I was interested to find out more, about the rise in eczema and allergies at the February Neal’s Yard Organic Team Meet. Did you know that there has been a 42% rise in Eczema between 2001 and 2005? Did you know that by 2005 one in nine people were suffering from the condition? The Eczema Society states “Atopic Eczema effects 15-20% of school children and 2 – 10% of adults its incidence has increased significantly in recent years.”
One of the singular reasons for this has been the increased use in chemicals. Dr Ballie-Hamilton states “In the last 25 years, individuals are being exposed to unprecedented levels of synthetic chemicals, such as organochlorides, organophosphates, carbamates, toxic metals, solvents and plastics” in 2005 book “Stop the 21st Century Killing You.”
There are many ways that exposure can be reduced, such as drinking filter water, using eco friendly cleaning products, reducing the amount of chemicals used on and in our bodies though health, beauty products and in what we eat.
Of course NYR Organic can help substantially with regards the health and beauty products and has some remarkable products to help with the more serious complaints such as Eczema, which not only can help eleviate the condition but also reduce the number of chemicals being introduced into the body through treatment, see info and link below.
The discussion got me once again reflecting that there is an apparent theme running through all areas of life at the moment, whether it’s health, work stress, land and resource requirements, food industry. In the bid to have plenty we have headed down a track that constantly requires more chemicals, almost a battle with nature often resulting in increased drug or chemical use which in turn causes more problems in terms of environmental impact as well as on our own health and needs, producing results which are often actually counter productive in the long term. It seems like a potentially ever decreasing circle. Yet we are constantly bombarded in the media with how much we need stuff, or how we need to get the lastest, the fastest, biggest. As a result not only is our relationship with our world based on supply and demand, it becomes a supply and demand based on wants as much as genuine need. Underlying it there is a genuine fear of scarcity, and a world where the 1980’s concept of the “Alpha Male” is calling the shots, addicted to competition and adrenaline, attempting to push the system along with everyone and everything in it to its max. It really does feel like it’s time to disconnect from that ever decreasing cycle and return to something which takes a more respectful and more rounded view on things.
It is so far removed from the relationship our ancestors had with their environment. Nothing brings this home more to me than the Native American story of the Antelope where Antelope teaches the people who are faced with cold climates and cannot rely on fruits and vegetables alone that they have to turn to meat for their food to survive, but also how to survive with grace and with nature. Antelope teaches of practicality of using its meat for food as well as every part of the animal is to be used; the bones for needles and glue; the skin for clothes and coverings and most of all that its to spirit remain free on the plains. The message of this animal was about appropriate action, quick decision and never letting things go to waste and never to use more than one needs.
This teaching story was particularly upper most in my consciousness as I made my Stag Drum in January with Heron Shamanic Drums www.herondrums.co.uk who ran the work shop and enabled the birthing. Johnathan Weekes, gave us some of the history of where the stag and horse skins come from. These particular hides came from Scotland, where they are the result of on going wildlife preservation in the highlands, but the animals are also sometimes culled; the meat often finds its way into the venison trade, yet the skins are still today, often left to rot, with no onward sale or market for them. So it was fantastic to not only have the chance to make my own drum, in ceremony, but also be part of actually completing the use and life cycle of the materials from this noble animal. There was a real sense of reconnecting once more with the eternal life cycle, through this powerful and creative process.
So yes we need things, yes the economics we have got ourselves into over the last 200 years plus are not just going change overnight and yes currently at times we need chemicals and drugs, however, perhaps our grandmothers had it right “everything in moderation” and as long as we aim for extremes and obscene profits and satisfying all wants – not even needs – we are more likely to experience imbalances in our bodies, societies and our environment. There is a better way, and it is apparent our ancestors and nature can teach us a lot in that regard.