Looking to Nature for Healing
A couple of weeks ago I went on a hike with my husband and my boxer Alice. It was a beautiful day – the air a bit crisp, but the sun bright and warm among a bright blue sky with lots of big, white clouds.
As soon as we entered the woods a feeling of peace fell over me. I took a deep breath and became mindful and appreciative of the simple beauty around us – the smell of the pine trees, the crunch of our footsteps up the path, the sound of the wind blowing through the golden colored aspens and the feeling of this breeze on my face as my steady breath guided me forward.
This awareness brought the thought to my mind that true healing is all around us – nature holds the answers to healing and balancing that is easily off set by today’s modern world.
Just being in the presence of this natural beauty helped melt my stress away along with the aches and pains in my body – simple (free) healing…
Connected to Nature
Our bodies are conditioned by nature through circadian rhythms which control appetite, energy, mood, sleep and libido. They also control timing quantity and quality of hormones and neurotransmitters. Orderly rhythm is essential for optimal health.
I recently finished a great book called Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch. One of her messages that sticks in my mind is the positive effects of taking a walk outside everyday at the same time, as this plays into balancing the body’s circadian rhythms.The body needs to connect with the outside everyday.
The most important cue from nature is the sun. Our bodies should naturally rise with the sun and rest once it lowers. We should eat our biggest meal when the sun is highest in the sky and no later than dusk when the sun is lower in the sky. Artificial, fluorescent lighting messes with our circadian rhythms by fooling the body with light outside of the sun. Unfortunately I cannot avoid this during the day at my desk job…
As we walked through the woods I consistently spotted rows of bent aspens – golden, curved canopies that continued to grab my attention. These trees were in the shade, but bending towards the place where the sun hits. Another subtle cue from nature – sunshine is essentially to life. Move towards the light 🙂
I continue to read reports about how more and more people are deficient in vitamin D and how important this vitamin is especially amongst women with endometriosis. Vitamin D helps with a host of issues associated with endometriosis including painful periods, as it prevents the production of prostaglandins which cause inflammation in the body. Low vitamin D is also linked to infertility and it relates to quality of sleep.
I try and get at least fiveteen minutes of sunshine a day (easy in sunny Colorado). I am fair skinned so this is enough for me to absorb the necessary daily amounts of Vitamin D. Darker skinned individuals should spend more time.
On the Positive Side?
I truly believe that healing can be aided by spending time outside everyday – getting the body moving, soaking up some sunshine and paying attention to the simple cues nature provides. Taking a walk outside everyday has positively impacted me especially in terms of my stress levels. When I don’t get out, I feel the effects first in my mind.
Everyday living has become so toxic. I find it necessary to disconnect often in order to reconnect with true healing that is right outside the door. Sometimes this is all I need to feel better.
Did you walk outside today? Try it. (And don’t forget to smile).
Peace to you…