Water’s Not Just Water Anymore


Driving by the empty “Monica’s Vintage Inspired” storefront on Athens Avenue in Redding made my heart hurt. My friend Monica Templeton is probably at a much lower risk for a hurting heart (of the attack variety) since she closed the doors of her shabby-chic emporium last summer, but the store looked so lonely, so neglected … until six weeks ago when Heather Caulkins and her mom Darlene Whitney gave the building new life and a new purpose: holistic water.

I wish I had a dollar for every time in the last six weeks that I uttered “What the hell is holistic water?” as I drove by the store’s bright blue banner advertising a cure for what ails (or may someday ail) me. I was also skeptical about how a store selling water could sustain itself.

But the proof is in the … water, and the steady stream of customers seeking it on a random Friday afternoon.


It turns out that Heather and Darlene don’t sell water, but are a distributor of the Enagic water generating system that produces alkaline, ionized water, named “Kangen water” by Enagic.

Ionized water is molecularly re-structured, detoxifying, anti-oxidant water that proponents claim rids the body of acid waste and balances pH better than its tap and bottled counterparts. The steady stream of the Water Store’s Kangen converts, from fitness buffs to clients with serious health problems, were there when I was, on a random Friday, to refill their bottles, as part of the Holistic Water Store’s free 30-day trial.

Heather is amazed by the response to their six-week old storefront that started two years ago as an extension of Darlene’s home-based “Whitney’s Vitamins and Herbs.” A friend of the mother and daughter team brought them an Enagic machine from Japan. They gave the water a try and were hooked. So are their customers, a network of referrals from satisfied clients and holistic health practitioners.


Enagic filters tap water to create “magic water” using an electrolysis system of magnetic titanium plates and 230 watts of power.

According to the company’s promotional DVD, water is filtered to remove chemicals from municipal treatment, restructured to a higher pH and “micro-clustered” to create a lower molecular surface tension, allowing cells to absorb more nutrients and to carry waste away more efficiently. Enagic claims that water from its system has three to five times the antioxidants of green tea.

During the 30-day trial, Heather and Darlene recommend drinking half an ounce to one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, triggering the body to cleanse itself.

They warn that the cleansing process may cause flu-like symptoms in some, including headaches, night sweats, phlegm and excessive bowel movements. Heather sadistically admits that she is excited when clients complain of these symptoms, saying that “it shows the strength of the water.”


I must admit that I was drawn in by the Enagic promotional DVD. Not by the expected scare tactics (the dangers of chemicals and disposed pharmaceuticals in treated water and the environmental damage caused by plastic bottles), nor by the abundant enthusiastic testimonials from sufferers of ailments ranging from heartburn to fibromyalgia, nor endorsements from the Japanese Ministry of Health and Labor and the Japanese Association of Preventative Medicine.

I was impressed by the objective Japanese documentaries, featuring doctors and nurses using alkaline, ionized water to treat patients. The Enagic machine also produces a high-acid water that Japanese hospitals use to treat bed sores and fungal conditions like athlete’s foot and a high-PH water used solo to clean surfaces and hospital tools.

A quick online search for “Kangen Water” yielded thousands of results for the Enagic system and other alkaline, ionized water systems, but I am equally impressed by Heather’s friendly, helpful, try-it-and-see-what-happens approach to selling a product that she clearly believes in. She is confidently conversant about the water’s benefits, but offers no sales pitch, unless you ask.


But what the heck, ask. Stop in for a taste, watch the DVD in the store’s new comfortable, modern waiting area and drink the water for 30 days as recommended. I’m giving it a 30-day whirl. I’ll spare you the details of my phlegm and bowels, but I’ll let you know what happens.

Holistic Water Store, 2425 Athens Avenue, Redding. Call (530) 605-4040 for more information.

Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studiosand are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State events to adamm.anewscafe@gmail.com.

is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner are the owners of HawkMan Studios and the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday Art Hop.
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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Doug says:

    Wow! what a scam. Ask any chemist if you can "Restructure" water to a higher pH. As for "micro-clustering" ,this is a made up term. There is no physical state of water that can have the effects claimed. Save your money and buy a bottle of good red wine. It has some loosely proven benifical health effects!

    • Avatar Adam Mankoski says:

      Doug – Thanks for weighing in. Hopefully Heather and Darlene will too. It's my understanding that these kinds of machines separate the alkaline from the acid and what goes into the bottle is a high-PH water. Apparently, the low-acid water is also a great astringent/beauty treatment for the skin.

      Who knows? According to some of the research I did, the Japanese have been using this technology for 15 or more years. But I don't discount the medicinal value of a good glass of Chianti either.

    • Avatar Tom says:

      Hello Doug,

      When water undergoes electrolysis, the water molecule is pulled apart into OH- and H+.

      The OH- donates its electrons to harmful active oxygen (free radicals) and converts them back into healing oxygen that the body can use.

      Also during electrolysis, the natural minerals of potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium which are found in all water, are converted into an ionic form which is readily used by the cells.

      The expression micro clustering is no different than what happens to water when you boil it. The large molecule clusters are broken apart by the heat into smaller clusters. The same process happens during electrolysis.

      pH is from a scale of 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. The very nature of electrolysis always generates both alkaline water pH 9 and acidic water pH 5 or alkaline water pH 8.5 and acidic water pH 5.5. This fact can easily be confirmed by a digital pH/ORP meter.

      Best to you,


    • Hundreds of thousands of M.D.'s, not quacks, have proven that an alkaline system is a healthy system.When the American diet became refined out of necessity during the war, households began eating more & more refined foods. We've long known eating to few veg and too much meat and easily prepared foods is unhealthy. It seemed complicated to me, as foods that are acidic, such as limes, create alkalinity in the body.When the body can't uptake enough nutrients, it's commonly because the system is too acidic, and the body will find what it needs, in your muscle and tissue. This causes many degenerative bone and muscle diseases. I've changed my diet back and am supplementing, but I'm far from well, and since the body is mostly water, it follows that clean, mineral, alkaline water is the final answer. I wish I had a Kangen system.

  2. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Adam, city chemists and water engineers daily test Redding's water. All PH levels are accounted for. And mineral content and chem balance is tested.

    Very close watch is kept on Redding's H2O.

    It is my regret that floride wasn't added years ago to improve the smiles of today's folks because they're too many toothless wonders. Get behind the movement to floridate old B. B. Redding's agua," The City's Pride."

  3. Avatar pmarshall says:

    It just might be a waste of money, I think we have pretty good water compared to a lot of other cities. Fluoridation will not save teeth.

  4. Avatar Debbie Lynn says:

    I'm trying this water, it doesn't cost anything except for a ONE TIME fee for the plastic jug they refill for me ( 7 $ ) , after drinking it for 10 days I have already experienced headaches and feelings of fatigue and a few other embarrassing symptoms that I won't share…I will keep drinking it and see how I feel after the 30 days. As for fluoride added to Redding water , " NO WAY " , I don't want ANYTHING added to my drinking water..buy a tube of toothpaste !

    • Avatar Tom says:


      If you live in the Southbay West side area of LA, then contact me unless you are already working with a friend who is an Enagic distributor.

      You can say its all a placebo effect until your colon starts cleaning itself…you can not fool your colon.

      I will give you free water and can also help explain the water to your friends and family.

      Optimum health to you,



      • Avatar Nancy Ferrari says:

        Dear Tom, I just wanted to thank you for expressing the benefits in a short, simple and truthful manner. With all the negative comments, your post was refreshing in that it speaks the truth. I've been drinking Kangen water for 2 years now, purchased my own SD501 unit a year ago and am now proud to say I'm an Enagic distributor and health and wellness advocate.

        If you have friends in the O.C. area who need water, let me know, and if I may ask the same from you, I'd appreciate it! Drinking Kangen water is the best and only way to feel the difference !

        Much success to you and thanks for sharing ~



  5. Avatar Tracey Schaeffer says:

    This Holistic water is the best tasting, freshest water I've ever drank. I haven't experienced any detox yet, but I am only 2 days in. I am anxious to see how I feel after the 30 days. I don't know how this could possibly be a waste of money since I'm getting a gallon of water for free every day.

    As for fluoride in the water – NO WAY!!! Fluoride is an extremely toxic substance. Drinking it does nothing for teeth. But it will cause substantial health issues in the BODY!!! Part of the reason people have problems with their teeth is due to the fact that their PH level is too acid and their bodies are full of toxins. Also, Redding tap water has chlorine…again, not something we should be drinking.

  6. Avatar Enagic USA Inc. says:

    This is a great example of how trying Kangen Water® will make you a believer. Enagic ionizers process water through electrolysis, which creates the alkalinity. The alkaline structure won't last forever, so it's important that the water is consumed fresh. As you say, Kangen Water is used in Japanese hospitals to help treat patients. Enagic machines are recognized in Japan as official medical devices. We would love to hear about the benefits you've experienced after your trial.

    • Avatar Budd Hodges says:

      This is stupid! Shame on you for trying to promote this crap on the public.

      This sounds like a Nigerian scam. Try spam mail.

  7. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Stupid is and stupid does. You fucked people are wack jobs. Are you doctors, water people or members of the EPA? What qualifications do you have other than street gossip and side stories. You sound like the wack jobs that belong to this right wing tea party and fanatics that spew this hatred toward everything.

    Get a life, get a job and shut up!

    • Avatar Tracey Schaeffer says:

      Wow! Really??

      When you feel the need to use words like you are…I wonder who needs to get a life and shut up?

      I actually do have qualifications and knowledge on this subject but your ignorance doesn't deserve much response.

    • Oh, yeah. The FDA, the EPA and the pharmaceutical industry are the ones to be trusted, along with you, of course. They want us sick, otherwise they would be out of business. Apparently your vocabulary is sorely lacking, seeing as you have nothing but vulgar language to defend your "position." What, do you go on all blogs etc., and just cuss up a storm thinking that you are so powerful in your commentary that people will change their way of thinking from your intelligent insights? There are definitely scams out there, millions. But I wish we had a Holistic Water Store here so I could get affordable drinking water that had not only the toxins removed, but helped create the Ph my body needs to get well.

  8. Avatar Viki Twyman says:

    Mr. Hodges has not provided any counter arguments on the validity of this water, only foul language and personal attacks. It's been my experience that when people respond in such a way, it is because they lack the knowledge of the subject in order to have a healthy debate.

  9. Avatar Connie says:

    Drink it if its free but shop before you buy.

    • Avatar Diane Hunter says:

      Through thorough research, the Kangen water machine is different and superior in several ways to the other water ionizing water machines.

      The Kangen Water Machine alkalizes and restructures the water, along wiith adding antioxidants, and oxygen to it.

      It is the only machine on the market that is considered a medical device.

      My husband was going to get a "cheaper" machine, that made similiar claims, but through extensive research, we have chosen to go with the Kangen machine.

      The other machines on the market do not have the warrenty that the Kangen has either. If you have hard water, with these other machines, the warranty is nullified. And after using about two and a half gallons, the machine overheats and you have to "rest" the machine.

  10. Avatar Roger from Alakizing says:

    As per the above comment from Connie, about shopping for another brand after getting free water from the Holistic Water Store, I know of other machines that are indeed are half of the price of the Kangen Machine. However, I also know that you can get the other machines at a discount because after a couple hours of constant use, the machine over heats and then it needs a rest.

    You get what you pay for.

    The Kangen Machine used at the Holistic Water Store is used from 8:30am to 5:00pm, with about 200 a day coming in to get free water. (My wife and I get about 4 gallons a day and we count for 2 of that 200 number). The machine has never gotten too hot and burned out.

    You will not ever be able to buy a Kangen Water Machine that's been refurbished, because they simply do not break down

    . . . like the above machine does, which sells at half the price.

    If you have not yet experienced this water or been to the store yet, please feel free to email me with any questions; Roger amfb555@yahoo.com

  11. Avatar Stormie says:

    I bought my Enagic Kangen machine over a year ago and it was the best health investment ever for our family. My son's severe asthma has subsided for the first time in his life-he is almost 9. We have gone from a couple emergency doctor visits per year to none at all since we have all started drinking our Kangen water. In addition we have more energy than ever.

    For us, thats all the proof we need.

  12. Avatar greg says:

    i would love to try the kangen water maybe it would help clear out my colon,prostate,arteries,joints greg gnppb@aol.com pluscreditllc.net thx

  13. I have been ill for about a year after a tragedy and then trauma caused me to get lazy about my eating habits.Finally, I learned that it caused my system to be too acidic.I had always throughout my life eaten right. I am going back to my old way of eating and incorporating more herbs and veg into my organic home garden.I'm also using supplements to get back to optimal health. It is so difficult to use more energy to eat when I am feeling so ill, everything is a struggle.I am still getting my garden ready for spring, a huge job. What is relevant is that every research query brings me back to creating the correct ph in my body, and that the toxic chemicals in the water is defeating my efforts at every juncture.I have studied this illness looking for an answer for 3 months, hours a day, and would give anything to afford a Kangen Water device for under my sink. Acidity in the body causes a host of serious diseases, unfortunately we spent our available cash trying to prevent the tragedy that changed my life, and changed our entire family. So, if you can afford a system, get it. Do any acid/alkaline diet research from a medical search,not the sales pitch search,& you will find the same thing I did.The American diet changed in the '30's, not for the better.Eating alkaline producing foods is necessary,but if toxins are continuously ingested through the water,all the cleanses in the world won't help.

  14. The many hours of personal research I have done has always brought me back to the necessity of creating the proper ph in my body. I searched medical articles from WebMD, wikipedia, doctorate thesis articles etc., & found the information I desperately needed. I had Candida, for starters, caused from an improper balance of foods in my diet. Although I am now eating the right foods and adding herbs, & I have realized some real benefits to my health, I am not getting well. I never ingest what I consider to be "dead" food, (I have never eaten those foods anyway, and my kids never ate them at our table), I always cooked with raw ingredients, in the days when my children were young I was considered a "health food nut", by my peers. No nitrates etc., way before the "green movement", but nevertheless I find myself losing the war. I am going to look & see if there are any contests with the prize a Kangen water system. If anyone knows of one, I would greatly appreciate being told. Thanks, Marian