A Doctor from the 1800’s view on Health

100_0499-11I recently read a book by a Scottish born MD that was originally published in 1886 – Gordon Stables “The Cruise of the Land-Yacht Wanderer” or “Thirteen Hundred Miles in my Caravan”. Though the book itself made enjoyable and interesting reading, it was the appendix on health that really caught my attention. How did a doctor in the 1800’s view health and wellness!

The following are some exerts from the appendix on Health.

“ I know there are many people who suffer from debility of nerves, from indigestion, and from that disease of modern times we call ennui ( feeling listless and discontented, tired and bored), which so often precedes a thorough break-up and a speedy march to the grave.  Seeing that ennui does not weaken any one organ more than another, but that its evil effects are manifested in a deterioration of every organ and portion of the body and tissues at once, let us consider for a moment what health really is.

To put it in my own homely way: if a young man, or a middle-aged one either, while spending a day in the country, with the fresh breezes of heaven blowing on his brow, with the larks a-quiver with song in the bright sunshine, and all nature rejoicing,—I tell you that if such an individual, not being a cripple, can pass a five-barred gate without an inclination to vault over it, he cannot be in good health.

Nay, but to be more serious, let me quote the words of that prince of medical writers, the late lamented Sir Thomas Watson, Bart:—

“Health is represented in the natural or standard condition of the living body.   It is sufficient for our purpose to say that it implies freedom from pain and sickness; freedom also from all those changes in the natural fabric of the body, that endanger life or impede the easy and effectual exercise of the vital functions. It is plain that health does not signify any fixed and immutable condition of the body. If we can form and fix in our minds a clear conception of the state of health, we shall have little difficulty in comprehending what is meant by disease, which consists in some deviation from that state—some uneasy or unnatural sensation of which the patient is aware; some embarrassment of function, perceptible by himself or by others; or some unsafe though hidden condition of which he may be unconscious; some mode, in short, of being, or of action, or of feeling different from those which are proper to health.”

Can medicine restore the health of those who are threatened with a break-up, whose nerves are shaken, whose strength has been failing for some time past, when it seems to the sufferer—to quote the beautiful words of the Preacher—the days have already come when you find no pleasure in them; when you feel as if the light of the sun and the moon and the stars are darkened, that the silver cord is loosed, the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher broken at the fountain?

No, no, no! a thousand times no. Medicine, tonic or otherwise, never, alone, did, or could, cure the deadly ailment called ennui. You want newness of life, you want perfect obedience for a time to the rules of hygiene, and exercise above all.

Good habits, I say, may be formed as well as bad ones; not so easily, I grant you, but, being formed, or for a time enforced, they, too, become a kind of second nature. Let me simply enumerate, by way of reminding you, some of the ordinary rules for the maintenance of health.

Diet.—Errors in diet produce dyspepsia, and dyspepsia may be the forerunner of almost any fatal illness. It not only induces disease itself, but the body of the sufferer from this complaint, being at the best but poorly nourished, no matter how fat and fresh he may appear, is more liable to be attacked by any ailment which may be in the air. Dyspepsia really leaves the front door open, so that trouble may walk in.

The chief errors in diet which are apt to bring on chronic indigestion are:

  1. Over-rich or over-nutritious diet.
  2. Over-eating, from which more die than from over-drinking.
  3. Eating too quickly, as one is apt to do when alone, the solvent saliva having thus no time to get properly mingled with the food.
  4. The evil habit of taking “nips” before meals, by which means the blood is heated, the salivary glands rendered partially inert, the mucous membrane of the mouth rendered incapable for a time of absorption, and the gastric juices thrown out and wasted before their proper time, that is meal-time.
  5. Drinking too much fluid with the meals, and thereby diluting the gastric juices and delaying digestion.
  6. Want of daily or tri-weekly change of diet.
  7. Irregularity in times of eating.

 

Drink.—I do not intend discussing the question of temperance.

  1. But if stimulants are taken at all, it should never be on an empty stomach.
  2. They ought not to be taken at all, if they can be done without.
  3. What are called “nightcaps” may induce sleep, but it is by narcotic action, and the sleep is neither sound nor refreshing. The best nightcap is a warm bath and a bottle of soda water, with ten to fifteen grains of pure bicarbonate of soda in it.

Cream of tartar drink. This should be more popular than it is in summer. A pint of boiling water is poured over a dram and a half of cream of tartar, in which is the juice of a lemon and some of the rind; when cold, especially if iced, it is truly excellent in summer weather. It cools the system, prevents constipation, and assuages thirst.

Fresh air.—The more of this one has the better, whether by day or by night. Many chronic ailments will yield entirely to a course of ozone-laden fresh air, such as one gets at the seaside, or on the mountain’s brow. Have a proper and scientific plan of ventilating your bedrooms. Without air one dies speedily; in bad air he languishes and dies more slowly; in the ordinary air of rooms one exists, but he cannot be said to live; but in pure air one can be as happy and light-hearted as a lark.

Exercise.—This must be pleasurable, or at all events it must be interesting—mind and body must go hand in hand—if exercise is to do any good. It must not be over-fatiguing, and intervals of rest must not be forgotten.

Work, is not exercise. This may seem strange, but it is true. I tell my patients, “I do not care how much you run about all day at your business, you must take the exercise I prescribe quite independently of your work.”

 

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Earthing or Grounding for Greater Health

Earthing-&-Grounding

 

Have you heard of Earthing or Grounding?  Do you know what it is?

It is simply the act of walking barefoot on the ground, or lying/sleeping on the ground, gardening with your bare hands or feet in the earth; allowing your body to reconnect with the earth’s natural healing energies and rhythms.

Although it is a very simple and natural thing to do, there are actually many health benefits associated with this. I think we all know about walking barefoot on the dewy grass or riverbank or sea side to reduce or ‘earth out’ any build up of static electricity in our bodies. But now there have been a number of scientific studies done that show Earthing can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, relieve stress, enhance well-being and much, much more.

Ancient cultures knew about the earths powerful energy and natural rhythmic pulses that keep life running in a rhythm and balance that maintains homeostasis, which is essential to all life, and naturally incorporated them in their everyday lives. But our disconnection from the Earth and Nature has, until recently, meant that Earthing or Grounding ourselves has virtually been overlooked as having any positive impact on our health or well-being, by our modern culture.

During Earthing, negatively-charged electrons transfer from the earth’s surface into our bodies where they neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals, and also releases any build-up of static energy in the body. These electrons are the most powerful antioxidants known. By scavenging and neutralizing free radicals in the body, antioxidants help to ease inflammation and cell or tissue damage. Earthing also enhances our mood by relieving physical or emotional stress.

So take off your shoes whenever and where ever you can, get your hands and feet back in the earth as often as you can when you’re outdoors, and take advantage of the natural health benefits of Grounding yourself.

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Have you experienced Reiki or Hands on Healing?

Reiki

‘Hands on Healing’ is a natural and ancient form of healing. In its simplest form we instinctively put our hands on what hurts, ie a headache, sore knee, stomach ache etc.

Reiki is a simple and natural form of Hands on Healing. Anyone can do it, anywhere, at any time, and on anyone (with permission) or anything. You can use it on yourself when you are feeling out of sorts – nervous, stressed, uncomfortable – and it will energize, calm and restore a balance.

One of the first things you notice while receiving Reiki Healing is how peaceful and relaxing this gentle healing art is. Some people fall asleep during a Reiki treatment. Others notice a deeply relaxed, but aware state similar to that of meditation.

A Reiki Master was asked what she feels when she is giving Reiki. Love she replied. This is not a philosophical concept but real hands on love.

We are alive because vital life force energy is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras, and meridians and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. Reiki can help restore the free flow of life force energy within our body.

Reiki can be used to unblock accumulated toxic energy. The body can accumulate toxins when we are out of balance and harmony with life. Thoughts are energy too and if our thoughts are at odds with our essential essence we become out of balance, out of ease with our core and that of the universe. And as a result we create dis ease.

Reiki is a technique for directing, balancing and restoring Life force energy. Restoring balance, harmony and energy flow. If we are out of balance, out of ease, we are in a state of dis ease.

An exercise to try:
This is an exercise to increase sensitivity in the hands. Take three deep slow breaths in to the count of four and then out to the count of 8. Be at ease, your hands at ease, your body at ease, your mind quietly at ease.
Place your hands in prayer position in front of your heart. Let your palms separate a few centimeters, and feel the energy that starts to build up between the two hands. Let you palms separate further apart while still feeling the energy. Then place your left hand over the heart area and your right hand over the solar plexus (just below the sternum) and feel the energy connect with your body.

Another exercise is to:
Gently focus your attention on the center of the palm of your hands. Rub your two palms together and Notice the energy building there. Notice any sensations of warmth, tingling or energy movement. Stop and place your hands on a sore or problem area of your body. Or alternately place one hand on your solar plexus and one over your heart – this is very calming. Notice the energy coming from your hands and entering your body or quietly spreading from your hands.

Did you feel warmth, tingling, energy moving, anything?

Everyone has the ability to do Reiki. It is a natural innate quality within us all. Attunements can help open the pathways for the energy to flow, but so can intention and practice. There is no substitute for an intention to help and practice. Even after going to a Reiki Master and receiving the attunement, you are sent home to practice every day for the next 21 days. It is thought that it takes 21 days to create new pathways in the brain and create a new pattern/habit.

Reiki enhances whatever it touches. It is a natural, powerful system that unlocks the inner flow of vital energy.

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Are Your Food Choices Affecting Your Mood?

Food & Mood

 

Did You Know – Food has a powerful influence over mood, both to your advantage and disadvantage.

 

Your food can assist you to become more happy and healthy, or your food can undermine your health and well-being, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Food used to be something we ate to give strength and vitality to our bodies, to heal us when we were sick and to satisfy an appetite after doing meaningful work. Now food is produced for profit and instead of being eaten when we are physically hungry, food is now consumed to satisfy artificial cravings. We eat, but we are rarely satisfied, only full.

Food changes chemicals in the body and brain, affecting mood and behavior. It is impossible to be contented and emotionally stable while poisoning your body and brain with artificial and adulterated ‘food’. Present day research and experience are proving without a doubt that there is a connection between what we eat and how we think, feel and behave. Improving your physical diet can reduce stress levels, anger and anxiety.

Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, eggs, lean meat and oily fish, for instance, is associated with a reduction in mood swings, depression and anxiety. Eating these foods can help maintain a steady blood-sugar level, which also helps to stabilize mood. Your mood also affects the foods you choose.

People in a negative frame of mind are more likely to choose sugary, fatty, processed and salty indulgence or comfort foods, rather than Life Enhancing ones. Sugar leads to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can bring on mood swings and the Sugar Blues. Sugar, though sometimes a short term fix, encourages poor mental and emotional health. Sugar, carbohydrate and processed food consumption also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain, and mood.

A high-quality source of protein – like organic eggs, sardines or a handful of almonds (preferably presoaked to unlock the enzyme inhibitors)– helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady for enhanced energy and mood.

Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) influence the way we think, feel and behave. They can be affected by what we’ve eaten. We are becoming more and more aware of the Gut/Brain connection and know that eating traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods are the best route to optimal digestive health.
Bananas contain dopamine, a natural reward chemical that boosts your mood.

Magnesium, found in pumpkin seeds, almonds and leafy greens, is a calming mineral that gets depleted when we’re stressed.

Leafy greens, legumes, nuts and eggs: These types of foods are packed with vitamin B, which helps to create neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which calms and reduces anxiety.

Caffeine, found in tea, coffee, cola drinks and chocolate, is probably the most widely used behaviour-modifying drug in the world. We often choose to drink it if we are feeling tired and irritable, because it can give us a boost and help us to concentrate.

My main philosophy about what to eat and what to avoid is quite simple. If man has created, enhanced or adulterated a food in any way, then I greatly reduce my consumption of these foods or avoid them altogether. The chances are the molecular structure of the original food has changed due to high heat, forced pressure or some other unnatural process or procedure so our bodies no longer recognizes it as food. This is how some food allergies are created. I prefer to eat foods created by nature, as nature intended.

And last but by no means least is Water. Dehydration can contribute to poor concentration, low energy, and poor mood, so try to drink plenty of water every day and stay hydrated.

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Let Food be thy Medicine

Let-Food-be-thy-MedicineFor thousands of years people were aware of the healing qualities of the foods around them. That is until the last 100 years, where food production has been taken over, hijacked by the ‘Food for Profits’ industries.

Food that is artificially grown, harvested too early, stored too long and heavily sprayed with dubious products has a much harder time sharing any health giving qualities than a fresh, naturally gown, and unadulterated food.

The following are some everyday foods and some of the healing powers they can contribute to our health and well-being.

Apples
There is truth behind the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Lowers blood pressure
• Stabilizes blood sugar
• Dampens appetite
• Juice kills infectious viruses
• Prevents constipation
• Prevents tooth decay
• Helps diarrhea

Bananas
Bananas were first grown in India 4000 years ago, where they were known to help heal peptic and duodenal ulcers, as well as gastritis.

• Prevents and heals ulcers
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Helps alleviate PMS

Blue Berries
Scientists have found that Blueberries are full of anthocyanosides, which kill E-coli bacteria.

• Cures diarrhea
• Kills infectious viruses
• Helps lower blood cholesterol
• Improves blood pressure
• Helps with weight control
• Blocks damage to blood vessels

Broccoli & Cauliflower
The crucifer family of vegetables are known for their cancer fighting properties, ie indoles, dithiolthiones, carotenoids & glucosinolates.

• Lowers risk of cancer
• Protects against anemia and gum disease
• Helps maintain strong bones and teeth

Cabbage
Cabbage has been used to treat scurvy, gout, rheumatism, gangrene, asthma, tuberculosis, eye and gum disease, ulcers and cancer. It also helps purify the blood and is a great tonic especially when made into sauerkraut with the added bonus of enzymes and probiotics.

• Lowers risk of cancer, especially of the colon
• Prevents and heals ulcers ( especially the juice)
• Stimulates the immune system
• Helps kill bacteria and viruses

Onion
Onion has been used as a healing remedy for thousands of years. One of nature’s miracle healing foods, used for the heart, as a diuretic, blood pressure reducer, heart tonic . . .

• Lowers cholesterol
• Thins the blood and slows down blood clotting
• Controls blood sugar
• Destroys bacteria
• Clears bronchial congestion
• Blocks cancer

Garlic
Known around the world for its health giving healing properties garlic has been used to treat headaches, hypertension, rheumatism, asthma, hemorrhoids, ulcers, tumors, typhus, cholera, yeast infection, whooping cough, stings or bites, through the centuries.

• Fights infection
• Contains cancer preventative chemicals
• Thins the blood
• Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
• Stimulates the immune system
• Prevents and relieves chronic bronchitis
• Acts as an expectorant and decongestant

Ginger

Read the post about the Therapeutic uses for Ginger here.

• Soothe digestive disturbances
• Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
• Prevents motion sickness
• Reduce fever
• Thins the blood
• Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
• Stimulates the circulatory system
• Helps relieve muscle aches and pain
• Can help get rid of dandruff
• Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
• Japanese research has found Ginger is effective in lowering blood pressure and cancer risk”

Honey
Honey is another food that was used extensively in ancient medicine and scientists today confirm its amazing antibiotic abilities, which is why I put it in some of my First Aid Creams.

• Kills bacteria and disinfects wounds and sores
• Relieves diarrhea
• Sooths sore throats
• Calms the nerves, induces sleep
• Alleviates asthma

Oats
I have used oat milk baths to soothe nappy rash, eczema or any other sore or itchy rash or redness. I also put it in some of my First Aid Creams for its age old soothing and healing properties.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Regulates blood sugar
• Acts as a laxative
• Soothes contact dermatitis and eczema
• Helps promote weight loss
• Helps prevent cancer

Used mindfully, Food really can be our Medicine!

Source: Natures Healing Foods by Karen Davis

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Gratitude v’s Over Consuming

ContentmentDiscontent opens us to many unhealthy and unhelpful habits in our lives. Our culture encourages discontent through marketing/adverising, competition, education systems, hierarchy etc. Advertisers foster this sense of dissatisfaction and discontent, promising greater satisfaction with whatever it is they are marketing.

Discontent creates a feeling of insufficiency and emptiness within us that needs satisfying and filling up. Wanting more, more, more, better, different; we look to ‘stuff’ to fill us up. Over consuming resources is a result.

But it’s not the conditions of our lives that make us unhappy and discontent, but our choice of thoughts about it, our attitude and behaviors. When we are discontented and unhappy, we are focused on all that isn’t right, all that is missing, all that needs to be Better for us to experience contentment and happiness. We are predominantly focused on the seeming lacks and things that aren’t good enough or right enough in ourselves and our lives.

Gratitude is the path to contentment.

Gratitude is an Attitude. An attitude of gratitude is the best attitude to have. It has little to do with circumstances.

Gratitude is the feeling and expression of thankfulness. While being grateful, our attention is on what we already have and helps us appreciate them more. It reminds us of all the good things already in our lives, no matter how small they may at first appear. And at the same time our attention is away from the idea of things not being good enough, right enough, just not enough! or missing in ourselves and our lives.

Gratitude Turns What we Have into Enough.

Gratitude has the power to turn a negative into a positive, a problem into an opportunity, or a lack into an asset. By finding a way to be thankful for our troubles, they can become our blessings. We are reminded that every cloud has a silver lining. And that the sun never stops shining, it just hides behind the clouds for a while, so we can appreciate it even more when the cloud has moved on.

There is always something to be grateful for, even if it is only the fact that there is air to breathe. Gratitude reminds us what’s important. The simple act of saying “thank you” can help create happiness and contentment in the giver and the receiver.

Gratitude costs little and gives much. Think of all the things, experiences and people you’re thankful for, and thank them silently. The more you practice this, the more you will find to be grateful for. Practice telling yourself positive, empowering things about what you are doing and who you are. The change in how you feel and your life will amaze you!

If you find yourself unhappy and discontented with someone or something, Stop, take a slow deep breath or three, gently turn the corners of your mouth up, soften your gaze and relax. Just Breathe and Smile for awhile. When you take the time to breathe, and smile, it can change how you feel and your outlook on life. Try it and feel the difference.

Grateful People are Happier, more Content People.

Grateful people consistently report increased feelings of well-being, better health, naturally healthier lifestyles, increased optimism, and a more positive outlook on life.

And that being the case, maybe Gratitude is the only thing we really need more of.

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Why Eat Mindfully?

Mindful-Eating copy‘Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food,’ said Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, often referred to as the father of Western medicine.

Mindless Eating habits can lead to ill-health and obesity. Mindless eating is where someone eats on the run, in front of a computer or television; actually anywhere where little or no attention is given to the way, type, or amount of food consumed because focus and attention is elsewhere.

As an extreme example of this, I can remember an incident when I was in my early twenties where I was literally pacing the floor over some intense concern. Sometime later I noticed an empty packet of chocolate biscuit’s on the table. I had little recollection of getting the packet out of the cupboard and one by one consuming every single biscuit. My mind was so caught up elsewhere I was not even aware of eating, what I was eating or how much – but worst of all I had no memory of Enjoying those biscuits either! This was totally pointless consuming, which is what mindless consuming is.

Eat Mindfully and Listen to Your Body

Ancient and indigenous cultures lived in harmony with their bodies, knowing instinctively what they needed to stay healthy. This understanding and wisdom was passed down from generation to generation.

Food has the power to heal or harm. It’s not only what you eat, it is how you eat, when you eat, how often and how much you eat.

Take the time to notice the signals your body is sending you daily about your eating habits, through various sensations and symptoms.

To start listening to your body, some questions to ask may include:

1. Do I have immediate negative reactions after eating that can indicate food intolerance, such as: bloating, gas, belching (digestive distress), sneezing, itching, rashes, dizziness, or a fuzzy brain?

2. After my meals, do I feeling full but not satisfied or only full for a short time?

3. After my meals do I feel lethargic rather than renewed? Do I feel hyper but exhausted?

4. After eating do I feel… Sluggish, spacey, anxious, or irritable?

If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above, then the food you are eating and your relationship to it is out of balance and harmony with your body. Reconsider your relationship with your food.

Slow down the speed you are eating. By slowing down the speed you eat you are more likely to register when you are full. And taking the time to fully chew your food, helps pave the way for healthy digestion to take place.

Eat with awareness, without distractions, and utilize all 6 senses to gain full awareness and satisfaction from your food. Savior it and enjoy it!

Calmly eat with gratitude and appreciation, knowing you are being healthily nourished on all levels of your being. Eating can be a pleasure rather than a mindless ‘have to’ or greedy punishment.

When you practice mindful eating, more of what you eat will nourish you, making you feel good inside and out.

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