SLEEP & REST
“Pain is the monitor – Rest is the cure”
Dr. John Hilton, 1863
In nature we see for every period of growth or production, there is always a corresponding period of rest, of dormancy. All living things on the earth are governed by the natural law of ‘Conservation of Energy’. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. Even though the medical industry advises rest in most cases of illness, they really lack complete understanding of how fundamental this practice is to health maintenance, restoration, general wellbeing…and why. Nor do they teach or advocate the methods of rest so needed by the body when healing is necessary.
Think of the phenomenon of the coma (and I’m not talking about the artificial, chemically induced ‘medical coma’). Coma is the ultimate example of the law of Conservation of Energy in action. Here the body shuts down all non-essential systems and functions, in order to muster all of the nerve force it can, to direct this vital energy to the essential purpose of healing. But you don’t need to go to such an extreme to harness the power of rest. It’s there for us to utilise every day in our quest for high-level health and wellbeing.
The philosophy of Pure Naturopathy, or Nature Cure, is strongly grounded in scientific laws, and the law of Conservation of Energy is central to our teachings. It is by conserving our energy that the body is enabled to repair and heal itself. The human organism is after all, a self-healing mechanism. When I talk about rest I am not merely referring to sleep. Sleep is of course the most perfect form of rest and mastering a good sleeping habit is essential to health, and we will spend time developing this practice. But there are other ways we can rest the body periodically, to enable better functioning of all physiological systems within the body. You will also learn about the art of relaxation and methods you can employ to calm and de-stress yourself when needed.
But there are times when the body requires more than just a good night’s sleep. When the body has reached an acute state or is injured, at these times resting the body is done in 3 ways.
The 3 Modalities of Rest:
- Physical Rest-here we lie down, go to bed or cease physical activity as much as possible.
- Physiological Rest-the digestive system uses a tremendous amount of energy in its workings. Resting the digestive organs at times is essential to health.
- Mental Rest-remove as much mental stress and worry as possible in order to achieve a reduction in nervous tension.
When we combine the 3 modalities of rest this is known as fasting. As you can see from this brief insight, fasting is about more than ‘not eating’ and this process must be fully understood and competently administered.
Take a little rest when the body is digesting. Most people notice the physiological slump in energy that follows meal times. Avoid heavy physical exertion after eating. In order to ensure proper digestion and nutrient absorption, take a few minutes after eating to rest. This can be achieved by simply closing your eyes for a few minutes and doing some deep breathing, or better still if you can, lie down and take a siesta when possible.
Knowing when and how to utilize rest, in all its forms, is absolutely paramount to returning the body to its optimum level of health. When you employ the methods of Pure Naturopathy to your lifestyle, you will automatically harness this essential in your everyday life. In no time you will become inextricably and effortlessly connected to the methods of harnessing rest for health and longevity.