Invigorate your body with hydrotherapy

Invigorate your body with hydrotherapy

What is Hydrotherapy?

Detoxifying Treatments

This article is part of the symbol that deals with detoxifying body treatments

 

In essence, hydrotherapy describes a way to cure or invigorate your body via all kinds of water therapies.

This could be extra warm or cold water or a combination of both.

This is not a new concept. The Egyptian pharaohs and priests used hydrotherapy to their advantage. They also added perfumed oils to the water.
The Romans used it in the form of public baths, where ‘heated water’ caused a ‘steam bath’.

Hippocrates advocated a bath in a cold spring to invigorate the spirit and to harden the body and strengthen the immune response.

Over the centuries bathing in hot springs or ‘taking to the waters’ was a natural way of curing many ailments. One man has taken this principle even further and he was called Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897)

He was the son of a poor weaver with an early ambition to become a priest. This was quite an uphill struggle for a poos weaver’s son. Kneipp studied so hard that it took a toll on his health and he suffered from lung problems.

One day he read a book about hydrotherapy and decided to cure himself with this knowledge. After recovering his full health,  he experimented with many methods and finally published a book that explained all this knowledge involving water therapies and plant medicine.

How can you use hydrotherapy at home?

Here are a few tips. Kneipp saw strengthening the immune system and cleansing the blood and bowl as the pillars of a healthy body.
Varying cold and warm water, helps the blood to circulate and get rid of toxins.

It is important that you don’t feel cold when you start this program. If you do, have a hot shower first.

Exercise 1: Walking barefoot for a couple of minutes on a morning lawn, even in the winter. This sounds absurd at first, but it is cheap, easy, and invigorates your whole body. It is important to warm up your feet immediately after the walk with a hot water bottle or warm socks.

Exercise 2: Another method is walking in cold water. Take a big bucket of cold water (you could also do this in the bath, but make sure it is not slippery) and walk like a stork (one foot in the water, the other leg with knees bend and outside the water. Walk for a minute or two, alternating. This helps with tired feet, headaches, feeling tired, and helping you with better sleep. Again, warm your feet up after the exercise.

Exercise 3: Start your day with this exercise for good circulation, good sleep, and tired legs. When you are in the shower, turn the temperature down to 18 degrees (like a cold swimming pool) and with a hand shower direct the stream onto the little toe on the left leg, move the showerhead up the leg, over the knee to the middle of the thigh and stay there, counting to 3. Then move the stream down again, this time in the line of the big toe. Repeat with the other leg and warm up the legs.

Exercise 4: Take a bucket of cold water and put it on a table. Take a seat and immerse your hand and arms (up to chest height) into the cold water. Leave for up to a minute or until you feel very cold. Take them out and warm up with a warm towel and the jumper. This will strengthen your heart and will make up feel alert and alive.

There are many more exercises to choose from but start with these 4 ones. They are all quick and cheap to do. But you need to do it over some time to experience the real benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soil revolution – part 2

The soil revolution – part 2

soil revolution - part 2

Instituto Terra in Brazil

 Part 1 looked into:   Where are we now?  (please read it here)

From now onwards we look into solutions and people who have actively played part in this.
Part 2  will introduce you to Instituto Terra, an organization that specializes in reforestation, particularly in the Brazilian rainforest. 

Instituto Terra 

In 1994 the Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado returned home to his native Brazil with his wife Lelia. Both had grown up in the region but lived in France for most of their adult life. There Salgado became a known photojournalist, reporting on indigenous tribes and refugees, from Ethiopia, Rwanda, and even Bosnia. He won many prizes for this journalistic work. 

But then his father got ill and he returned home to his family farm. Upon his return, the couple was shocked at how the land had eroded. The lush forests and streams had gone and the farm where Salgado had grown up was now a wasteland. (see map below). Less than 1% of the original vegetation and wildlife had remained. It was time to act. 

Lelia had the idea to replant the forest which they did. In fact, they planted over 2 million trees! And the results are stunning. Over 20 years later, the land is unrecognizable. Gone are the barren hills and instead the area is full of trees and wildlife. Even water has returned nourishing the newly planted forest. 

Having had success on their own land by turning this once barren land once more into a lush 1,754 acres rain forest,  the couple set up the Institutio Terra. This organization is showing other farmers and landowners how to return their eroded land to a wildlife sanctuary. Once the forest returns, the improved soil structure prevents flash floods and making it possible for wildlife to return. Now this once barren soil, is home to more than 293 species of trees and many animals have returned, too. Instituto Terra has become a center for research for reforestation, but more importantly, it has become a wonderful place to visit and live.

 

 Watch here the YouTube video that shows the reinstatement of the forest 

 

If you want to find out more about Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado please watch the excellent documentary Salt of the Earth by Wim Wenders that tells his life story and how he became this exceptional social photographer.

 An Introduction to LWTM

Please click this link to find out more about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning and  download our freebies 

 

The Soil Revolution – part 1

The Soil Revolution – part 1

The soil revolution   The status quo –
where are we now? 

As far back as 2014, Reuters reported that a senior UN official said, “If we continue with our intense farming practices and destruction of wildlife at the current levels – we have realistically 60 years of sustainable farming left. “ (source Scientific American)

This is a sobering thought. But what has happened on the official front since 2014?

Where are the school campaigns that explain to children that to make 3cm of topsoil takes the earth roughly 1000 years, but we only have 60 left. Where are the billboards and media campaigns to the same effect? I am interested in this topic and apart from the occasional scientific paper, it does not seem to be ‘newsworthy.

But this ecological wave is coming nearer and nearer and nearer. And the evidence is all too clear. Since 2014 we had more floods, bushfires, and heatwaves and the destruction simply moves on. First the coral reefs, then the icebergs in Antarctica, the increase of desert and soil destruction, and the massive, massive loss of wildlife. The last one is properly the most talked about topic. And it is lovely to look after the bees, but only bees and no other wildlife would never ever work.

I know it is not the best place we currently find ourselves in, but this blog series is not meant to be just doom and gloom. The essence here is – what can we do about it?  And then act fast!

Luckily there are a few men and women around who really grasped this concept early on and started doing something about it. Some of these methods are really ingenious and we will hear more about their various projects over the next few articles.

But let’s start first at the beginning

When Rudolf Steiner first taught his first Biodynamic soil lectures – now almost 100 years ago – this topic did not seem relevant and he was called a deluded dreamer for most of the 20th century. But not anymore.  Ever since scientists discovered microbes in the soil and even inside us,  the concept of ‘the living soil’ has moved from random fiction to fact.

The first Biodynamic lectures were held just after the First World War and this is by no means a coincidence. Although this war was short (1914-1918), the world saw chemical warfare used for the first time in combat. The real war benefit was only established towards the end of this war, but with peace on the horizon all these chemical plants had no longer any use.  So a plan was hatched that these chemicals could in diluted form be brought out on the fields to get rid of ‘soil and leaf’ pests. This meant the farmer did not have to adhere to long-standing traditional methods of crop rotation, weeding and composting. The ‘miracle cure was of course much easier to administer.

And initially the farmers were enthusiastic. Who would not like more yield and less work? But after a few years, the quality of the soil and produce deteriorated and some farmers asked Steiner for advice.

Additionally, the first year a little bit of fertiliser did the trick, but with every subsequent year more and more fertilizer had to be used to achieve the same result. This is costly but after a while, there is not much of an alternative. left.  The farmers can’t just stop the farm for a couple of years in order to wait for the soil to revigorate. This is not a sustainable business model and the trap continues.

What had happened?

Let’s look first at how the soil works. Compost material (waste from the previous growing season) together with compost tonics and manure are put onto the fields and reinvigorate the soil. This usually happens in late autum (the end of the growing cycle)  and in early spring (the beginning of the cycle). This enables the billions of microbes in the soil to turn the compost into a fertile, nutrient-rich soil, ready for the next growing cycle. This humus is full of fungi, earthworms and insects. It is the ‘internet of the soil’, distributing moisture and letting plants almost ‘communicate’ with each other and certainly cross-fertilize each other (that is the principle of companion planting).

But artificial fertilizers destroy all these natural soil improvers, turning fertile, alive soil (there are billions of these creatures in just a handful of earth) into dirt= dead soil.

Lifeless dirt is then artificially fed to produce the next year’s crop, but there is no regeneration. Once this chemical is washed away by the rain, it is gone and more product has to be put on to replace it. But more importantly, the food you eat is ‘also dead’ as no or very few microbes survive. Dead food lacks nutrients and most importantly microbes. We need the soil and its creature for our survival, too.  IPS, bloating and more severe health crises can often be traced back to food that gives us fuel (and puts on calories) but does not actually ‘feed us’. And that is not even taking obesity and diabetes into account.

I have often talked about the macro-organism and the micro-organism and how they work together. If you are new to this concept it is as follows:

The Macro-organism is the universe, the planets, stars and micro-organisms are all living creatures. Beetles, birds, whales, lions, trees, flowers, and of course us humans. It is like a huge clockwork, every clog and wheel turns individually, but when in harmony they feed and enrich each other. 

Going back to the clock example. Taking a small wheel out of the clock may be ok, but destroying half of the clockwork – what do you think would happen? Most children could answer this.

But this is exactly what we are doing with the planet. Currently, we are losing about 30 soccer fields EVERY MINUTE!

We read above that the earth is capable of making 3cm of good quality topsoil in about 1000 years – please make the Maths.

Additionally, the soil is responsible for catching carbon and hanging on to water. Dirt can’t do that and the results are floods and climate change.

So, we are where we are, and no more gloom! From now on this series will turn to seek real, positive solutions.  We need to make this positive turning point for the sake of our children and grandchildren. The Soil Revolution has started and we are all hell-bent to reverse this damage done over the last 100 years. Come and join in and do your bit!

 

 An Introduction to LWTM

Please click this link to find out more about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning and  download our freebies 

 

Finding your core values

Finding your core values

      Sometimes we find ourselves at a crossroad, a place where we need to stop and evaluate if the direction we are headed in is still the right one. Now Covid is supposedly ‘beaten’ and the world is opening up, you may feel quite lost or seek a new beginning. This is quite normal and a chance in disguise to change things for the better. 

So if you do anything this month, go over your core values – are they still what you set them out to be? 

Or if you have never done this exercise, now is a great time to start. 

 When you subscribe to the LTMW newsletter you automatically receive the LWTM Goal Planner as part of our complimentary welcome package.

I have often written about the value I see in goal setting, especially at the time of the New Moon. But today I want to delve a bit deeper into the first section of the goal planning stage. I want to talk about your core values. 

Why do core values matter?

The answer is simple. Your core values should underpin your life. So it is absolutely vital that you take a good look at what your core values are before you start making plans.

Bluntly speaking, there is hardly any point in putting a goal list together if your goals are not aligned with your core values.  Many people work their socks off, only to realize way down the line, that all the hard work and money they earned along the way do not give them happiness and a sense of fulfillment.

 

Money may be exciting in the short term, but when you look at the really rich, most of them don’t just work for money. Instead, their life has a bigger goal or higher aim attached. It could be to leave a legacy, start a charity or create a product that changes the world. Whatever it is, true happiness comes from the hard work being aligned with your core values.

That is the reason why you need to think really hard before you set out on your life journey. If you are not sure right now what your core values are or you may never have thought about this topic then I urge you to clear a few days of your busy schedule and have a really good ‘think’.

It is much better to wait a bit longer and put more emphasis on the ‘figuring it all out ‘ process until you are crystal clear about what you actually want to achieve. Rather than going blindly in one direction and then turning around half-way through the journey or even worse, arriving at your goal and finding out that all that hard work has failed to make you happy and fulfilled.

I recently heard a talk from Dr. Demartini where he identifies 7 core value groups.

  • Physical – the way you look, health, diet
  • Financial – your investments, earnings, pension
  • Spiritual – could be a philosophy, religion, or another belief system
  • Vocational – is your calling, career, or volunteer work
  • Family – your parents, siblings and children, and other family members including pets
  • Mental – the area of self-development, courses, schooling
  • Social – your friends, acquaintances, and social media

When putting a goal list together, you should try to think about all these values and include at least one of each category.

Values change over time

Teenagers and people in their early twenties usually value their social engagement with others. What your peer group or people on social media say ranks much higher than what their parents tell them. Vocation will also feature highly, think of job training, university, starting a career.

In early adulthood (20ies and30ies),  the physical side is very prominent. In this age group looking good, keeping slim, and attracting a partner particularly matters.

At the end of the 20ies and throughout the 30ies many people start a family and this will become the priority.

When the children get older or leave home, mental values and self-development become more important. This is especially true for women who often sacrificed a career for bringing up their children. Now is the time when they think about another life phase that enables them to re-enter the labor market, starting a business or gear up for a career change.

People in their 50ies and 60ies are finding financial values attractive. Retirement is coming closer and saving for a pension and financial security after the working years will play on their mind. How would they cope if they suddenly got ill or lost their job?

Finally, as people grow old the philosophical/spiritual side becomes more prominent and there is often a strong bond with the family, especially if there are grandchildren.

This, of course, is all a very generalized view. I am not saying that only one area dominates a certain time in your life,  but it illustrates that core values change over time and that needs to be reflected in your life goal planner. That is why you should every year have a look that your core values are still aligned with what you set out a few years ago and if not change and adapt it.

So don’t hesitate and download the LWTM Goal Planner and have a look at where your journey takes you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alkaline food and herbs

Alkaline food and herbs

planting, gathering and using herbs

HERBS AND GREEN VEGETABLES HELP YOU TO KEEP YOUR BODY ALKALINE

 

Only a few decades ago, the perceived wisdom was to eat predominantly a plant-based diet with the odd meat dish thrown in. This way of eating ensures that our bodies maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance which is so important for a healthy life. 

In recent times,  we eat an ever-increasing amount of acid-forming foods. These include sugar, meat, and dairy products. All of them cause a build-up of mucus and chronic inflammations. Over time this can lead to serious health problems. The main culprits are de-naturalized, processed foods. A constant overload of these acidic-forming foods can cause cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The good news is that changing over to an alkaline diet is not difficult and will help you to prolong your health. It can even reverse diseases in the early stages – that is if you act early enough. Just stopping or reducing acid-forming produce for a while will help the body to ‘cure itself’.

What is ‘chronic inflammation’?

‘Acute inflammation’ is essential and a natural way for our bodies to fight infections. The problem starts when this state of  inflammation is never ‘turned off’. Then the body produces additional mucus and eventually, the body’s immune response is compromised and it starts to attack its own healthy cells. This is called chronic inflammation.

What is the optimum level of ph?
The optimum ph level is 7.4.  Ph stands for ‘potential hydrogen and is the ability of molecules to attract hydrogen ions. 1 is the lowest ph level (and the most acidic one) and 14 is the highest and most alkaline level. A ph of 7 is neutral, so you could say that a healthy body is neutral to slightly alkaline.

When we eat an overload of acidic food the body will release alkaline elements, such as the calcium in the bones to keep the blood at a healthy 7.4 ph. But if the food intake is constantly over-acidic, then there is a cutoff point to what the body can do and disease is the result.
So it is very important to re-balance the body’s ph level from time to time.

Rebalancing the ph level

One way to do this is to drink a lot of water or herbal teas, all of which are neutral to slightly alkaline. In contrast, all fruit juices, black tea, coffee, sodas are acidic.
I find the best way to rebalance the body is to drink lemon water in the morning. Lemons are very alkaline (and not acidic) and they can balance your ph level in a short period of time. Here is how to do this. 

Another way is to switch for a while from animal protein to plant-based protein such as beans, pulses and wholegrain legumes.
Leave out any milk products and swap out for plant-based milk and cheese varieties.
If you use oils, choose olive, grapeseed or coconut oil and avoid sugar as much as possible.

Herbs in all shapes and forms are alkaline. So drink plenty of herbal teas – they have varying benefits, cleanse and support your immune system.
Here are some of the best for this purpose:
Fennel, chamomile, ginger, raspberry, mint and nettle.

Here is also a link to the series – cooking with herbs – Just type this search function in the blog search box 

 

To find out more about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning please  download our freebies