Taking care of myself, with nature as my guide and support, has always been my idea of natural medicine. But sometimes it gets very complicated. And we’ve made the cost of ‘being healthy’ quite expensive – a luxury enjoyed by those who can afford all the gadgets and potions. But does it have to be that way? I don’t think so. There are lots of simple things we can do every day that have no price tag whatsoever. And in my opinion, these things form a firm foundation to natural health care.
Like many people, I have made a real effort to care for my own health. I have followed many roads looking for answers, and in some cases the ‘perfect potion’ to keep me on the path of good health. Hours and hours of studying many different modalities and ideas have inspired me to change the way I lived, and to pass on the ‘latest information’ to interested friends and clients.
But all this information can become quite confusing, complicated and expensive. After years of looking for a road which would bring me a balance of spiritual, emotional and physical health, I finally realised that I just wanted to find some simple guidelines that would bring me this balance, and cost me and my friends, absolutely nothing. Quite a challenge!
Self love, that is truly caring for yourself, is the most important principle we can apply if we are truly looking for holistic health care. How we achieve that can be as diverse as our individual bio-chemical makeup. But even though we are certainly diverse, there are some actions we can all do which are simple, and are of great value in helping us to care for ourselves, and by doing so, care for, love and honour others.
My free health care tools
I have found these tools support my spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and growth – which is quite a tall order. They are generally ancient principles which ironically, modern science has begun to look at with new eyes.
Tool #1: Starting the day
The first 20 minutes of the day tend to influence how the rest of your day unfolds. This time can be used in prayer, meditation, yoga, listening to your favourite music, repeating a mantra or affirmations, opening up an internet site and reading inspirational thoughts or stories, focusing on your dream board, going for a walk in nature – whatever is meaningful for you. The important point is your intention – intending that your day will be the happiest it can be for you and those around you.
Tool #2: Breathing
Focused breathing can help you both mentally and physically. An ancient healing exercise used in many eastern traditions is doing a cleansing breath as soon as you wake up. The lungs are our primary organ of detoxification – and overnight they can become filled with stagnant air as we tend to shallow breathe. To release the stagnant air: stand close to an open window or go outside for fresh air, and standing with bent knees, exhale fully as you bend over. If you can push the air out a little more, the cleanse will be even deeper. Then as you stand up, deeply breathe in the clean air.
Another useful method of breathing which stimulates the vagus nerve and tells the hypothalamus to release a hormone called oxytocin into our blood stream, can easily change your body from a state of ‘fight or flight’ into a state of calm. This is achieved by taking a deep breath in through the mouth and focus on your out breath, while releasing a long ‘aaah’ sound. It may take a few breaths, but with each round, allow your body to relax a little more and you will feel the benefits.
Tool #3: Getting grounded
One of the most powerful tools we can use, is connecting to the earth’s surface. During the Longevity Conference in Costa Mesta, CA (2010) real time, live blood analysis was done on the audience to demonstrate how powerful the effects of grounding or earthing has on our bodies. The simple act of walking barefoot on our beautiful planet every day gives us access to the free electrons which help nurture our health. They do this by removing harmful electro-magnetic fields, assist our bodies to stay alkaline, and help us get back in contact with the rhythmic cycles of nature which our health depends upon. These negative electrons are powerful antioxidants.
Tool #4: Eating well
Access to the freshest whole foods possible would be the ideal way to love our bodies. Diet can be a complicated chemical formula to perfect, and a useful tool may be keeping a food diary to record which foods make you feel well and the ones you react to, making it possible to find your own unique healthy eating formula. Our individual diets need time and attention to develop – find out what foods make you feel really alive and strong and which ones drag you down. Added to this, I am sure you are familiar with the need for drinking clean, living water and getting sensible amounts of sunlight exposure every day.
Natural health care simply means spending time (not necessarily money) to understand your body’s needs and to practice the act of self love and self care every day.