Can nature heal us by exposure to its simplest elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air?
The history of healing tells us it’s so – “elemental therapies” offer precious remedies that are safe, available, and surprisingly profound in their impact.
As a long-time “nature girl” I can add my personal testimony to that of countless others who’ve discovered that consistent implementation of these therapies can change a person’s constitution more or less from the ground up – by promoting better immune function, enhancing the effectiveness of other natural treatments, and many other effects, a handful of which we’ll discover below.
We’ve discussed these simple earth therapies many times in previous newsletters. Here’s the latest round-up:
A favorite Earth therapy of mine is dew walking. It’s exactly like it sounds – walking barefoot on the dewy grass or ground in the morning. Among the numerous benefits, your body’s electromagnetic field becomes entrained (synchronized) to the earth’s magnetic field, impacting all of your body’s major systems, including its immune defenses and cardiovascular system.
Ordinary clay (what could be more Earthy?) can be taken internally (we aren’t kidding) or externally via clay baths that soak up toxins and help the body rid itself of toxic substances.
Hot and cold contrasting baths are another favorite, very effective form of Earth therapy, by full immersion or a shallow Sitzbad – that’s German for sitting in a tub filled only up to the hips. Try starting alternating 30 seconds of hot water with 3 minutes of cold water. Repeat three times and end with cold. This invigorating treatment will exercise the dilation and contraction of blood vessels, improving circulation, lymphatic flow, and detoxification, and increasing your vitality.
Ever hear of the “wet sock treatment”? It’s a long-known remedy used to treat winter ailments. For a simplified application, try decongesting your sinus and nasal passages by bundling up and indulging in a hot foot soak, followed by running very cold water over the feet. For a variation, apply hot and cold applications over the chest to loosen mucus in the lungs – a treatment that many healers have testified can positively impact the course of winter diseases like pneumonia.
Colon hydrotherapy, though it may sound a little scary (“apply fire hose per rectum thrice daily”?) – when applied properly (gently!), will not only cleanse the colon but can stimulate the action of the colon in cases of constipation.
Heliotherapy was discovered millennia ago. The simple therapeutic use of sunlight, also called phototherapy, has developed into a very sophisticated system of heat-and-light therapies that employ specific wavelengths of light such as found in lasers, far- and near-infrared light sources, light-emitting diodes, and other light generators.
Exposure to sunlight is known to activate vitamin D in the skin. Sunlight has also been used historically to treat bacterial infections. Ultraviolet light is currently used in the treatment of psoriasis.
When sunlight isn’t available, full-spectrum lights have been used effectively to counteract Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The heat of an infrared sauna penetrates deeply into the tissues, with enormous bodily benefits that include pain relief, weight loss, detoxification, improved circulation, and antiviral effects.
And then there’s plain, free, ridiculously plentiful air.
The Buteyko Method uses special breathing techniques to manage respiratory conditions such as asthma.
We can balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses of the nervous system by a simple practice of taking 10 deep, conscious breaths. While watching the breath, allow the air to come in through the nose and to escape through the mouth. Slow, conscious deep breathing can counter anxiety, normalize blood pressure, and facilitate digestion.
The well-known, very extensive Pranayama breathing practices of yoga profoundly affect body, mind, and spirit.
These therapies barely scratch the surface of Earth’s healing gifts. Healing can happen in many ways, as we touch back into the elements of our own environment.
To learn about Dr. Connie’s services, follow the link to her Naturopathic Health Consultations web page.