Touch of life…

Have you ever noticed what is the first thing we always do when we hurt ourselves or some part of our body aches?
We put our hand on it!
If we have an upset stomach, we are very likely to massage it with circular movements (which, by the way, usually follow the same direction of our bowels!)… Our body knows very well that touching and massage are an instant source of healing!
And what about our mind and soul? Well, isn’t a hug the first thing we do with someone who is upset? And even with strangers, a hand on the shoulder is an instinctive way to say to the other person “I’m with you, I feel for you, I’m here to help”…

There are numerous scientific studies which show that touch is an important form of communication and healing. In several studies conducted in 1999 by Tiffany Field, it was found that there is a correlation between the amount of physical contact among adolescents and level of aggression. American teenagers, who have a lower level of physical touch with each other, are more aggressive than French adolescents, who have a higher level of physical contact.

In other studies it has been proven that newborn babies who are touched and caressed more are more likely to smile and vocalize than cry.

Brielle and Kyrie Jackson of Westminster, Massachusetts were born premature on the 17th of October 1995 and they were put in separate humidity cribs. Kyrie was doing fine, but Brielle who was lighter than her sister, was definitively struggling with weight, heart rate and breathing and she was under a great deal of stress. After a few days, fearing for Brielle’s life, the nurses decided to put the two babies in the same humidity crib and as soon as they did that Brielle snuggled up to her sister and her heart beat relaxed down immediately and this photo made headlines everywhere in the Internet!

In many hospitals nurses are now taught to use “Healing Touch” a technique which has been “promoted” from the status of “alternative therapy” to that of “complementary therapy”. Healing Touch is a form of very gentle massage that has shown to be beneficial to lower blood pressure, relax down patients and decrease pain so that a lesser amount of painkillers have to be given.

The amazing thing about touch and massage, however, is that you don’t need to be a massage therapist in order to soothe a loved one (little Kyrie Jackson in the above photo is certainly too young to be a massage therapist, yet she saved her little sister’s life!!)…

So tomorrow morning on waking up, make sure to give your partner, or your kid a big smile, a loving warm hug and then give them a crunchy apple to munch on!

It will be a gorgeous start of the day for them but also for you, because as the famous American cartoonist Bil Keane said:

“A hug is like a boomerang, you get it straight back!!”   🙂


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Cobbler’s peg: a weedy precious gift from Mother Nature…

Have you noticed how much time we spend weeding the garden from all these “pest” plants that stubbornly keep on popping up regardless of how many sprays and powders and liquids we use in trying to get rid of them?

And, on the other hand, we stubbornly try to grow the plants that WE want and put in the soil fertilizers, growth-helping potions, cow manure and still our little plants still look struggling and not very happy?

Maybe we should stop and ponder… “Are we doing something wrong? Is this patch of land trying to tell me something?”…

The Cobbler’s Peg is a perfect example… Probably everyone of us had the experience, some time or another, to get stuck in the black spiky seeds of the Bidens Pilosa (its botanical name) and trying to get rid of them from your jumper or your socks is not exactly my idea of a nice pastime!!

However, the Bidens Pilosa is actually an incredibly potent herb and its therapeutic uses have been widely known by many different cultures in South America and Africa where the Cobbler’s Peg is native.

Its leaves, which have a slightly nutty flavour, can be used raw in salads, or dried and used as a tea. The sap of the plant can be used to treat burns, and crushed leaves on a wound are known to speed up blood clotting and healing. The tea is used to treat headache, stomach ulcers and diarrhea.

In recent studies (1990 and 1995) a hot water extract of Bidens Pilosa has shown to inhibit the growth of some tumors and to have some significant anti-leukemic action.

Other important properties of the Cobbler’s Peg are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory…

So, next time you set out to do some gardening, have a good look around and try to find out what weeds are pestering your beautiful garden… it might be a weedy precious gift from Mother Nature!!

If you are just starting to get to know some herbs and their uses, this book is a must! It lists some of the more common plants and it gives very useful suggestions on how to use them, in your cooking or for therapeutic purposes. It is also full of very nice illustrations which makes it really easy for the non-experts to identify quickly a plant…
A little warning: once you start knowing different plants and their properties you will find it really difficult to look at them as “weeds” again!! Happy reading and Happy Herbing!!

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A day spent without smiling is a day lost…

Unfortunately the author of this quote in unknown, but there is so much truth is in these words!! There are hundreds of scientific studies that show that people who are happier are also healthier… Once again, our body, mind and spirit are intrinsically connected, so it makes sense that if your mind and your spirit are happy, your body will follow and it will be much healthier!! Think of the organization which sends clown in the hospital because they discovered that people heal faster if they are in a good and positive mood…
A lot of research has been conducted to explore why some people seem to be happier than others, and the results all point to 4 main factors:
1. Happy people like themselves, they have a high level of self esteem and self love
2. They are usually extroverted, which means they get energized by being around other people. Extroverted people also have a tendency to think at the same time as they talk (which could cause some problems in some situations… :))
3. Happy people feel that they are in control of their life. The concept of being in control of one’s life is a tricky one, as some people might say “Well, if I had a better job, or a better house or a different partner, I too would feel in control of my life!”. However, feeling in control of one’s life has a lot to do with taking responsibility of what we do, we say, we choose for ourselves…
4. Happy people are commonly optimistic… They live with the belief that “As one door closes another one opens”!
Now, let’s make a little step further… Did you actually know that if you fell a bit sad, or down, or don’t feel very well and you actually smile rather than frown, the smiling position of your face muscles will be recorded by your brain as happy and in a few minutes you will start feeling much better? A beautiful smile is not just a message that we send out to other people to let them know we are friendly and happy, it is also a message that we can send to our body, mind and spirit to pick ourselves up!

One more step… A smile is highly contagious!! If you smile to a stranger in the street, most likely they will smile back and people will always be drawn more easily towards a person who smiles rather than a person who looks serious!

And as another unknown author rightly said:

Smile! Because you never know who is going to fall in love with your smile…!

Wayne Dyer is a great writer and he has the amazing ability of explaining things so easily that I often find, while reading his books, saying to myself “Of course!! Why didn’t I think of this before?”… But the best characteristic of Wayne Dyer and his books is that everything he writes about he has experienced and applied to his own life, family and friends, so when you read his books you can actually see the journey that brought him to a particular conclusion, and often you find similarities with what’s happening in your life… A complete pleasure to read and a great way to start smiling more!!

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5 more reasons to grab an apple today!

1. Stronger immune system. Apples contain vitamin C which is very important to help the body heal itself.  Vitamin C also helps preventing bleeding gums and easy bruising.

2. Healthy heart. Apples are also rich in flavonoids which are there to protect the fruit from microbes, fungi and insects. Flavonoids have been known for a long time to have an extremely beneficial effects in our body to protect us from cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer.

3. Lowers cholesterol. Pectin in apples works in two ways to control and lower cholesterol. On one hand it latches onto LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) in the digestive tract and flushes it out from the body. On the other hand it prevents the liver from producing more LDL cholesterol, therefore lowering your total amount of “bad” cholesterol. In one study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, it has been shown that people who were eating 1 large apple daily lowered their cholesterol by as much as 11%!

4. Healthy lungs. In an another study by the University of Nottingham it has been found that people who ate an average of 5 apples a week had a much lower incidence of respiratory problems, including asthma.

5. Protects the brain. The phytonutrients in the apples have proven to be an excellent preventative of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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An apple a day…

Many of the things we were told when we were kids have a deep amount of truth in them… Apples are an incredible fruit and they are a very healthy way to start the day with the first portion of daily fruit!!

Give the apple a good scrub with water and some soap, rinse it well and then eat it without peeling it. Vitamins in the apple, as well as in the majority of fruit and veggies, are immediately under the skin so if you peel it and throw it away you are actually missing out on a great amount of the vitamins and minerals that the fruit or the vegetable contains…

Make sure that you also try to eat some of the seeds of the apple, as they contain a powerful substance which helps the body fighting cancer…

Eating fruit first thing in the morning is also a very valuable healthy habit because the fruit, which is also a good source of fibre, goes straight into your system after the overnight fasting, providing you some fructose for energy and fibre to cleanse the system. It is always much better to eat fruit with an empty stomach… so, tomorrow morning start your day with a nice juicy apple!!

An excellent book to learn more about fruit and how to eat is Dr. Paul Gross “Superfruits”. Easy to ready but packed with facts and ideas this book is a must to learn all about the wonders that fruit can do for us!

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We are all made of energy, our bodies, our minds, our spirits and the foods we eat are energy and continuously produce and exchange their energies to revitalize us, heal us and make us happy… Actually happiness is a constant flow of positive energy within ourselves. In this blog you will learn how to use, produce and improve your own energy by eating energetically healthy foods and by introducing a few simple habits in your life… Welcome to the Earthly Energies…!

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