Wednesday, May 21

What are you telling your water?

With all this rain in our usually dry prairie province I thought it fitting to talk about water.

Water absorbs our feelings and emotions, claims Dr. Masaru Emoto. This could have a substantial impact on humans, with over 60% our bodies water. If water absorbs our feelings, are we 60% living the emotions we felt in the past?

The history behind Emoto's experiments with water is not clear, but he has taken thousands of pictures of super-cooled water crystals; they show that ugly crystals result from negative words or thoughts, and beautiful crystals, produced by positive ones.

This water crystal was shown the word "Joy"

In his experiments, pure water is 'treated' by a strong intention, prayers and blessings, or a word affixed to the bottle. The liquid is then supercooled, and pictures are taken. A team goes through the pictures with a key (what 'treatments' the water got) to establish any pattern. Masaru Emoto's research led him to the conclusion that positive words form beautiful, well-formed crystals (such as the one pictured here), and that negative thoughts lead to ill-formed, ugly crystals.

The only problem with Masaru's experiments is that they are not scientific enough. That doesn't mean he lacked high-tech equipment or had a team of sub-par research assistants, but that he didn't place enough controls in order to limit human interpretation in data collection.

What does that mean? Too many other conditions were variable to say if the results were really from a positive or negative word. Imagine growing two plants to see if talking to plants improves their condition. If you plant one in more fertile soil than the other, water the two plants with different amounts of water or different schedules, and let them have different amounts of sunshine, how do you know that one is doing better than the other only because of your talking? It simply requires isolating the one variable you want to find out.

Masaru, on the other hand, reportedly did not photograph the crystals at the same times or timeframes, and a team selected the most aesthetically pleasing photographs from the large number they had taken. He claims that difficulties in photographing the frozen water impede perfect control of this, and also, that after it is 'treated', the water is neutrally labelled (letters of the alphabet) for handling in the lab. The experiment as a whole is very open to personal bias and interpretation.

I am not prepared to fully validate Emoto's experiments as real science, but it is not something to dismiss, either. Human brains are hardwired to find patterns; science is only built to do so. After all, there is something magical about these messages.

picture from Masaru Emoto's website
"Emoto Project"--outreach to children
Wikipedia on Dr. Masaru Emoto