City Sickness

“Just as man is composed of earth, water, air and fire, so this body of earth is similar. Whereas man has bones within himself, the supports and the frameworks of the flesh, the world has rocks, the supports of the earth. If man has within him the lake of blood wherein the lungs expand and contract in breathing, the body of earth has its ocean, which also expands and contracts every six hours with the breathing of the world.”

This observation made by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1490 shows a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all life on earth, and to the earth itself. Humans after all, have roughly the same ratio of solid to liquid, are made of similar compounds and have the same electromagnetic energy coursing through their nervous system. In fact, as Dr Richard Gerber points out in his book “Vibrational Medicine”, every cell in the body speaks to every other cell through this electromagnetic energy. These interconnected feedback loops of the body mean that damage or stress to one part of the body inevitably affects all parts.

In the 1960s, Dr James Lovelock developed the “Gaia Hypothesis” which posits that the various components of the earth have evolved as a single living self regulation system. Whilst Lovelock has had his critics, what is interesting to me is how virtually every ancient culture arrived at similar conclusions – despite being unable to communicate with each other due to geographic separation. Were they all ignorant primitives, or have our modern science and technologies obscured these truths to the detriment of both man and planet? As the great north west Indian Chief Seattle explained to the white settlers “whatever you do to any part of the web of life, you do to yourself.”

I was personally exposed to this concept from an early age. Growing up near the Canadian border in upstate New York, I had many friends who were North American Indians. One of my best childhood friend’s grandfather was the last officially recognised Tuscarora medicine man. His knowledge of herbal medicine, plants, animals and earth was impressive, and he stressed the importance of maintaining the understanding of man’s relationship to the earth. That all life contained therein is interconnected and that all life has spiritual value.

He also warned that as humans lost sight of these principles not only would the earth become sicker, but man’s health would suffer along with it.

Sadly, much of what he foretold has come to pass. Many of the areas I hunted and fished in my youth are now shopping malls and housing developments. Over population and wasteful human practices have pushed many species to the brink of extinction. Many of the world’s cities now have air that is unfit to breathe and water that is unsafe to drink.

Here in New Zealand (which is one of the last good placed left on earth) I have personally seen a steady loss of habitat and hunting grounds over the last 20 years. What will be left for future generations?

And what of the general health of humans? We have indeed seen a steady and parallel decline, with ever increasing rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Lack of physical activity, highly processed diets and environmental pollution are largely to blame. As the earth has gotten sicker, so too has man’s health.

I frequently see the end result in the health management work I do. The individual presenting with back pain has underlying issues relating back to what I call “city sicknesses” as well. Too much stress, poor sleep habits and a largely processed diet pollute the human body in much the same way that we spoil the earth’s resources. Then when the body can withstand no more insult, we resort to yet more technology, supplements and pharmaceutical drugs. The result? Sadly, in addition to the a fore mentioned health issues, legal prescription drugs now kill and addict more people worldwide than all the illegal drugs combined.

What then is the answer? A fundamental philosophical shift away from a reliance on drugs and man’s technologies and towards an understanding of man’s place in nature. We are but one of many species inhabiting this planet, all interconnected in a constantly recycling circle of life.

For some this will be intuitive, for many it will require a quantum shift in lifestyle and thinking. Here are some suggestions which may help:

  • Move every day. Moderate, regular exercise is one of the best ways of keeping the body’s health throughout life.
  • Do it outdoors. Most ancient cultures believed that we need daily contact with water, sunlight, moonlight and the earth to maintain the body’s life force.
  • Keep the beat. Rising and setting with the sun keeps us in tune with our circadian rhythms. This promotes good hormone levels and overall vitality.
  • Respect our planet and the other species we share it with. Live efficiently and support Fair Trade Organic Foods and farming practices. This in turn helps to preserve habitats.
  • Think globally, act locally.
  • Become spiritually aware. I know from my many years of helping people through various (and sometimes terminal) health issues, those that have spiritual beliefs always do better than those who don’t.
  • Communing with nature is an excellent way of reconnecting with this missing link to our health. Those who doubt the existence of the spiritual life force, have not hunted and fished in the places that I have.
  • Eat a largely unprocessed organic diet at least 80% of the time. This benefits not only human health, but the health of the planet as well.

I leave you with one of my favourite recipes. If you cannot obtain wild pheasant, a free range chicken will do. In addition to the food provided, the pheasant feathers will go into making trout flies and traditional Maori cloaks. The bones make excellent soup. Nothing goes to waste.

 Pheasant with 40 cloves of garlic:

  • Rub pheasant inside and out with butter, salt and pepper
  • Brown pheasant and place one sprig rosemary, one sprig thyme and one bay leaf inside cavity
  • De-glaze roasting pan with white wine, put in 40 cloves of unpeeled garlic, add one sprig rosemary, one sprig thyme and one bay leaf  Place pheasant on top.
  • Roast at 170 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes

Bon Appetite!

Yours in health,

David Tetter
Corporate Health Management
P.O. BOX 90943 A.M.S.C AUCKLAND 1142
021 638 383

Contact David for:
Personal Training, Exercise Regimes & Corporate Breathing Seminars


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