Getting Yourself Back in Rhythm With Nature
Does the idea of waking up with the sun as it rises, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to engage with the new day after a restful night’s sleep sound appealing? No alarm clocks harassing you that it really is time to wake up; no artificial lights or extraneous noises assaulting your senses, jarring you to start your day. How would it feel to start each day ‘on the good’ foot, as opposed to the ‘back foot’, with energy and vitality to meet the coming day’s requirements?
Once upon a time, in the not so distant past waking up naturally with the sun and retiring when the sun sunk below the horizon was ‘the norm’. It was how we lived on a day to day basis for many thousands of years, long before the phenomenon of artificial lighting, alarm clocks and shift work. This, in essence is what our bodies are most naturally attuned to, how they are designed to function and respond accordingly. As we are inherently diurnal creatures, it’s part of our instinctual nature to sleep at night and be awake during the day.
Our body has its own natural tides and cycles
Many of the health problems modern humans experience from insomnia, immune dysfunction, stress, elevated blood pressure, blood sugar imbalances such as diabetes and fertility problems can be linked to disharmony in our body as a direct result of our collective disconnection from nature and natural cycles.
Secretions from the ductless glands of the endocrine system, the internal system of glands that produce hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things, are released in response to the natural light fluctuations that occur over a 24 hour period. Known as our circadian rhythm, our natural biological rhythm that is characterised by periods of being asleep and awake dictated by light and dark, day and night.
One of the biggest disruptors of modern times to the body’s natural rhythms and cycles is shift work. The disruptive effects of shift work i.e. working at night and sleeping during the day is well known as one of the leading factors in endocrine dysfunction, with plenty of evidence to suggest that shift work increases the risk of certain chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) even classified night shift work as a potential carcinogen in 2007 due to the disruption it causes to the body's circadian rhythms.
This really goes to show that we’re fundamentally designed to sleep at night and be awake during the day, though the human organism is very adaptable and some of us manage to cope quite well with shift work.
The rhythm of the night
The pineal gland, located deep within the centre of the brain produces a hormone, melatonin which helps maintain our circadian rhythms and regulate reproductive hormones. Melatonin secretion is lowest during daylight hours and highest during dark periods.
Exposure to light, both natural and artificial inhibits the release of melatonin which can affect our ability to sleep. When sleep is disrupted melatonin production may be adversely affected, which can further exacerbate sleep disturbances such as insomnia and wakefulness in some individuals.
To get our biological clock back in sync and ensure that our pineal and other endocrine glands as a whole are functioning optimally, it can help to limit our exposure to artificial light sources in the evenings, and reduce light pollution in bedrooms.
This can mean we need to implement strategies such as turning off all screens (computers, TV, tablets, cellphones etc) by 9.30pm and turning out the lights by 10-10.30pm each night.
Installing blackout curtains or blinds in bedrooms to shield against external light pollution is a good idea if there are issues with sleep and to help support melatonin production to reset our circadian rhythm clock.
Moving in harmony with the Wheel of Life
When it comes to getting in tune with our body’s natural rhythms and cycles, we need look no further than nature to find the solutions to many of the problems and challenges of life in the modern world. Living in harmony with nature is what we’re fundamentally designed for so it is only natural that we seek healing and the answers to our problems from the Great Mother herself. After all, nature knows best!
Working with specific First Light® flower essences is one of the most effect ways to help us attune and align our beings with the natural order of things for enhanced health and wellbeing.
Specific First Light® Flowers of Transformation essences No’s 4, 5 and 6, correlating to the zodiacal sign of Taurus- an earth sign help us to re-establish healthy attitudes towards physicality:
First Light® Flower Essence No 4 Marlborough Rock Daisy is the Self Worth essence, and corresponds to the personality type the Nature Lover. No 4 Marlborough Rock Daisy helps to reconnect us with the healing, instinctual wisdom of the body. No 4 Marlborough Rock Daisy is a very useful essence for those with heightened sensitivities to food and fragile nervous systems.
First Light® Flower Essence No 5 Native Passionfruit is the Abundance essence, helping us tap into the abundance of nature, knowing that our needs will be met. Through working with No 5 Native Passionfruit, we experience inner vitality, strength and fortitude to meet life and life experiences. No 5 Native Passionfruit is an excellent essence for those with erratic physical habits and is great for helping us to stick to healthier ways of living.
First Light® Flower Essence No 6 New Zealand Jasmine’s keyword is Perseverance. It is the perfect essence for helping combat exhaustion and fatigue resulting from over-working. No 6 New Zealand Jasmine helps those of us who feel burdened by the responsibilities of the material or physical aspects of life.
First Light® Tree Essence No 50 Rimu is the Crown Chakra essence and corresponds to the healthy functioning of the pineal gland. No 50 Rimu is useful if we feel like we are stuck in our heads and disconnected from our body and physicality. Its gentle, balancing properties help to harmonise the nervous system, supporting us to feel stable and physically present, while still maintaining a powerful connection with our spiritual nature.
First Light® Plant Essence No 72 Shining Spleenwort is the Synchronicity essence, that helps us get back in tune with natural rhythms and cycles. No 72 Shining Spleenwort is beneficial for times when we may be feeling out of kilter with life; our timing might be off and we feel as if we keep just missing the boat so to speak. With No 72 Shining Spleenwort as our ally, we are better able to respond to the natural changes that occur in life, and adapt accordingly. Use this essence to ‘go with the flow’ and move more fluidly with the natural ebbs and flows of day to day life.
— Lana Raill
Lana holds diplomas in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine and New Zealand Native Flower Essence Therapy, and is a First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand® Registered Practitioner. Lana specialises in working with vibrational plant medicine in the form of First Light® flower essences and is available for consultations in Grey Lynn and Avondale on 021 02468952 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org