How can Earth Medicine nourish your soul?
Earth Medicine revolves around the central tenets that the Earth has unique healing abilities, and that having an effective connection to the land is a vital part of wellbeing. It understands that as humans we co-exist with the Earth and in order to facilitate the flow of nature, the Earth also needs to be respected and nourished.
Earth medicine is a broad term that includes modalities concerning the interdependence of human wellness and the Earth. It honours the knowledge of traditional therapies passed down through the generations, and incorporates the increasing body of scientific research that details the capacity of the Earth’s naturally-occurring minerals, electrical charges, water systems and sunlight to bring about healing.
The forest, plants, water and land are important elements of Earth Medicine, which are all used to promote wholeness both physically and mentally. Many modalities encourage mindfully reconnecting to these Earth elements as an antidote to our hurried 21st century pace of life. Some modalities, in particular those with a traditional or cultural background have a large component of spirituality, whether this involves connecting with the spirit inside oneself or increasing connection to nature, removing blockages to spiritual well being and full presence in the moment. Regardless of the techniques used, Earth Medicine aims to bring nourishment to the body, soul, and spirit as well as encourage people to increase their awareness and care for the Earth.
Popular varieties of Earth Medicine
- Horticultural Therapy
- Forest Bathing
- Rongoā Māori
- Ngangkaṟi Healing
- Wayapa Wuurrk
Benefits of Earth Medicine
Earth Medicine can offer a myriad of health and wellness benefits as varied as the range of available therapies themselves. There is a growing body of evidence and research to substantiate the benefits of our connection to Earth, which is accessible to people with a range of health conditions.
For example, simply taking the time to be present in nature can reduce stress and anxiety. Further, green spaces have many social and environmental benefits which are increasingly being acknowledged in urban planning projects. Other modalities such as Horticultural Therapy which involve the cultivation of living things has also been shown to help alleviate negative emotions, and improve cognitive function.
There is also evidence to support the positive effects that come from drawing energy and nutrients from the Earth. The Earth is rich in life-giving elements, from essential things such as water and sunlight, to specific minerals that can aid skin conditions such as psoriasis, support muscle recovery and reduce inflammation.
The deeper knowledge of self that can be found through connecting with the Earth is another unique benefit that can be found through Earth Medicine, particularly through traditional healing modalities. Often with a spiritual element, these modalities extend the invitation for people to establish their connection with the land and learn from the rhythms of nature, in order to invite healing within themselves.
What to expect from an Earth Medicine session
Even though Earth medicine spans a wide variety of traditions and cultures, a central commonality involves being present and willing to engage with the healing effects of the Earth.
If you choose a modality such as Balneotherapy or Forest Bathing, your experience is likely to be extremely relaxing and involve you absorbing the sights, smells, sounds and therapeutic effects that nature has to offer.
Traditional healing modalities such as Rongoā Māori and Ngangkaṟi Healing tend to focus more on holistic wellbeing, and healers do not believe in only addressing the presenting symptoms but rather the root cause of the issue. This may involve a line of questioning or treatments you do not think are related to the problem. This can result in a more intense experience both physically and emotionally, but has been known to result in emotional release and feelings of being ‘brand new’.
Many Earth Medicine modalities are gentle and non-invasive, and can be used as complementary therapies alongside other treatments. However, as with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing Earth Medicine. If you have an injury, health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your Earth Medicine practitioner, who will be happy to address these and explore the option of adjusting the session to your individual requirements.