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Posts Tagged ‘nature and health’

We thought two weeks in New Hampshire at The World Fellowship Center would be enough for us. But it wasn’t. The fragrant air, the pines stretching endlessly towards the sky, the regal mountains, and the rhythm of working in the gardens and participating in a vibrant, socially-conscious community have been medicine for our overwhelmed, overworked souls and minds. Two weeks was too short, so we decided to stay for a month.

World Fellowship Gothic

The more time I spend here the more convinced I am that just as some of our ailments can be cured in the kitchen by our food choices, other illnesses might be healed by spending more time connecting with nature and community.

My new friend, Ellen, recently told me about a study done on hospital patients. Some patients were placed in rooms where they could look out on a parking lot and others faced nature. Which group do you think healed faster? The ones facing nature. Well, since being at The World Fellowship Center I’ve witnessed nature work her healing magic on someone very close to me: my husband.

My husband, Dominique, has been waking up sneezing and going to bed coughing practically every day for about a year. The doctor could not determine a physical cause. She checked Dominique’s throat and prescribed him cough syrup. This suppressed the cough for a short time but it came back.  When I gave my husband herbs for coughs or colds, they had no effect on him. But when I gave him herbs relating to the nervous system, they helped. This let me know that the coughing was a symptom of something beyond the chest or throat. 

My teacher, Robin Rose Bennett, always says “as healers we treat people, not symptoms.” It took me a moment to fully grasp this, but when I did it changed the way I looked at herbs. Two people who visit a healer with the same ailment might need totally different treatments. Our health is impacted by so many things: sleeping habits, dietary choices, environment, social life. One person might have caught a cough because she can’t sleep and her immunity is down and another might have spent a weekend in a colder climate than she is used to. These two people would need different treatments although they are experiencing the same symptom. But the only way a doctor  could find this out would be by sitting and listening to each woman’s story.

So what would a healer prescribe to my husband? A big dose of green and community.

The World Fellowship Center


Apparently this was just what the doctor should have ordered because my husband has not had a bout of sneezing or coughing since we’ve been at The World Fellowship Center.

All this to say that sometimes instead of reaching for medicine, we might need to reach for a friend or a group of friends or a map that leads to the woods.

Have your symptoms ever been signals? What directions did they point you in?

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