Once long ago, I wrote about health in the Andes:
Evening mists rose like white smoke from the dense jungle in tiny cyclones of purity that masked the deep green below. Evening shadows played purple harmonies on sharp angles in a distant mountain ridge while bird songs carried cosmic visions of nature’s perfect order in their tunes. A sun warmed breeze rose from the valley with pungent tales of life and death and the mystic reality of life’s richness in the setting sun.
At that time Merri and I had just returned from living at our Ecuador Andean plantation, Rosaspamba.
I included this picture of our front yard at Rosaspamba:
The view is spectacular but this photo is significant because the first Ecuador health tip is to use water for better health. The picture of our front yard is significant because it shows…
The year we lived at Rosaspamba with the Taita Yatchak was an El Nino year… so it rained almost continually. The Yatchack had us walk in the mists every morning… take a cold shower (there was no electricity so this was not hard) and then dry in the cool open air.
He believed that the negative ions in the mists absorbed free radicals and cleansed us from the outside in.
This was cold but invigorating and refreshing.
Excepts below from an article “Five health benefits of cold water swimming” that our son Jake sent us suggest that immersion in cold water is a health benefit as well.
Jake and I believe in cold water immersion. Here we are one winter in our North Carolina creek!
Here is the excerpt: If you had to assign one attribute to the kind of people who jump into ice-encrusted lakes for fun, it would probably be: weird. But, if pushed for a second, I bet it would be: healthy. Overweight, lethargic, bad skin, thin hair. These are not adjectives often associated with those crazy cold water enthusiasts. Try: athletic, youthful and toned with good complexions and lots of energy. So, what’s their secret? What are the real health benefits of regular exposure to cold water and are they available to normal people without masochistic tendencies?
1. Boosts your immune system. For your body, a sudden and drastic change in temperature constitutes an attack – as anyone who’s ever fallen overboard in British waters will concur. And, whilst “attacking” your own body may not sound like a good thing, there is no harm in keeping it on its toes. In fact, quite the opposite. Scientists from the Czech Republic immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system. This was attributed to the cold water being a mild stressor which activates the immune system and gives it some practice.
2. For an all-natural high . Winter swimmers talk a lot about the ‘high’ they get from cold water – a feeling of wellbeing that’s so encompassing that it becomes quite addictive (who doesn’t want to feel truly good, at least once a day?). The cause? Endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers and, in the case of a cold dip, it uses them to take the sting away from your skin. So, to get high on your own supply, all you need to do is jump in a river.
3. Gets your blood pumping . Being hot brings blood to surface. Being cold sends it to your organs. Both extremes work your heart like a pump. That’s why the whole sit in the sauna, roll in the snow, sit in the sauna thing makes people glow. But why is increased blood flow good for you? Well, it helps flush your circulation for starters, pushing blood through all your capillaries, veins and arteries.
4. Improves your sex life . The suggestion of a cold shower might bring forth images of hot-headed young men trying to quell wanton urges but research paints a different picture. In a study with a similar format to the one described above, participants took daily cold baths and were monitored for changes. In addition to some similar results to their Czech counterparts, these researchers also found increased production of testosterone and estrogen in men and women respectively.
5. Burns calories. We all know that swimming is great exercise but there are some extra benefits from doing it in the North Sea that you just won’t get from a warm wade in the Med. Swimming in cold water will make your body work twice as hard to keep you warm and burn more calories in the process.
See the second Ecuador natural health tip in a moment. First let me remind you that you have just four days left to order fresh Ecuador Christmas roses. See more on how these fair trade roses are sent to you
The second Ecuador health tip is use gravity to improve your health.
We stayed an entire winter in this tiny bit of virgin jungle living with a yatchak and his apprentices. Ecuador has its ups and downs but one fact never changes. The Andes at the equator has special energy. You can feel it. You can even see it on the scales. You weigh less on the equator because of the earth’s centrifugal force. This aspect of Ecuador seems to add a special health benefit that brings me to the first important Ecuador health tip that Merri and I often use.
The lymph is one of our body’s most important immune and purification systems and it is driven very much by gravity. The Shamans place importance on the altered state of gravity for improving health.
This brings me to the rebounder, an excellent health tool for those who don’t want to travel to the equator to have their lymph system cleared. The rebounder is a mini trampoline that is amazingly effective for many health purposes.
Modern science has not been able to identify and label the underlying specifics of gravity. Yet we do know that gravity has a major impact on every aspect of our lives. Our bodies in a way are anti-gravity machines. This universal pull has an influence on the movement of our blood, our lymph, our skin and almost every part of our being.
Trampolines have a profound effect on our bodies because they magnify gravity.
Whatever one does on a trampoline, the exercise is compounded by the leverage gained through the kinetic energy stored in the springs (on the way down). This energy is pushed back through the body (on the way up) and can have enormous health benefits in many ways. Some use rebounders to increase strength, (every exercise on a trampoline gives you extra effect because of this leverage), but many including Merri and me use it just to exercise our lymph systems. This requires only 12 minutes a day of the lightest bouncing (your toes should not even leave the trampoline..just let your heels gradually bounce up and down). Even this light movement magnified by the springs pushes your body from zero gravity (at the top) to 2 g’s (at the bottom). This motion moves the lymph along and strengthens the body’s ability to keep the lymph moving to enhance the immune system.
There are few ways you can gain such a concentrated health benefit for just 12 minutes a day. I first learned about rebounders more than a decade ago when reading the book the “New Miracles of Rebound Exercise” by Al Carter, which I understand has now sold over a million copies. There are dozens of books on the benefits of rebounding ranging from weight loss to muscle tone to curing cancer. Links to details about this book and 20 others about rebounding are below.
A simple easy lymphatic cleansing bounce does not require much expense. Merri and I purchased our rebounder at Wal Mart and it has lasted for years.
If you are going to do more than a simple lymphatic bounce, I recommend reading some books on the subject, or speaking with your health care provider as trampolines provide leverage. This means that good moves are better, but also means that bad moves are worse and the risks of injury could increase.
The third heath tip is to keep the body’s energy clean and in balance. The shamans and yatchaks use water to balance energy. This is at a sacred grotto that delegates on our Ecuador shamanic mingo tours visit.
Here is an Ecuador shaman cleansing and balancing a delegate.
Ecuador shamans use herbs and flowers to balance the energetic body.
Ecuador shamans use fire to balance the energy fields and…
Merri and I use all these cleansings when in Ecuador. We also use a more computerized western scientific method of working on our energy in the quantum field.
Our long term friend, Bob Shane, provides a computerized daily balancing with a Harmonic Energetic Balancing (HEB) program. This program uses 3000 informational patterns to help neutralize everyday stresses so that more reserves are available if bigger real stress issues come along.
These informational patterns are enhanced with fractals and affirmations. They help improve body systems energetic balance and to decrease the energetic effect of pathological patterns in much the same way that Dr. Emoto changes water molecules with intention.
Bob helps each person create his or her own affirmation so it focuses on specific needs and can be flexible changing whenever situations change.
An easy way to describe this might be from the point of view of a prayer (the affirmations and all other patterns) that is being continuously said for them without being diminished by how the person praying feels or their ability to focus; the computer sends the affirmations thousands of times per second – every time the hard disk goes round. For more details about HEB contact Bob Shane at email@example.com
Good health is vital for success, everlasting wealth and happiness and these Ecuador health tips can help us thrive.
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Read the entire article from the Outdoor Swimming Society
Read bout The “New Miracles of Rebound Exercise” by Al Carter.
See dozens of books on the benefits of rebounding ranging from weight loss to muscle tone to curing cancer at http://www.aardvarkjuicers.com/rebound2.htm