Have you heard of nature cure? While the concept was first developed over a century ago, it remains relevant today for our health and well-being, as both a way of life and a concept of healing.
What is Nature Cure?
Nature cure reminds us that the healthy human body has the ability to heal itself from within. The ‘laws of nature’ in traditional nature cure for optimal health include fresh air, sunshine, exercise, fresh food, hygiene and mental well-being. Pretty simple, right? But sometimes it’s easy to forget to prioritize these basics, and nature cure may be just the prescription we need.
Fresh air and sunshine
It seems obvious, but considering many of us are city dwellers spending the majority of our days in climate-controlled offices and apartments, it’s an important one to remember. Even through these colder months, bundle up and try to get outside when you the sun is shining – on a lunch break, afternoon walks, or hiking local trails on weekends.
Medications and diet pills are advertised to us as the magic fix for health issues, but often good nutrition and exercise is the best way to heal. Regular exercise improves digestion, endurance, energy levels, improves our moods and reduces anxiety. Walk or run, swim, climb, dance, practice yoga or pilates, or do at-home fitness routines (ChicVegan Dina made a great list of free workouts!). Make it fun and try something new to keep it interesting and sustainable.
Proper nutrition is a major factor in regaining and maintaining health. Following nature cure, we can ditch processed foods, artificial ingredients and chemical additives for a whole foods, plant-based diet. We can also connect with the food production system and know where our food comes from by eating local, seasonal foods from farmer’s markets, CSA farms, or homegrown produce.
Of course, we know all about basic hygiene today. But one issue to be aware of with all the products we use to ‘get clean’ is the ingredients they contain. Some chemical-laden body care and beauty products may do more harm than good. We can aim to simplify our routines, and seek out natural organic products (with few ingredients – and ones that we understand) or homemade alternatives (i.e. coconut oil for moisturizer, plant oils for face cleanser, etc).
Stress and anxiety can cause or worsen many other health issues. Exercise, relaxation (try meditation or yoga), self-care (self massage, dry brushing, baths), and technology “block-outs” (switch off from information overload on the weekend or a couple of hours before bed each night: no TV, phones or the Internet) can all help towards improved mental well-being.
If you’re looking to improve your health and well-being, you might find that following the ‘laws of nature’ can pave the way and tap into the human body’s innate tendency to heal itself.
Featured image via senge.