What on earth is natural health zen?
Natural Health Zen
To start, zen is a term that refers to a personal form of
enlightenment that allows you to reach your own form of
Natural health zen is an approach to health using your
education, information and your values in a natural, or
nature-based way in order to reach your most perfect state
of health and wellness!
Part of this approach can also include meditation as a
Meditation is well-known to reduce stress, your heart
rate, your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and even
asthma and pain! (See last month's newsletter "Meditation
and pain relief - is there a link?" for more information.)
Meditation can also help you be more productive at work
and have improved concentration to study and focus on
tasks more effectively.
If you are an athlete, or even someone who has just
started a fabulous new exercise program, it might interest
you to know that meditation can also improve your physical
reaction time, your stamina, and your self-discipline!
On top of all those benefits, any form of zen meditation
can also help improve your mood, your sense of empathy for
others and your self-esteem!
So how can you incorporate some form of meditation into
your natural health program?
Start by finding a good time to do it. Pick sometime
during your day that you can reserve and preserve just for
meditation, like the first few minutes of the morning or
last moments before bed.
It should also be in a very comfortable place, where you
can relax and be at ease.
If you can find a place outside to meditate, that is
great! Sometimes, especially in a big city, that isn't so
easy; if you can't go outside, try to find a spot that has
fresh air circulating through.
Some people like to meditate in silence while others
prefer some music in the background. Either way is fine,
and there are certainly loads of guided meditation CDs out
there that may be very useful to you.
For beginners, most meditation teachers emphasize focusing
on the breath. One way to approach this is to breathe with
your abdomen. If you watch a baby breathe, their stomach
expands and lowers. Opening up in this way pulls down the
diaphragm, a muscle that lies below the lungs. This allows
your lungs to expand and get full of fresh air.
This is also the way professional singers and speakers are
trained to breathe because it increases the efficiency and
the power of the breath and the voice.
Once you have gotten the correct breathing pattern down,
you will want to stay focused on your breathing. How do
you do that? By counting.
Count to four on your inhalation, and then gently hold
your breath for a count of eight. Count again to eight as
you slowly exhale.
Repeat this for as long as you are meditating.
Many meditation teachers suggest you inhale through your
nose and exhale through your mouth. But why focus on your
breathing at all?
Breathing deeply allows you to inhale all the oxygen you
can - and thus blow out all the carbon dioxide you can.
That helps to clear your body AND to recharge it! After
all, every cell in your body needs oxygen to survive and
tries to clear out all the carbon dioxide it can.
Don't forget, your brain cells need oxygen too!
The deep breathing ensures that your brain is fully
supplied with oxygen.
The other reason to focus on your breathing is that so
many people who are trying to learn to meditate have a
problem with the concept of "emptying the mind" which is
pretty central to meditation.
If you focus on just your breathing, it is one way to at
least almost empty your mind.
With practice, the breathing becomes automatic and you
already know that you can keep focused on a single
objective, so the next step - focusing on a single object
like a flower or a candle - is much easier.
Natural zen health also has to do with your food and your
It's a simple concept: live as much as possible within
nature and use only natural ingredients for your food,
natural medicines only when you need them and natural
materials everywhere you can.
Now, we all know that it is more complicated than this...
Unless you decide to become a hermit on top of some
mountain, you have to earn a living and interact with
The key here is to have your own space as close as
possible to nature.
Studies have shown that the more in touch we are with
nature, the healthier we all tend to be.
Find a space, and allow nature to come into it! Or, go out
into nature as often as you can. This doesn't have to be
the wilderness; you can benefit by going into the
neighborhood park or into your own backyard!
While it is not always simple, it can be done. And, the
rewards can be a healthier, happier and more fulfilled
Use as many natural products as you can: 100% cotton, hemp
or silk for your clothes, hemp rugs for your floor, and
natural wood for your furniture. Eat as many natural,
whole foods as you can; if it is processed or ready-made,
don't eat it!
Living as natural a life as you can, following the day and
night cycle as much as you can, eating natural foods,
practicing meditation and going into nature as often as
possible is not always easy. But, the more of these things
you are able to do, chances are good you will see the
effects in a healthier body and mind!
That seems like a goal worth striving for, doesn't it?
P.S. Did you know that super-foods are the world's best
natural health supplements?
Try them to find out for yourself here:
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