Friday, December 15, 2017

Healing with Nature - The Kingdom of Animals

The Kingdom of Animals

We share our natural world with an incredible diversity of the most beautiful and exotic animals and other wildlife. In the natural community every member knows it is very important, naturally attractive, loved, and included. Nature thrives and grows through life-supportive relationships. Humans are no more or less important than the teeny ant. Everything and everyone is necessary and valued.

Throughout our existence, animals have also been there as our companions, protectors, and workmates. Some studies suggest that the relationship we have had with animals has actually contributed to our evolution on earth.

Animals have consistently demonstrated incredible loyalty and dedication whether it was working on farms, as a means of transportation, or in battles and rescue missions. Pets have showered us with love, patience, and loyalty, and given comfort during illness and trauma - all without judgment. And sadly on many occasions animals have been abused and taken advantage of in return. However, this article will not focus on what humans have done, but the incredible healing ability of our beloved pets.

Animals live in the moment and operate from unconditional love. They don´t judge or criticize. Pets contribute to our health on so many levels. Having a dog means more exercise and time spent outdoors, which supports weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and generally enhances feelings of joy and happiness.

The healing power of animals is nothing new. For over 300 hundred years, studies have shown that just petting our dogs can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety.  More recent research has seen the connection between interacting with animals and the release of the hormone, oxytocin. This hormone helps the body to heal, and experience feelings of self-esteem, optimism, and trust. Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone and generally makes us feel good.

Pets help us to cope during times of difficulty or hardship. Simply stroking a dog or cat can reduce stress, stimulate the immune, relieve headaches, and ease cramps and muscle aches. Babies who live with pets in the home have much lower chances of developing allergies and asthma, and small children experience less ear infections and colds. Nowadays, animals are are going into hospitals to assist those recovering from serious illnesses. The presence of a dog, cat or rabbit can calm, distract, and uplift the spirits of patients. Burn victims can improve more quickly after stroking animals that have lots of fur. The vibration from the deep purring of cats contributes to, the mending of broken bones, injuries to tendons, muscles and ligaments, and reducing inflammation.

Animals give great comfort to people who experience loneliness, depression, and isolation. Pets help some to overcome addictions and to move on to a more healthy and happy life. Dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, and horses fulfil our need for love, security, companionship, and comfort.  They are an amazing support to those who are dealing and coping with grief. Animals fill our homes with love and satisfy our innate desire to nurture, take care of, and love another being.

Many times, animals are what humans aspire to be, loving, loyal, and trusting. Animals are unconditional love in action.

Animal communication

The ability to communicate effectively with other individual’s plays a critical role in the lives of all animals. Animals have secret lives, thoughts, feelings and wisdom. They know things we do not know and see things we cannot see. Being able to communicate with animals enhances our mutual understanding, knowledge, and deepens our connection.  Animals take in experiences, sensations, environments, and teachings from their families that they don’t forget easily.  They are exceptional beings and communicate via their senses.  For us to understand them we need an open heart and mind.

 In order to connect more successfully with our pets, and animals in general, we have to slow our energy way down, calm the mind, slow down our movements, and speak clearly. Dogs and cats react to clear instructions. They need to feel harmony and consistency especially dogs. If not it makes them frazzled. When we get out of our own way, remain present and in the moment, and open up our hearts, then we can allow the energy of animals to come through. If we are thinking in the past or future, or feel too emotional, we will lose the connection. We can use any mindful/slowing down exercises to help us communicate more effectively with our pets.

It is also important to be grounded.  Walking in nature and slow, steady breathing helps. Sitting with our feet firmly on the ground or walking barefoot also brings our energy low in the body. Horses actually feel movement from miles away through their feet/hooves. That is why they were tied up around the Indian camps because they would start to become restless is someone was approaching. Horses can tell who is coming into the barn just by the way that person walks. Spending time around horses, naturally increases our ability to be grounded and ‘in the body’.  Horses feel part of the herd even if they are all in separate stables.

We communicate with all animals through the senses, the heart, and our feelings and we will sever that connection if we are thinking too much or if our energy is caught up in the mind. When our energy is low enough, we can call our dog or cat in to ask questions. The answers will come with a feeling or sensation. It is amazing what you can discover and how your pets will begin to react differently when you connect on this level.  It does take practice but can be done at home or out in nature.

It is important to understand that we share our world with so many amazing beings, to give thanks, and to remember that ALL are important. One of the greatest ways you can give back to the Kingdom of Animals is to stop eating meat xxx

We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfume flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle; these are our brothers. All things are connected like the blood which unites one's family. Chief Seattle

Monday, November 27, 2017

Healing with Nature - In the dark of the night

In the dark of the Night

We need the quiet, dark of the night for deep, restful sleep. 

In the past, our biological clock naturally took advantage of both the light from bright days, and the dark from the night.  

The moon, stars, candles, or logs burning in the fireplace were the only source of a soft, gentle light after sundown.  

Today, many of us are no longer getting enough dark in our lives which can be putting our health at risk. Poor sleep affects our energy, mood and emotions, and is both dehydrating and aging. Modern lighting, mobile phones, computers, and TV’s, are we negatively affecting our sleep. Studies have shown that when exposed to unnatural light at night there is an increased risk of diabetes, weight issues, heart problems and cancer.

Blue light is beneficial as part of the full spectrum of light during daylight hours especially at midday. It helps to boost attention and mood. However, blue light from energy efficient lighting and electronics with screens is most disruptive at night. It prevents the brain from producing melatonin thus making restful sleep more challenging.

It is important to create a quiet, dark and restful atmosphere in the bedroom.
To strengthen the association between the bedroom and sleep, keep mobiles, computers, TVs, and work materials out. Reduce EMR to a minimum. Use blinds or curtains to block outside light.  Open them when it is light in the morning. 

Make sure to get outside during the day for at least 10-15 minutes in all kinds of weather. 

Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark is very important.

Sleep Tight!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Healing with Nature - The Earth

The Earth

Welcome to healing with the earth. Although we walk upon the earth there is a great deal more going on below the surface.

Hidden under the soil is a vast neighborhood of tree roots that communicate and share nutrition. 

Tree roots will leak sugar and other compounds that are then taken up by their neighbors. They also share nutrients with far away trees using thin threads of fungí. These fungi hyphae create huge webs that form underground pathways to exchange hormones and other substances. 
Tree roots often rub together and actually become fused - even those of differing species. So a tree stump that appears dead can absorb nutrition and minerals from fused roots and flourish. It is as if all the neighboring trees are sharing one big circulatory system. 

The soil bacteria and fungi are very similar in structure to our digestive microbes. What harms our beneficial gut bacterias – the overuse of antibiotics and processed foods – is like the overuse of chemicals and fertilizers, and lack of good organic matter that damages the soil. Fortunately we now understand far more about the importance of healthy gut bacteria and fungi, and can hopefully apply a similar method to nurture and save the soil. We mirror the earth and it mirrors us.

Spending time outdoors is like plugging into a giant battery as the earth gives off a subtle, natural, electrical charge of energy.

When we directly connect to the earth we become electrically grounded, and feel, stronger, more balanced and solid. It is really important to stay connected to the earth especially with so many of us traveling and flying these days.
One of the best ways to become grounded is by going barefoot. You can sit, stand, or walk on grass, sand, soil, concrete or ceramic tile. Aim to go outside for at least 10 minutes although up to 30 minutes is best. You won’t receive the same benefits from carpets, tarmac, rubber, vinyl, tar, asphalt or 


Grounding has shown to improve stress, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, blood sugar levels, hormone balance, metabolism, memory, heart disease and weight issues.

Gardening is another wonderful way to get your hands in the soil, create beauty, and spend time naturally communicating with the earth.  
There is no time like the present to go outside and get grounded in nature.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Healing with Nature - The Air

There's something in the air

We are so lucky to have trees otherwise we wouldn't be here. Our symbiotic relationship with them is amazing. We give trees carbon dioxide, which is absorbed through their leaves, and in return they give us oxygen. We all know we need air to survive.

Long, slow, deep breathing is vital for our lungs and overall health so it is essential to spend time in the woods and forest or by the sea to enjoy fresh, clear air. 

Breathing in, brings energy and moisture into our body. One of the functions of the lungs is to nourish our skin with a mist of fluids that also regulates our pores and perspiration. 
Deep breathing also helps to reduce stress, increase energy, be less reactive in challenging situations, improve digestion and prevent inflammation.

Relaxing breathing techniques are extremely helpful for bringing in the new and letting go of what is no longer needed. When we breath out we release carbon from the food we eat. We actually lose 80% of our fat through breathing.

Another simple way to stimulate the lungs is to let go of those things you no longer physically and emotionally need. Clear out your closets, basement, or garage and give yourself some well deserved breathing space! 

Oh yes, and fill the home with green plants to keep the air fresh and alive.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Healing with Nature - Water

The Healing Power of Water

We all know that the ocean has great power. We gain amazing restorative benefits when spending time by the sea (receiving negative ions) and even more so when swimming in the salty, mineral rich waters.

Water has been used throughout history to restore, maintain and regulate health.  

Hydrotherapy alters blood flow and revitalizes health by using water at different temperatures, or in soaks, saunas, and steam. Hydrotherapy can help arthritis, joints, muscles, depression, headaches, stomach problems, and improve sleep, and stress. 

It is also important to remember that we are made of 50-70% water/fluids. We cannot say exactly where this water comes from and what it has been through to reach us which goes to show that we are all connected.

Water keeps our immune strong, improve energy levels, and is good for our joints, skin and organs. Water also moves oxygen, fat, and glucose to our working muscles, and helps to regulate body temperature, digest food and eliminate waste products.  

It is therefore vital to stay hydrated and enjoy fresh, clean water, herbal teas, and plenty of vegetables and fruits. Fresh fruits and vegetables can actually hydrate more effectively because their fluids mirror our body´'s natural fluid composition. They contain mineral salts, natural sugars, amino acids and vitamins that are often lost while exercising. 

Vegetables and fruits with a high wáter content include radishes, cucumber, celery, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon, watercress, Chinese cabbage, melón, and strawberries.