|"Little Church At Ojo Caliente" oil on linen, 9 x 12 inches|
We had arrived at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs in the late afternoon, after I had completed a painting of an old adobe church nearby. It seemed incredible that the gift of mineral water, hot enough to soak in, had been pouring 100,000 gallons a day out of the earth for centuries. “Well,” I said, “Before this spa existed, Native Americans dwelled here and used the water . . . the history goes back centuries.”
Four different types of mineral waters: lithium, iron, soda and arsenic, continually stream to the surface, revitalizing the many who come here to soak. I first visited about thirty years ago, when the place was a sleepy, rundown resort, mostly used by locals. Not only did I soak in the primitive pools in need of repair, but also drank the four types of mineral water. Since then, the place has been substantially upgraded, and now, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa is an international destination.
After we finished our soaking, and I had swam in the outdoor, spring fed pool, we were walking to the car in the brisk autumn air, and I asked Heidi if she had drank any of the water. “No” she replied. “The Lithia water would be good for you, since sometimes you get anxiety attacks.” I was half kidding her, because she is a hyper energetic type of person and I remembered how when I drank the water, it made me feel calmed; although the soaks in hot mineral water does that too.
In truth, studies have shown that:
- Individuals with heart disease, learning disabilities, and incarcerated violent criminals were found to have lithium deficiencies (as measured through hair sample analysis).
- Research studies measuring the effects of trace levels of lithium, commonly found in lithia waters, have demonstrated neuroprotective abilities, improvements in mood and cognitive function, and positive outcomes as a treatment for manic-depressive disease.
- Research studies published the British Journal of Psychiatry 2009 found that communities with naturally occurring lithia waters have lower suicide rates, mental hospital admissions, incidences of crimes, and arrests related to drug addictions.
- On February 8, 2011, German researchers at Friedrich Schiller University Jena published their findings in the European Journal of Nutrition (Nature Publishing Group) indicating that lithia waters lead to an increased life expectancy in humans and metazoans.
- A clinical pilot study using ĔDJ lithia water from British Columbia is underway at the University of British Columbia. It will investigate whether daily use of lithia water will improve new brain cell formation (neurogenesis) and reduce neuronal oxidative stress.
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