In a recent blog post we discussed the natural cycles driven by cosmic forces which impose a common set of energetic influences on all humans, animals and plants. This subject is foundational to all life and the premise of PHYTO5 skincare.
In a recent Guardian newspaper edition featuring a weekly column by Dr. Daniel Glaser, neurologist and director of Science Gallery at King’s College London, we find some important supporting assertions on this topic.
The title of Glaser’s article is How Rhythms Become a Vital Part of Us. Here are the key points:
- Whether it’s the physiological of a woman’s moon cycle or a plant’s seasonal cycle, the external world influences biology.
- Cells and systems in the brain and body have built-in mechanisms to enforce a 24-hour sleep–wake cycle, and light-sensitive cells in the eye and elsewhere keep this cycle synced to the earth’s rotation.
- Animals and plants regulate their activities on an annual cycle becoming frisky in spring and hibernating over the winter. Again, intrinsic mechanisms tend towards an annual cycle and sensors of various kinds nudge the cycle to keep track of the earth’s rotation around the sun.
- It is culture, particularly religious culture, that has lighted upon the seven-day cycle as an organizing structure for our lives. Once something is in the external world, however, it starts to invade our biology, particularly our neurobiology.
Dr. Glaser makes two broad and relative points:
- Along with plants and animals, we are subjected to the energetic influence of sun, moon and stars.
- Our cultural habits, particularly when they repeat themselves on a regular basis, affect our biology.
Although we have no control over the rhythms affecting our lives, each of us can attempt to harmonize our lives with those rhythms like the good surfer who catches the wave rather than wiping out under the wave’s overwhelming power.
Unfortunately, living as we do in an era that has so deeply forgotten its roots with its original, natural environment, it is striking to realize how unprepared we are to “catch the wave” and live harmoniously on and with Earth and all other living entities.
My daughter gave me two books for the holidays which I devoured and feel compelled to mention within this context:
- The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World by David Abram
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Both written in the 80s and superbly written by very learned scientists with a poetic bent, they reveal the sentience of all nature and the essential relationship of reciprocity between humans and nature. These scientists love the Earth and lament our disconnection with it and its attendant dire consequences on our culture, our lives, our health, and (implied) on our future as a species.
Our choice for the “splendid isolation of technology” is detrimental both to the animate world (plants, animals and humans) and the inanimate world (our planet). Among the bodies of work of many others, theirs has contributed to the development of ecopsychology,* the understanding of which emerged in the 90s.
A search on the web for ecopsychology led me to the following excerpts at soulcraft.co:
Ecopsychology has a greater cultural project: to redefine the relationship of the natural environment to sanity in our time. Ecotherapists wish to heal the soul while engaging the whole. We wish to speak for the planet and its imperiled species. We wish to recall the long forgotten Anima Mundi and honor it in our relations and work… The planetary environment is the context for healing the soul because the two are inextricably bound by bonds that are sacred: life and consciousness. Implicit in this project is the need for a scientific paradigm that gives life and consciousness a new central status in the universe. Based upon such a paradigm, ecopsychology is more than a mere academic exercise; it is part of an ongoing and practical healing mission that recognizes and honors that the health of the individual human psyche depends upon the collective health of all the kingdoms of life on Earth.
From John Davis, Ph.D: The deep and enduring psychological questions—who we are, how we grow, why we suffer, how we heal—are inseparable from our relationships with the physical world. Similarly, the over-riding environmental questions—the sources of, consequences of, and solutions to environmental problems—are deeply rooted in the psyche, our images of self and nature, and our behaviors. Ecopsychology integrates ecology and psychology in responding to both sets of questions. Ecopsychology offers three insights:
1. There is a deeply bonded and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature.
2. The illusion of a separation of humans and nature leads to suffering both for the environment (as ecological devastation) and for humans (as grief, despair, and alienation).
3. Realizing the connection between humans and nature is healing for both.
When we speak of our PHYTO5 Skincare method as holistic, based on the principle of traditional Chinese medicine, we speak of an approach whereby skin must be seen as:
- an integral and not isolated part of the body
- body as a part of being
- being as the sum of not only the physical, mental, psychological and emotional, but the spiritual as well
- individual being as a participating part of the natural environment, the planet, and the cosmos (even if only limited to our acknowledgement and thankfulness).
In our company, all these considerations are relevant–from product mission to formulation and manufacturing to application by our skincare professionals and consumers.
Why? Because our conscious awareness of who and what we are in relationship to others and to nature maintains us in natural cycles or rhythms from which we better function at all levels of our being and life experience.
The method respects the energetic seasons as much as the five phases of life (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) as well as the need to be balanced with our various realms of activity–the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual–with the goal of achieving wellness which essentially means we feel good both in our own skin and in our hearts.
Balance is promoted by PHYTO5 energetic products with their potential to balance vital energy. In addition, the Beauty of Emotions treatment enhances our awareness of our dominating emotion and promotes the positive emotion of happiness.
Surf image by Dimitras Vetsikas at pixabay.com
*Ecopsychology studies the relationship between human beings and the natural world through the prism of ecological and psychological principles. The field seeks to develop and understand ways of expanding the emotional connection between individuals and the natural world, consequently assisting individuals to develop sustainable lifestyles and remedy their alienation from nature. Theodore Roszak is credited with coining the term ecopsychology in his 1992 book, The Voice of the Earth.
Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World. Vintage Books, 2017.
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2013.
Roszak, Theodore. Voice of the Earth: an Exploration of Ecopsychology: with a New Afterword. Phanes, 2001.