The Healing Powers of Water: Myth, Mechanism, or Metaphor?
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The author presents epidemiologic evidence supporting the notion of water as an important factor in disease transmission and causation. In the disease process itself, water probably plays a minor medical role, but it has major subjective importance. Secondly, he argues that water is a strong symbol for the life cycle and the process of re-creation. The meaning that water gains as a potential contributor to the healing process needs to be examined more systematically. Thirdly, his hypotheses are that water is a carrier of both therapeutic mechanism and meaning, and that the importance of mechanism to cure is secondary to the importance of meaning to healing. One reason for this might be that one of water\'s metaphoric facets is that it provides a symbolic link between the human and the divine.