Healing ourselves to heal our planet
Updated: May 25
About 10 years ago I undertook postgraduate study in sustainable development. My reason for studying sustainability was to understand the impact that we are having on the planet and to be part of the solution to combat the looming environmental disaster that is climate change.
Throughout this period of study I kept asking myself: 'why it is so hard to look after this amazing planet of ours?' 'Why do so many people care about the earth and yet continue to over consume?' 'Why is it so hard for us to see how our everyday actions impact on the world around us?'
The answer to this question, for me, is:
in order to heal the planet, we first have to heal ourselves.
And that is why I am now working to redefine the nature of health care, by teaching people how their health can be improved by tapping into natures abundance. In my mind, there is no separation between nature and health, they are dependant upon each other. I believe we can never be truly healthy without spending time in nature and caring for the environment.
Once we embrace how abundant nature is and how much we depend on mother earth for our health and wellbeing, we begin to understand how important it is for us to give back by caring for the earth.
This is why I am am passionate about educating my clients to work with the cycles and rhythms of nature to take better care of their health.
The natural cycles of night and day, the lunar cycle, and the seasons of the year all have subtle yet important influences on our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Natures's daily rhythm
Every day our circadian rhythm dictates the timing of all of our biological functions such as sleeping, waking, hormone secretion and temperature regulation. The health benefits from practising a regular sleep-wake pattern and eating within a structured daily framework can't be overstated.
It is my passion to help people understand their circadian rhythms and live in a daily cycle that nourishes body and soul.
As we have become increasingly isolated from the rhythms of our healthy daily cycles, it's no surprise that diseases of modern civilisation, such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancers, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue and autoimmune conditions are rising.
Natures seasonal rhythms
Each year we experience the changing of the seasons. With the seasons come changes in temperatures, hours of daylight, and the animals, fruits and vegetables that are around us. Birds, animals and insects naturally change their patterns as the seasons change and we should too.
Nature is a classroom and the teacher.
There are many ways to work with the seasons to keep healthy such as modifying the way we eat and exercise throughout the year. When we are out of sync with the seasons and the daily rhythm of nature we can experience stress, depression, insomnia, weight gain and chronic disease.
Eating seasonally ensures that we consume a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables and grains and this has a positive impact on our microbiome. You can read more about the microbiome and balancing our gut bacteria in another blog: what is gut dysbiosis.
Nature's monthly rhythms
The moon orbits around the earth on a 28.6 day cycle, bringing with it changes in tides and influencing the water in our bodies and within the soil. I have been fascinated by the tides since I was a child and have experienced the value in working with the soil and the garden, and also with human health according to the cycles of the moon.
There have been studies to show that the lunar phases might affect our blood glucose regulation, exercise performance, sleep duration and blood pressure, although the science is still in it's infancy.
I love to help women engage with their monthly menstrual cycles and learn how to work with their periods, rather than against them. The menstrual cycle is one of our primary markers of good health. I encourage women to embrace their menstrual cycle as a tool for nurturing good habits around eating and exercising, resting and self-care. For men, and also for women who no longer menstruate, I can show you how to use the lunar cycle and the changing seasons to develop a structure for long term great health.
Experiencing nature's rhythms for ourselves
A simple stroll on an isolated stretch of beach, or a energetic hike along a mossy bush track distracts us from the busy-ness of our lives and promotes feels of wellbeing. These feelings come from many of the aspects of nature that we are sensing.
The more time I spend in and around nature, the more I am in awe of the health benefits that are gifted to us, free of charge.
We sense nature through our feet, our skin, with our hearing and sight and the incredible smell of 'fresh'. When we spend time in nature we can experience many emotions and sensations such as awe, exhilaration, relaxation and curiosity. This connection with nature reduces our stress levels and nourishes our mental health.
Working with nature's cycles
The concept of honouring the cycles of nature is an important backdrop to the therapeutic work I do with my clients. I love to support women to work with natural cycles to maintain their health long term.
When we look to nature as medicine we find sunshine, food, plant medicine, shade.
The rhythm of natural cycles offers us a structure within which we can plan and order our daily and seasonal activities so they become sustainable healthy habits. If you would like to understand how to work with nature to become healthier, please book in for a consultation.
I look forward to working with you.
Hi! I'm Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach. I am also a foodie and an advocate for a whole food diet.
The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.
This blog is for information only and not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.