Our Connection with Nature?

I hope you’re coping with this unseasonally warm weather. It seems that it might be a while before autumn sets in. I actually met someone yesterday who had quite a bad dose of sunburn. That seems crazy in March! Clearly our climate is changing and we really do need to make some serious changes. I find it hard to believe that we’re still so reliant on fossil fuel.

Many years ago I read a book called “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight.” Ancient Sunlight is the energy of the sun that was captured by plants millions of years ago. As those plants died and decomposed they became coal and oil and gas. The author of this book, Thom Hartmann, predicted that at the rate we were using fossil fuel we would run out of “Ancient Sunlight” by around 2040. We would then be forced to look for alternative renewable sources of energy. Since the book was written a number of vast coal and oil deposits have been discovered so it’s unlikely that we will actually run out of Ancient Sunlight but to continue on our current path of digging it up and burning it is simply not sustainable for the planet. It seems like such an unenlightened thing to do.

In his book Thom talks about the difference between Older Cultures and New Cultures. He says that New Cultures are based on the economy, profits and competition and have little understanding or respect for our connection with nature and the land. They’re based on the idea that human beings are separate from their environment and the belief that we have the intelligence and technology to ensure our survival regardless of what we do to the planet.

Older Cultures on the other hand have a deep understanding and respect for nature and our place in it. They understand that we are all connected and human beings are part of the ecology. That our own health is totally dependent on the health of our water, air and soil and the health of the other living things we share the planet with. Older Cultures are based on co-operation, true democracy and living sustainably. As Thom says, “True and lasting solutions will require that a critical mass of people achieve an Older Culture way of viewing the world; the perspective that successfully and sustainably maintained human populations for hundreds of thousands of years.”

Speaking of our connection with nature, one of the greatest breakthroughs in health research recently is the discovery of our relationship with the microbes on and in our bodies. Did you know that the number of microbes in your body outnumbers your own human cells 10 to 1? We are literally colonised with thousands of different strains of bugs that work in harmony with our own body to protect and sustain us. These beneficial bugs live on our skin, in our gut, in our eyes, ears mouth and nose and all the other cavities. They’re an essential part of our immune system. They help us digest our food by breaking down certain foods that our own body can’t, giving us access to nutrients that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to absorb. They keep the dangerous bugs in check and they play a huge role in maintaining our health.

The greater the variety of these bugs the healthier we are. When they’re depleted we begin to experience food intolerances, allergies and digestive troubles. That can turn into autoimmune diseases. There are also links between Autism and gut microbes.

The variety of these good bugs has halved in recent years in developed countries. This parallels the lost of variety of animal and plant species as we continue to damage the environment. The bugs in our inner environment become extinct as a result of antibiotics, antibacterial cleaning products and soaps and processed foods containing herbicides, pesticides and preservatives. This problem actually goes a long way to explaining the rise in childhood allergies, food intolerances and autoimmune diseases. We’ve seen bacteria as the enemy and we’ve been too clean!

So how do you rebuild you microbiome? It’s interesting to know that children that grow up on farms and have contact with animals have fewer allergies. Spending time in nature and getting your hands in the dirt can replenish your good microbes. We often recommend Nature Therapy because it’s so good for your soul, but here’s one more reason to get out there and hug a tree. Stress depletes your gut bugs so learning to relax or meditate makes a difference. (Our 5 week mindfulness mediation course is starting the Thursday night) Eating raw, organic foods also replenishes the good bugs. Believe it or not most unprocessed foods contain the microbes and enzymes that are required to digest them. These are destroyed or depleted when the food is cooked.

At the very least you should be taking a good probiotic with as many different strains of bacteria that you can find. We have a couple we highly recommend but if you have health issues our Naturopath can organise testing to explore what’s going on in your system and work with to restore your health.
Call us for an appointment on 9842 7033

That’s all for now. Take a look at the Right Hand column for our upcoming classes and events. We have some awesome events coming up. >>>>

Have a great week,

Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
Health and Happiness Guru

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033