30.6.10

The Natural Healing of Dolphins

Article


Fossil evidence shows us that these magical creatures have been around for some 25 million years, and there is no denying the special bond that exists between dolphins and humans.

In Ancient Greece, to kill a dolphin was a crime punishable by death. They were sacred to Poseidon, the god of the sea, and the first recorded study of dolphins was undertaken by the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Both Greek and Roman accounts describe dolphins befriending humans, saving sailors from drowning and helping fishermen to catch fish.

Today, similar stories are told, and include the amazing stories of the healing of autism, psychosomatic diseases and even in some rare cases, cancer, through interaction with these very special creatures.

Most of us are aware of the accounts of people who have had the unforgettable experience of swimming with dolphins, or even the uplifting feeling of seeing a dolphin swimming gracefully through the water.  But, how do dolphins actually heal?

Scientific studies have produced evidence that dolphins trigger the healing process in humans by boosting the production of T-cells and endorphins, through their sonar. They have concluded after patient and dolphin interaction, that there is a far greater harmony between the left and right sides of the brain.

Therapists believe that a dolphin's sonar causes a cavitation (shock wave) inside the soft body tissues of the human body. It causes a ripping apart of molecules, which actually changes the bio molecular structure. Many hospitals already use a machine similar to a dolphin's sonar, to break up kidney and gall stones.

Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals, friendly and playful. They offer unconditional love, and I believe our affinity with them in many ways is because we see by their example, how we are meant to be. 


© Copyright Jan Reid-Lennox. All Rights Reserved.

28.6.10

Aromatherapy - A Global History

Article 

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils,  for the purpose of altering a person's mood or health. 

It has been practised all around the world, and there is evidence that essential oils have played a major role in religion and medicine for over 6,000 years.  It hasn't been until recently that the Western world has fully embraced it's therapeutic benefits.

In North Africa herbs are still widely used by the nomadic Berber mountain tribes in natural medicine.  As their culture is influenced by the Egyptians, they use many of the same ingredients.
Aroma Types:  Pungent.
Essential Oils:  Aloe vera, geranium, clove, citronella, cedarwood, clary, sage, melissa, myrrh, rose, spearmint, thyme. 
Rosewater is an important cosmetic in African regions.

Native Americans used oils in remedies and religious rituals long before the arrival of Western settlers.  Aromatic plants such as sage were used in purification rituals to honour their gods.  In Central and South America, the Aztec ruler Montezuma cultivated numerous botanical gardens of aromatic plants with healing properties.
Aroma Types:  Aromatic, citrus.
Essential Oils:  Bergamot, cedarwood, lime, mandarin, peppermint, sage, avocado, citronella, bay.
Native Americans burn scents in cleansing rituals known as 'smudging'.

Aromatherapy has long been practised in Asia (China). The ancient Chinese burned aromatic woods and incense in religious ceremonies, and used the therapeutic qualities of essential oils in healing techniques such as acupressure and massage.
Aroma Types:  Sweet - flower, sharp - citrus, warm - spicy.
Essential Oils:  Benzoin, cajeput, ginger, petit grain, cardamom, cinnamon, citronella, cypress, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lemongrass, mandarin, melissa, myrrh, neroli, peppermint, sandalwood.
Oriental perfumes tend to utilise gentle flower aromas and fragrant tree blossoms, including jasmine and neroli.

The Australian Aborigines have long incorporated essential oils into their healing techniques which included healing water infused with tea tree oil.  It was one of the first 'western' cultures to formally acknowledge that aromatherapy had a place in convential medicine. During the First World War all Australian soldiers were issued with tea tree oil to promote their health.
Aroma Types:  Strong, camphorous.
Essential Oils:  Cajeput, eucalyptus, lime, tea tree.
Tea tree is one of the most complex essential oils and has become hugely popular in the West in recent years.

Across (Northern) Europe,  aromatherapy spread, with the Romans, and became prominent once more in the Middle Ages, when it was practised in monasteries to prevent the spread of plague and to fumigate homes.  Western doctors did not use aromatherapy until the nineteenth century and it has only recently been recognised outside of cosmetic applications. 
Aroma Types:  Lavender .
Essential Oils:  Basil, chamomile, clary, sage, juniper, lavender, mandarin, melissa, rose, peppermint, thyme.
Aromatic herbs have been popular in Europe since the Middle Ages for use in toiletries and for scenting homes in the form of small pouches and pillows.

In (Mediterranean) Europe, more than 4000 years ago, the Ancient Greeks used oils both medicinally and cosmetically.  Many of their practices were adopted by the Romans, who enjoyed scented baths and massages with therapeutic oils.  As well as using native plants, many oils were imported from India and Arabia.
Aroma Types:  Basil, lemon, bergamot.
Essential Oils:  Basil, fennel, bergamot, lemon, bay, marjoram, parsley, rose, rosemary, sage, spearmint.
The Romans cultivated herbs wherever they set up new outposts, spreading aromatherapy across Europe.

Aromatherapy is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, and the use of essential oils is thought to date back more than 6000 years. Traces of cedar wood oil were even found in Tutankhamen's tomb.
Aroma Types:  Heady, resinous.
Essential Oils:  Aloe, vera, basil, geranium, frankincense, peppermint.
Egypt was the first country to embrace aromatherapy.

In India oils are a very important part of Ayurveda, which has been practised for more than 3000 years.  Oils and incense are also important for stimulating the seven Major Chakras of the body.
Aroma Types:  Spicy, aromatic, earthy.
Essential Oils:  Basil, lemongrass, black pepper, lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, patchouli, myrrh, palmarosa and sandalwood.
Oils are part of an ancient healing tradition in India.

Javan envoys from Indonesia introduced oils and spices to the Han-Dynasty court of China as early as 200 BC.  Cloves were especially popular and spread to Europe in the Middle Ages.  
Aroma Types:  Aphrodisiac, warming.
Essential Oils:  Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, patchouli, ylang ylang.
Cloves became popular to the West as a Christmas spice.

Aromatherapy has a long history in the Middle East, where it was important in cosmetics and medicine.  The study of oils came to a peak in the 10th century.
Aroma Types:  Relaxing, tranquil, aphrodisiac.
Essential Oils:  Aniseed, frankincense, myrrh.
Arabian practices were quick to spread throughout Europe after the Crusades.

It is interesting that the effectiveness of aromatherapy is yet to be - scientifically proven!


© Copyright Jan Reid- Lennox. All Rights Reserved.

Global Colour Perceptions

Article



Colour exists everywhere. No matter where you live in the world, you will experience colour in some form. Globally we may name colours the same (with translation), but certain colours are perceived differently around the globe, and very often it is not the meaning of the colour that differs, but the attitude to what the colour is actually representing.

Death
  • The ancient Egyptians and Romans wore black for death and mourning, as do most of the Western World today.
  • In China and Japan they wear white, as white is their least vibrant colour.
  • In Egypt and Burma they wear yellow.
  • In Borneo they wear blue.
  • In South Africa they wear red.
  • In Thailand, a widow wears purple to mourn her husband's death.
  • In the Middle Ages, actors portraying the dead in a play wore yellow.
Religion
  • Christian traditions connect red to Christ in his blood-red cloak of sacrificial love.
  • The Navajo Nation use the four colours of turquoise, white, yellow and black in their religious ceremonies, representing four sacred mountains.
  • The Iowa Nation use the four colours of black, yellow, red and white as sacred colours representing what they consider to be the four races of man.
  • The Apache Nation use the four colours of green, white, yellow and black, which are the sacred colours of the White Mountain.
Luck and Victory
  • Green is the colour of Ireland and the lucky four leaf clover.
  • Red is the colour for luck in China.
  • Red is also used in Greece to dye eggs for good luck at Easter time.
  • In the highlands of Scotland, people wore green as a mark of victory and honour.
  • In the Western World first prize is a blue ribbon.
  • In the Western World if a business is experiencing financial difficulty, it is 'in the red'.
  • In the Western World if a business is 'in the black', it is making money.
Regardless of how we use and perceive colour, it will always be an important part of our lives.


© Copyright J M Lennox. All Rights Reserved.

Natural Healing Methods

Article




Long before medicine became a science, people healed themselves. Our ancestors experimented with plants and other natural sources to find what was suitable for healing, and the resulting healing methods were handed down through the generations.

These healing methods evolved into four basic categories which provide harmony and healing, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Energy therapy

Types: Acupressure, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Meditation, Reflexology, Reiki, Qigong

Energy therapies are based on the principle of universal harmony. When your own energies are out of sync with the cosmic balance, illness occurs. Energy therapy is the process of restimulating the body's life force or energy pathways, by performing gentle exercises on the areas that the practitioner diagnoses as being blocked.

Physical therapy

Types: Alexander technique, Chiropractic, Feldenkrais method, Hydrotherapy, Kinesiology, Massage, Meditation, Yoga

Physical therapies are direct treatments to the body through manipulation of the joints, muscles or skin to relieve pain. Body manipulation also stimulates painkilling endorphins. Meditation and Yoga also fall under this category as breathing links the physical and spiritual worlds.

Herbal therapy

Types: Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Moxibustion

Herbal therapies are based on using what we find in nature to stay healthy and maintain balance in our bodies. By using these methods we avoid contaminating our bodies with chemicals and drugs that we have no long term knowledge of in regard to the effect they will have on our bodies.

Spiritual therapy

Types: Auras, Colour therapy, Crystal therapy, Dream therapy, Faith healing, Paganism, Shamanism, Voodoo

Spiritual therapies all recognise that some form of ''life force'' runs through our bodies and the universe, be it controlled by a higher being, or simply as a part of nature. All spiritual healing practices believe that with belief and faith in a healing power, we all have the ability to heal ourselves given the appropriate tools.


© Copyright Jan Reid-Lennox. All Rights Reserved.

A Global History Of Natural Healing

Article

Around the world natural healing practices evolved to maintain and promote good health, physically, mentally and spiritually, long before medicine became a science.

Ayurveda is a natural healing method that is based on altering the diet to achieve balance in the body.  It is considered to be the root of all healing traditions, dating back to at least 3,500 years ago.

Although many of the healing practices listed below are somewhat diverse, they still share the belief in the healing powers of nature, higher beings and our own abilities.

Africa

Dogon Blood Letting - medicine men from the West African Dogon tribe suck the blood from patients to rid them of the evil spirits they believe are causing illness

The Americas

Crystal Healing - certain gemstones are considered to be psychic batteries which store and emit healing energies to patients.

Hallucinogens - the Indians of the Amazon use hallucinogens contained in plants to seek guidance for cures from the spirit world.

Navajo Medicine - the Native American Navajo people use herbal remedies, music and dance in healing rites.

Psychic Surgery - working in a trance the psychic surgeons of South America use a knife to cut out diseased tissue from the body.

Voodoo - in Haiti spiritualism and herbalism are combined and used in natural healing ceremonies.

Asia

Ayurveda - Ancient Indian Vedic texts teach the importance of keeping the mind, body and spirit in perfect balance.

Macrobiotics - the Japanese balance the correct types of food for long life.

Shamanic Dances - Tibetan and Nepalese shamans dance themselves into a trance to make contact with healing spirits.

Shiatsu - a Japanese form of therapeutic massage which manipulates the flow of energy through the body's energy points.

Yoga - in India a gentle form of Hindu yoga is used to assist in health and well-being.

Australasia

Aboriginal Medicine - Native Australians understand the therapeutic properties of plants, minerals and a spiritual relationship with the natural world.

Europe

Aromatherapy - in France aromatic oils distilled from herbs are used for their therapeutic properties.

Flower Remedies - in the UK plant and flower extracts are immersed in alcohol to form the basis of flower remedies.

Faith Healing - in the UK mediums channel spirit guides and perform faith healings.

Homeopathy - a 200 year old German therapy based on the principle that the same substance that causes disease in a healthy person can help to sure the symptoms in a sick person.

Russia

Astral Travel - the shamans of northern Russia use music, dance, drugs and meditation to enter the astral plane and commune with healing spirits.


© Copyright Jan Reid-Lennox. All Rights Reserved.