In Natural Medicine we follow these laws to achieve optimal health.
They are simple and complex at the same time. If we take Earth as an immense ecosystem in constant change, their meaning is to sustain life in general. They are mandatory keys to keep things in harmony.
You find the laws of health in the acronym NEW START
Nutrition: the cornerstone.
Nutrition is not only necessary, but also fundamental for the maintenance of a good life.
Food is the first thing that comes out of one’s mind, when the word ‘nutrition’ is pronounced.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, nutrition is ‘the process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be health’.
The ‘right’ food is the one that nourishes the body and brings peace to the spirit. The ‘wrong’ food is just something to fill the maw.
Sapolsky (1994, p.6) states that an appropriate nutrition, not just in accordance with the nutritional need, but with the emotional need as well, is important to keep the body in an optimal equation.
Together with the other laws, nutrition plays a role in the whole body health. If something is wrong in terms of diet, the whole organism suffers and it will respond in many different ways. Discharges, allergies, vomit and diarrhea are usually responses to malnutrition.
Exercise for the body, mind and spirit. Nothing is truer than Einstein’s quote “life is movement”.
There are two types of circulatory systems in animals. The blood and the lymph. To keep them in a good shape, exercise is mandatory.
The lymph system is twice the size of the blood system. It’s the lymph system that cleans the organism from its waste. This system has to be circulating to do its work. Physical exercise is vital to keep the lymph fluids circulating.
As well as physical, mental (e.g. reading) and spiritual (e.g. positive thoughts and attitude) exercises are also essential for health.
Water to wet, wash, clean, treat, cure and drink. The act of drinking water reveals a secret: survival. While eliminating water, via urine, sweat or breathing reveals another: detoxification (Hirsch, 2011, p. 47).
From the lymph fluids to the rain watering the plants, water is essential for life. According to Lindlahr (1975) pure water is an elementary remedy.
Sun to grow plants, activate cells, heat, light. We all know that sun, the central star of our solar system, is essential for the life of all living beings. The sun is the source of heat and light. It plays a key role in the maintenance of good health. It provides the energy the skin needs to make vitamin D, which acts on calcium and phosphorus metabolism, preventing rickets. This vitamin is actually a precursor hormone and it is not found ready in most foods.
Temperance. Not so much. Not so little. But balance. It’s easy to write about temperance because words can tell anything. But, when it comes to the real life, everything changes.
Temperance is subjective and it has a different meaning from person to person.
In the Animal Kingdom, it's inherent and so it’s for the humans too; however in the modern world, competitiveness took out our sense of moderation. Find your balance and respect the balance of your animal companions.
Fresh air is also an elementary remedy offered by Nature with no costs. Pure and fresh air to breath, refresh and heal. The healing process of the exposure of wounds to air and light with no antiseptic treatment has already been widely reported.
Rest. Sleep deprivation and altered sleep patterns are major stressors (Sapolsky, 1994). Proper rest is also essential to the maintenance of the good health. Among other things, during sleep the blood pressure is ideal, the body releases hormone secretions and connects memory. This is an important time to strengthen the immune system.
Trust in yourself, in the Divine, in Life. Our companion animals trust us to look after them.
Faith doesn’t need a ritual. We all are ‘body, mind and spirit’ entities living in distinct bodies. The connection with a place, where everything is subtler, makes life easier, and such place can be your very own heart.
Trust comes together with gratitude and reciprocity. It brings peace.
What happens if the laws of health are not respected or something causes them to be broken? If that happens, the body will be out of its balance or in the allopathic aspect, the body will be sick.
Too often modern medicine recommends drastic intervention before checking whether the patient adhering to these eight simple rules. Keep them in mind and make it part of your daily checklist. ;)
Lindlahr, H. (1975). Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics. London, UK: Random House UK Ltd.
Sapolsky, Robert M. (1994). Why Zebras Don’t Ge Ulcers. The acclaimed guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping. (pp. 6, 13, 17-35). New York, USA: St. Martin’s Griffin.
Hirsch, Sonia (2011). Meditando na Cozinha. Crônicas e Receitas. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Correcotia Ed.
I am a Portuguese writer with certifications on Small Animal Nutrition.