Nature provides us with the ability to heal ourselves. Not only are our bodies self healing efficiently functioning machines when we treat them well, our minds can overcome the greatest obstacles and our spirit can break open boundaries and take us to places we never thought possible.
When I was 20 years old I spent time deep in the Amazon jungle in Peru with a Shaman, a traditional medicine man. He explained to me about the universal laws of nature in the jungle. The Amazon is home to many powerful healing plants that have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries, some have not even been discovered yet. He showed me one plant in particular that would cause a huge allergic reaction on my skin if I even went near it. If I touched this plant my whole skin would burn like it was “on fire” and I would erupt in a rash over my entire body that is akin to feeling like being “attacked by 1000 small ants”. I remembered this plant and took in its form, shape and colour. The Shaman then showed me the antidote – the bark of a nearby tree in which you squeeze the sap out, rub with a little water and make a paste. When you apply this paste to the rash your skin will be soothed and healed immediately. These two plants were not more then 1 meter away from each other in the jungle. I was amazed. “Remember the answer is always close, there is always a cure” he said and looked deep in to my eyes as though he was talking to my soul.
I never forgot.
Then as I went on to study Herbal Medicine and Nutrition at university I realized that nature has provided us with so many cures, remedies and treatments. After learning, memorizing and using 100’s of different herbs it became concreted in my mind, heart and soul what the Shaman had told me before – “there is always a cure”.
In my professional life I have been fortunate enough to meet people who have cured themselves of cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumor, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, infertility and many more health conditions. I am always fascinated, enthralled and inspired by these stories. Somehow in their own unique and individual way on their own unique and individual health journey they found their own ‘cures’ and solutions. Whenever I come across these inspirational beings my curiosity always beckons me to ask, “What was it that helped you get through it? What were your healing tools?”
To my surprise and delight I have found ‘nature’ to be one of the common denominators in peoples healing journey. Whether is was walking on the beach, spending time in the garden, taking herbal medicines, eating a mostly plant based diet, being in the mountains, fire ceremonies, getting a daily dose of sunshine, sweat lodges, walking the dog or simply lying on the grass and watching the clouds float by people have continually shared with me how nature provided healing, refuge, peace and clarity for them in one way or another.
My old university lecturer and dear soul sister Randa, introduced the concept of biophilia to me many years ago. Biophilia is simply nature’s ability to heal us; mind, body, soul. In her classes we were encouraged to not only observe and feel this for ourselves but also explore scientific research on this phenomenon and incorporate it into the treatment plans of our patients. My love for biophilia has grown over the years and I know it to be a wonderful healer and shelter within my own life. When I am feeling lost, out of balance, upset or exhausted I will get myself out into nature as quick as I can and just allow myself to soak in the surroundings whether it’s a dam, rice paddy, beach, river, waterfall or simply a flower on the side of the road. I instantly feel better when I am outside immersed in nature and I just sit and allow myself to calm down or re-energise whatever I need in that moment.
So I urge you to use the healing power of Mother Nature to assist in healing parts of yourself when you need it.
But don’t wait to become sick or unwell before you start incorporating the healing powers of biophilia on your life.
Step out into that beautiful world of Mother Nature that surrounds you and allow yourself to soak up all her majestic beauty and wonders. Immerse yourself in the healing energy and let your cells bathe in the miracles that surround you.
Here are my top 10 tips for connecting to Mother Nature for greater health and healing within your life.
- Get outside. This sounds ridiculous I know but quite often we can spend the whole day going from one place to another or inside a car or a mall or the office or in front of the computer or TV without even being outside. Spend time, even 10 minutes a day actually outside and breathe fresh air into your lungs.
- Include lots of plant-based foods into your diet such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and superfoods such as spiriulina, maca and cacao. These foods all contain important healing properties and come straight from mother earth to give us nutrients. Use them!
- Exercise outside. Go for a walk on the beach, down by the river, in the park or wherever you can in your local area and surround yourself in nature during your exercise routine remembering to be mindful of your surroundings and take in the beauty around you.
- Get your bare feet to the earth and imagine you are pulling all the energy of the earth into the souls of your feet and energizing your whole entire body.
- Moon Bathe. Yep you’ve heard of sunbathing right?!? Well it’s the same but with the moon, get your body under the light of the moon and soak it in.
- Grow your own herbs. Pots of herbs are the easiest thing in the world to grow. While an organic vege garden is absolutely amazing it’s not possible for everyone to do especially if you live in an apartment in the middle of the city. But you can get some herbs such as mint, basil, lemongrass, chives, coriander, oregano, rosemary and thyme to name a few and have in small pots to nurture, grow and add to your foods and juices.
- Donate to a sustainable cause or foundation that is working hard to help protect and save the plants and animals of this earth we live in. The are tireless people working all over the globe to help improve the state of this planet and it’s inhabitants and contributing to these important causes in one way or another becomes healing in itself.
- Be mindful. Look at the nature that surrounds you. It may be a garden you pass on the way to work, a huge tree in your backyard or your own loving pet. Be present and mindful to the nature that surrounds you on a daily basis.
- Connect with nature. Touch it, feel it, smell it. Engaging all your senses as you spend time in nature allows the nervous system to calm down and more oxygen to enter into your body having a wide range of physiological benefits.
- Look up. Notice what the sky is doing every day. Gaze at the stars for a few minutes, watch the clouds, feel raindrops on your skin and feel the sun warm your face. Make an effort to ‘look up’ at the giant wonderful sky above you everyday.