Do you celebrate Earth Day? As we become more conscious about what we put into the environment as well as in and on our bodies, we couldn’t help but think about how we can take advantage of nature to refresh and renew ourselves, both inside and out, all year long – not just on Earth Day. Our planet offers four wonderfully healing elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Let’s explore how they benefit us:
1. Fire – The element Fire – including light and heat – can be very beneficial if harnessed in the right way. Sitting by a warm fire or bonfire or just enjoying candlelight can really help us unwind and de-stress. Here are some other ways that fire can be our friend:
- Heat is relaxing – It can relax and soothe sore, tense muscles and help heal damaged tissue by increasing blood flow. This is why spas and medical centers offer saunas as part of their wellness programs.
- Sunlight is important – Our bodies respond well to the healing light and warmth of the sun – if enjoyed in moderation (using sunscreen). It boosts our immune system, enhances our mood, and reduces depression and stress.
- Sun rays are healing – Sun exposure can also help treat several skin conditions, too. Doctors have recommended UV radiation exposure to treat psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne.
- Light is therapeutic – Because of the benefits of controlled exposure to heat and light, the medical community has discovered that different levels of laser (focused light) applications can help treat various health and skin conditions.
2. Water – What would we do without this essential element? If we’re feeling low or tired, a few sips of water is often all it takes to bring us back to life! There are so many benefits of water that it would take a separate blog to list all of them but here are a few:
- Water boosts your energy – water carries revitalizing oxygen and important nutrients to all of the cells in your body, giving you energy and vitality.
- Water lowers stress – Did you know that your brain is 70-80% water? So you can imagine how being thirsty affects it. By staying well-hydrated you can stay calm, focused, and reduce mental stress.
- Water nourishes your skin – Drinking plenty of water hydrates your skin cells and plumps them up, giving your face look a more youthful appearance. It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, helping your skin glow.
- Water improves regularity– Along with fiber, water is important for good digestion.
- Soaking in water is soothing – There is nothing like a soak in a hot bath or jacuzzi to soothe strained or aching muscles and melt stress away. Civilizations have been using various temperatures of water as well as spring and mineral baths for therapeutic purposes going back to ancient Greece and Rome where the Latin phrase “Sanitas Per Aquas” (health through water) originated – and from which the abbreviation “spa” probably came from.
3. Earth – Our Mother Earth provides everything we need to stay happy and healthy. In honor of Earth Day some wellness activities could include:
- Going on a nature walk – A walk in a park, forest, or by the sea can work wonders for resetting yourself and enhancing your well-being.
- Gardening – Doing some gardening or just repotting your plants is great exercise and uplifting for your spirit.
- Making herbal tea – Make yourself a nice cup of (preferably organic) herbal tea. Many herbs such as chamomile, echinacea, lemon balm, and peppermint have beneficial, healing properties.
- Treating yourself to a face mask – Mud, clay, charcoal, and other naturally-derived face masks have been used as skin treatments for centuries across the world and in various cultures. They are now used at spas, med spas, and at home for their purifying and rejuvenating benefits.
4. Air – Before you do anything else – even read another word of this blog – take a deep breath! Not everyone on our planet has access to clean fresh air so let’s take a moment and breath in some gratitude. Our need for air is obvious, but we may not be taking time to really reap all of the benefits that oxygen can provide such as:
- Getting fresh air – Simply getting out and getting some fresh air is good for us on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Helping us relax – Yoga, meditation and therapeutic movement include deep breathing. This is because deep breathing slows our heart rate, brings more oxygen into our bloodstream, and ultimately communicates with the brain to relax.
- Enhancing happiness – Getting plenty of air also ups your endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical. And being happy keeps you healthy and young!
- Reducing pain – Endorphins also help the body combat or at least reduce pain – especially during strenuous exercise.
- Detoxifying the body – Oxygen helps purify and carry out unwanted toxins from our system which is important for our heart, digestive, and skin health.
We hope this post will inspire you to take advantage of all the benefits nature has to offer you year-round, so you can optimize your health, rejuvenate your body, revitalize your skin and enhance your overall well-being. Happy Earth Day!