst this is introduced into this course as a basis for developing the psychic and intuitive abilities so that we can sense energy imbalances and blockages both within ourselves for self-healing purposes and within others as we try to heal them, it needs to be recognised in the context of the acid alkaline balance in the body that meditative practice is a substantive healing modality in its own right as it helps to calm the mind and the emotions and results in reduced stress levels.
Regular and prolonged periods of intense exercise can also contribute towards acidity in the body. Energy is needed to facilitate the exercise and comes from the release of energy that is stored in the ATP. This release involves the breaking off of one of the phosphate molecules, thereby moving from the three phosphate molecules in the ATP to the two phosphate molecules in the ADP. The breaking of the molecular bonding releases energy for the muscles. The normal store of ATP is not in anyway sufficient to support prolonged exercise so the body will be working at higher than usual rates to replenish the ATP stores once exercising starts. Hydrogen ions which are acidic in nature are a natural by product of the release of energy from ATP. Higher than usual levels of physical activity will result in higher than usual release of energy from the ATP and will result in higher than usual release of the acidic hydrogen ions to beyond the point at which the body’s usual buffer mechanisms to maintain reasonable acid / alkaline balance can cope. What this means is that high levels of repeated and prolonged intense exercise either amongst sports people or amongst overweight people who seek to reduce weight this way can be unhealthy because there is a negative impact upon the acid alkaline balance in the body.