lotus-grey-large
Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers

Forest Bathing, Earthing and Nature Immersion

The amazing benefits for our mental health, physical health, happiness & more.

 

The best healing sanctuary in the world is all about forest bathing.

Mother nature at her best, is what we're talking about today.

Science is now backing up the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine, about the importance of human beings being connected to Mother Nature. 

A huge amount of research now exists on earthing. I.e. that when we take our shoes and socks off occasionally, or get in the garden we literally get an influx of negatively charged ions that come into the human body, and as if dowse the inflammatory fires that line our tissues. This is being shown to significantly reduce chronic inflammatory illnesses and pain, improving blood profiles, and helping regulate our body clock, particularly our sleep/wake cycle, and other circadian rhythms.

Now the science is coming out to show us the importance of connecting to Mother Nature generally.

 

Forest Bathing - Shinrin-Yoku

A famous doctor in Japan, called Dr. Li has spoken and written a lot about this recently. In Japan, they have a saying called 'shinrin-yoku', and it's basically the art and science about how mother nature, trees and plants, promote health and wellbeing in human beings.

It is absolutely profound. We've heard a lot about gut bacteria in recent years, that we have to eat certain foods, and do certain things to promote a healthy gut bacteria in our own colon.

What we now know is that the soil also has its own microbiome, and according to ancient wisdom, this actually cycles or changes with the seasons. But when we connect to Mother Nature, connect to the ground, and be in forests and natural environments, it's likely that we actually integrate that microbiome to promote and strengthen our own gut microbiome.

We now know that trees elicit certain essential oils or chemicals (phytonicides) that allow them to communicate with other plants and trees, as well as to deter microbes or other invaders. A little bit like pheromones in our human body that we emit to communicate with other people. E.g. so we know what relationships are good for us, and what ones aren't. These chemicals are now known to help clear our mind and lower our stress levels.

 

Pschoterratica, Biophilia & the Latest Research

Ever heard of 'Psychoterratica'? It's the fear or problems of being disconnected from nature. 

What about Biophilia? Biophilia came into consciousness in the 1980's when E.O. Wilson, a biologist and author, said that 'loving nature is part of our DNA'. 

It all points to the incredible healing power of nature as evidenced by some really interesting studies recently.

One study showed that when people immersed themselves in nature for four days without technology, their creativity and problem solving went up by 50%.1

In a collection of four studies, titled 'Can nature make us more caring?', people that were more immersed in nature became more intrinsically motivated. They were more caring, more community-oriented, less self-interested or self-centered. Those that were not connected to nature were more self-centered, more self-interested, and more externally motivated.2

Other studies have shown that when we connect more with nature - we forest bath, earth or ground etc - anxiety comes down, mental health improves, our immune system becomes stronger, we have more anti-cancer proteins, natural killer cells are stimulated among other benefits.3

 

Forest Bathing The Healing of Mother Nature

 

Back to Ancient Ayurvedic Wisdom

 All this is really just backing up the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. In my studies in Maharishi Ayurveda, connecting to Mother Nature was always promoted as one of the highest medicines. Did you know that doctors in Scotland can now 'prescribe spending time in nature' to their patients? How great is that. Instead a drug or pill, "Tom, what you need is to go camping for e few days or take your partner for a hike in the hills."

The question is, "how can we get out of our cities a little bit more, out of our homes, and reconnect to the profound healing benefits that mother nature gives us?"

How can we get out of our indoor environments and do our yoga outside, going for a hike, doing our walk, jog or even strength training out in a forest or a natural environment? 

 

Future Trends

 As evidenced by the Global Wellness Summit recently, the coming trends to watch out for in this space will be things like:

  • Pop-up parks - so in urban areas, there's going to be pop-up parks that we can earth and ground ourselves and connect to nature.
  • Green exercise - a shift away from just exercising in a gymnasium, or doing yoga in a yoga class. 
  • In Canada today, they're starting forest skating. Rather than going to the ice skating park, you'll ice-skate through a forest.
  • Forest Bathing Clubs - There's already a Global Institute of Forest Bathing  and a San Francisco Forest Bathing Club that's very popular.
  • Biophilic design - how we design our workplaces, our offices and our homes, so that we integrate the benefits of nature.

Traditionally, this was just about bringing some green plants into our office place or home, but also there's a science now about designing things so we maximise natural sunlight, natural air flow, and a whole host of other ways that we connect to the healing power of nature.

They're some of the trends so what can we do practically to use this knowledge?

Would you like to know some ‘natural’ remedies to counteract the negative effects of some of the things you might be inclined to overindulge in over the coming ‘Indulgence Season‘ – extra drinking…chocolate… sun etc?

While obviously it’s ideal not to overindulge too much too often, we also know that it’s good to ‘let our hair down’ (for those who still have some!) every now & then. Below I’ve listed some powerful, ‘natural’ little ANTIDOTES, that you can use to offset some of the ‘not so healthy’ effects of certain things over the coming weeks.

* Note: Please don’t take this to mean you can have as much of these things as you want as long as you take the ‘remedy’. Prevention is always better than cure…though if you like smashing your head against the wall, it is worthwhile having something to reduce the damage!!!

Over-indulgences & Their Antidotes:

CHOCOLATE: In Ayurveda, chocolate is a classic ‘Srota Blocker’. Srotas are the ‘channels’ of the body that when kept clear ensure good health & vitality…when blocked they lead to all major disease. The main culprit in chocolate is the milk solids, so the first thing where you can is to try and get varieties without milk solids – organic or good quality (European) usually best.

Antidote: Hot water(boiled) with ‘cardamom pods’. The hot water helps ‘melt’ any poorly digested foodstuffs & cardamom pods are renowned for re-opening up the srotas/channels. * Good after heavy ‘cheese’ dishes or rich desserts etc also.

ALCOHOL: One of the most common effects of (excessive) alcohol is in destroying liver cells/compromising liver function.

Antidote: Turmeric – Recent research has shown a tremendous reduction in alcoholic liver damage’ through the intake of turmeric. 1-2 pinches can be taken in a glass of water, but best is just to add it to normal cooking / morning cleansing drink etc as part of a general routine.

WESTERN MEDICATIONS (for those headaches / hangovers etc):

Antidote: Turmeric – Drugs/medications etc also aggravate the liver, so turmeric (as above) is good here too.

SEAFOOD/SPICY FOOD etc: Even in summer, these things are being eaten more commonly these days – Seafood for Christmas lunch etc (good for you though Mum!). These things being ‘hot/heating’ by nature, can often result in ‘digestive heat related problems’ – acid stomach etc.

Antidote: Peppermint Tea – Peppermint Tea is often very good for reducing the symptoms of acid stomach, excess stomach heat, diarrhea etc. I think this is related to where ‘peppermint’ after dinner mints came from…don’t know where the chocolate came into the equation though!!! 
*Note; this is merely alleviating symptoms it is in no way a treatment. Proper food selection & eating habits are needed to ‘prevent’ these problems.

SUNBURN:

Antidote: Aloe Vera – Fresh Aloe Vera (or a good quality natural commercial aloe gel) is sensational for sun-damaged skin. Apply regularly to reduce skin damage & hasten repair, if you get a bit too much sun.

EYE SORENESS / RED EYES (due to sun, wind etc):
Antidote 1: Rose Water Eye Spray
Antidote 2: Eye Baths with Cold Milk
Antidote 3: Sliced Cucumbers on both eyelids (it’s a good look too!).

CAR TRAVEL (motion sickness, nausea etc):

Antidote: Fresh Ginger
Both Ayurveda & modern research has shown fresh ginger is terrific for reducing nausea/motion sickness etc. Take 1/4 tspn with a little lemon juice & pinch of salt every few hours. * For kids / adults who don’t like it fresh, you can get ‘Crystalised Ginger’ at supermarkets/health shops etc. Don’t overdose in summer (ginger is heating!).

HANGOVERS: While alcohol does a number of well-known things, one of the key ones from the standpoint of Maharishi Ayurveda, is that it dries out what’s known as ‘Ojas’. Ojas is the finest product of digestion and the primary link between consciousness & our bodies. It’s the material equivalent of bliss and is what gives maximal health, immunity, radiant skin, bright eyes, mental clarity & resistance to disease. So I guess you could say it’s pretty important!!!

Antidotes:
1. TIME TIME TIME… Do the Crime…Do the Time!!!
2. Plenty of ‘re-hydrating’ fluids – plain water / fresh juices best
3. Avoid de-hydrating substances – ‘caffeine (coffee, coke etc)
4. The Morning Cleansing Drink (morning after) – see www.healthaa.com/food_recipes.php?p=6
5. Ojas Increasing Foods/Drinks – fresh juicy fruits, boiled milk (and homemade ghee!), oil massage, lots of nourishing fluids.

COFFEE: Excess coffee (caffeine) overstimulates the nervous system…leading to insomnia etc.

ANTIDOTE: LISTEN TO A BRITNEY SPEARS CD OR WATCH A CATHERINE ZETA-JONES MOVIE 

– EITHER WILL DULL YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM & PUT YOU TO SLEEP IN NO TIME.

AND A HAPPY THOUGHT FOR EXCESSIVE BEER DRINKERS:

From The All-Time Classic Show – Cheers on 8/26/2003

In an episode of ‘Cheers’, Cliff is seated at the bar describing the ‘Buffalo Theory’ to his buddy Norm.
“Well you see, Norm, it’s like this…A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

Do you sun gaze or at least connect to the early morning sun as a daily practice? Are you aware of the incredible mental, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of such a daily ritual?

While many of us know about high-performers morning habits such as making their bed, planning their day and exercising, connecting with early morning sunlight is not so well know.

As understood by most ancient cultures, the master regulator of all our internal health and performance cycles is the cycle of the sun. Most advanced traditional cultures throughout time have started their day greeting the sun through an ancient ritual called ‘sun gazing’. (Others, as in India along the Ganges river, do things like Yoga 'sun salutes' while facing East as the sun rises).

More and more high-level business performers are now understanding that our optimum human performance clock is synced to the cycles of Mother Nature. As such they make sure they get outside to reap the incredible mental, physical and emotional benefits of morning sunlight through the eyes. (Many of us today live in artificially lit homes and work in artificially lit offices and are 'mal-illuminated'.)

Benefits of morning sunlight exposure include;
• improved energy & immune function
• stimulation of healthy brain chemistry
the ultimate mood-booster (anti-depressant) & emotional balancer • optimal weight through its effects on metabolic and thyroid function
• regulation of our entire internal body clock

* A key benefit is in assisting optimal sleep at night ... as our sleep cycle regulation starts first thing in the morning!

Now, while the ancients understood that the sun will not harm the human eye in the first 45 minutes of sunrise ... the first 10 degrees of arc, you don't necessarily have to look directly at the sun - 'sun gaze'. (If you do, this should strictly only be done in the first 30-45 minutes of sunrise and for very short periods - seconds - to begin with.) However, even indirect sunlight through the eyes will bring significant benefits. The main thing is to actively get outside for at least a few minutes early morning to sync your physiology with our planets No.1 source of life-energy, vitality and positivity. And if you can combine exercise, earthing (see my blog)) &/or connection with others at the same time, all power to you.

The sun (Surya), often maligned in our modern world was traditionally understood and indeed honoured for being the central to all life and every aspect of human health. We just need to respect it and connect with it in the right way ... not too much but also not too little.

The importance of early morning sunlight exposure for optimal #health and #workperformance #wellbeing Do you make a daily practice of connecting with the sun or at least getting outside in the early-morning? What do you do and what difference does it make to your life and your work performance? I'm sure others would love to hear your inspiration.

#sun #sunlight #morningsun #morningsunlight #sungazing #suntherapy #heliotherapy #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #sleeptips

Research shows that those who consistently perform at high levels commonly do things as daily practices or rituals that other don’t. Here’s a few.

Connect with the Morning Sun

High performers intrinsically understand that our optimum human performance clock is synced to the cycles of Mother Nature. As understood by the ancients, the master regulator of all our internal health and optimal performance cycles is the cycle of the sun. Traditional cultures throughout history have started their day greeting the sun through an ancient ritual called ‘sun gazing’. Hgh performers make sure they get outside (out of their artificially lit homes and office places) to experience the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of morning sunlight through the eyes.

Benefits of morning sunlight exposure include;

  • regulation of immune function
  • stimulation of healthy brain chemistry
  • regulation our internal body clock
  • promotes balanced weight through its effects on metabolic and thyroid function
  • uplifting mood (anti-depressant) and strengthening emotional health.

 

Transcendence

What do Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferriss, Katy Perry, Ray Dalio (Head of the world’s largest hedge fund), Ariana Huffington, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen Degeneres and countless other world class performers have in common? They start their day with 20 minutes of TM or Transcendental Meditation (other high performers use other forms of meditation).

According to Tim Ferriss, author of New York Times Best-seller ‘Tools of Titans’, meditation is by far the most common habit or daily ritual amongst the world’s highest performing individuals. Don’t have time to meditate? Almost universally everyone who meditates, specifically transcending-based meditation like TM, remarks that they get far more done when they meditate and couldn’t imagine life or work without it. We can’t build a 100 storey skyscraper without first digging deep into the ground. Likewise, we can’t sustain high level, dynamic outward activity without first (and regularly) going within and enlivening our deepest (inner) source of energy, creativity and intelligence. Transcending does this which is why such a high percentage of high performers do it as their most important daily habit.

As the latest neuroscience and brain mapping research clearly demonstrates, such meditation produces more global brainwave activity and peak brain coherence. Do less achieve more.

More on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Transcendance

 

Exercise

Another hallmark of high achievers is that a very high percentage start their day with physical activity. Research shows that those that make a habit of exercising early morning have a compliance rate of 75%. Those who leave it until later in the day (after work) have a compliance of around 25%.

Again, the research suggests that the time devoted to physical movement or exercise in the early hours is more than returned in terms of improved efficiency, brain performance, decision-making and all around productivity for the rest of the day. (Early morning is also the best time for exercise according the understanding of Ayurveda and our daily body clock.)

* Richard Branson has been quoted as saying daily exercise gives him 4 hours of improved productivity.

Connect to the morning sun, transcend to develop your most precious resource – consciousness - and get your body moving early to help maximize your work and life success.

 

Mark Bunn

* These are just three of the practices discussed in Mark’s highly popular ‘Daily Habits of High Achievers’.

 

Great fun doing a Podcast with my great mate and fellow Natural health brother Luke McLean for his 'Conscious Conversations'.
 
We discussed everything from my transition from AFL football to combining Western and Eastern Science, Earthing, practical health wisdom for busy people, Transcendental Meditation (TM) even my David Lynch Foundation work and lots of other great stuff.
 
Luke has a fabulous style and such a pure heart. Loved it and hope you enjoy. 
 
Podcast here 

*This is a REPOST of the blog from August 13, 2012

 

Did you scrape your tongue this morning?

Good news. Another ancient health practice has recently been accepted and promoted by modern experts

Have you been to buy a toothbrush lately, and noticed many companies marketing a tongue cleaner on the back of their brushes? Promoted as a way to rid yourself of bacteria that accumulates on the surface of your tongue, they actually have a lot of merit.

Please find all Mark’s promised resources and more below.

1. Connect with Mark

 

2. Mark’s Three-time Best-Selling 'Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health’ Book

* Enter - MBCONF1 - into the coupon section to recieve for FREE

EBOOK &/or AUDIO BOOK

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 16:42

Mark Bunn's Follow-up Support Resources

Please find all Mark’s promised resources and more below.

1. Connect with Mark

 

2. Mark’s Three-time Best-Selling 'Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health’ Book

EBOOK &/or AUDIO BOOK

Monday, 04 September 2017 15:47

Ayurveda Dosha Imbalances

The following are specific guidelines from Ayurveda/Ayurvedic medicine re diet according to what's known as the doshas. If you are not familiar with the doshas or this system, first read Mark's article on the Ayurvedic doshas & Knowing your Individual Body-Type

CorrectingImbalances

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 17:48

Ayurveda Digestion​​

The following are specific guidelines from Ayurveda/Ayurvedic medicine re diet according to what's known as the doshas. If you are not familiar with the doshas or this system, first read Mark's article on the Ayurvedic doshas & Knowing your Individual Body-Type