The Basics of Health – all in our control

Breathing: deep breathing is a stress reliever

A good yoga teacher will tell you that postures will do you little or no good unless you are breathing into the belly. They will also tell you that deep breathing is itself a good way to relieve stress.

This image links to a blog by yoga teacher David Garrigues:

The diaphragm just under the lungs must be activated in its up/down movement in order to fully inflate the lungs and to massage and refresh other organs that are not even involved in the breathing process.

Breathing fully into the belly is one of the first things to go when we are under stress. Most of the time we don’t even notice when anxious that we are blocking our breath. Anxiety, what we normally vaguely term ‘stress’, tends to start shorting out our natural inherent breathing pattern as soon as we are in such thought patterns. When we can take some time to do intentional deep belly breathing we can feel more relaxed, and give our internal organs a nice massage.

Deep, slow breathing with a gradual exhale is one of the most effective ways to de-stress anytime anywhere — and it costs us absolutely nothing.

Movement: using all parts of our bodies maintains balance of energy and circulation

Blood tends to stagnate and pool in the internal organs (between shoulders and pubis) when we are not moving enough. This tends to create stagnation heat conditions there.

The largest muscles in the body capable of moving the most blood at once are our leg muscles. Swimming, biking, walking, even at a gentle pace will use these muscles and refresh the circulation there and to the internal organs.

Walking is an exercise that costs us absolutely nothing and all able-bodied people with legs can do it.


Our bodies are naturally about 70% water, so if we do not properly hydrate we gradually dry out. Actually even a single day of under-hydration can have drastic consequences. This is one of the causes of so-called aging. Alcohol and diuretics flush out not only the fluids we need, but our water soluble vitamins (C, B-complex) and minerals.

We each need about 1/4 to 1/2 our body weight in ounces of good fluid intake daily to stay fully hydrated. So a person of 150 lbs would need 37-75 ounces/day. I can tell you that Penta water is even more fully absorbed because its water molecules are even smaller than those in the average water supply. A bottle or two of it here and there can make a difference, especially in summer time.

What we ingest

Obviously nutrient rich foods like carrots, celery, parsely, lettuce (and other greens like spinach, kale), onions or garlic, are important to have frequently. Heirloom vegetables have even higher levels of nutrition as this New York Times article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food documented in May2013.

Or just click on this image to see the full graphic comparison:

Nutritional comparisons - New York Times

Nutritional comparisons – New York Times article ‘Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Foods. Click to open whole comparison in new tab.

Nutritional yeast on wikipedia is also a very good source for B-vitamins, as well as other minerals, amino acids and other nutrients. See a nutritional list for yeast

Also important: Herbal medicines before chemical ones. Even OTC remedies we too easily take for granted like aspirin, ibruprofen, acetaminophen, can be very damaging to health when we take them too frequently or take more than the recommended doses. Salicylates originated with plants like the barks of Aspen, Birch, and Willow trees.

Click here for a pdf document that gives a listing and rating of common foods, herbs, spices for their salicylate content.

There is an herbal medicine or medicines for every thing that can ail a human being.

Just take the time to look for them until you find what works for you. Humanity survived for eons before modern chemical medicine. The most successful populations on earth are the two that have the best systems of holistic, natural medicine, India and China.

What we think: our consciousness encases our entire physical bodies

What we are thinking, focusing on, aiming at, we take with us wherever we go. It colors our energy and expectations for our day-to-day life.

Much of the stress I hear in people’s complaints today can be partly traced to the pressures of the American capitalist socio-economic system and the correlating values of consumption it promotes. Consider the effects of working for someone else’s goals and objectives, giving up your precious life force and time for corporations that are often temples of greed.

Does that sound like the life you want to live?

I mention work because it can easily take up 30-60 hours of each week in which a lot of our physical/psychological energy is being expended, and for what end?

It is better if at all possible for us to have clear spiritual ideals that guide our lives and better connect us with each other, and have our own goals and aspirations (like turning a hobby into a service or business), than to waste our lives only surviving, working for ‘the man’ and spending our weekends exhausted or in gratuitous indulgence in the futile attempt to cope or comfort ourselves for the often unspoken reality that you may spend much or most of your waking time at a place where you are treated as a number, a disposable employee.

However, we can transcend such socio-economic devaluation by valuing ourselves and telling ourselves we are spiritual beings having a human experience that is temporary and does not define us. We can develop our creative talents and powers and give them as gifts to others, possibly for material compensation. We can turn a passion into the way we make a living, or part of one.

We can also let go of material things that may’ve been nice, but aren’t really needed anymore to live happy lives. Material things can also add to our burden of anxiety once holding onto them becomes stressful or untenable. Reducing our load as balanced, free people makes more sense than remaining ‘consumers’ for supply-side endless economics of more-more-more.

These things are all under our control

I haven’t even mentioned relationships. Yes, relationships are good, but what about the single person who is not in a relationship? No point pining, wishing, or focusing on what you do not currently have.

Instead, we can (re-)make ourselves into happy, healthy people, and keep honoring that. Someone besides you will appreciate it. Its not always easy, but it is very doable.



About Kannon McAfee

Poet, herbalist/healer, professional astrologer. Kannon means Kwan Yin -- healer. So I approach my work and others with a healer's heart. I'm dedicated to advancing astrology as a soul-oriented science. My specialty is birth chart interpretation and rectification.
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