Every summer I take my long needed vacation to the sea. This powerful source of nature yields some of the most essential healing tools and additional benefits that are hard to compare with anything else. We already know the necessary and soothing abilities water offers.
The mysterious and amazing healing power of water has been utilized for centuries. Water cleanses, refreshes and restores all life. We are always drawn to water. Be it a soothing fountain, majestic waterfall or the churning sea. Water is a carrier. It flows. It moves along the line of least resistance to find its way to the ocean where it comes and goes in the ebb and flow of tides and waves. The appeal is inexplicable! We crave water, maybe because our bodies are made up of a large percent of it. Maybe because we instinctively know how it can heal us.
Here are some of the best tools and tips the sea can offer:
1. Sun - is the best source of Vitamin D. More than 15-20 minutes can be harmful when you are not protected. The sun is the source of all life and it sure feels good on our face, especially after a long, cold winter. Prevention and precautions are the most important methods when you go out in the sun. Applying sunscreen (SPF 15, at least), wear UV-protective sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun will help avoid this problem. Stay out of the sun when it's high in the sky; this is when the UV rays are more intense (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Choose clothing that covers your skin - hats, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts. Pure aloe vera rubbed into the skin can help to heal. Take antioxidants to help block the chemical reactions that can trigger cancer's uncontrolled cell growth.
2. Sand - is a natural exfoliator. These finely ground seashells become an amazing tool for cleansing your skin. Wet your skin in the sea and rub it gently all over your skin. Use some in a bowl to create a Zen garden or sea display.
3. Salt Water - the healing abilities of salt water are profound and well documented. Salt water is an astringent and speeds wound healing. A cup or handful of water in your hand or neti pot is a wonderful cleansing therapy. Slowly inhale the salt water into your nose to cleanse your sinus and open up the air passages. Floating in sea water is an extreme release of tension and stress of the day. Allow yourself to float weightlessly in the water. You deserve it.
4. Sponge - a natural cleanser and exfoliator, sponge can be dried in the sun and placed in your decorative bowl or on the bathtub. Rewet your sponge and use it in the bath or shower.
5. Coral - comes in many forms. When this beautiful "art of the sea" washes up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it's beauty can be awe inspiring. Coral is rich in calcium. This "stone" can be used as pumice to exfoliate dead skin cells, bring blood and circulation back to the feet when used as a massage stone and can make a wonderful decorative piece.
6. Sea Air - deep breathing of ocean air helps us to relax and let go. The faint smell of salt in the air can take us to a place of pure joy. Sea air has a certain aliveness found no where else. This deep breathing can help release tension and the problems associated with it.
7. Exercise - yoga, body toning, running on the beach, breath exercises are all great ways to stay fit and take advantage of all the outdoor activities offered us in the summer. Make them enjoyable to you. In the summer months it is a good idea to exercise early in the morning or late afternoon. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after activities to ensure hydration.
8. Seaweed - rich in iodine, and other minerals, seaweed and other sea vegetables are fat-free, low calorie and one of the richest sources of minerals in the vegetable kingdom since they have access to the abundance of minerals in the sea. One of seaweed's most beneficial health properties is its ability to remove radioactive strontium as well as heavy metals from the body. Seaweed is generally categorized into brown and red algae. Seaweed can also be ground into a wonderful exfoliant and used in mineral and mud treatments.
9. Seashells - these magnificent works of Universal creation are wonders to behold. Finding and searching them out is a great past time that can last for hours, take us away from ourselves and gives us a care free adventure that is rewarding on many levels. Your favorites can be taken home and cleansed. They can make beautiful decorative pieces. Display them in a bowl. Place them in any room in the house, especially rooms with water. Seashells are natural vessels that can be used for cleansing and make a great carrier for sage or incense. They can be placed on your personal alter as a reminder of good times or as a tribute to nature and all her powers.
10. Stress relief - the best combination for stress is combining the above element of light, air and surf to create the best prescription for good health and relaxation. Take advantage of any of the above suggestions. They will melt away stress and bring you back to nature. Leave your laptop and cell phone behind (for once, please!)
Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac http://www.peacefulmind.com/newsletter.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
1. Sundance Natural Foods, Inc. "Neptune's Garden - Vegetables of the Sea".
2. Shirley's Wellness Cafe's "Water the Great Healer".