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Author: Sheila Wallace
Title: How I see Nature Cure

Nature Cure is not something static but rather, it is a flexible and developing way of life, capable of growth and change, depending on the needs of the individual at any given time. It is a way, not only of living but also of thinking, understanding and responding. It is about examining our needs - physical, emotional and spiritual - and it is an on-going process. A learning process, hopefully undertaken with as much love, understanding and compassion as possible, not only directed towards others but towards ourselves too. How often do we remain stuck, weighed down, stagnant even, because we hold on to our negative habits, negative ways of being and thinking, which stifle us as human beings?

As humans - fearfully and wonderfully made! - nature cure recognises that we function not just on a physical level but on an emotional and spiritual plane too. It is in striving to maintain balance, wholeness and wholesomeness in these three aspects of our being that we come to health.

Looking at each in turn, the physical is, in many ways, the easiest area in which to make changes. There is no mystique. The ideas are simple and unadorned. Once the logic and practice are understood, they are increasingly easy to carry out and increasingly enjoyable and beneficial.

Food should be wholesome, natural and fresh whenever possible, home-grown,organic vegetables being the ideal. A raw salad is the most important meal of the day. Because such food is full of nutritious, beneficial liquid, we keep stress on the kidneys to a minimum by limiting drinks to around 3 cups per day ( in a way, we 'eat' our liquids! ) and we do not see any use for salt in food.

We use hydrotherapy ( hot & cold water ) for sprains, burns, cuts and similar injuries and we use compresses during a healing crisis. A healing crisis is any acute condition such as a rash or a cold, where the body is making efforts to cleanse itself of waste products which accumulate for all kinds of reasons in the process of living. We see such processes as beneficial , to be welcomed as a way of the body keeping itself clean and vital. A favourite nature cure adage is from one of our 'Founding Fathers', Hendry Lindlahr, who said, ' There is no such thing as a cure-all, but if there were, it would be cold water, properly applied. '

We use massage, deep-breathing, relaxation and understanding, as ways to minimise pain and stress and we advocate an hour's brisk walk each day as a way of keeping bones strong, blood oxygenated, vital organs stimulated and joints mobile.

Clothing, footwear and bedding, as well as cleaning products, gardening methods and life-style habits generally, should be as natural as possible. The concept is to ' go with ' Nature and to listen to our own bodies, rather than to fight against natural processes.

Emotional factors also play a significant role in our well-being, and understanding this is a necessary element in attaining real health. We acknowledge the part which our background experiences play in our symptoms, as well as our present-day relationships. Emotions - positive and negative - actually produce chemical changes in the blood which can be measured and these impinge on our physical processes.

The spiritual aspect of our humanity can easily be over-looked when considering our health; this embraces the ethical or moral dimension of our living and being, whether we have a religious faith or not. It is about who we are and what we stand for.

A Nature Cure approach allows room for development, growth and change. It encourages every aspect of our being to blossom - if we allow it. Paul's observation in 1 Corinthians ch13 v13, is in every way applicable to our health: ' And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.'

We can attend to the physical aspects of health, and to the emotional too, but without unconditional love, for ourselves and for others, true health will remain elusive.