Nature’s Seven Healers

Nature’s Seven Healers (16th December 2021)

Diet:

Most people give this healer all of the focus, but as you will see from this series it is only but one of seven

foundational aspects of health. In this day of marketing, mass produced, convenience food along with diet fads and super food claims, it can be really confusing about what we should eat. Let’s keep it really simple; just eat:

SLOW foods – Seasonal, Local, Organic, Whole.

Seasonal foods that haven’t been stored for months and sprayed with preservatives to keep ‘fresh’. In season food has more nutrients, flavour and life!

Local foods that come at least from the same country you live in but better yet from the same state or even the same area. 

Organic foods, (or even better biodynamic) are grown and raised how food is supposed to be grown – no

synthetic fertilisers, no chemicals or sprays. 

Whole foods are foods that have been minimally processed. 

WHAT we eat is important, but there is also HOW we eat and WHEN we eat to think about as well. 

Wholefoods checklist:

– eliminate packets and processed food from your life

– make food from scratch – share recipes, learn to cook, share bulk batches of food with friends

– eat SLOW food

– eat slowly and chew well

– take a moment before eating to breathe and get saliva happening in your mouth to prime digestion

– eat 1 – 3 meals in a 7-9 hour window and don’t snack

Water:

Clean fresh water that has no chemicals in it is so important for many processes in our body. Whilst our tap water is ‘safe’ to drink in that it won’t make us acutely sick, there are added chemicals that we just don’t need to be consuming on a daily basis. Chlorine is important addition to kill bacteria that will make us sick, however it also kills off the good bacteria on our skin and in our guts. We all know now that our gut health is our whole body health, so if we are killing off our gut microbiome each time we drink then what are we doing to our long term health?! Flouride is another harmful additive to our water supply. There are different types of fluoride but the one in our water should not be ingested. This is a broad topic that you will need to do your own research on. It is important to filter our water to ensure it is as clean and healthy as possible. Do some research to see which filter is best for you and your family. Filtered water will usually lack minerals so it is important to add these back in, either as a supplement or in the diet.

There is no magical number of litres we all need to drink. Drink when you are thirsty, don’t leave it too long but don’t drink because you have to finish that last litre. Listen to your body!

Fresh water checklist:

– Filter your water to remove added chemicals (and add minerals back in) or drink natural spring water

– Drink a large glass of warm water second thing in the morning (after your breaths outside). Add some lemon

juice or apple cider vinegar to it to fire up your digestion for the day

– Drink when you feel thirsty

Sunshine:

The sun is one of the most important of nature’s healers (notice how it comes before food). We need to get sun on our skin every day – it affects our immune system, our mood and our microbiome. Getting sunshine stimulates our production of Vitamin D as well as various neurotransmitters that affect our mood and happiness. Depending on where you live in the world, getting out in the sun for at least 20min in the morning before 10am or in the afternoon after 3pm in Summer or at any time of the day in Winter every day (wearing minimal clothing) is a good idea. If you go out for longer time or in the middle of the day in Summer then you will need sun protection (think long sleeve shirts, hats, sunglasses; not chemical laden sunscreen).

Sun checklist:

– get some sun on your skin every day for at least 20min

Air:

Indoor air pollution is a serious issue affecting our health. Eliminating all artificial fragrances and chemicals is one way to lessen the impact. Opening windows, keeping dust to a minimum and the house clean plus getting some indoor plants are also ways of improving indoor air quality. If you are renovating then look for no voc paints and natural materials.

Other than air quality, how we breathe is extremely important. Mouth breathing is extremely common. It causes shallow breathing leading to over breathing and an imbalance in oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. We should be breathing through our nose, using our diaphragm, at a rate of around 5 breath cycles per minute (6 seconds in, 6 seconds out). Only in extreme or intense circumstances should we be mouth breathing to gain more oxygen as this leads us to be in sympathetic nervous system and allows us to respond quickly to an emergency.

Fresh air checklist:

– Get outside first thing in the morning and focus on your breathing

– Walk in nature with trees at least once per day

– Eliminate artificial fragrances and chemicals (cleaning products, personal care products etc.)

– Open windows daily

– Keep housed dusted

– Get some indoor plants

– Burn beeswax candles or get a himalayan rock salt lamp to purify the air inside

– Train yourself to nose breath slowly

Movement:

Moving your body in a way that inspires you. That’s right, in way that inspires you, if that means going for a 5km run first thing in the morning great! If it means getting your but kicked by a personal trainer after work then go for it! But if you are doing those things because you ‘have to’ or to lose weight or because your mate dragged you there then stop!! You are doing more harm than good. Exercise does not make up for eating fake food, it does not help your body after sitting still for hours at your desk. Moving your body should be something you do over the course of the entire day, not half an hr or so at the gym and not if you are hating every minute of it.

For movement to be healing you need to enjoy it and it needs to be done every day over the entire day. A short

walk in the morning, some stretches at lunch time, carrying the shopping after work rather than using a trolley, climbing on the playground with the kids rather than sitting back watching, dancing around to your favourite song while you cook dinner. These movements incite joy, laughter, love or just plain get the job done that you would have to do anyway but you also get to move your body more and be healthier.

Movement checklist:

– add movement in to your every day for jobs that you already have to do; carry groceries, play with the kids,

walk to school/work, park further away etc

do fun movement ‘exercise’ every week; dance class, yoga, Pilates, bush walks, swimming, boxing, weights team sports – anything that makes you happy and that you enjoy

Sleep and Rest:

Sleep is vital to our overall health. If you aren’t getting 8 hours of quality sleep every night then it is something you really need to work on to accomplish. There are many obstacles to good sleep and many suggestions for how to overcome them; too many for me to detail in one paragraph. Some aspects to research include blood sugar regulation, mouth breathing, EMF exposure and environmental sleep hygiene.

Rest is also as important as sleep. We all seem to lead extremely busy lives, work, school, extra curricula activities, family commitments, social commitments. It is important to schedule in rest time during your day and week. During the day you can try to follow the breathing in, breathing out pattern of activity – after every period of intense activity follow it with a time of quiet rest; doing a breathing exercise, taking a walk, doing a yoga pose, reading, saying an affirmation, laying down, drinking a cup of herbal tea, anything that makes you stop and relax before moving on to the next task.

Sleep and rest checklist:

– get 8 hrs of quality sleep per night

– take rest stops during your day and week

Connection:

Humans are social beings; we live in family groups and historically have shared work with the community.

Unfortunately, many of us have lost these important connections. We feel we must survive on our own to show how adult, mature, successful or independent we are. In truth by isolating ourselves we are jeopardising our mental and physical health. The connections we have with other humans are integral to our happiness. 

Of course, it is not all or nothing, we do also need our alone time to do something we love and that connection to our self is just as important as our connection to friends and family. The way we connect to ourselves revolves around how we think and talk to ourselves. Following the old saying of it you have nothing nice to say then say nothing is just as important for speaking to others as it is for speaking to yourself! Positive language has been shown to have a positive effect on our health and happiness.

Lastly, connection to the earth is extremely important. Connection to the ground is vital for increased energy,

health and vitality. Earth yourself by walking barefoot over the ground, particularly near trees or the beach.

Another way to connect to the earth is to garden.

Connection checklist:

– spend time each week alone on something that is your passion or that you love doing (self care time; whether it is a hobby, getting a massage, or journaling – anything that fills up your bucket)

– connect with people you love and who love you by ringing a friend, doing an activity together, sharing a meal, going for a walk, writing a letter etc

– join a community group that share a passion

– speak nicely to yourself and others

– earth for 15min every day

– start a garden

Final words:

These healers are general guidelines for everyone to follow. If you are a ‘healthy’ person incorporating these ideas into your day will allow you to reach your full potential of vibrant health. If you have a specific health concern these healers will be an integral part of your healing journey, setting up a strong foundation for your healing to occur.  However you may need some more targeted healing power from herbs or other natural medicines and techniques.

The seven healers are not hard to incorporate into your daily routine, it is just a matter of doing it and letting it become habit. When you first wake, grab a big glass of fresh filtered water, walk outside with bare feet, do a breathing exercise, walk around your garden chatting to your plants and then say an affirmation to yourself while standing in the sun. In the first 15min of your day you have already ticked off 5 of the seven healers – water, air, sunshine, connection (to earth and self) and movement. Throughout your day again stop for 15min to do the same (or just walk around the office) and you have added in rest to that list. The only thing left is wholefoods which is a journey in itself but you have plenty of opportunities to get it right!

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