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Doctor Nature: an alternative approach to healing

Written by Zanna Taeni | Thursday, 17 February 2022

natural health nutrition

Health is our natural default state. Yet even those among us with the healthiest diets develop minor ailments from time to time.

Rather than popping a pill that only creates more problems in the long-term, it is reassuring to realise that everything we need for our healing might be, quite literally, at our fingertips. By incorporating these simple habits into your daily routine you can witness the amazing benefits for yourself.

Ditch the shoes

“By walking barefoot and feeling the moisture of nature, it seems as if we have set out on the road to heaven.” – Janghel Dipti

Earthing, the primal concept of reconnecting to the elements by walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt, or rock re-establishes our homeostatic state. In an artificially-energised environment of radiation and wifi, we can end up too much in our heads and not enough in our bodies – too much thought and not enough feeling.

Dubbed “electric nutrition” by scientists, the earth’s conduction of free electrons is taken up by the body through the free-flowing channel that is formed by direct skin contact. Studies have found the inflammation and oxidative stress present in “dis-ease” can be reversed by this negatively-charged environment. Just 20-30 minutes per day allows our physiology to be upgraded by the earth’s energy, enhancing our wellbeing, vitality and sleep.

Find out more about forest bathing.

Garden yourself happy

“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.” – Jenny Uglow

Apart from harvesting your own toxin-free produce or colourful flowers, the other benefit to gardening lies in its magical effect on your microbiome. In a life filled with computers and mobile phones we have forgotten that plants are alive and so too is the soil that nourishes them. Getting your hands in the dirt allows for these diverse organisms to be transferred to your own body.

Animal research has found the soil-based organism myctobacterium vaccae has similar effects on the brain as anti-depressants. These bacteria play a positive role in gut and brain health, stimulating serotonin production to help cut anxiety and boost feelings of wellbeing.

Look at that sunshine

“Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori proverb

It is said that born from the beating heart of our superabundant star are the molecules that make up our very bodies. So it makes perfect sense that the vitamin D from sunlight can create wondrous miracles in our whole body, including rebalancing the sex hormones and healing impotence and dysfunction in our reproductive organs.

Another beneficial practice is that of sun gazing, the process of gradually introducing direct sunlight into your eyes at dawn or dusk without the use of glasses, windows or filters. At these low-UV times of day the numerous prisms of split light activate the pineal gland, increasing intellect and memory function. Begin with 30 seconds in the morning and evening and then gradually increase to longer periods as your eyes adjust.

Take some deep, salty breaths

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau

Ocean air contains tiny droplets of sea water, which is loaded with salt, iodine and magnesium. This is highly beneficial for lung function and may even benefit hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, sinus pressure and cystic fibrosis and reduce the need for certain antibiotics.

Research dating back centuries found that the active electrical state of ozone, nearly absent in the devitalised air of large cities, is abundant in coastal locations. The greater density of these low-altitude seaside atmospheres, compared to places inland, enables more oxygen to be taken into the lungs with each inspiration.

Ocean air also contains negatively-charged hydrogen ions that help balance out serotonin levels, resulting in increased energy and diminished feelings of depression.

Find comfort in a furry friend

“A cat purring on your lap is more healing than any drug in the world.” – St. Francis of Assisi

As I write this, my beautiful Persian/Tortoiseshell sits purring upon the windowsill of my office. It brings such comfort to hear the familiar humming sound she makes when she is close to me.

Amazingly, the vibrations of your cat’s purr have long been associated with a therapeutic healing ability on human bones, muscles, joints and tendons. It is said that this frequency of between 25-40 hertz also releases endorphins in both the cat and its owner, lowering stress hormones.

The purr has even been found to help people with respiratory problems to breathe easier and lying with your head close to your cat may help to extinguish migraines and headaches.

Interested in nutrition?

Aspire to be the best version of yourself. Discover more about our Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and range of Nutrition Short Courses.


Sinatra, S. T., et al. (2017). Electric nutrition: The surprising health and healing benefits of biological grounding (earthing). Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 23(5), pp. 8-16.

Perez, J. A. (2021). Gardening for peace of mind during the Covid-19 crisis. Academia Lasalliana Journal of Education and Humanities, 2(2), pp. 1-10.

Wolfe, D. (2012). The Sunfood Diet Success System. North Atlantic Books.

Reed, B. (1884). The effects of sea air upon diseases of the respiratory organs, including a study of the influence upon health of changes in the atmospheric pressure. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 1, pp. 51-59.

Klotter, J. (2002). Vibrational frequencies that heal. (Shorts). Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 226, p. 28.

Zanna Taeni

Zanna Taeni graduated from Endeavour College in 2020 with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and is now working as a health and wellness writer and voice over artist. She lives in the Byron Bay hinterland with her two children and is a big-time foodie who is always in the kitchen experimenting with new and nourishing recipes to feed her picky little eaters. In her free time, Zanna enjoys delving into her creative projects, spending time immersed in nature, and exploring topics such as spirituality and personal development.

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