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The Healing Force of Nature

     I am interrupting the blog series on the eight limbs of yoga (covered the first three limbs so far) to share a recent personal healing experience. 

     I walk regularly 2 to 3 miles daily.  The other day I was one mile into my walk when an oval blur in my right visual field appeared. This was the classic sign of the onset of a  migraine headache.   Usually I have 15 minutes before the visual symptoms turn into a full blown stabbing headache with nausea and vomiting.  If I hurried home I could make it in just over 15 minutes. On the other hand to hurry would only intensify the headache. I decided rather than backtracking home through street traffic and different neighborhoods, I would enter the wooded trail then take a shortcut through the field that would take me back home.  

     This decision to go into the woods was influenced by recalling the research of an anesthesiologist, Mohab M. Ibrahim, M.D.,PhD, who had a brother who suffered from bad migraines. His brother found relief from his headaches by taking walks in the parks.  The anesthesiologist deduced that the green light off of the plants had an analgesic effect.  He further studied green light exposure to mice and noticed that their pain tolerance increased.  Now his research is showing benefit for migraines. (https://uahs.arizona.edu/news/green-light-therapy-shown-reduce-migraine-frequency-intensity) Here I was surrounded by the green of the spring leaves of the trees and meadow grass. 

     I also remembered the audio mp3  recordings that I had of different frequencies to invoke different mental states. Running water was a common background sound to the different frequencies.  There happened to be a babbling stream on my route.  I sat by the water to let my mind rest in the sound.  With my eyes closed I could see the usual migraine crescent scintillating light patterns in my right visual field. The waving crescent was divided in triangles outlined in black and filled in with white,  and a single red, and a single blue triangle. It would be quite entertaining to watch if I was not worried about what usually follows.  I kept putting my minds attention on the sound of the water.  Gradually the wavering crescent faded and what usually follows is the painful headache and severe nausea.  But, this time there was no worsening heachade and no nausea.  I could open my eyes and the oval blur was less distinct.  I took this reprieve as my chance to progress on my walk towards home. 

     As I took a  short cut through the woods I recalled the stories of the energy of trees.  I stopped to sit with my back against a tree. Closing my eyes I tuned in to the chirping of birds. The next time that I opened my eyes there was no hint of blurred vision and better yet only a hint of a headache.

     I proceeded on my walk out onto the field.  Here I recalled earthing and the healing energy of the earth.  I took off my shoes, layed on my back with my knees bent and feet connected to the earth. I did not have to close my eyes but looked up at the clear blue sky above.  I was feeling good with only a hint of a headache and no sign of nausea.  I could then get up and return home.   When I arrived home my headache was barely noticable and my vision was intact.  I  could proceed with my evening as planned. I did not have a headache hang over to recover from the next day.  

     This was a first!  To be on the brink of an incapacitating headache and to have it be totally averted by spending time in nature was a miracle to me!.  Rather than my ordinary walk that takes about an hour, this took two hours!  The outcome was better than any medication that I had taken in the past. 

     Am I missing out on a healing force of nature? I have to wonder if my migraine is telling me that I am disconnected from nature. Despite my daily walks I need to spend more time to stop by the water, be with a tree, connect my feet to the earth.  Could many of our health issues arise from or be compounded by a disconnection from nature?   

     Yoga is a practice of alignment. Aligning the structure of the body. Aligning the mind with the body. The deeper alignment is to the soul. Being out in nature connected me to a deeper source of myself that is whole, and well, and aligned.  My experience in nature brought me to this source that had the power to heal.


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