Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Jennifer Ellison-Brown | Healing agents of nature (Part two)

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 8:00 AM

The use of natural agents seeks to interrelate the reality of human beings with the natural environment that surrounds them. This is a continuation on last week's article on the effects of natural practices, using the agents of nature to begin a lifestyle of health preservation. This week will focus on physiotherapy, rest, diet and positive mental attitude.

Physiotherapy (healing through exercise, movements and massage):

The definition of life includes all coordinated organic movements, and the definition of death is understood as the cessation of this activity. The beneficial influence of physical exercise, when practised regularly, is not limited to the muscles, but affects all organs and functions of the body.

However, although this is generally acknowledged and well known since ancient times, not many persons are willing to prevent and even cure disease through physical activity.

The blood is the link between all activity, the means used to transport, provide and drain everything necessary and unnecessary to every tissue. The Bible stated that "blood is life". However, this is only true as long as the blood is in motion; once it stops it clots, and the body dies.

Physical activities, including stretching to increase flexibility and mobility; correct posture to avoid fatigue, back pain and other disorders; and the use of therapeutic massages are real engines of life that are essential to good health.

Therapeutic massages are given using the hands and sometimes with the help of devices and equipment. It improves blood circulation in the skin and muscles. This increased blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients and ensures that more metabolic residue is eliminated.

Rest and relaxation (health through rest):

Without adequate rest, the body is at a disadvantage and is less able to conserve its good health and resistance to disease. Rest facilitates the repairing processes the body uses to fight against infections. Furthermore, rest allows the immune system to activate its defences against infectious agents.

The rhythm of life is developed through nature. When the biorhythms are not observed and the period of rest are altered and shortened, the body gets weaker and susceptible to mental imbalance or disease.

Sleep represents a period of 'rest par excellence'. During sleep, the whole body, especially the brain, is undergoing process to restore, readjust and fine-tune itself. A good rest facilitates relaxation.

Dietotherapy (healing through nutrition):

An optimum state of health requires a sufficient and balanced diet inclusive of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, vitamins and minerals, enzymes and phytochemical elements, and digestible fibre.

Carbohydrates are the main energy providers. An adequate and regular supply of carbohydrates will maintain blood glucose levels. It is healthier to eat more starch and less added sugars.

Proteins help to build and repair cells of the body. Animal and vegetable protein combined have a higher biological value than any single source protein.

Fats also provide energy. Unsaturated fats are thought to be better for health than saturated fats, which are the main cause of overweight and obesity.

At normal doses, all vitamins are vital fuels and play several roles in the activation and regulation of human metabolism. The refining and transforming procedures, such as boiling and other methods of preservation, often cause a substantial loss of vitamins.

Enzymes, for example amylases, proteases, lipases, etc, are responsible for transforming substances and channelling the body's processes of decomposition and cell synthesis. Enzymes can only perform when they have the appropriate shape, which is often formed by vitamins. It is the task of the vitamins to aid the enzymes in their mission.

A lack of minerals and trace elements usually accompanies a vitamin deficiency. It has been proven that many of these, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc copper etc, are essential for life.

Chlorophyll in plants is responsible for forming sugar from a gas and water with the aid of sunlight, thus creating the base for human nutrition. This pigment revitalises all cells in the human body and acts as a natural cosmetic. Therefore, this presents a better reason to consume fresh green vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll, as well as other phytochemical elements that are naturally significant to health.

Most people in this industrialised world follow poor diets and, consequently, their nutrition is consistently deficient.

Positive mental attitude (mental health):

Three closely linked components of human beings are the mind, body and spirit, and, as such, our health depends on our physical, mental and spiritual aspects. Therefore, good mental health is inclusive of the following:

- Express your feelings.

- Forget your worries.

- Build up our self-esteem.

- Stay young at heart.

- Be optimistic.

- Be positive.

- Be fearless.

-Practise good ethical and moral principles.

- Engage in regular physical exercise.

- Practise stress management.