A guest blog post by
Karen McElroy Naturopath.
A person who lives in accordance with the rules of nature is likely to be a healthy person. This is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice...nature know best! I have been immersing myself in the old naturopathic philosophy books and the Nature Cure approach at the moment, as I am writing a seminar for practitioners on the energetics of herbs and healing.
So what are these mysterious Laws or Rules of Nature? Like most creatures in the world we are blessed with an innate capacity to maintain health through a complex system of feedback loops. Basically our body is a wonderful self-regulating organism that really is a marvel of nature. From the moment of conception when two cells collide, the mysterious force of creation takes over and before long we are a fully-formed and functioning human being. This same creative vital force of nature, is what keeps us healthy – it is what heals a scratch, and repairs a damaged nerve – without any conscious effort on our part!
When you think about it, the capacity to self-heal is quite remarkable and one that we mostly take for granted. After all, it is only when we get sick that many of us even become aware of our body. The breakdown in order gives rise to symptoms – which grab our attention because they are mostly inconvenient to us busy humans. Symptoms often bring pain, discomfort or irritation and in some cases threaten our very existence. In reality though, symptoms are just signposts that something in the natural order of our system is out of balance. They are not the culprit and should not be ignored or suppressed as they are part of the body’s defence mechanism – and they generally herald an imbalance that is deeper or further afield.
All natural systems must maintain homoeostasis or balance to remain healthy and sustainable. Whether you are looking at an eco-system or our human body, the principles are the same. If something gets out of whack, the system suffers. We are a natural ‘mammalian’ species (even if we don’t identify ourselves as such) and living close to nature, feeds and nourishes us on all levels. We cannot survive without nature, but most of us live disconnected from nature, oblivious to the fact that our existence is totally reliant on products from nature – whether it be the food on our plate, to the clothes we wear and the shelter of our homes.
So what does it look like to live close to nature, and follow her laws? When we support the body with the basics of fresh air, clean water, nourishing whole foods, regular exercise and proper rest & relaxation and the fostering of healthy emotions and relationships - it is amazing what level of health we can achieve. It really can't get much simpler than that - but just because it is simple, doesn't mean it is easy to achieve, especially in our modern lives!
It seems crazy that many of us no longer experience our natural birth right of good health and vitality. The laws of nature are not complicated, but it does require effort and a little bit of discipline to live according to them. So many people would rather buy a box of processed cereal for breakfast than cook up some whole grain porridge. Or buy a jar of pasta sauce than make their own fresh one. When I suggest to patients to scramble some eggs to have with their morning toast, they often claim they don’t have time. In reality – it only takes a few minutes to scramble eggs – as long as it takes to cook the toast!
We have become lazy in the kitchen and we have so many convenient options that tempt us – especially when we are time poor and tired. But when we buy these processed convenience foods, we are getting more than we bargained for. Laden with chemicals and preservatives and devoid of any vital nutrition – these foods offer nothing, and indeed rob us of other aspects of our health and nutrition and overload our detoxification pathways. We are not just lazy in the kitchen though, but we are also too tired to exercise, too busy to take a holiday and too distracted to notice the sunset at dusk. We take our relationships for granted, and would rather watch some senseless TV show than spend time talking to our partners or going to bed early with a good book. Many of us are often disconnected from our soul life and rarely take the time and effort to contemplate life, write a poem or explore our inner realms with a journal.
So it is all these things that I would say foster good health and constitute living a rich and natural life. It is not just eating good food – though that is of course important. It is attending to our health on all levels of our being – body, mind and spirit – that allows us to self-heal and self-regulate. So instead of next time reaching for the paracetamol to ease some pain, why not take the opportunity to reflect on what is out of balance and make some positive changes. Your commitment to good health will require a bit of discipline to get started (and often a bit of education and support from natural healthcare providers), but you will soon be richly rewarded with wonderful vitality, peace and happiness.
About The Author
Read about Karen McElroy here. You can also follow Karen on Facebook or check out her website and sign up for her blog.