Shinrin-yoku: Forest Bathing for Health
Shinrin-yoku is alive and well today; the word has entered the Japanese lexicon. At present there are 44 locations approved as "forest therapy bases." These are sites that have been not only the subject of human research indicating benefits to stress physiology; a team of experts from the Japanese Forest Therapy Executive Committee ensures other criteria are met before designation, including accessibility, accommodation (if remote) cultural landmarks, historical sites,, variety of food choices, and comfort stations. Chiba University’s Miyazaki, who played a massive role in taking shinrin-yoku from a throwback marketing concept to credible preventive medicine intervention, continues to perform research and is now looking at the physiological effects of time spent in Tokyo's major urban parks.
Even in a hospital setting, a recent study of cardio-pulmonary patients (published in Clinical Rehabilitation in 2011) showed that patients who had an unobstructed view of nature self-reported higher levels of health. Additional studies, specifically in those recovering an appendectomy and randomly assigned to a room with a dozen small potted plants, the use of pain medications was significantly lower than that of their counterparts in rooms with no potted plants; they also had lower blood pressure and heart rate, and rated their pain to be much lower. As well, those who had plants in their rooms had comparatively higher energy levels, more positive thoughts, and lower levels of anxiety. Also, Norwegian research shows that having a plant at or within view of an office workstation significantly decreases the risk of sick leave. And, installing plants within a radiology department of a hospital reduced short-term sick leave by 60 percent.
Medical doctors, including Franklin B. Hough, reported in early U.S. medical journals that forests have a "cheerful and tranquilizing influence which they exert upon the mind, more especially when worn down by mental labor." Individuals report that forests are the perfect landscape to cultivate what are called transcendent experiences—these are unforgettable moments of extreme happiness, of attunement to that outside the self, and moments that are ultimately perceived as very important to the individual.
In 1982, the Forest Agency of the Japanese government premiered its shinrin-yoku plan. In Japanese shinrin means forest, and yoku, although it has several meanings, refers here to a "bathing, showering or basking in." More broadly, it is defined as "taking in, in all of our senses, the forest atmosphere." The program was established to encourage the populace to get out into nature, to literally bathe the mind and body in greenspace, and take advantage of public owned forest networks as a means of promoting health. Some 64 percent of Japan is occupied by forest, so there is ample opportunity to escape the megacities that dot its landscape.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: If you can't make it out to a local forest, park, greenspace, or greenhouse, and you're cut off from houseplants and flowers, use Clean Sweep to get you through the day. It de-stresses, and calms, as it neutralizes all forms of negative energies in the environment.
Yes, But Why Does Yoga Actually Work?
We all know that yoga does a body (and a mind) good. But up until recently, no one could really say with any degree of certainty why—or even how—it improves conditions as varied as depression and anxiety, diabetes, chronic pain, and even epilepsy.
Now a group of researchers at Boston University School of Medicine believe they’ve discovered yoga’s secret. In an article published in the May 2012 issue of Medical Hypotheses journal under an impossibly long title, Chris Streeter, PhD, and her team hypothesize that yoga works by regulating the nervous system. And how does it do that? By increasing vagal tone—the body’s ability to successfully respond to stress.
Most of us don’t even know we have a vagus that needs toning, but we most certainly do. The vagus nerve, the largest cranial nerve in the body, starts at the base of the skull and wanders throughout the whole body, influencing the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Often thought of as our "air traffic controller," the vagus nerve helps to regulate all our major bodily functions. Our breath, heart rate, and digestion—as well as our ability to take in, process, and make sense of our experiences—are all directly related to the vagus nerve.
We know when the vagus nerve is toned and functioning properly because we can feel it on different levels: Our digestion improves, our heart functions optimally, and our moods stabilize. Researchers hypothesize that it is vagal stimulation through yoga that improves these conditions.
To test their theory, the researchers investigated practices they believed would increase vagal tone. For example, they found that resistance breathing, such as ujjayi pranayama, increases the relaxation response, as well as heart rate variability (another marker of resilience). And a pilot study conducted on more experienced yogis showed that chanting Om out loud increased vagal tone and the relaxation response more than chanting it silently to oneself. Studies such as this one begin to reveal how different yogic practices impact human physiology in different ways.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Similar clinical trials were done by naturopaths using our E-1 Stress Relief Formula on PTSD and acute traumas. E-1 caused marked changes in the physiology and electrical characteristics of those tested; calming the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems immediately. Excellent to have on hand for first aid!
Clearest Evidence Yet: We're in a Giant Hologram
In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. Nothing has disproved this theory since, and last month, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan, when running computational models of black holes, he discovered the computations matched Maldacena's. This, in effect, demonstrates two completely different models of the universe are consistent with one another. As one jumps further down the rabbit hole of what all this means, as Dr. R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, has, you come to some conclusions...
"A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a 'mental' construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: 'The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.'"
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Wrapping ones' head around such concepts is one way to create awe in your life, which has been shown to be highly beneficial in many ways both emotionally and physically. Amplify this effect by using our Meditation Elixirs.
Use the Life Energy Pack System
The four subtle energy infused formulas making up the Life Energy Pack represent a NEW WAY of thinking about family health and first aid. It's an easy system to remember, and can create some highly beneficial results! The system: E-1 - Nerves, nervous system; E-2 - Digestion, internal organs; E-3 - Pain relief topical lotion; E-4 - Immune System and amplifier. These versatile formulas are used by hundreds of naturopaths worldwide to stabilize, de-traumatize, and regulate all manner of physical symptoms and conditions. You only need to know the FOUR THINGS these formulas address, and you're mostly there with a solid system of creating well-being. For now through the month of November, get an additional $10 off the Life Energy Pack (regularly $90), and try it for yourself! Use discount code LEP10 when you check out through the shopping cart.
E-3 Is Now Available on 30-Day Auto-Ship!
Both sizes are available: 2 oz. travel size and the 4 oz. regular. You also receive a discount for ordering on our autoship program: $10.00 for 2 oz. travel size (reg. $13.00), and $19.00 for 4 oz. (reg. $25.00). Never run out just because you forgot to order. Discontinue at anytime (just send us an email or call). Also, remember we offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more, which applies to our autoship program. We look forward to making sure you always have E3 on hand! (MORE INFO)
"Stone of Clarity"
Spiritually: Cleanses the aura allowing the soul's light to shine out. Removes blockages in and activates the crown chakra linking it to divine light. It reminds you of your soul's aspirations and aids spiritual evolution.
Emotionally: Imparts fearlessness, invincibility and fortitude. Clears emotional and mental pain, reduces fear and brings about new beginnings. Stimulates the imagination and inventiveness.
Mentally: Provides a link between the intellect and the higher mind. Brings clarity of mind and aids enlightenment.
Physically: May be useful for a broad range of brain conditions, brain tumors, problems with the pituitary and pineal glands, conditions of the mid-brain, other brain imbalances and left-right brain disorders including autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, physical coordination and visual problems. Traditionally used to possibly counteract poisons. May help glaucoma, clears sight.
Trinity Diamond Elixir is on sale for a month for 30% off with discount code DIA30 (enter the code in the indicated box as you checkout through the website shopping cart--offer good until 11/15/16).