Natural Health is alternative health care medicine for our bodies, our planet, and our relationships.
The term “natural health” seems to be thrown around with abandon at everything, describing a mixture of philosophies, products, ideas, and opinions. It can be as varied as “taking walks in fresh unpolluted air, to eating organic foods, and countless other definitions in between. A slippery eel that slithers out between our grasping fingers, the concept of natural health does not give us anything firm to hold on to, no framework that is useful for guiding life choices.
This is unfortunate for a concept this important.
After years of researching and experimenting with lifestyle choices and activities that would keep me healthy and off of the surgeon’s table, I have come to understand that natural health goes beyond mushy meanings and has some very practical uses in our society.
First, as a society, we do not take personal responsibility for our own health. We depend on doctors, who depend on the prescription pad, or surgery to “heal” us. While I am certain that advances in medicine have leapt forward over the last century – particularly for accidents and trauma – we can do personal work that can keep us healthy, minimize synthetic drug use, and save ourselves time and money. We just need to decide to do it.
Secondly we need to understand that our bodies are small biochemical factories that run on subtle energies and electromagnetic fields. It is this energy flow through the body that keeps us alive and healthy. Eastern cultures have understood this relationship of energy and health for centuries. The Chinese word for life energy is “Chi”, in Japan, it is “Ki”, in India it is “Prana”. There is also a nice tie-in with spirituality in these ideas, if you choose to pursue that.
Western medicine is more and more understanding these ideas and how they relate to healing. To stay at our best health we need to pay attention to building the strength of our life energy
Next, we need to take care of the planet….. the ball of matter on which we all are passengers through space and time. A clear eyed look around at our environment will show that we have stress fractures in how we grow our food, and how we treat our oceans, rivers, and lakes, and the air that we breathe. If we want to preserve it, and keep it healthy, we must all do even little things that respect our planet, and environment.
Finally, there is the matter of relationships with other people, other cultures, other governments, other races. The world is far too tribal and contentious and that leads to stress and conflict – some of which are wars that chew up lives and money. We need to actively seek harmony with others, and not conflict.
All of this together makes an expanded, more useful definition of natural health. Using these practices creates a true alternative health care medicine for our body, mind and planet. The 4 Natural Health Practices give us a simple framework for living life naturally, and a definition that helps get past all the hype in the marketplace regarding natural health.
They are not necessarily actionable by themselves, but if we adopt the spirit of them into our consciousness, it will help us to make better life decisions and we will be inspired to learn the details of how we can do each one of them well.
The 4 Natural Health Practices
Strengthening Life Energy
Putting the right things in the mind and body
Harmonizing – with others and the environment
Exercising the mind and body