Category Archives: healing nature

The healing power of language

Thank You Word Cloud concept background in many languages Monks and wise teachers from the times of yore knew of the power and resonance of language in formulating the first mantras and healing prayers.

Recent psychological reasearch has confirmed that there is a direct link between the use of language and health. Thus there seems to be a correlation between cardiovascular disease and the use of negative language found on Twitter accounts in the northwestern United States.

Language patterns reflecting negative social relationships, disengagement, and negative emotions—especially anger—emerged as risk factors. On the other hand positive emotions and psychological engagement emerged as protective factors.

It’s sad to observe a growing lack of mindfulness in the use of language, especially on social media sites. I have taken to blocking those people on facebook who have a habit of constantly posting “negativity”. Hate speech, gossip and xenophobia seem the norm. Extremist politicians, following their own agenda, are feeding into this shadow side of human nature, especially in countries where the issues of migrants, religious tolerance and wealth distribution are being debated with strong emotion.

Why not focus on those postings, information and images that serve  the common good, that create a positive wave and healing enerty. This too is part of our reality.

In this context I find the words of the Kalu Rinpoche (excerpt from the Dharma) particularly poignant:

“Mere words, which have no ultimate reality, can determine our happiness and suffering. We create pleasure and pain through our fundamental clinging to sound and speech.”

Ancient languages such as Sanskrit, Latin and Aramaic, the lingua franca in the Middle East during the time of Jesus, are particularly powerful. Mantras and healing prayers in these languages are known to create a strong healing vibration in the body.

In the ancient Chinese body arts of Qi Gong we have the healing sounds for each cycle of the Five Elements:

  • Tzue for the element wood (liver)
  • Haaa for the element fire (heart)
  • Huuu for the element earth (spleen and stomach)
  • Zzzzz for the elemnt metal (lungs)
  • Chuwayy for the element water (kidneys, lower back and bladder)
  • Seeee for harmonizing the central meridian

On the mindset level, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, has a particularly strong cleansing effect:

Om – representing the divine universal energy

Mani – the pure jewel of compassion and love

Padme – the lotus symbolizing wisdom

Hung or Hum – establishing wisdom and removing attachment to hatred.

 

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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Filed under exercise mental health, healing nature, immune system, lifestyle management, meditation, monks, psychology, spirituality, stress hormones, Uncategorized

Why you need to take a break

IMG_1197With work pressure increasing in practically all sectors its not uncommen for people to remain stuck at their desk for hours and taking their “lunch” while tapping away at the computer or taking a call. On the long term this is wreaking havoc on concentration levels, health and productivity.

Under stress your sympathetic nervous system is on alert flooding your body with stress hormones that accelerate your heart beat, increase your blood pressure, dilate your pupils and inhibit other body functions like your digestion. At some stage however the calming side of your body, the parasympathetic nervous system, will want to reduce the arousal system, bringing everything back into balance and tiredness creeping in. Its a natural body reaction that you can’t control.

We need a good balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system – between the arousal and recuperation phases.

Research has indicated that most concentration levels start sinking rapidly after about 50 minutes of uninterrupted work on a computer. At the latest after 70 minutes your parasympathetic nervous system will start taking over. This is the time to take a short 5-10 minute break. And a break is only really a break if you interrupt your work and do something completely different, like opening a window, taking a deep breath, looking at the bird in the tree across the road or chatting to a colleague.

If you have an office job you will have spent some 80,000 hours of your lifetime in a sitting position until you reach retirement age. This is an enormous strain on your back, neck, skeletal and body alignment system. Interrupting your work for 15-20 minutes a day to do some active stretching movements, will work wonders for your health, your mood and your concentration and work ability.

Pushing your break of say half an hour until the end of the work day practically has no recuperation effect. Regular shorter breaks after every hour are far more effective. Taking a power nap of between 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon works very well for some people. It should however not be longer as you then fall into the deep-sleep mode and will wake up more fatigued.

If you have had days, weeks or months of high stress, your body will very likely have high cortisol levels. It means vital organs in your body are being undernourished because your body is in a “fight or flight” mode. You need recuperation, a time out, to bring those stress hormones back to normal. Best you choose a place where you can lock away your cell phone and focus your mind on anything else but work. Check out also our outdoor coaching programmes.

Reino Gevers, coach, trainer, author

PowerBodyMind – Gevers Consulting

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

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Filed under blood pressure, corporate health, cortisol, exercise mental health, healing nature, lifestyle management, meditation, outdoor coaching, psychology, stress hormones, Uncategorized, work environment

Reconnecting with nature – 8 point health plan

IMG_2264Constant emotional stress is extremely harmful, especially over an extended period of time. The result: Our body is on permanent alert  with many body functions more or less in standby-mode.

We are naturally programmed to react to perceived dangerous situations with our bodies being put on alert by such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol that increase heartbeat  and blood pressure, in turn triggering flight or fight responses.

When the threat has passed these stress hormones are supposed to return to normal levels so that all body organs can resume their normal functions.  In our modern world that is often not the case because we are not taking time-out for exercise, good nutrition, breaks etc. An over-exposure to the main stress hormone cortisol can lead to a host of health problems including high blood pressure, the risk of heart attack, an immune-system breakdown, anxiety, mood changes and weight gain. An excellent way of getting those cortisol levels down is by taking a time-out in nature.

We come from and are part of nature. Living in cramped, noisy and stressful big city environments is only a recent phenomenon in human evolution. Re-atuning our senses of hearing, smell and touch by taking a walk in a park or forest can be of enormous benefit in winding down from the onslaught of external stressors.

Take a real break by leaving the office desk and taking a 15-20 minute walk. Awaken your senses to the sounds of nature. You can stop by giving all your attention to just one pleasant sound of nature: a bird singing, the rushing of a stream or fountain. Try and inhale the smell of a blooming flower or wild herbs next to a path. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin or a gust of cool air.

The benefit of all this: Our immediate environment is responsible for stress increase or reduction. It influences our immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Numerous research concludes that positive nature experience reduces anxiety, fear, lowers blood pressure and has a positive influence on the heart beat and muscle pressure and especially helps to bring down those cortisol levels.

Reino Gevers – consultant, coach, author

http://www.powerbodymind.de

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Filed under blood pressure, cortisol, cortisol effects, exercise mental health, healing nature, immune system, stress hormones, Uncategorized

Following the path of the Holy Grail

Nestled in a rock face near the Spanish city of Jaca is the ancient monastery of San Juan de la Pena. It dates back to the ninth century and by the 11th century became the spiritual and intellectual centre of the Kingdom of Aragon. According to legend the Holy Grail was kept here until the 14th century.

There is no final proof but It was believed to be the chalice used by Jesus during the Last Supper and the cup in which Joseph of Arimathea collected the Blood of Jesus on the Cross. Today the original is kept in the Cathedral of Valencia with a copy displayed on a stone altar in the old monastery.


Whether true or not, the monastery San Juan de la Pena is a mysterious and unique place. While on our recent walk on the Camino, I took a day to explore the area on the mountain from which there are spectacular views of the Pyrenees mountains in the distance.


  
The Monasterio Nuevo, or new monastery, further up the mountain is a much bigger complex. Its exterior has been rebuilt with a modern museum interior giving much insight on how the monks lived according to the Benedictine Order

The monastery had enormous influence not only in the ancient Kingdom of Aragon but throughout Europe of the early Middle Ages. The monks lived disciplined lives, following a daily routine of contemplation, work and study. Silence was highly cherished. The monks took a vow of silence and were only allowed to speak if it was absolutely necessary or when it was a good thought or blessing. It was obviously an atmosphere that was conducive to highly-focused study and inner spiritual work.

The exhibition in the new monastery illustrates a colorful history of rise and decay. The influence and success of this monastery in the early Middle Ages can be attributed to several factors that are good lessons for today’s corporates:

  • The monks were absolutely focused, disciplined and dedicated to their task
  • At the same time they did not exclude themselves from the outside world, honing the art of networking and relationship-building with the rulers and decision-makers of the time.
  • A charismatic abbot, or leader, was crucial in maintaining cohesion, discipline and respect
  • Basic material needs were catered for by the Kingdom with at times generous grants and donations

Its a mute point on whether the decay started in the year 1399 when the Aragonese King Martino V took the Holy Grail  to his palace in Zaragoza and when the monks asked for it back he tricked them with a replica. There were several fires that destroyed much of the monastery complex in the 17th century. Decay came in line with infighting and power struggles. Grants and privileges from the king were reduced and at times completely stopped. Loss of focus and purpose came in line with vows being broken and poor leadership.

An organisation is only as successful as long as its members are motivated to abide by the internal codes and ethics which always reflects on how it is perceived by those outside. There will always be circumstances that cannot be controlled, such as political change or upheavel. But it is how adaptable and flexible that organisation is to unpredictable changes, that will ultimately determine its survival.

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Filed under connection, energy, healing nature, life vision, meditation, monasteries, monks, organisational structure, powerbodymind, psychology, spirituality

Nutrition and cancer

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

By Alyce and Reino Gevers

The sad truth about conventional cancer treatment is that little attention is being given to how big an influence nutrition and acidity in the body has on the outbreak of the disease. Cancer cells feed in an acidic environment and yet very few doctors and hospitals are looking at the connection between diet and cancer.

At the beginning of the last century, the processed food industry was still in its infancy. The connection between mass consumption of processed foods and the diseases of modern times such as cancer can be seen when looking at the slide from the New England Journal of Medicine.  Processed foods include many substances such as unnatural flavors, preservatives sugars and salts that over the years form  a toxic cocktail in the body, creating a fertilizer for cancer cells.

It is no surprise that infectious diseases were the main cause of death around 1900. Death from heart disease peaked in the 1960s while today 185.9 of every 100,000 deaths is from cancer with rising tendency. Despite billions being poured into cancer research, little progress has been made in halting the trend. It is obvious that the “cancer industry” is going to do everything possible in trying to convince us that only conventional medicine heals. Any cancer patient will tell you how difficult it is to resist the onslaught of the highly profitable  cancer machinery.

Doctors are telling patients that their chances of survival are remote if they refuse chemo. Now try and argue with a doctor who will cite statistics (lots of them stemming from the pharmaceutical industry itself) while you are already in fear from fighting a life-threatening disease.

Doctors take the Hippocratic oath and seem to have forgotten the important quote above. I’m not saying conventional treatments should be avoided. This is a very personal choice and much also depends on how far the cancer has taken hold in the body. But to completely exclude nutrition as an important part of the curing process is irresponsible.

An important complimentary cancer therapy, is the strengthening of the body’s natural immune system.  this is also very important to Chemo patients since chemo destroys ALL cells…good and bad alike.  Did you know that cancer cells divide and multiply every 18 hours, whilst normal cells divide  24 hours for the same process.  Thus, if the cancer cells find an agreeable environment in which to grow, they spread faster than the healthy cells do.  This is one of the main reasons it is of utmost importance to not feed cancer cells!  Take away their energy supply and create an alkaline environment for healthy cells to do their job.  Otherwise, the cancer cells regain the upper hand….causing recurring cancer.

Cells need a plentiful supply of oxygen,  fresh produce, harvested from good soils that can provide the essential nutrients to keep the body’s 70 billion cells in a natural equilibrium and to promote the detoxification process. First, and foremost, you need a sugar-free diet so as not to FEED CANCER CELLS, to restore natural liver function and to detoxify.  White processed sugar essentially robs the body of essential nutrients. Other immune strengthening sweetening alternatives are maple syrup, natural honey, and dates…just to name a few.

The Gerson therapy: “Healing – the GersonWay”  puts particular emphasis on restoring proper functioning of the liver, which plays a crucial role in the detoxification of the body and restoring natural physiological activities. Cancer cells have no chance in a healthy body. A body with a strong immune system cultivates a healthy cell environment that prevents cells from mutating into cancer in the first place. A healthy immune strengthening diet for cancer patients would also be meat-free, the addition of Vitamins D & C, raw juicing therapies,  high quality essential oils with Omega 3 fatty acids.   But that´s for another blog in detail.  Stay tuned…..

Image You have the choice!             Junkfood

A denatured, nutritionally empty, toxic modern diet is the main cause of today’s worsening health crisis.

 

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Filed under cancer, energy, healing nature, immune system, liver, nutrition, psychology

Reconnecting to the web of life

Humanity’s disconnect to the web of life, the lack of respect and awareness for the many parts of the bigger whole, has got us into a pretty dire predicament.

Some theorists would argue that man is a predator by nature and that it is all about the survival of the fittest, falsely quoting Darwin who was in reality very much aware of the intricate inter-connection of all living things.

Any species which fails to find its niche in the web of life becomes extinct because the earth or “creation intelligence” always finds a means of discarding that which becomes a threat to everything else. It is something you become acutely aware of by spending alone time in nature or in the wilds.

I’ve had some of my deepest spiritual experiences while hiking alone in the Pyrenees mountains, the Spanish Camino and the African bush where simply by observation you begin to realize that every plant, beetle, bird, antelope or predator is there for a reason and plays its small part in sustaining life as a whole.

Lichtblick

My theory is that humanity’s disconnect from the web of life is partly the result of alienation from nature and the “materialist-theoretical” approach to religion rather than intuitive spirituality that our forebears practised in the mystic traditions.

As hundreds of millions of people continue to move to urban areas there is a real danger that the alienation from our true destiny will continue. A growing number of people in the wealthier countries are living alone in apartments and getting lonelier and lonelier as they grow older and their already fragile support network of friends starts falling away.

In my previous blog I mentioned how much we are influenced and shaped by the people around us. Our health, our happiness and our lifespan depend on how well we are accepted, integrated and valued in that community we cherish. Loneliness is perceived as physical pain and is responsible for many psychological disorders. Read this interesting report on what people in Sardinia seem to be getting just right and why many of them stay healthy well over the age of a 100.

The biggest challenge faced by humanity is to rediscover that bond to the web of life and to make the switch from predator to custodian, protector and nurturer. Here are just some ways of reconnecting:

  • Sitting meditation with emphasis on the natural breathing sequence of inhaling and exhaling
  • Walking “things off” and reconnecting with your natural rhythm on a longer hike, preferably for several days. Its a wonderful way of detoxing your mind and body.
  • Any of the body arts such as yoga, taiji and qi gong have been practised and perfected over many generations as a way of reconnecting with your mind and body.
  • When outdoors in nature find just one sound to concentrate your mind on. It could be a bird chirping or the wind blowing through the trees. You will feel very relaxed after only a few minutes.

I had an amazing experience on one of my walks when I connected to a blackbird singing in a tree nearby. It responded by following me for several kilometres, hopping from tree to tree and on the track ahead. It was an amazing experience of connection.

Info:

Why face-to-face contact matters in a digital world

Yield and Overcome – How change can positively impact our lives

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